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Historical Theory

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If the familiar organisation with its traditional routine is disrupted, it either vanishes or is rebuilt on the old pattern. This understanding counters the notion that human history is simply a series of accidents, either without any underlying cause or caused by supernatural beings or forces exerting their will on society. In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. The key thought of the English and French materialists of the 17th and 18th centuries was that men were the products of their natural and social environments.

But it will also be found at the bottom of the social and political philosophy of the most diverse schools. But a science of history capable of ascertaining the laws governing man’s collective activities over the ages is a relatively recent acquisition. Historical materialists henceforth believe that the modern proletariat are the new revolutionary class in relation to the bourgeoisie, in the same way that the bourgeoisie was the revolutionary class in relation to the nobility under feudalism.

He and his contemporary materialists largely ignored the economic conditions which stood between nature and the political institutions.

The raw materials for genuine history-writing were first collected in the annals of the reigns and chronicles of kings in the river valley civilisations of the Near East, India and China. When a given relation of production no longer supports further progress in the productive forces, either further progress is strangled, or 'revolution' must occur. The book offers both historical and systematic treatments of these issues, as well as addressing their contemporary relevance.The cyclical character of human affairs was closely affiliated with the conception of an all-powerful, inscrutable, inflexible Destiny which came to replace the gods as the sovereign of history.

Their method confines their analyses to the outer layers of the social structure so that they remain on the surface of events.

Their collective consciousness has not reached the point of an historical outlook or a sociological insight.

Man’s awareness of life as made up of consecutive and changing events has acquired breadth and depth along with the development and diversification of social production. Man made himself by acting upon nature and changing its elements to satisfy his needs through the labour process.A. Cohen, author of Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence, the level of development of society's productive forces (i. It is the changes in the conditions of life and labour which underlie the making and remaking of our human nature. Hegel challenged this view and argued that human nature as well as the formulations of art, science and the institutions of the state and its codes, laws and norms were all defined by their history and could only be understood by examining their historical development. Under Christianity and feudalism the theological conception that history was the manifestation of God’s plan monopolised social philosophy. Although they may have held different opinions of what the essential qualities of humanity were, idealist and materialist thinkers alike have appealed in the last resort to permanent principles of human nature to explain social and historical phenomena.

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