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What are thesis, antithesis, synthesis? In what ways are they related to Marx?

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David P Share
Sep 19, 2016


They are concepts used by Marx to explain the progression of human society through distinct phases.


In general terms a thesis is a starting point, an antithesis is a reaction to it and a synthesis is the outcome.

Marx developed the concept of historical materialism whereby the history of man developed through several distinct stages, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and in the future communism.

The movement from one stage to another could be explained by using thesis, antithesis and synthesis.

Under capitalism the proletariat were exploited by the bourgeoisie who were the owners of the means of production. This was the thesis or starting point.

The polarisation of the two classes would reach a stage where the proletariat would revolt against such exploitation. This was the antithesis.

The outcome, in the long term would be a new form of relations within a classless society, namely communism. This would be the synthesis.

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