The Base Superstructure Relationship

An analysis of the base superstructure relationship and determinism in a historical perspective.

This paper attempts to show that, while the importance of the economic sphere in human society cannot be discounted, ideological, social, political, cultural, and economic spheres interact mutually to produce human society. Although many Marxists advocate a deterministic relationship between the economic and other spheres in which the other spheres are dependant on the economic, this paper disputes determinism and reveals the theoretical and practical underpinnings that prove the significance non-economic, especially ideological, spheres.
“More importantly, Gramsci emphasizes on the role of politics as a decisive one in the creation of human society when he talks about a socialist revolution. While, other Marxists have spoken simplistically about the “reversal of class power” so as to form the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and, since the proletariat comprises the masses, the eventual redundancy and hence withering away of the state; and this has implied the disappearance of politics. However, Gramsci, rightly points out the necessity of an institutional form for politics within a socialist society, for a socialist society, as opposed to a socially owned and managed economy, requires the inclusion of the mass in the political processes.”