Domenico Losurdo’s Historical Interpretation of Class Struggles

Omer Moussaly
Pages 131-156| Published online:31 Aug 2022

Moussaly, Omer. 2022. “Domenico Losurdo’s Historical Interpretation of Class Struggles.” Marxism & Sciences 1(2): 131–156.


This paper explores a misunderstood aspect of the Marxist scientific paradigm. It proposes to develop the idea first elucidated by Domenico Losurdo that the class struggle approach to history, as theorized by Marx and Engels, is in fact a general and scientific theory of social conflict. This general theory was consciously developed by Marx and Engels in opposition to certain irrational and subjectivist paradigms that attempted to explain the political behaviour of subaltern groups living under capitalist conditions. By returning to Losurdo’s explanations of Marxism but also by revisiting classical Marxist works on this topic, this paper reinforces the class struggle centric understanding of Marxism against other possible readings of this worldview. The emphasis on class struggles in no way diminishes the discoveries made by Marx in his critique of Political Economy that also deserve to be actively pursued. This research paper also demonstrates that a scientific understanding of human history requires an insistence on the centrality of class struggle and that the critiques of Marx’s elaboration of his general theory of social conflict are often partial and undialectical. This paper responds to some of these critiques through an exegesis of several key Marxist writings, from Marx to Fanon, that demonstrate the non- dogmatic approach that historical materialists adopted when examining history and social conflict. This return to classical Marxist works also demonstrates that despite certain differences in tone and style the major revolutionary theoreticians shared a common strategic and intellectual framework regarding the class struggle.

KEYWORDS: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, Losurdo, Marxist philosophy, class struggles.


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