Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, though now there is no single definitive Marxist theory. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has often lead introduction to marxism pdf contradictory conclusions.
Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Engels did not support the use of the term “Marxism” to describe either Marx’s or his views. Engels claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as “real” followers of Marx while casting others in different terms, such as “Lassallians”. Lafargue’s views were considered “Marxist”, then “one thing is certain and that is that I am not a Marxist”. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or—this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms—with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters.
Then begins an era of social revolution”. The discovery of the materialist conception of history, or rather, the consistent continuation and extension of materialism into the domain of social phenomenon, removed two chief defects of earlier historical theories. Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand. The base and superstructure metaphor describes the totality of social relations by which humans produce and re-produce their social existence. According to Marx: “The sum total of the forces of production accessible to men determines the condition of society” and forms a society’s economic base. The base includes the material forces of production, that is the labour and material means of production and relations of production, i.
From this base rises a superstructure of legal and political “forms of social consciousness” of political and legal institutions that derive from the economic base which conditions the superstructure and a society’s dominant ideology. Conflicts between the development of material productive forces and the relations of production provokes social revolutions and thus the resultant changes to the economic base will lead to the transformation of the superstructure. As Engels clarified: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes”. Marx considered class conflicts as the driving force of human history since these recurring conflicts have manifested themselves as distinct transitional stages of development in Western Europe.