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Historical Materialism

-Pick two questions. Respond to each question separately, i.e., each question must have its own

introduction, development, and conclusion. You must write at least 500 words (there is no upper

limit). Your total word count (with both questions together) will have at least 1000 words.

-You are responsible for correctly uploading the essay on the website and for uploading the essay on

time. Late penalties will count for this essay!

-Don’t forget to: (1) copy paste each question at the beginning of each answer; and (2) check the

instructions on the course’s website. It’s very important to check the instructions: there are specific

steps that you must follow to correctly write the essay.

1. What are Brutus’ critiques against the new Constitution? How does the Federalist Papers respond

to Brutus’ critiques?

2. What is the equality of conditions for Tocqueville and how is it connected to his notion of

democracy? What are the potential dangers of the equality of conditions?

3. Why is Marx and Engel’s notion that all ideas are the product of economic factors (historical

materialism) central to their political theory and their theory of revolution? What is their notion of

ideology and how is it connected to historical materialism?

4. Why do Marx and Engels believe that capitalism is a historical period is different from the previous

ones, and that it will be the last historical period before socialism? What are the ways in which

capitalism oppresses the workers?

5. The three following thinkers have all addressed the problem of how majorities can become too

dominant and crush/silence minorities: The Federalists, Tocqueville, and John Stuart Mill. Pick two of

these three thinkers and compare them. How do they describe the potential danger of these

majorities? How do they describe the source of these dangers? What are their respective solutions

to these dangers

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