This form of production opened up immense creative possibilities for humanity to think, create and imagine, in contrast to the provincialism of feudal thought, while also closing off many of these possibilities for the working class.
This means that, far from being a dogmatic set of truths written in “The Communist Manifesto,” Marxism is a way of analyzing the world in its current moment, taking into account multiple elements.
Distinct from other methods of analysis, including religious, postmodern and empiricist methods, Marxism is based on an understanding of a material reality that is in constant motion.
Rather, Marx took up Hegel’s dialectic, based on the idea of contradictions—thesis and antithesis coming into conflict and forming a synthesis.
Likewise, Marx sees society as characterized by conflicts and tensions, in constant movement.
We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process, we demonstrate the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process. Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.” In other words, we exist within material bodies that have material needs fulfilled through production, and it is this process of production and the “life process” that produces our consciousness.
In “The German Ideology” Marx says, “Men are the producers of their conceptions, ideas, etc.—real, active men, as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these, up to its furthest forms.
It is in this sense that Marxist political economy is considered a science—not because it deals in the realm of absolute truths, but because it deals in the realm of the measurable, material world.
Marx uses this method to develop theories of capitalism, surplus value and socialism.
Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men is their actual life-process.” Our ideas do not come from thin air; they are a product of the way we live.
What we think, what we imagine, what we want and what we believe are conditioned by the fact that we live in capitalism, which on the one hand connects people around the world as never before, while on the other hand prooduces miserable conditions for the vast majority.