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Essay on An Examination of the Philosophy of Marx and Engels

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During the peak of the Cold War, particularly during the 1950s, communists and communism were constituted the hobgoblins that haunted Western consciousness and anyone professing positive opinions towards the political philosophies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were immediately tarred with the communist brush and viewed with suspicion and censure. Nevertheless, the philosophy of historical materialism that both Engels and Marx espoused became very influential to the thought of the Western world, in addition to inspiring the revolutions that shook Russia and China. The following examination of this philosophy will, first of all, offer an overview of the basic tenets of this philosophy and then consider to what extent the legal histories of both Europe and the US can be regarded as consistent or inconsistent with the ideas proposed by Marx and Engels. This essay will also consider how the work of later writers reflects the theoretical traditions begun by Marx and Engels, or if their theoretical orientations can be better explains by other traditions.
Basic ideas of Marx and Engels
Marx offers the basic tenets to historical materialism, that is, his economic interpretation of history, in the preface to his text A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. This writing proposes that it is economic factors, specifically the way in which people produce the necessities required to sustain human society, that determine both the politics and ideology of that society. Marx writes the "legal and political superstructure" of a society will arise from the "mode of production of material life conditions for general process of social, political and intellectual life" (Marx Critique 20). In other words, Marx argued that it was not ...


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...ced, and are continuing to influence, contemporary society, which means, in general, a better future for the working class.


Works Cited

Dahl, Jonathan. "Congress passes a bill likely to force many hotels to install room sprinklers." Wall Street Journal.
Domhoff, William. The Higher Circles. (1970): 217-218.
Engels, Friedrich. "Letters on Historical Materialism."
Engels, Friedrich. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.
Granfield, Robert. "Legal education as corporate ideology: Student adjustment to the Law School Experience." Sociological Forum 1.3 (1985): 514-515.  
Graves, Florence and Norrgard, Lee. "Money to burn: How Chicago's traders get their way on capital Hill." Common Cause Magazine (1985): pp. 20-31.
Marx, Karl. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Ed. Maurice Dobb. New York: International Press, 1859, 1970.


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