notions of Karl Marx about change were built on the writing of a philosopher,
GWF Hegel, who developed the concept of the dialect. This notion
was based on the idea that everything had within itself the seeds of its
own destruction, but that a new form would rise from the ashes of the resulting
destruction. The cycle was described as thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Some people see this as having resemblance to classical Greek and Latin
myths about the Phoenix Bird, who flies too close to the sun and burns,
and creation myths of Athapaskan people of the Great Plains of North America.
took this idea of the dialectic and applied it to society, saying that
the origins of change are all materialistic. In our terms that means
they belong to the cultural dimensions of technology and economy.
As technology of people developed from gatherer/hunters, to agriculture
(horticulture/ herding) to the Industrial revolution, changes in the technology
led to changes in social organisation and to beliefs and values.
gathering and hunting societies, he said, had “primitive communism.”
In agrarian societies, which he called feudal, the main conflict was between
the owners of land or aristocracy and those who worked on the land
major source of conflict in the industrial age was between:
the workers, whom he called the proletariat,
from Latin, who survived by selling their labour, and
the owners of factories, whom he called
the bourgeoisie, a word having the same origin as burgh and burger, who
needed the labour to make a profit.
exploited class favoured and would benefit from change towards more equality,
while the exploiting class resisted such change. As society had the
seeds of destruction within itself, simple communism fell apart and was
replaced by feudalism, then feudalism fell apart and was replaced by capitalism.
Marx expected capitalism to fall apart because of the dynamic tension between
workers and owners, and the resulting revolution would result in communism,
where the state would wither away and the economy would be based on the
slogan, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his
approach is called dialectical materialism.
who died in 1883, expected a communist revolution to take place as a result
of the tension between workers and factory owners. Ironically, the two
major communist revolutions took place in Russia (1917) and China (1949),
both feudal agrarian societies at the time.