Marx on Dialectical Progression Towards Socialism

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


The basic theme of the chapter is the passage from the “pre-history of human society” to humanity’s history through revolutionary transformation of the old society. This passage is considered as humanity’s progress in the sense of contradictory movement, as a manifestation of the dialectic of negativity. First, the paper restates and discusses Marx’s central proposition that capital, through its inherent contradictions, creates the conditions of its own demise as well as the elements for building a union of free individuals. Then, in the light of Marx’s correspondence with the Russians in his later years, the paper goes into the question, if the capitalist mode of production (CMP) is the necessary precondition for building the new society, could the old society in the absence of the CMP, on its own, generate the necessary conditions for passage to the new society. Finally, the whole question of the revolutionary transformation of society is discussed within the broad Marxian purview of human progress where it is argued that Marx is a great “rethinker” of progress, that his perspective has nothing in common with any unilineal view (positive or negative) of human advancement (or regression) and that progress in this view is an aspect of the dialectic of negativity pervading the critique of political economy.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Quebec in MontrealWestmountCanada

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