What is the critical argument of Marx’ theory of history?
With this in mind, Marx & Engels’ quote and argument refer to the societal normalities which are seemingly but mistakenly entrenched in each historical stage. The economic base and the means of which production exist are brought about by prior revolutionary ideas that are then manifested as the ruling class’s ideas. This theory is plausible in that economic structures of society exist as long as they have the means to develop productive powers and once they do not, are replaced by other more suitable economic structures. Furthermore, it is plausible that economic structures manifest as the foundation of society. And that then forms a superstructure consisting of the ideas, culture, politics in society are directly explained as a consequence of this base.
One critical argument of Marx’s theory of history is the apparent inconsistency with given primacy to productive forces and elsewhere written that the primacy is given to the economic structure in the explanatory development of productive forces. This is presented in H.B Acton’s The Illusion of the Epoch in which it is pointed out that one of Marx’s quotes from The Communist Manifesto ‘the bourgeoisie cannot exist without revolutionizing the instruments of production.’ This quote seemingly gives explanatory and causal primacy to the economic structure that develops the forces of production. A contradiction seems to be present in that primacy is given to both developmental factors over each other. Thus heat allegedly commits a ‘circulus in probands’ or the circular logic fallacy.