Althusser, Historical Materialism, and the Social Formation

8 May

Left Wing and Progressive Books, Blogs, Video’s

By J. Sul


The main purpose of this article is to establish a concrete link between Althusser’s works (“On Ideology” and “What is a Mode of production?”) and historical materialism. To be precise, this work is a preliminary text that attempts to make use of Althusser’s concepts of ideology and subject when analyzing a change and a development in a social formation.

The obvious limitation and shortfall of this text is that, though it delineates the way one can understand Althusser’s concepts in light of historical materialism, it does not actually make use of it. This work does not employ Althusser’s concepts to analyze an actual historical development in a social formation. Rationale is that this article is not the conclusion that it supposes, but an introduction. The last conclusion of this article can be written once it acquires a firm basis on the proper critique of Althusser’s works.


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