Dialectical materialism was the philosophical basis of Marxist theory. Marx attempted to explain human history in terms of material relations ie man's very nature and actions are defined and determined by his relationship with his material surroundings. From this Marx attempts to understand greater social nature through the observation of historical events. He claims that all activity can be understood through observation of socio economic or class relations. As he wrote in Communist Manifesto,"the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle." The concept of class struggle is central in Marxist theory - to Marx society is made up of a series of opposing groups, those who oppress and those who are oppressed - those who dominate and those who are dominated - these group's are determined by their relationship with the material means of life and in constant struggle, in Dialectical materialism Marx calls the study of opposing forces within nature and society the - 'Law of Opposites'. Generally those who 'own' or control the means of life ie land and
property of production ie' capital goods' exercise a monopoly over them and exploit those class's without property - causing class antagonism.
Within Dialectical materialism 'The Law of Negation' observes the cycles within nature
Eg - A tree grows to maturity only to produces the seeds which will germinate and grow after its death thereby 'negating' it. When applied to class Marx observes that the aristocracy was negated by the bourgeoisie and will 'in turn' be negated by the proletariat which it created. Marx sees every social stage as a natural progression, he believes that one social order creates the very conditions and tensions required for the other to negate it. When sufficient social tension exists Marx asserts that 'The Law of Transformation' causes revolution upon boiling point.