Classical Social Theory Outline


Classical Social Theory


  1. Body

  1. Impact of capitalists on students

  2. Historical materialism

  3. Fetishes, false consciousness

  1. Conclusion

  2. References

Classical Social Theory

Many American have come to believe that there are two forms ofhistory relating to the America History. People refer to severalstories to study the American history these stories include those ofMarx and Friedrich. Marx and Friedrich are believed to explain theclassical theory of the American people (Bratton, Denham &ampDeutschmann, 2009). These stories are however of the same type onlythat Friedrich edited the works of Marx and published it. My thesisis that this problem can also be addressed by looking at the problemfrom the perspective of Marx historical materialism. I will beaddressing this based on my understanding of what Marx calls theclass conflict that he believes is the root source of the classicalhistory and therefore the sole theory to be referred to. This essaywill discuss the classical history and theory of the American peoplewith relevant examples in order to bring out the picture that the twostories portray about American History.

The classical theory does not exist in the real sense but are justmere speculations of the individual readers who read the book andinterpret them to mean different ones. The students in Americaimagine that there are two kinds of history in America because of thedifferent ways that various authors have used to write the history.Some give it the view of materialism while other views it fromconsciousness and falsehood&nbsp(Waters, 2007). Others relyon the present objects that are seen as drivers of futureaspirations. Marks approach will be very significant if adopted byeveryone. This is because it is the original view of American historyand other forms of history were derived from it.


Impact of capitalists on students

The capitalists’ approach has successfully convinced the studentsthat they cannot be all at the same level. They have convinced thestudents that all of them must be on different levels so that theyget the chance to depend on one another. They have invoked animagination to the students that revolution is the only way that theycan achieve development when some people rely on the Labor of othersthus making us need each other most&nbsp(Bratton, et al.,2009). By encouraging different stories that are being taught at theuniversity level, capitalists achieves their mission of confusing thestudents on the right what to think. They make sure that they have adivergent opinion on the right way to use to understand the classicalhistory correctly. They then end up viewing the history of America intwo different ways.

Historical materialism

One of the methodology approaches used in studying the society,history and economics is Historical materialism. Karl Marx viewed itas a concept of history that was materialistic. It views societalchanges to be driven by the changes in the conditions of materialsthus realizing development in socioeconomics (Marx &amp Engels,1978). It incorporates production capacity and technology. Thisaspect looks at the relation between the changes in the society ofhuman beings and the development realized. This theory has beenexpanded and now incorporated divergent view on materialism history.Marx’s theory argues that the position of an individual in anyhierarchical set up is driven by the role he plays in the prices ofproduction. To him, consciousness relating to ideology and politicsare driven by the position within a class. We, therefore, see thatwith Marx, a class construction is pegged on the process ofproduction&nbsp(Bratton et al., 2009).&nbsp&nbsp However,some writers like Thompsons and Mario have a divergent view that theconsciousness of class bears more priority than the productionprocess. Hence, it relates to the discussion of the struggles alreadyexisting in the arena. From this example, we see that the role thatfetishes play is given more weight in determining the materialismaspect of history. Marx et al (1978) argues that whenever someone hasfalse conscious, then it is clear that that person will have adifferent view of what materialism aspect is in the classical theory.

Materialism concepts have no problem with the history since they areembedded in it. The problem is explaining the present by analyzingthe events in the past. Usually, the truth is not let to interfere oraffect the false part of the history being given&nbsp(Waters,2007). The two types of materialism are metaphysical materialism alsoknown as physiological materialism. In this materialism, the matterthat is currently in motion will be considered of primary importance.Those matters that are only thought of are considered to be of asecondary nature and meant to obstruct someone. The other kind ofmaterialism is the materialism that views economic process as thematerial base of institutional ideas for their derivation andstorage. It views the economy as a base structure by does notdetermine everything in history. This invokes the capitalist style ofproducing goods that will play a major role in when it comes toconfiguring the role of a society.

Fetishes, false consciousness

Historical materialism has several principles that need to be lookedat keenly. One of the principles demands that the human society workswith nature and use it to produce the substance. There must be labordivision based on the ownership of property so that some people willdepend on the labor of others&nbsp(Waters, 2007). Thesedivision of labor should not interfere with or be affected by themodes of production available. This is because the productive forceis the basis of determining the mode of production. Whenever a newclass emerges, it pushes a class to the next level and replaces it.This is, usually, referred to as society under a superstructure andis responsible for what is called revolution. This revolution hasbeen championed by capitalist and has been used to confuse thestudents in university so that the capitalist&nbspcan&nbspachievetheir mission of ensuring that it’s their opinion on developmentand history that is bought by the students.


This essay has deeply discussed the history of materialism asoutlined by Marx. A number of instances have been mentioned where thecontroversy that existed have been explained. It has vividlydiscussed the classical theory and showed that indeed there are notwo histories of the America but only one history that has beenrewritten and interpreted by several writers. This means that thecontemporary issued of misunderstanding in the classical theory havebeen clearly explained.

The history of materialism thus helps us understand that the way weinterpret the social, economic and political development of anypeople will depend on how we relate the future with the present. Weshould give&nbsp more priority and follow the principles ofmaterialism and refrain from viewing development as being dependenton only one driver but&nbsp as one thing that is dependent onseveral drivers of the economy. This, therefore, means that the issueof capitalist using students to champion their ideas and thelegitimization of students should be discouraged at all costs.


Bratton, J., Denham, D., &amp Deutschmann, L. (2009).&nbspCapitalismand classical sociological theory&nbsp(1st ed.). Toronto:University of Toronto Press.

Marx, K &amp Engel, F. (1978). The Marx-Engels Reader. NewYork: W. Norton &amp Company.

Waters, T. (2007). TheSacred and the Profane in American History Curriculummore.Retrieved from