A concept central to the Marxian notion of historical progress; the motive force behind change. In each stage of history, society polarizes into two major antagonistic classes which struggle for supremacy. In the capitalist stage, for example, the conflict revolves around the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Not a popular concept in China today after the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.
the competitive conflict between social classes within a state. Such struggles exist in most states. Sometimes the struggle escalates in violence and becomes a revolt, if unsuccessful, or a revolution, if successful.
In the modern period, conflict between the bourgeoisie (capitalist oppressor) and the proletariat (working oppressed).