Base And Superstructure

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Base and Superstructure form a synthetic pair explicitly or implicitly common to all socialisms but due as such to Marx and Marxism where it serves to distinguish the essential basis of various social orders from various other formative and persisting social conditions.

The base is equivalent to the MoP and the social order enforcing it. The superstructure is the entire remainder of society, culture, technology, institutions, etc. which dialectical materialism posits as being based upon the material conditions and circumstances of production, i.e. the MoP. Critical theory and writings on the topic are mainly concerned with how the one affects and/or conditions the other.

To quote Marx ("Critique of Political Economy" MEW13, 8f):

In the social production of Mans life there are certain factors, independent of him, relations of production, which contribute their productive power corresponding to a given level of material development. The totality of these relations of production form the economic structure of society, the real basis upon which the juridical and political superstructure rests, and which corresponds to particular forms of social consciousness.

See Also

External Links

  1. Basis und Überbau A German Political Lexicon Wiki.
  2. Marxist Media Theory