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date: 24 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter affirms that class and class struggle were fundamental to Marx’s conception of history. His claims are affirmed as it is shown that upper-class demands for surplus and lower-class resistance have driven the evolution of society from the Bronze Age to the present and were critical to the passage from the tributary mode of production to the capitalist mode of production. Class struggle exists in all class-based societies but was particularly acute in China and the West. In Classical Antiquity class antagonism mainly took the form of peasant/landlord struggle but also expressed itself in conflict between slave and master. In modern times the bourgeoisie engaged in a two-sided struggle against both the landlord class and against the working class. Its struggle against the latter is ongoing. The state, culture, and ideology are key components of class struggle.

Keywords: class, class struggle, tributary mode of production, capitalism, revolution, state

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