Lecture 12 - Marx's Theory of History

author: Iván Szelényi, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: June 24, 2012,   recorded: October 2009,   views: 2646
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

See Also:

Download Video - generic video source Download yalesocy151f09_szelenyi_lec12_01.mp4 (Video - generic video source 596.2 MB)

Download Video Download yalesocy151f09_szelenyi_lec12_01.flv (Video 257.5 MB)

Download Video Download yalesocy151f09_szelenyi_lec12_01_640x360_h264.mp4 (Video 154.3 MB)

Download Video Download yalesocy151f09_szelenyi_lec12_01.wmv (Video 232.9 MB)

Download subtitles Download subtitles: TT/XML, RT, SRT

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


We consider closely Marx's Grundrisse, written between The German Ideology and Das Kapital. In the Grundrisse, Marx revisits and revises his theory of historical change. Previously, he argued that history is characterized by a uni-linear increase in the division of labor. He also argued that class struggle caused revolutionary transitions from one mode of production to the next--slavery to feudalism to capitalism--and that Communism will be the last stage in social evolution. In the Grundrisse, Marx develops a theory of historical change focused on property relations. In addition, he depicts a more complex, multi-linear development of history. The facet of Marx which he exhibits in the Grundrisse tends not to be the one that is widely remembered, but understanding the nuances he presents there is crucial to fully understand his idea of history and historical change and the role of property in capitalism and Communism.

Reading assignment:

Marx, Pre-capitalist Economic Formations, pp. 67-120

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: