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False Consciousness$
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Denise Meyerson

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248194.001.0001

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Primary and Secondary

Primary and Secondary

(p.17) I Primary and Secondary
False Consciousness

Denise Meyerson

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the best way to understand the determination of ideological beliefs by economic relationships is to see ideological beliefs as explained by their serviceability. According to Marx, the nature of its forces of production or its productive forces is of primary importance in any human society. This chapter cites the relations of production and the superstructure. The most obvious way to construe Marx's materialist claim is that economic structure of society and the dominant ideology are related as ordinary cause and effect. The chapter also argues that the Middle Ages could not live soley upon Catholicism. Engels wanted to retain the notion of causation at the base but dilute the thesis of its primacy. Lastly, this chapter explains useful beliefs according to their usefulness.

Keywords:   Marx, productive forces, superstructure, cause and effect, Middle Ages, Catholicism, Engels, useful beliefs

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