An analysis of historical materialism in the marxist ideology

After a tour of Latin America inthe American diplomat George Kennan wrote a memo despairing that the region would ever achieve a modest degree of economic dynamism, social mobility, or liberal politics.

An analysis of historical materialism in the marxist ideology

Most traditional understandings, however, turn out to be theoretically inconsistent and lacking in terms of explanatory power when confronted with the historical realities of Italian, Irish, and African-American labor relations in the early 20th century.

An analysis of historical materialism in the marxist ideology

I will argue that bringing Louis Althusser's theories of the state and ideology to bear on the problem of working-class racism can offer a better historical understanding than traditional explanations.

This classical analysis emphasizes the economic above all other factors. The relations of production determine everything else, and the extraction of surplus value via wage labor is the primary form of exploitation. Racism is seen as nothing more than an effective divide-and-conquer tactic of the capitalist class, and any focus on anti-racist work simply distracts from the class struggle that is the 'true' nature of history.

This theory, however, has significant shortcomings. For one, if capitalism is understood only "according to the abstract economic logic described in Capital" it does not require any divisions in the working class Moufawad-Paul.

Race as a Material Ideology - JournalQuest

In fact, divisions could be detrimental to capital because a divisions within the working class along race, gender, or other lines may lead to struggles anti-racist, feminist, etc.

Historically, divisions within there is no requirement in the structure of capitalism that the working class be kept divided. Understanding racism as nothing more than a divide-and-conquer tactic ignores the fact that capital has no inherent need to divide the working class.

A more sophisticated Marxist analysis "claims that racist practices from xenophobic attitudes that are not strictly reducible to class exploitation" West.


Seen this way, "racist attitudes have a life and logic of their own" simply a continuation of xenophobic attitudes that are always present in human groups, then "What prevents all cases of the affinity-disaffinity dialectic from being translated into racism?

What prevents all national formations, all caste formations, all ethnic formations, all class formations from becoming racial formations at the same time?

Racism, nationalism, caste systems, and ethnicity all operate by logics of inclusion and exclusion, but none of these social formations are identical in formation or operation.

The xenophobic explanation allows for an understanding of racism as more than a capitalist conspiracy while being overly reductionist by treating all exclusionary social formations as the same.

The most common Marxist answer for racism is the phenomenon of "false consciousness" Willhelm In this explanation, the working class suffers from an "illusory perception" and they "believe in both racism and the property rights of capitalists" Willhelm This contains elements of the previous two explanations considered.

Like xenophobia, but unlike 'divide-and-conquer,' it does not present racism as a conspiratorial invention by capitalists.

It allows for the historical development of racist attitudes independently from or at least not directly invented by the ruling class. Like both of the previous explanations, however, false consciousness still toes the orthodox Marxist line that proletarian identity is the 'truest' identity of members of the working class and that workers who act in racist ways simply do not understand their true nature as a member of the proletariat.

The false consciousness explanation of racism blames "the very victims of capitalist oppression and exploitation for their own fate" Willhelm False consciousness supposes that the working class does not understand their "real" conditions, and that they believe in the "false" conditions of racism.

The second problem is an analytic error:Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes based on the background and ideology of the author. Notable marxist literary critics include criticisms related to historical materialism, that it is a type of historical.

The German Ideology contains a great deal that is insightful on the relationship of consciousness to social existence, and The Communist Manifesto not only remains a stirring polemic, but it contains a famous, key formulation of precisely the sort of analysis that is central to historical materialism: “The history of all hitherto existing.

The persistence of racism within the working class is a fundamental problem for any Marxist analysis of race, and there have been several attempts to solve this problem within the Marxist tradition.

Most traditional understandings, however, turn out to be theoretically inconsistent and lacking in. This is a consequence of Marx’s analysis of the role of ideas of justice from within historical materialism. That is to say, juridical institutions are part of the superstructure, and ideas of justice are ideological, and the role of both the superstructure and ideology, in the functionalist reading of historical materialism adopted here, is.

Marx’s Historical Materialism—a very short summary Philosophy (with thanks to G. A. Cohen’s interpretive work) 1. Boats are owned by two-person partnerships and an ideology of nautical cooperation (“Be faithful to your partner!”, “Only a fool ferries alone,” develops.

Historical materialism is the methodological approach of Marxist historiography that focuses on human societies and their development This occurred despite the fact that many of Marx's earlier works on historical materialism, including The German Ideology, remained unpublished until the In his analysis of the movement of history.

Marxism - Wikipedia