What Is Marx Theory of Evolution?


Martha Robinson

Karl Marx, the famous philosopher, economist, and sociologist, proposed a theory of evolution that was quite different from the traditional theories. This theory is known as the Marx Theory of Evolution. In this article, we will take a closer look at what this theory is all about and how it differs from other theories of evolution.

What is Marx Theory of Evolution?

Marx’s theory of evolution is based on the idea that human societies evolve over time through a process of class struggle. According to Marx, society is divided into different classes based on their relationship to the means of production. The ruling class owns and controls the means of production, while the working class sells their labor to survive.

Marx believed that history was driven by economic factors and that each stage in history developed out of contradictions between opposing classes. These contradictions eventually lead to revolution and the emergence of a new society with a new ruling class.

The Stages of Marx’s Theory

Marx’s theory is divided into five stages:

Primitive Communism

This stage represents the earliest form of human society where people lived in small tribes or communities and shared resources equally. There was no private property or class distinctions.

Slave Society

In this stage, there was a division between slaves and slave-owners. The ruling class controlled the means of production (land) while slaves provided labor for agriculture or mining.


In feudal societies, there were lords who owned land while serfs worked on it. The lords had power over serfs and controlled their lives.


This stage emerged with industrialization where capitalists owned factories and machines while workers sold their labor for wages.


According to Marx, capitalism would inevitably be replaced by socialism/communism. This stage would represent a classless society where the means of production are owned and controlled by the people, and resources are shared equally.

The Role of Class Struggle in Marx’s Theory

Class struggle is central to Marx’s theory of evolution. He believed that it was the driving force behind historical change. Marx saw history as a series of struggles between different classes over control of resources and power.

He argued that capitalist societies were inherently unstable because they created contradictions between the ruling class (capitalists) and the working class (proletariat). These contradictions would eventually lead to revolution and the emergence of socialism/communism.


Marx’s theory of evolution is an important contribution to our understanding of how societies change over time. It emphasizes the role of economic factors and class struggle in shaping historical development. While some may disagree with his ideas, it is clear that his work has had a significant impact on social and political thought.