Historians are focused on analyzing past events through specific sources and data . On the other hand, when philosophers study history they do so from another perspective and focus on its meaning and purpose. The materialism history is the conception of Marx and Engels on the evolution of the story. Historical Materialism
Theoretical foundations of historical materialism
For Marx and Engels, philosophy must analyze history from a materialist conception. In other words, there are a series of real and material conditions (for example, social classes and social conflicts) that set a course in the succession of events.
The materialism projected onto history was a theoretical response to the Hegelian view. For Hegel what explains the historical sense is the spirit and not the matter. Historical Materialism
The Marxist vision developed in two fundamental works: “The Communist Manifesto” and “The Capital”. In both, it expresses the existence of two social classes that confront each other: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat .
The bourgeoisie represents the powerful social class , while the proletariat is the subjugated social class . For Marx, the bourgeoisie was responsible for the liquidation of the previous feudal regime and the proletariat was responsible for the end of the bourgeoisie. This process has a dialectical component and, for this reason, it is labeled as historical and dialectical materialism.
The proletarian class must become aware of its real situation of exploitation. In this way, the working class cannot resign itself and needs to take an active position to free itself from the bourgeois. This means a rebellious attitude that for Marx can lead to a proletarian revolution destined to the definitive disappearance of social classes, traditionally divided between oppressors and oppressed.
Human beings’ ways of thinking depend on the material and technological conditions of each historical moment.
According to the principles of historical materialism, the advancement of humanity does not depend on spiritual or mysterious forces. On the contrary, everything we know and think is given by concrete material conditions.
In this context, the various technological advances that have taken place throughout history constitute the material basis on which it builds and builds a way of thinking and living.