Karl Marx's A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy: "Preface"

Read this preface, which constitutes a sketch of Marx's framework for historical materialism. He argues that the nature of a society's economic structure depends upon the degree of development of the productive forces or means of production, meaning human labor conjoined with technology. The relations of production or superstructure, meaning the political and legal institutions of society, is in turn explained by the nature of the economic structure. Revolution occurs, however, when the forces of production are stifled by the superstructure, which is replaced by a structure better suited to preside over the continued development of the forces of production.