Like many theorems, ideas and beliefs, Dialectical Materialism was not the epiphany of a single mind. Karl Marx was merely the genius who realized that the two concepts could be conjoined to explain the cycle of past, present and remarkably even future economic systems. Karl Marx was a very perceptive economist who concentrated on capitalism and its opportunity costs. The “Father of Socialism” combined Hegel’s, Smith’s and Malthus’ previous hypothesis to form a new constant that’s been established true, Dialectical Materialism.
To fully comprehend the term Dialectic Materialism, one must analyze the phrase independently. Dialectics were the Greek followers of a philosopher by the name of Hegel. He established that there would always be a fluctuation between the forces of the universe. More directly, this applies to the cycle of any economy and states that it would continuously go through periods of recession and depression. Moreover, after a period of ying and yang, next would follow a new stage, a synthesis of the thesis and antithesis. Marx had a way to visually represent this with his world renowned Historical Dialectic which compares societal evolution with economic progression and development over time.
The rest of the idiom is the conclusion put forth by Adam Smith and John Malthus. They determined, “Economics is the foundation of society.” Essentially, family structures, political systems and religious institutions are all dependent on a country’s economic system. Social classes, relationships, cultural institutions and innovative ideas all reflect monetary acquisition. As Marx stated, this trait has dated all the way back to Primitive Communalization.
Marx believed that the United States was in the temporarily prosperous phase of capitalism. However, this state would eventually succumb to the completely new synthesis called socialism, where power would transfer from capitalists to proletariats. In accordance with dialectic theorem, Marx foresaw a crisis of overproduction, concentration of wealth and the growth of monopolies being the main factors for the demise of capitalism. At the peak of these flaws would be the spark of revolution demanded for shifting our economic makeup to the next level of development. Here lie the flaws of Marx’s clairvoyance.
Marx declared that all capitalist countries would eventually be lead into a revolution of some sort. But Marx predicted that the first world countries would be the first to go followed by the developing third world. Coincidentally, the United States and Britain have been able to avoid theses revolutions through many anti-overproduction programs to counter our rate of mechanization. With reforms of unemployment institutions, retirement, social securities and the expanding public education program, the first world has been able to delay, if not avoid a Marxist future. In addition, imperialism and nationalism are two traits that Marx was never able to foresee and incorporate into his economic model of the progressing world.
On the other hand, the third world today is still being pillaged by capitalists thus increasing the developing countries’ incentive to revolutionize. Africa, China, and Mexico are still resisting imperialism. The bourgeoisie are still resisting foreign colonies. Now Neo-Marxists, like Nelson Mandela, see a better life for their countries; they want more distribution of wealth and eventually a classless society. All the while, dialectic materialism provides a template of hope for these modern utopians by promising change after a struggle between the ruler and those he rules.
Karl Marx could not have had any idea of the impact on the world that dialectic materialism would have. He could not have known that it would clearly express the fundamental reasons why activism is worth its hardships. Marx could not have imagined the chain reactions of revolutions and world reforms his theory has produced.