The Rise and Development of Marxist Philosophy

Marxist philosophy was evolved by the great leaders of the working class Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Frederick Engels (1820–1895). Is it merely the fruit of the brilliant minds of its founders, or is it the product of the epoch, a sign of the times? What causes had brought it into being?

Marxist philosophy was evolved by the great leaders of the working class Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Frederick Engels (1820–1895). Is it merely the fruit of the brilliant minds of its founders, or is it the product of the epoch, a sign of the times? What causes had brought it into being? The rise of Marxist science was a natural result of historical development. It was brought about by concrete socio-economic conditions and had definite prerequisites in natural science and philosophy.

By mid-19th century capitalism had replaced feudalism in many countries. Its advent promoted great progress in production and the rapid development of technology, science and culture.

At the same time capitalism created the proletariat, the class destined to destroy the capitalist system and carry out socialist transformations. Exploited by the bourgeoisie and deprived of elementary human rights, the proletariat began a bitter struggle against its enslavers. Under capitalism class contradictions became unusually acute and found their expression in numerous direct actions of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. French workers rose in Lyons and Silesian weavers in Germany, and the Chartist movement in Britain gained in strength. The workers demanded better 26working conditions, higher wages, shorter working hours, etc. But in those days
their actions were unorganised and spontaneous. They had a vague idea of the ultimate objectives for which they should fight and had no notion of effective ways and means of fighting against their class enemies. This created an urgent need for a scientific theory that would help the proletariat to learn the laws of social development, understand why the doom of capitalism was inevitable, and to become aware of its mission as the grave-digger of the bourgeoisie and the builder of a new, socialist system.

It follows that the very development of the proletarian movement confronted science with the immensely important task of evolving a revolutionary theory and forging an ideological weapon for the proletariat in its struggle against capitalism and for socialism. And science in the person of its brilliant proponents Marx and Engels fulfilled this pressing demand of history: they created Marxism whose component part and theoretical foundation is Marxist philosophy, dialectical and historical materialism.

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Categories: Dialectics, History, Science, Theory

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