The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure, the real basis on which rises a legal and political structure”.
Marx adds that, “at a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with existing relations of production.
Every society contains the seeds of its own destruction. The contradictions between forces of production and relations of production lead to breakdown of the existing mode of production and its superstructure.”
Stages of Historical Development:
It is through this logic that Marx identified five stages in historical development:
(1) Primitive Communism
(2) Ancient Society
(3) Feudal Society
(4) Capitalist Society
(5) Communist Society
The communist society is the final epoch in historical development. It would be a society without distinctions of social class and a true beginning of history as a record of full human self- realization.
Marx’s analysis is noteworthy for highlighting the role of economic factors in shaping other aspects, mainly politics. But, he has been accused of crude economic determinism for, he neglects the autonomy of politics and impact of culture, ideology etc. in mushrooming politics and institution. Moreover, his vision of communist society as perfect one has failed to live up to expectations.