The Economic Interpretation of History

Cover The Economic Interpretation of History
Genres: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II PHILOSOPHICAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE THEORY The explanation which Buckle made no attempt to give had been advanced more than a decade before by another writer who was destined to become far more famous and influential. Karl Marx enjoyed some qualifications for the task which were denied to Buckle. Buckle was, indeed, well abreast of the foreign, as well as the English, literature on history and natural science; but his economic views were almost entirely in accord with those of the ' A f ' '. r , prevalent English school. These principles so completely lacked the evolutionary point of view as to preclude any historical treatment of society. Karl Marx, on the other hand, not only possessed the philosophical and scientific equipment of a German uMhersity graduate, but founcLhimgelf in direct anoEiqual


ified opposition to the teachings of the professional economists. While BucHe contented himself with pointing out how physical forces affect the pro- duction of wealth, Marxaddressed himself toj the larger task of showing how the whole struc- ture of societrsnodifkbjgelains of h social classes, and how these relations are themselves dependent on antecedent economic changes. In Buckle it was primarily the physi-J cist that created a certain materialistic interpre-j tation of history; in ManLJt was the socialist that Jirought about a very different and specifically economic interpretation of history. In order to understand the genesis of the economic interpretation of history it will be necessary to say a few words about the philosophical antecedents of Marx. Like most of the young Germans of the thirties, Majrx was ajfirmbel.ieverjn Hegel. The Hegelian philosophy, however, reallycontained twoegarate parts, ? the dialectical method and the system. The funda...

The Economic Interpretation of History
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