Base-superstructure relationship in Marxist criticism
English Literature

Write short note on: Base-superstructure relationship in Marxist criticism MEG 05

Answer: Base-superstructure relationship in Marxist criticism

When it comes to the base, Marx observes that it changes via a tremendous lot of violence in real history. The explanation for this is straightforward. Marx was well aware of the fact that the ruling elite was putting up a strong fight against the forces of transformation. Great and dramatic changes take place at the base, where the two conflicting classes battle to the death for their own existence. In the superstructure, such violent confrontations do not occur as often. In the words of Marx, “With the alteration of the economic basis, the whole vast superstructure is changed more or less quickly.” The use of the term “transformed” is important because, according to Marx, the modifications in the base are followed by changes in the superstructure. For example, the legal superstructure that legitimises and supports the operation of the new system is a critical component of this process. We can observe that in law, the effects of change may be seen early, and that the law follows the restructured foundation later in the process. However, the situation is different in the matter of philosophy, ideology, or culture. People see the potential of change, as well as its bad and good elements, in philosophy or ideology long before there is a corresponding social upheaval takes place. Additionally, echoes of discontent, grievance, and complaint are mirrored in literature dating back to the events that take place on the base itself. In this sense, all of these superstructures have an impact on the base and increase the intensity of the struggle there rather than being changed by the conflict there. It is important to remember that change must not be taken too literally. Therefore, we must read Marx’s assertion about the superstructure in an entirely different light. The inquiry should be: How can individuals become aware of their conditions of life inside the superstructure of its circumstances of life if the change occurs first at the base? To reiterate, how can individuals get involved in the political superstructure and free themselves from the constraints of the existing base, which has become obsolete and must be replaced in order for the creative forces of mankind to be free to flow in a positive historical direction.

Base-superstructure relationship in Marxist criticism

Marx’s views on the connection between the base and the superstructure were only briefly conveyed in his general comments on the subject. Actually, Marx spoke of the connection between the base and the superstructure in basic, straightforward words with the goal of allowing these two aspects of social reality to be grasped in concept, in abstraction. He wanted to make certain that sociologists and activists were aware of the critical importance of the presence of a base. As shown by Marx’s concept of the base, idealist philosophers who indulged in wild speculation were mistaken in their belief that social world was some sort of clay ready to be moulded by human beings according to their desires.

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Marx never could emphasise the significance of social transformation at the stage of the mode of its production unless he presented the base as a crucial and very difficult element. The goal, though, is to make a difference.” In order to do this, social reality had to be removed from the purview of philosophers and left in the hands of those who have been the true producers, the proletariat, instead. Nothing significant would happen unless someone took the initiative. While individuals who simply “interpreted” the world stayed in their positions, the world with its whole ruling and influencing basis remained in place to oppress and abuse the working classes of society, as the notion of base was intended. Once this has been acknowledged in principle, it is simple to see that the superstructure, as a domain of human thinking and creativity, interacts with the base in a major way.

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