The Origin of Species

Marxist Influences in Darwin's Origin of Species

Less than a decade after Karl Marx completed his philosophical work, The German Ideology: Part I, Charles Darwin was finally persuaded to publish his biological masterpiece, The Origin of Species. Could these two works be bound intrinsically through Marx's moral account of history? Is it possible that such politically charged material influenced a scientific thesis being written halfway around the world? Absolutely. When one takes a close look at the moral underpinnings of Darwin's breakthrough discovery of evolution, it is easy to see Marxist inspiration.

Marx attempts in The German Ideology: Part I to refocus German perception of history, or at least point out its flaws. He contends that, unlike the British and French, who he thinks have at least some glimpse of his truth, the Germans naively refuse to accept materialism as the driving force of their history. Marx writes that what he calls historical materialism is the proper way to analyze the course of human history. What he sees as German idealismintellectual separation from such materialistic groundinghe condemns for failing to grasp the underlying power of forces of production and people's relation to those forces of production as the determining might of the...

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