Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Jacob Graham

Degree Award Date

Spring 2021


Historical Determinism, Hegel, Marx, Nazi, Race Theory, Kant, Stalin, Mahdi


Philosophy | Political Science


Historical determinism can be understood as the idea that future events are predestined, usually by an esoteric or economic force. This is accompanied by the belief that there is a certain group of enlightened people that know what this future outcome will be. These people are also often convinced that it is their duty to help bring about this historical synthesis. While there are different iterations of historical determinism that can be critiqued, this paper will be focusing on some of the most influential. Specifically, the connection between a historical determinism as imagined by Hegel which was then adapted into Marxist-Leninism and later Stalinism; the racial philosophy that motivative Nazism; and the fundamentalist religious apocalypticism that lies behind some versions of Christianity and Islam. This historical determinist viewpoint in these ideologies gives its adherents the belief that they hold the moral high ground, that victory is inevitable, and that their opposition is merely an obstacle to the ideal society that is to come. The attempted imposition of this way of thinking on others often leads to deadly results.

Recommended Citation

Russell, Jared. "The Destructive Draw of Historical Determinism." Senior Honors Project, Bridgewater College, 2021.

Force Open Access