Marxism can never be catogorized as just a philosophy because it is actually a combination of three developed traditions, German philosophy, French political theory, and British Economics. The philosophical side came mainly from Hegelianism. Marx takes many theories from Hegelianism such as that reality is not a state of affairs, but it is an ongoing process. Next that the key understanding reality is understanding the historical change. There are laws that cause historical change, not random mishaps. The thing that keeps this law going is alienation, which makes sure that each state of affairs is brought to an end by its own internal contridictions. This law is driven forward by internal laws and humans are swept along with it. This law will stop progressing when all the internal contridictions have been resolved, and then there will nothing to promote change. Once this is reached, humans will be able to control their destiny. This will make self fulfillment and freedom available for the first time. And finally once this change occurs, there will be a society that is more concerned with the whole group than their individual selves. In essence, creating some sort of Utopia. .
Marxists feel that human thought is determined by social and economic forces, mostly those related to production. They developed a method of analysis they called dialectical materialism, which can also be called historical materialism, where the conflicting historical forces leads to changes in society. Dialectical materialism is the philosophy of the Communist party. And it is the general theory for the Communists because it is so closely linked to the economic and political theories as well as what would be the practical activity for their party. The Russians thought of Karl Marx, who worked coperatively with Friedrich Engels, as the founding father of dialectical materialism. Marx was apart of the Hegelian school, which was split into two sides, left and right, when Marx was studying at the University of Berlin.