The Point Is To Change It: An Introduction to Marxist Philosphy
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that fitted their circumstances and seemed to articulate their needs. Nor does the materialist view imply any mechanical one-to-one relationship between c1ass and religion - it does not c1aim that all feudal lords and rulers were Catholics and all burghers or early bourgeois were Protestants， still less that all Catholics were lords and all Protestants were bour geois， and is therefore not refuted by the fact that this was not so. AII the Marxist materialist view asserts is that amid and through
conquest of political power and the suppression of wage labour. Between social reforms and revolution there exists for the socia! democ racy an indissoluble tie. The strugg!e for reforms is its means; the socia! revo!ution， its aim. (R Luxemburg， Reform or Revolution， London， 1989， p21 ) And: Every legal constitution is the product of a revolution . . . in each historic period work for reforms is carried on only in D1ALECTICS 49 the framework of the social form created by the last revolu
ideological and political clar ity on the one hand， and for maximum unity in the immediate struggle on the other - is still very much with us. What it means therefore is finding new forms for the united front， such as in the anti-war movement and the anti-cuts campaigns or Unite Against Fascism. It would be silly and futile to demand of all revolutionary activists that they acquaint themselves with Hegel and master the dialectic of nature， just as it would be to expect that all revolutionary
because it fits so neatly the needs of their social situation. Academics are people who earn their living， or like to believe they earn their living， on the basis of their ideas. Instinctively they are repelled by a theory which seems to downplay the role of ideas in history， and therefore to downplay the role of people like themselves. The profes sional ideologist is naturally drawn to theories which sug gest that in the end it is the power of ideas that is decisive in shaping the world.
mechanical materi alism but it is also possible to reject economic determinism while retaining mechanical materialism. Thus human beings can be seen as so completely shaped and determined by social circumstances， not necessarily just economic， that the role of active human intervention in history is reduced to a minimum or disappears altogether. This kind of mechanical determinism can be found in various quarters ranging from the 1 7th century Dutch philosopher Spinoza through the 1 8th century