How Marx made history: the development of historical materialism
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At school and university, history is taught in certain ways. Either it is understood as the product of ‘Great Men’ or, as postmodernists would say, it is just a series of unconnected and unrelated events. Marxism, on the other hand, analyses the hidden mainsprings that lie behind the development of human society, from the earliest tribal societies up to the modern day.
The way in which Marxism traces this winding road is called the materialist conception of history. This scientific method enables us to understand history, not as a series of unconnected and unforeseen incidents, but as part of a clearly understood and interrelated process. It is a series of actions and reactions which cover politics, economics and the whole spectrum of social development.