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Marxism and Technology

  • By: Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

According to the philosophy of Karl Marx (1818–1883), a German writer and theorist who cofounded communism along with Friedrich Engels, technology is one of the major forces that drive history as it assists in the formation of economic, political, and legal institutions. The level of technological knowledge, in Marx's view, is instrumental in shaping the economic structures of any given society because the dominant technology controls the mode of production in that society. Marx saw history as constantly in flux. Thus, he believed that the bourgeoisie (capitalists) of his own time were revolutionaries who had overthrown the pre-industrial class that had formerly controlled all modes of production. Once the bourgeoisie were in charge, however, Marx believed that they began to exploit the proletariat (the ...

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