The economic foundation determines the superstructure, which was put forward by Marx in Hegel's critique of legal philosophy in 1843.
In the critique of Hegel's philosophy of law in 1843, Marx put forward the proposition that civil society determines the state rather than the state, which is the germ of economic foundation and superstructure theory. The "civil society" here mainly refers to the real economic life.
With Marx's study of capitalist society and his analysis and criticism of bourgeois classical economics, the concept of civil society was further concretized and close to the concept of "production relations" in the Holy Family written by him and Engels in 1844. In the German Ideology written by them from 1845 to 1846, the concepts of economic foundation and superstructure were formed.
The economic foundation is determined by the productive forces in a certain stage of development. It is the sum of the dominant production relations and the economic structure and economic system of the society. The superstructure refers to the social ideology based on a certain social economy and the corresponding political and legal systems and facilities.
In the relationship between economic foundation and superstructure, first of all, the economic foundation determines the superstructure, which is the reflection of the economic foundation. Its emergence, development and transformation can not be explained from itself, but can only be explained by its economic foundation. The economic foundation determines the nature and content of the superstructure, and the superstructure is derived from the economic foundation. Therefore, The nature and content of the economic foundation determine the nature and content of its own superstructure, that is, the economic foundation determines the superstructure.