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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

4 - Sovereignty, Action, Autonomy

from Part I - Theory in History


One of Marx’s central and most enduring insights, as concisely expressed in the 1859 preface to his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, concerns the transformative effects of economic change. As the material forces of production develop, they sooner or later enter into conflict with the existent relations of production and with the political and juridical patterns, the so-called superstructure, in which these relations are expressed. The inevitable consequence, according to Marx, is a period of transformation in which society’s superstructure, including its moral, aesthetic, and philosophical forms, is revolutionalized so as to adapt it to the new material circumstances.

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