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Is judicial review consistent with democratic ideals - Term Paper Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction Historical materialism is a theory coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to explain the economic, social and political development of societies. In his writings, Marx and his co-author were influenced by the work of Hegel a German philosopher…
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Is judicial review consistent with democratic ideals
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Download file to see previous pages For Marx and Engels, there is no supernatural being, only matter exists and as such, humans are alienated from material conditions. In this case, alienation is only eliminated when true freedom is achieved The first premise of this theory therefore, is the existence of living human individuals who then engage in economic activities for their subsistence and in the process develop relations that form the basis of legal and political superstructures. However, to achieve freedom societies go through conflicts or class struggles whereby the ruling class is overthrown and new order established. So according to the Communist manifesto by Marx and Engels “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”1This struggle or historical process ends when man achieves true freedom through a socialist state or communism. The theory is well expounded in the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy written in 1859 by Marx. While this theory has gained a lot of prominence over the years, it has been under scrutiny for decades owing to the failure of communism in the Twentieth Century such as in the Soviet Union and emergence of states that do not conform to Marx’s theory such as in China. The insistence on the role of economic forces in shaping history has also been disputed by sociologists over the years. Despite all these criticisms, it is apparent that historical materialism can withstand the test of time and continues to be relevant even today. This paper will discuss the primary features of the theory as an account of historical development and change. It will also evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory in explaining historical development. To do this, I will utilize the works of Marx and Engels such as the German ideology, communist manifesto, a contribution to the critique of political economy and theory of surplus value. To understand the theory of historical materialism, it is essential to understand the theory upon which it is based and that is the dialectics by Geog Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel was a German philosopher interested more on ideas as opposed to the reality thus the use of dialectical methods. This dialectical method is the foundation of Marxism. According to Hegel, there exists a supernatural being beyond the reach of human beings. Humans are separated from this supernatural or Absolute and can thus only perceive the world through economic and material lenses and reality is turned upside down by perceptions.2 According to Hegel, humans can only be reunited with the Absolute through a historical process and once they are reunited, it is the end of history. This progressive movement towards the Absolute is aided by the dialectical process which according to Shimp involves increasing awareness thus gradually replacing man’s perception of reality with newer and truer forms.3 For dialectical process to work there must be contradictions which he refers as thesis and antithesis. The thesis is higher in rank than the antithesis but in the process of competition, the antithesis overthrows the thesis and a new thesis or synthesis is achieved. The thesis and antithesis are not opposites in the real manner but are oppositions such as a master and servant and wherever there is a thesis, there must be an antithesis. As such, when a new thesis is established, a new antithesis emerges to compete with the thesis and the process ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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