Economic Determinism

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  • A philosophical school of thought used to explain historical development. Economic determinists posit that economic conditions, more specifically, the “mode of production” or “commodity form,” determine the intellectual, social, and political reality of the era. The truth of social existence is thereby legitimized by economic conditions and the means by which the substances are produced rather than the noneconomic, humanistic factors. From a strict view of economic determinism, humanistic variables, such as race, gender, and culture, have no influence over the ideologies of that period.

    The discourse on economic determinism began in the mid-19th century with the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Modern-day discourse surrounding economic determinism continues to be centered on Marxism, though many supporters of Marxism deny Marx's emphasis on the strict ...

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