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Randall Collins: Conflict & Geopolitical Theory Conflict theory has a long history in sociology. Without question, Karl Marx’s work in the early to mid-1800s formed the initial statements of this perspective. As you know, Marx was centrally concerned with class and the dialectics of capitalism. He argued that capitalism would produce its own gravediggers by creating the conditions under which class consciousness and a failing economy would come into existence. In this juncture between structure and class-based group experience, the working class revolution would take place. In the early 20th century, Max Weber formulated a response to Marx’s theory. Weber saw that conflict didn’t overwhelmingly involve the economy, but that the state and economy together set up conditions for conflict. Of central importance to Weber’s scheme is the notion of legitimation. All systems of oppression must be legitimated in order to function. Thus, one of the critical issues in the question of conflict is ...