How did Hegel's ideology influence marxism?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is Hegel's vision of how history is formed that has a profound impact on his student, Marx.  The notion of the dialectic as helping to reveal the essence of historical consciousness is an important element in Hegelian thought.  The revelation of synthesis from a collision of thesis and antithesis are elements that appealed to Marx.  Hegel saw this phenomenology as something organic, gradually evolving within every thesis lay its antithesis.  Hegel's depiction of it is akin to a flower shedding its pedals, revealing a new essence.  Marx was fascinated by this, "standing Hegel on his head," through his assertion of economic and material wealth into the dialectic, forming dialectical materialism.  In Marx's depiction the dialectic is more curt and direct where thesis (capitalism) collides with antithesis (lack of wealth) and within it evolves a new nature of reality (socialism).  The same principles of the dialectic are present, but depicted in a more mathematical manner.  Hegelian dialectics play a major role in the formation of Marx's thought and his belief on how material reality will eventually move into a classless realm.

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