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Karl Marxs immediate philosophical forebear Hegel was a determinist Hegel believed that history unfolded according to an inviolable form of order that manifested itself dialectically A concept a mode of thought a way of existing forms a Thesis This thesis represents and embodies the Absolute Truth But because the Universe has not yet reached the stage where Absolute Spirit has fully realized itself the truth that a given thesis represents is only a partial one-sided truth The thesis brings about its own opposite as a natural by-product of its own existence For example in the very act of thinking about Hegels first most fundamental thesis Being one cannot help but stumble across the concept of its opposite Nothing Once a thesis and its opposite its Antithesis both exist a new Synthesis of the two comes into existence Being and Nothing coalesce into the notion of Becoming which becomes itself a new thesis and starts the process anew At each stage the actualization of Absolute Spirit increases In this fashion the history of the Earth plays out the self-realization in and for itself of Absolute Spirit Hegels conception of God Borrowing the notion of an historical dialectic from Hegel Marx applied the concept to history from this point of view Marx based his entire philosophy on the equally deterministic notion that the substructure precedes the superstructure In short this means that the economic system substructure which a society employs is the primary factor in determining all other aspects of the character of that society Thought for instance does not precede economics as one might expect since economics as a discipline is a product of thought Rather as part of the superstructure it is an outgrowth of the economic relations prevalent in society So for Marx everything reduces to economic interchange This is a subtle point this determination that thought action and interpersonal relations along with all other aspects of society originate from societys predominant
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