So we see that for Marx, the only object of History is society in its economical structure. This is actually the exact opposite of what Hegel stated. In Hegel's point of view, as we have seen previously, God was responsible for Universal History.
Actually, under the ECONOMICAL STRUCTURE, Marx recognizes the existence of a SUPERSTRUCTURE composed of ideological forms (Rights/Laws, Morality, Religion and Metaphysics). However, this is merely a shadow or reflection of the 'structure', which only participates in history indirectly. Thus, Marx has turned Hegel's idealism around. In 'Historical Materialism' (this is the way 'Marxism' philosophy is called), instead of 'things' being the reflection of 'ideas' (as for Plato, the first idealist), it is the ‘ideological forms’ which constitute a reflection of an economical structure (‘things’). The reason for this, according to Marx, is that the ideas which dominate a specific historical age are those ideas belonging to the dominant class.
Therefore, the ‘incessant progress of history’ is explained, according to Marxists conception, by the evolution of the MODE OF PRODUCTION specific for each age, which is defined in function of the dialect relationship between the productive forces and the relations of production.
This dialect would end (the ‘positive epoch/stage’, Saint-Simon) with COMMUNISM. Communism would be a complete and consistent return of man towards himself, in other words, as a human man. ‘Communism’, according to Marx, supports the following characteristics:
- Settles the opposition between nature and man (productive forces)
- Suppresses the opposition between man and man (relations of production).