During the peak of the Cold War, particularly during the 1950s, communists and communism were constituted the hobgoblins that haunted Western consciousness and anyone professing positive opinions towards the political philosophies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were immediately tarred with the communist brush and viewed with suspicion and censure. Nevertheless, the philosophy of historical materialism that both Engels and Marx espoused became very influential to the thought of the Western world, in addition to inspiring the revolutions that shook Russia and China. The following examination of this philosophy will, first of all, offer an overview of the basic tenets of this philosophy and then consider to what extent the legal histories
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Engels, in his texts The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State and also in his Letters on Historical Materialism, argues that when humanity was in a state of barbarism, individuals were concerned with producing only to meet their own survival needs; however, as societies formed and progressed, surpluses of food were produced and this led the development of the strategy of division of labor, with rural peoples providing the food supply and city-dwellers focusing on producing handicrafts and products (Engels Origin 151). The basic ideas of historical materialism are that, first of all, human civilization is founded on the nature of a population works to provide the necessities of life. To do this, they develop a division of labor that serves to create social classes that relate to the means of production, which is based on property ownership and results in some individuals living due to the labor of others. The social classes, which are dependent on the mode of product, evolves over time with a dominant class being displaced by a new emerging class, which takes over the means of production, thereby liberating the working class from domination.
Consistency, inconsistency in European, American legal traditions
In general, the laws of both Europe and the US, over the course of the last century, reflect a growing sense of responsibility for the welfare and safety of their entire