Marx Study GuideThe German IdeologyThis work begins as an attack on traditional Young- Hegelian philosophical values, which held that consciousness and self-understanding drive the material world. Marx inverted this theory, stating that the material determined the spiritual. Marx then explains his version of history, which seems to support his theory. He argues that history is nothing but a series of successive generations who continuously become more efficient at exploiting material and capital. The first historical act, according to Marx, is not self-realization; it is when man begins to produce his own subsistence. Eventually, men will become specialized in what they produce. Marx then describes the different forms of ownership that have developed over the years. The first is tribal society, where people hunt and fish for food and very little division of labor has occurred. The second is the city, where division of labor is accelerated and the first instances of fixed private property compel society to begin its fragmentation. The third is feudalism, where a strict hierarchy
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