Dialectical materialism

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Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxist theorizing, composed of a synthesis of Hegel's dialectics and Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach's materialism, based upon an interpretation of Karl Marx's work. According to certain followers of Karl Marx's thinking, it is the philosophical basis of Marxism, although this remains a controversial assertion due to the disputed status of science and naturalism in Marx's thought. The basic idea of dialectical materialism is that every economic order grows to a state of maximum efficiency, while at the same time developing internal contradictions or weaknesses that contribute to its decay.

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The term

Dialectical materialism was coined in 1887 by Joseph Dietzgen, a socialist tanner who corresponded with Marx both during and after the failed 1848 German Revolution. Dietzgen had himself constructed dialectical materialism independently of Marx and Friedrich Engels. Casual mention of the term is also found in Kautsky's Frederick Engels,[1] written in the same year. Marx himself had talked about the "materialist conception of history", which was later referred to as "historical materialism" by Engels. Engels further exposed the "materialist dialectic" — not "dialectical materialism" — in his Dialectics of Nature in 1883. Georgi Plekhanov, the father of Russian Marxism, later introduced the term dialectical materialism to Marxist literature.[2] Joseph Stalin further codified it as Diamat and imposed it as the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism.

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