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MATERIALIST FOUNDATIONS OF POLITICS AND POLITICAL IDEA


There are many factors that matters in politics and political ideas and they are economic determinism, religious determinism, cultural determinism, psychological determinism, social determinism and others. Out of all and those listed above the major determinant in politics and its affairs is economic determinism.
Every idea in politics, governance, politicking and general affairs of the society is rooted in economic determinism. These show that there is hierarchy between the determinants affecting ideas growing in the political society and that the economic basis of political action and other activities dominates over political basis of economic actions.
            Because of this deterministic factor (economic) we need to use the economic structure to explain political ideas. Materialism according to English dictionary means constant concern over material possessions and wealth; A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns. The belief that nothing exists beyond what is physical. So relating the term materialism to the topic Materialist foundations of politics and political ideas we will have to see how economic determinism and materialism affect and change the rudiments of political ideas and political activities.
Most times political ideas in Nigeria and other societies are being affected by this factor and this is seen in situations where people trying to contest for one political seat or the other  and these candidates have  to be economically viable and vibrant. He/she has to be affluent, wealthy and be able to sponsor his or her electioneering campaign. Those candidates for particular political office have it at the back of their mind the sole aim of them contesting which is very different from what they tell the poor masses/electorates and that is the economic motive/financial revenue. Both economic value and political value have complementary relationship and this means that without economic determinism one can’t get political power and same can be applied to economics because before one can get control over economic relationship and means of production one have to get into political position and use that power to oppress his rivals and assume a monopolistic system. This factor has adversely affected the sense of reasoning and the enhancement of this political thoughts and ideas on how Nigerian state will develop and prosper. It has made most of our leaders to continue wallowing in the idea of taking his share of the national cake instead of thinking of how to produce great political ideas to further the development of the nation. This has also caused the state of our development to remain stagnant over time and all we notice is that those in power because of achievement of economic determinism loot and siphon public funds and stash them away in foreign accounts thereby enriching foreign accounts in foreign states.
One of the most important theories is the concept of materialistic dialectics. This theory is a theory that amplifies and tries to substantiate the principle of economic determinism. It is also called dialectical materialism; this concept was created by Karl Marx who was influenced by Hegel’s dialectics and Feuerbach’s materialism who were both Germans. It explains nature society and thought. Social production necessitates the creation of corresponding production relations and this change with the development of the productive forces of the society. Thus, when a new system of property relations comes into being, a corresponding superstructure follows suit. The development of productive forces and economic activities is central to historical change and operations through class struggle over the distribution of the social products. Hence, changes in production system result from class struggles and the contradictions inherit in social and political lives (Gilpin, 1986). The modes of production that succeeded the primitive communal system are characterized by dominant classes that define nature of social relation of labour and the dominated class whose surplus labour are being appropriated.
This shows class conflict and through the course of history especially after the disintegration of the primitive communal system of production, there have been struggles regarding the appropriation of surplus value.
Dialectical materialism is the Marxist science of economic thought or knowledge production (Ezeibe, 2016). This method attempts a comprehensive materialistic interpretation of history and it is also the world view of the proletariat. It is the method of the proletariat for taking cognizance of the surrounding world and their method of revolutionary action. It is the theoretical foundation of Marxism. The reason for it to be called dialectical materialism is because of its approach to the phenomena of nature, its method of studying and apprehending them is dialectical, while its interpretation of the phenomena and theory is materialistic (Ezeibe, 2016).

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