The paper begins with a proposal for a reconstruction of three major statements of the traditional Marxian version of historical materialism. The general concept of an adaptive mechanism is introduced to explain how, in the Marxian sense, several parts of the superstructure are to be thought of as determined by the economic base. The paper proceeds by asking whether the classical type of economic determination is valid not only for precapitalist and capitalist societies, but for socialist societies as well. An answer in the negative is given. The author tries to outline a type of historical materialism which takes into account the autonomous role of political institutions and social relations as determinants in socialist societies.
© 1979 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart