Karl Marx

Karl Marx

Overview
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, economist
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, sociologist
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, journalist
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

, and revolutionary socialist
Revolutionary socialism
The term revolutionary socialism refers to Socialist tendencies that advocate the need for fundamental social change through revolution by mass movements of the working class, as a strategy to achieve a socialist society...

. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party is a short 1848 publication written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the...

 (1848) and Capital
Das Kapital
Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production.- Themes :In Capital: Critique of...

 (1867–1894); some of his works were co-written with his friend, the fellow German revolutionary socialist Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

.

Born into a wealthy middle class family in Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, formerly in Prussian Rhineland now called Rhineland-Palatinate, Marx studied at both the University of Bonn
University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. Founded in its present form in 1818, as the linear successor of earlier academic institutions, the University of Bonn is today one of the leading universities in Germany. The University of Bonn offers a large number...

 and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians
Young Hegelians
The Young Hegelians, or Left Hegelians, were a group of Prussian intellectuals who in the decade or so after the death of Hegel in 1831, wrote and responded to his ambiguous legacy...

.
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Quotations

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.

"Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), Thesis 11, MEW 3, S. 535

If I negate powdered wigs, I am still left with unpowdered wigs.

Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1844)

The fact that labour is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his intrinsic nature; that in his work, therefore he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself.

Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts (1844)

Communism... is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man; it is the true resolution of the conflict between existence and essence, objectification and self-affirmation, freedom and necessity, individual and species. It is the riddle of history solved and knows itself as the solution.

Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts 89 (1844)
Encyclopedia
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, economist
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, sociologist
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, journalist
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

, and revolutionary socialist
Revolutionary socialism
The term revolutionary socialism refers to Socialist tendencies that advocate the need for fundamental social change through revolution by mass movements of the working class, as a strategy to achieve a socialist society...

. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party is a short 1848 publication written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the...

 (1848) and Capital
Das Kapital
Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production.- Themes :In Capital: Critique of...

 (1867–1894); some of his works were co-written with his friend, the fellow German revolutionary socialist Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

.

Born into a wealthy middle class family in Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, formerly in Prussian Rhineland now called Rhineland-Palatinate, Marx studied at both the University of Bonn
University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. Founded in its present form in 1818, as the linear successor of earlier academic institutions, the University of Bonn is today one of the leading universities in Germany. The University of Bonn offers a large number...

 and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians
Young Hegelians
The Young Hegelians, or Left Hegelians, were a group of Prussian intellectuals who in the decade or so after the death of Hegel in 1831, wrote and responded to his ambiguous legacy...

. He married Jenny von Westphalen
Jenny von Westphalen
Baroness Johanna Bertha Julie "Jenny" von Westphalen was the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. They became engaged in 1836 and married in 1843. They had six children.- Background :...

. After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism synthesizing Hegel's dialectics. The idea was originally invented by Moses Hess and it was later developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

. Moving to Paris in 1843, he began writing for other radical newspapers. He met Engels in Paris, and the two men worked together on a series of books. Exiled to Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, he became a leading figure of the Communist League
Communist League
The Communist League was the first Marxist international organization. It was founded originally as the League of the Just by German workers in Paris in 1834. This was initially a utopian socialist and Christian communist group devoted to the ideas of Gracchus Babeuf...

, before moving back to Cologne, where he founded his own newspaper. In 1849 he was exiled again and moved to London together with his wife and children. In London, where the family was reduced to poverty, Marx continued writing and formulating his theories about the nature of society and how he believed it could be improved, as well as campaigning for socialism and becoming a significant figure in the International Workingmen's Association
International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...

.

Marx's theories about society, economics and politics, which are collectively known as Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, hold that all societies progress through the dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

 of class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

. He was heavily critical of the current socio-economic form of society, capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, which he called the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", believing it to be run by the wealthy middle and upper classes purely for their own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system, socialism
Socialism (Marxism)
In Marxist theory, socialism, or the socialist mode of production, refers to a specific historical phase of economic development and its corresponding set of social relations that eventually supersede capitalism...

. Under socialism, he argued that society would be governed by the working class in what he called the "dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

", the "workers state" or "workers' democracy". He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless
Stateless society
A stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state. In stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through...

, classless society
Classless society
Classless society refers to a society in which no one is born into a social class. Such distinctions of wealth, income, education, culture, or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society.Since these distinctions are difficult to...

 called pure communism. Along with believing in the inevitability of socialism and communism, Marx actively fought for the former's implementation, arguing that both social theorists and underprivileged people should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change.

Revolutionary socialist governments espousing Marxist concepts took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1922 and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in 1949, while various theoretical variants, such as Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

, Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

, Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 and Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

, were developed. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 and Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and in a 1999 BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 poll was voted the "thinker of the millennium" by people from around the world.

Early life: 1818–1835


Karl Heinrich Marx was born on 5 May 1818 at 664 Brückergasse in Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, a town located in the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

's Province of the Lower Rhine
Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine
The Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine , or simply known as the Lower Rhine Province was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and existed from 1815 to 1822....

. His ancestry was Jewish, with his paternal line having supplied the rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s of Trier since 1723, a role that had been taken up by his own grandfather, Meier Halevi Marx; Meier's son and Karl's father would be the first in the line to receive a secular education. His maternal grandfather was a Dutch rabbi. Karl's father, Herschel Marx
Heinrich Marx
Heinrich Marx was a lawyer and the father of the socialist philosopher Karl Marx.-Life:Heinrich Marx was born Herschel Mordechai, to Marx Levy Mordechai and Eva Lwow...

, was middle-class and relatively prosperous, owning a number of Moselle
Moselle
Moselle is a department in the east of France named after the river Moselle.- History :Moselle is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 vineyards; he converted from Judaism to the Protestant Christian
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 denomination of Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 prior to his son's birth, taking on the German forename of Heinrich over Herschel. In 1815, he began working as an attorney and in 1819 moved his family from a five-room rented apartment into a ten-room property near the Porta Nigra
Porta Nigra
The Porta Nigra is a large Roman city gate in Trier, Germany. It is today the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps and has been designated a World Heritage Site....

. A man of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, Heinrich Marx was interested in the ideas of the philosophers Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 and Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

, and took part in agitation for a constitution and reforms in Prussia, which was then governed by an absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

. Karl's mother, born Henrietta Pressburg, was a Dutch Jew who, unlike her husband, was only semi-literate. She claimed to suffer from "excessive mother love", devoting much time to her family, and insisting on cleanliness within her home. She was from a prosperous business family. Her family later founded the company Philips Electronics: she was great-aunt to Anton
Anton Philips
Anton Frederik Philips co-founded Royal Philips Electronics N.V. in 1912 with his older brother Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands...

 and Gerard Philips
Gerard Philips
Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips was a Dutch industrialist, co-founder of the Philips Company as a family business in 1891. Gerard and his younger brother Anton Philips changed the business to a corporation by founding in 1912 the NV Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken...

, and great-great-aunt to Frits Philips
Frits Philips
Frederik Jacques "Frits" Philips was the fourth chairman of the board of directors of the Dutch electronics company Philips, which his uncle and father founded...

.

Little is known about Karl Marx's childhood. He was privately educated until 1830, when he entered Trier High School, whose headmaster Hugo Wyttenbach was a friend of his father. Wyttenbach had employed many liberal humanists as teachers; this angered the government so that the police raided the school in 1832, discovering what they labelled seditious literature espousing political liberalism being distributed amongst the students. In 1835, Karl, then aged seventeen, began attending the University of Bonn
University of Bonn
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. Founded in its present form in 1818, as the linear successor of earlier academic institutions, the University of Bonn is today one of the leading universities in Germany. The University of Bonn offers a large number...

, where he wished to study philosophy and literature, but his father insisted on law as a more practical field of study. He was able to avoid military service when he turned eighteen because he suffered from a weak chest. Being fond of alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

ic beverages, at Bonn he joined the Trier Tavern Club drinking society (Landsmannschaft der Treveraner) and at one point served as its co-president. Marx was more interested in drinking and socialising than studying law, and due to his poor grades, his father forced him to transfer to the far more serious and academically oriented University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

, where his legal studies became less significant than excursions into philosophy and history.

Hegelianism and early activism: 1836–1843


In 1836, Marx became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen
Jenny von Westphalen
Baroness Johanna Bertha Julie "Jenny" von Westphalen was the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. They became engaged in 1836 and married in 1843. They had six children.- Background :...

, a beautiful baroness of the Prussian ruling class—"the most desirable young woman in Trier" —who broke off her engagement with a young aristocratic second lieutenant in order to be with him. Their eventual marriage was controversial for breaking three social taboos of the period; it was a marriage between a daughter of a noble background and a man of Jewish origin as well as being between individuals who belonged to the middle and upper class (aristocracy), respectively, and between a man and an older woman. Such issues were lessened by Marx's friendship with Jenny's father, Baron Ludwig von Westphalen
Ludwig von Westphalen
Baron Johann Ludwig von Westphalen was a liberal government official, [Prussian] aristocrat with Scottish heritage, and a friend and mentor of [Karl Marx].-Biography:...

, a liberal thinking aristocrat. Marx dedicated his doctoral thesis to him. The couple married seven years later, on 19 June 1843, at the Pauluskirche in Bad Kreuznach
Bad Kreuznach
Bad Kreuznach is the capital of the district of Bad Kreuznach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is located on the Nahe river, a tributary of the Rhine...

.

Marx became interested in, but critical of, the work of the German philosopher G.W.F Hegel (1770–1831), whose ideas were widely debated amongst European philosophical circles at the time. Marx wrote about falling ill "from intense vexation at having to make an idol of a view I detested." He became involved with a group of radical thinkers
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

 known as the Young Hegelians
Young Hegelians
The Young Hegelians, or Left Hegelians, were a group of Prussian intellectuals who in the decade or so after the death of Hegel in 1831, wrote and responded to his ambiguous legacy...

, who gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach
Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach
Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach was a German philosopher and anthropologist. He was the fourth son of the eminent jurist Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach, brother of mathematician Karl Wilhelm Feuerbach and uncle of painter Anselm Feuerbach...

 and Bruno Bauer
Bruno Bauer
Bruno Bauer was a German philosopher and historian. As a student of GWF Hegel, Bauer was a radical Rationalist in philosophy, politics and Biblical criticism...

. Like Marx, the Young Hegelians were critical of Hegel's metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 assumptions, but still adopted his dialectical method in order to criticise established society, politics and religion. Marx befriended Bauer, and in July 1841 the two scandalised their class in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

 by getting drunk, laughing in church, and galloping through the streets on donkeys. During that period, Marx concentrated on his criticism of Hegel and certain other Young Hegelians.

Marx also wrote for his own enjoyment, writing both non-fiction and fiction. In 1837, he completed a short novel, Scorpion and Felix
Scorpion and Felix
Scorpion and Felix, A Humoristic Novel is the only comedic fictional story to have been written by Karl Marx, the founder of Marxism. Written in 1837 when he was 19 years old, it has remained unpublished...

; a drama, Oulanem; and some poems; none of which were published. In 1971, Marx's one act play Oulanem was made available in English by author Robert Payne. According to Payne, the title Oulanem is an anagram for "Manuelo" which is a variant of "Emmanuel" meaning "God is with us". He soon gave up writing fiction for other pursuits, including learning English and Italian.

He was deeply engaged in writing his doctoral thesis, The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature is a book written by the German philosopher Karl Marx as his university thesis...

, which he finished in 1841. The essay has been described as "a daring and original piece of work in which he set out to show that theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 must yield to the superior wisdom of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

", and as such was controversial, particularly among the conservative professors at the University of Berlin. Marx decided to submit it instead to the more liberal University of Jena, whose faculty awarded him his PhD based on it.

From considering an academic career, Marx turned to journalism. He moved to the city of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 in 1842, where he began writing for the radical newspaper Rheinische Zeitung
Rheinische Zeitung
The Rheinische Zeitung was a 19th-century German newspaper, edited most famously by Karl Marx.The paper was founded on January 1, 1842 with a reformist pro-democracy editorial slant, providing an outlet for the Rhine region's middle-class and intellectuals, who were increasingly opposed to...

, where he expressed his increasingly socialist views on politics. He criticised the governments of Europe and their policies, but also liberals and other members of the socialist movement whose ideas he thought were ineffective or outright anti-socialist. The paper eventually attracted the attention of the Prussian government censors
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, who checked every issue for potentially seditious material before it could be printed. Marx said, "Our newspaper has to be presented to the police to be sniffed at, and if the police nose smells anything un-Christian or un-Prussian, the newspaper is not allowed to appear." After the paper published an article strongly criticising the monarchy in Russia, the Russian Tsar Nicholas I
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

, an ally of the Prussian monarchy, requested that the Rheinische Zeitung be banned. The Prussian government shut down the paper in 1843. Marx wrote for the Young Hegelian journal, the Deutsche Jahrbücher, in which he criticised the censorship instructions issued by Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. His article was censored and the newspaper closed down by the authorities shortly after.

In 1843, Marx published On the Jewish Question
On the Jewish Question
On the Jewish Question is a work by Karl Marx, written in 1843, and first published in Paris in 1844 under the German title Zur Judenfrage in the Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher. It was one of Marx's first attempts to deal with categories that would later be called the materialist conception of...

, in which he distinguished between political and human emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

. He also examined the role of religious practice in society. That same year he published Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
[Contribution to the] Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right is a manuscript written by German political philosopher Karl Marx in 1843....

, in which he dealt more substantively with religion, describing it as "the opiate of the people". He completed both works shortly before leaving Cologne.

Paris: 1843–1845


Following the government-imposed shutdown of the Rheinische Zeitung, Marx got involved with a new radical newspaper, the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher (German-French Annals), which was then being set up by Arnold Ruge
Arnold Ruge
Arnold Ruge was a German philosopher and political writer.-Studies in university and prison:Born in Bergen auf Rügen, he studied in Halle, Jena and Heidelberg. As an advocate of a free and united Germany he was jailed for five years in 1825 in the fortress of Kolberg, where he studied Plato and...

, another German socialist revolutionary. The paper was based not in Germany, but in the city of Paris in neighbouring France, and it was here that both Marx and his wife moved in October 1843. They initially lived with Ruge and his wife communally at 23 Rue Vaneau
Rue Vaneau
Rue Vaneau is a street in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is named after Louis Vaneau , a student of the École Polytechnique, who was killed while charging the Caserne de Babylone during the July Revolution....

, but finding these living conditions difficult, the Marxes moved out following the birth of their daughter Jenny in 1844. Although it was intended to attract writers from both France and the German states, the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher was dominated by the latter, with the only non-German writer being the exiled Russian anarcho-communist Michael Bakunin. Only one issue was ever published, but it was relatively successful, largely due to the inclusion of Heinrich Heine
Heinrich Heine
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann...

's satirical odes on King Ludwig of Bavaria
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

, which led to those copies sent to Germany being confiscated by the state's police force.

It was in Paris that, on 28 August 1844, Marx met German socialist Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 at the Café de la Régence
Café de la Régence
The Café de la Régence in Paris was an important European centre of chess in the 18th and 19th centuries. All important chess masters of the time played there.The Café' masters include, but are not limited to:*   Paul Morphy...

 after becoming interested in the ideas that the latter had expressed in articles written for the Rheinische Zeitung and the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. Although they had briefly met each other at the offices of the Rheinische Zeitung in 1842, it was here in Paris that they began their friendship that would last for the rest of their lives. Engels showed Marx his recently published book, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844
The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844
The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 is one of the best-known works of Friedrich Engels.Originally written in German as Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England, it is a study of the working class in Victorian England. It was also Engels' first book, written during his stay in...

, which convinced Marx that the working class would be the agent and instrument of the final revolution in history. Engels and Marx soon set about writing a criticism of the philosophical ideas of Marx's former friend, the Young Hegelian Bruno Bauer
Bruno Bauer
Bruno Bauer was a German philosopher and historian. As a student of GWF Hegel, Bauer was a radical Rationalist in philosophy, politics and Biblical criticism...

, which would be published in 1845 as The Holy Family
The Holy Family (book)
The Holy Family was a book written by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels in November 1844. The book is a critique on the Young Hegelians and their trend of thought which was very popular in academic circles at the time. The title was a suggestion by the publisher and is meant as a sarcastic reference to...

. Although critical of Bauer, Marx was increasingly influenced by the ideas of the other Young Hegelians Max Stirner
Max Stirner
Johann Kaspar Schmidt , better known as Max Stirner , was a German philosopher, who ranks as one of the literary fathers of nihilism, existentialism, post-modernism and anarchism, especially of individualist anarchism...

 and Ludwig Feuerbach, but eventually also abandoned Feuerbachian materialism as well.

In 1844 Marx wrote The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts
Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 are a series of notes written between April and August 1844 by Karl Marx. Not published by Marx during his lifetime, they were first released in 1927 by researchers in the Soviet Union.The notebooks are an early expression of Marx's analysis of...

, a work which covered numerous topics, and went into detail to explain Marx's concept of alienated labour. A year later Marx would write Theses on Feuerbach
Theses on Feuerbach
The "Theses on Feuerbach" are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx's fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach...

, best known for the statement that "the philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it". This work contains Marx's criticism of materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

 (for being contemplative), idealism
Idealism
In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

 (for reducing practice to theory) and overall, criticising philosophy for putting abstract reality above the physical world. It thus introduced the first glimpse at Marx's historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

, an argument that the world is changed not by ideas but by actual, physical, material activity and practice.

After the collapse of the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, Marx, still living on the Rue Vaneau, began writing for what was then the only uncensored German-language radical newspaper in Europe, Vorwärts!
Vorwärts!
Vorwärts! was a biweekly newspaper published in Paris from January to December 1844. The journal was seen as "the most radical" in contemporary Europe. The newspaper circulation was about a thousand copies...

. Based in Paris, the paper had been established and was run by many activists connected to the revolutionary socialist
Revolutionary socialism
The term revolutionary socialism refers to Socialist tendencies that advocate the need for fundamental social change through revolution by mass movements of the working class, as a strategy to achieve a socialist society...

 League of the Just, which would come to be better known as the Communist League
Communist League
The Communist League was the first Marxist international organization. It was founded originally as the League of the Just by German workers in Paris in 1834. This was initially a utopian socialist and Christian communist group devoted to the ideas of Gracchus Babeuf...

 within a few years. In Vorwärts!, Marx continued to refine his views on socialism based upon the Hegelian and Feuerbachian ideas of dialectical materialism, whilst at the same time criticising various liberals and other socialists operating in Europe at the time. However in 1845, after receiving a request from the Prussian king, the French government agreed to shut down Vorwärts!, and furthermore, Marx himself was expelled from France by the interior minister François Guizot
François Guizot
François Pierre Guillaume Guizot was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848, a conservative liberal who opposed the attempt by King Charles X to usurp legislative power, and worked to sustain a constitutional...

.

Brussels: 1845–1847


Unable either to stay in France or to move to Germany, Marx decided to emigrate to Brussels in Belgium, but had to pledge not to publish anything on the subject of contemporary politics in order to enter. In Brussels, he associated with other exiled socialists from across Europe, including Moses Hess
Moses Hess
Moses Hess was a Jewish philosopher and socialist, and one of the founders of Labor Zionism.-Life:Hess was born in Bonn, which was under French rule at the time. In his French-language birth certificate, his name is given as "Moises"; he was named after his maternal grandfather...

, Karl Heinzen
Karl Heinzen
Karl Peter Heinzen was a revolutionary author who resided mainly in Germany and the United States. He was one of the German Forty-Eighters.-Biography:...

 and Joseph Weydemeyer
Joseph Weydemeyer
Joseph Arnold Weydemeyer was a military officer in the Kingdom of Prussia and the United States, as well as a journalist, politician and Marxist revolutionary....

, and soon Engels moved to the city in order to join them. In 1845 Marx and Engels visited the leaders of the Chartists
Chartism
Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labour movement in the world...

, a socialist movement in Britain, using the trip as an opportunity to study in various libraries in London and Manchester. In collaboration with Engels he also set about writing a book which is often seen as his best treatment of the concept of historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

, The German Ideology
The German Ideology
The German Ideology is a book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1846. Marx and Engels did not find a publisher. However, the work was later retrieved and published for the first time in 1932 by David Riazanov through the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow...

; the work, like many others, would not see publication in Marx's lifetime, being published only in 1932. He followed this with The Poverty of Philosophy
The Poverty of Philosophy
Misère de la philosophie, German title Das Elend der Philosophie, English title The Poverty of Philosophy, is a book by Karl Marx published in Paris and Brussels in 1847, where he lived in exile in 1843-1849...

 (1847), a response to the French anarcho-socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician, mutualist philosopher and socialist. He was a member of the French Parliament, and he was the first person to call himself an "anarchist". He is considered among the most influential theorists and organisers of anarchism...

's The Philosophy of Poverty and a critique of French socialist thought in general.

These books laid the foundation for Marx and Engels's most famous work, a political pamphlet that has since come to be commonly known as The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party is a short 1848 publication written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the...

. First published on 21 February 1848, it laid out the beliefs of the Communist League, a group who had come increasingly under the influence of Marx and Engels, who argued that the League must make their aims and intentions clear to the general public rather than hiding them as they had formerly been doing. The opening lines of the pamphlet set forth the principal basis of Marxism, that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." It goes on to look at the antagonisms that Marx claimed were arising between the clashes of interest between the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 (the wealthy middle class) and the proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

 (the industrial working class). Proceeding on from this, the Manifesto presents the argument for why the Communist League, as opposed to other socialist and liberal political parties and groups at the time, was truly acting in the interests of the proletariat to overthrow capitalist society and replace it with socialism.

Later that year, Europe experienced a series of protests, rebellions, and often violent upheavals, the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

. In France, a revolution
French Revolution of 1848
The 1848 Revolution in France was one of a wave of revolutions in 1848 in Europe. In France, the February revolution ended the Orleans monarchy and led to the creation of the French Second Republic. The February Revolution was really the belated second phase of the Revolution of 1830...

 led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the French Second Republic
French Second Republic
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte which initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

. Marx was supportive of such activity, and having recently received a substantial inheritance from his father of either 6000 or 5000 francs, allegedly used a third of it to arm Belgian workers who were planning revolutionary action. Although the veracity of these allegations is disputed, the Belgian Ministry of Justice accused him of it, subsequently arresting him, and he was forced to flee back to France, where, with a new republican government in power, he believed that he would be safe.

Cologne: 1848–1849


Temporarily settling down in Paris, Marx transferred the Communist League executive headquarters to the city and also set up a German Workers' Club with various German socialists living there. Hoping to see the revolution spread to Germany, in 1848 Marx moved back to Cologne where he began issuing a handbill entitled the Demands of the Communist Party in Germany, in which he argued for only four of the ten points of the Communist Manifesto, believing that in Germany at that time, the bourgeoisie must overthrow the feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 monarchy and aristocracy before the proletariat could overthrow the bourgeoisie. On 1 June, Marx started publication of the daily Neue Rheinische Zeitung
Neue Rheinische Zeitung
The Neue Rheinische Zeitung - Organ der Demokratie was a German daily newspaper, published by Karl Marx in Cologne between June 1, 1848 and May 19, 1849. Its name refers to a paper earlier edited by Marx, the Rheinische Zeitung...

 ("New Rhenish Newspaper"), which he helped to finance through his recent inheritance from his father. Designed to put forward news from across Europe with his own Marxist interpretation of events, Marx remained one of its primary writers, accompanied by other fellow members of the Communist League who wrote for the paper, although despite their input it remained, according to Friedrich Engels, "a simple dictatorship by Marx", who dominated the choice of content.

Whilst editor of the paper, Marx and the other revolutionary socialists were regularly harassed by the police, and Marx was brought to trial on several occasions, facing various allegations including insulting the Chief Public Prosecutor, an alleged press misdemeanor and inciting armed rebellion through tax boycotting, although each time he was acquitted. Meanwhile, the democratic parliament in Prussia collapsed, and the king, Frederick William IV, introduced a new cabinet of his reactionary supporters, who implemented counter-revolutionary measures to expunge leftist and other revolutionary elements from the country. As a part of this, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung was soon suppressed and Marx was ordered to leave the country on 16 May. Marx returned to Paris, which was then under the grip of both a reactionary counter-revolution and a cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic, and was soon expelled by the city authorities who considered him a political threat. With his wife Jenny expecting their fourth child, and not able to move back to Germany or Belgium, in August 1849 he sought refuge in London.

London: 1849–1883



Marx moved to London in May 1849 and would remain in the city for the rest of his life. It was here that he founded the new headquarters of the Communist League, and got heavily involved with the socialist German Workers' Educational Society, who held their meetings in Great Windmill Street
Great Windmill Street
Great Windmill Street is a thoroughfare running north-south in Soho, London, England. It is dissected by Shaftesbury Avenue. The street took its name from the windmill on the site which was first recorded 1585 and was demolished during the 1690s...

, Soho
Soho
Soho is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable...

, central London's entertainment district. Marx devoted himself to two activities: revolutionary organising, and an attempt to understand political economy
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

 and capitalism. For the first few years he and his family lived in extreme poverty. His main source of income was his colleague, Engels, who derived much of his income from his family's business. Marx also briefly worked as correspondent for the New York Tribune
New York Tribune
The New York Tribune was an American newspaper, first established by Horace Greeley in 1841, which was long considered one of the leading newspapers in the United States...

 in 1851.

From December 1851 to March 1852 Marx wrote The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon was written by Karl Marx between December 1851 and March 1852, and originally published in 1852 in Die Revolution, a German-language monthly magazine published in New York and established by Joseph Weydemeyer...

, a work on the French Revolution of 1848
French Revolution of 1848
The 1848 Revolution in France was one of a wave of revolutions in 1848 in Europe. In France, the February revolution ended the Orleans monarchy and led to the creation of the French Second Republic. The February Revolution was really the belated second phase of the Revolution of 1830...

, in which he expanded upon his concepts of historical materialism, class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

 and the dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

, advancing the argument that victorious proletariat has to smash the bourgeois state.

The 1850s and 1860s also marks the line between what some scholars see as idealistic, Hegelian young Marx
Young Marx
Some theorists consider Karl Marx's thought to be divided into a "young" period and a "mature" one. There is disagreement to when Marx's thought began to mature, and the problem of the idea of a "Young Marx" is the problem of tracking the development of Marx's works and of its possible unity...

 from the more scientifically-minded mature Marx writings of the later period. This distinction is usually associated with the structural Marxism
Structural Marxism
Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism, primarily associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students. It was influential in France during the 1960s and 1970s, and also came to influence philosophers, political theorists and...

 school; not all scholars agree that it indeed exists.

In 1864 Marx became involved in the International Workingmen's Association
International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...

 (also known as First International). He became a leader of its General Council, to whose General Council he was elected at its inception in 1864. In that organisation Marx was involved in the struggle against the anarchist wing centred around Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a well-known Russian revolutionary and theorist of collectivist anarchism. He has also often been called the father of anarchist theory in general. Bakunin grew up near Moscow, where he moved to study philosophy and began to read the French Encyclopedists,...

 (1814–1876). Although Marx won this contest, the transfer of the seat of the General Council from London to New York in 1872, which Marx supported, led to the decline of the International. The most important political event during the existence of the International was the Paris Commune
Paris Commune
The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

 of 1871 when the citizens of Paris rebelled against their government and held the city for two months. On the bloody suppression of this rebellion, Marx wrote one of his most famous pamphlets, The Civil War in France
The Civil War in France
The Civil War in France was a pamphlet written by Karl Marx as an official statement of the General Council of the International on the character and significance of the struggle of the Parisian Communards in the French Civil War of 1871....

, a defense of the Commune.

Given the repeated failures and frustrations of workers' revolutions and movements, Marx also sought to understand capitalism, and spent a great deal of time in the reading room of the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 studying and reflecting on the works of political economists
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

 and on economic data. By 1857 he had accumulated over 800 pages of notes and short essays on capital, landed property
Landed property
Landed property or landed estates is a real estate term that usually refers to a property that generates income for the owner without the owner having to do the actual work of the estate. In Europe, agrarian landed property typically consisted of a manor, several tenant farms, and some privileged...

, wage labour, the state, foreign trade and the world market; this work did not appear in print until 1941, under the title Grundrisse
Grundrisse
The Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie is a lengthy manuscript by the German philosopher Karl Marx, completed in 1858. However, as it existed primarily as a collection of unedited notes, the work remained unpublished until 1939...

. In 1859, Marx published Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, his first serious economic work. In the early 1860s he worked on composing three large volumes, the Theories of Surplus Value, which discussed the theoreticians of political economy, particularly Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 and David Ricardo
David Ricardo
David Ricardo was an English political economist, often credited with systematising economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill. He was also a member of Parliament, businessman, financier and speculator,...

. This work is often seen as the fourth book of Capital
Das Kapital
Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production.- Themes :In Capital: Critique of...

, and constitutes one of the first comprehensive treatises on the history of economic thought
History of economic thought
The history of economic thought deals with different thinkers and theories in the subject that became political economy and economics from the ancient world to the present day...

. In 1867 the first volume of Capital
Das Kapital
Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, and how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production.- Themes :In Capital: Critique of...

 was published, a work which analyzed the capitalist process of production. Here, Marx elaborated his labour theory of value and his conception of surplus value
Surplus value
Surplus value is a concept used famously by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. Although Marx did not himself invent the term, he developed the concept...

 and exploitation
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

 which he argued would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism. Volumes II and III remained mere manuscripts upon which Marx continued to work for the rest of his life and were published posthumously by Engels.


During the last decade of his life, Marx's health declined and he became incapable of the sustained effort that had characterised his previous work. He did manage to comment substantially on contemporary politics, particularly in Germany and Russia. His Critique of the Gotha Programme opposed the tendency of his followers Wilhelm Liebknecht
Wilhelm Liebknecht
Wilhelm Martin Philipp Christian Ludwig Liebknecht was a German social democrat and a principal founder of the SPD. His political career was a pioneering project combining Marxist revolutionary theory with practical, legal political activity...

 and August Bebel
August Bebel
Ferdinand August Bebel was a German Marxist politician, writer, and orator. He is best remembered as one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.-Early years:...

 to compromise with the state socialism
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

 of Ferdinand Lassalle
Ferdinand Lassalle
Ferdinand Lassalle was a German-Jewish jurist and socialist political activist.-Early life:Ferdinand Lassalle was born on 11 April 1825 in Breslau , Silesia to a prosperous Jewish family descending from Upper Silesian Loslau...

 in the interests of a united socialist party. This work is also notable for another famous Marx's quote: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. In German, "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!"...

."

In a letter to Vera Zasulich
Vera Zasulich
Vera Ivanovna Zasulich was a Russian Marxist writer and revolutionary.-Radical beginnings:Zasulich was born in Mikhaylovka, Russia, one of four daughters of an impoverished minor noble. When she was 3, her father died and her mother sent her to live with her wealthier relatives, the Mikulich...

 dated 8 March 1881, Marx even contemplated the possibility of Russia's bypassing the capitalist stage of development and building communism on the basis of the common ownership of land characteristic of the village mir. While admitting that Russia's rural "commune is the fulcrum of social regeneration in Russia", Marx also warned that in order for the mir to operate as a means for moving straight to the socialist stage without a preceding capitalist stage, it "would first be necessary to eliminate the deleterious influences which are assailing it (the rural commune) from all sides." Given the elimination of these pernicious influences, Marx allowed, that "normal conditions of spontaneous development" of the rural commune could exist. However, in the same letter to Vera Zasulich, Marx points out that "at the core of the capitalist system ... lies the complete separation of the producer from the means of production." In one of the drafts of this letter, Marx reveals his growing passion for anthropology, motivated by his belief that future communism would be a return on a higher level to the communism of our prehistoric past. He wrote that 'the historical trend of our age is the fatal crisis which capitalist production has undergone in the European and American countries where it has reached its highest peak, a crisis that will end in its destruction, in the return of modern society to a higher form of the most archaic type — collective production and appropriation'. He added that 'the vitality of primitive communities was incomparably greater than that of Semitic, Greek, Roman, etc. societies, and, a fortiori, that of modern capitalist societies'. Before he died, Marx asked Engels to write up these ideas, which were published in 1884 under the title The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

Death



Following the death of his wife Jenny in December 1881, Marx developed a catarrh
Catarrh
Catarrh is a disorder of inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways or cavities of the body. It can result in a thick exudate of mucus and white blood cells caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes in the head in response to an infection...

 that kept him in ill health for the last 15 months of his life. It eventually brought on the bronchitis
Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi in the lungs that is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks. Characteristic symptoms include cough, sputum production, and shortness of breath and wheezing related to the obstruction of the inflamed airways...

 and pleurisy
Pleurisy
Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs. Among other things, infections are the most common cause of pleurisy....

 that killed him in London on 14 March 1883. He died a stateless person
Statelessness
Statelessness is a legal concept describing the lack of any nationality. It is the absence of a recognized link between an individual and any state....

; family and friends in London buried his body in Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery is a cemetery located in north London, England. It is designated Grade I on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. It is divided into two parts, named the East and West cemetery....

, London, on 17 March 1883. There were between nine to eleven mourners at his funeral.

Several of his closest friends spoke at his funeral, including Wilhelm Liebknecht
Wilhelm Liebknecht
Wilhelm Martin Philipp Christian Ludwig Liebknecht was a German social democrat and a principal founder of the SPD. His political career was a pioneering project combining Marxist revolutionary theory with practical, legal political activity...

 and Friedrich Engels. Engels's speech included the passage:

Marx's daughter Eleanor
Eleanor Marx
Jenny Julia Eleanor "Tussy" Marx , also known as Eleanor Marx Aveling, was the English-born youngest daughter of Karl Marx. She was herself a socialist activist, who sometimes worked as a literary translator...

 and Charles Longuet
Charles Longuet
Charles Longuet was a journalist and prominent figure in the French working-class movement, including the 1871 Paris Commune, as well as a Proudhonist member of the General Council of the First International or International Working Men's Association...

 and Paul Lafargue
Paul Lafargue
Paul Lafargue was a French revolutionary Marxist socialist journalist, literary critic, political writer and activist; he was Karl Marx's son-in-law, having married his second daughter Laura. His best known work is The Right to Be Lazy...

, Marx's two French socialist sons-in-law, were also in attendance. Liebknecht, a founder and leader of the German Social-Democratic Party, gave a speech in German, and Longuet, a prominent figure in the French working-class movement, made a short statement in French. Two telegrams from workers' parties in France and Spain were also read out. Together with Engels's speech, this constituted the entire programme of the funeral. Non-relatives attending the funeral included three communist associates of Marx: Friedrich Lessner, imprisoned for three years after the Cologne communist trial of 1852; G. Lochner, whom Engels described as "an old member of the Communist League" and Carl Schorlemmer
Carl Schorlemmer
Carl Schorlemmer FRS was a German chemist who did research on hydrocarbons and contributed to the study of the history of chemistry.- Life and work :...

, a professor of chemistry in Manchester, a member of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, and a communist activist involved in the 1848 Baden revolution. Another attendee of the funeral was Ray Lankester
Ray Lankester
Sir E. Ray Lankester KCB, FRS was a British zoologist, born in London.An invertebrate zoologist and evolutionary biologist, he held chairs at University College London and Oxford University. He was the third Director of the Natural History Museum, and was awarded the Copley Medal of the Royal...

, a British zoologist who would later become a prominent academic.

Upon his own death, Engels left Marx's two surviving daughters a "significant portion" of his $4.8 million estate.

Marx's tombstone bears the carved message: "WORKERS OF ALL LANDS UNITE
Workers of the world, unite!
The political slogan Workers of the world, unite! is one of the most famous rallying cries of communism, found in The Communist Manifesto , by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

", the final line of The Communist Manifesto, and from the 11th Thesis on Feuerbach
Theses on Feuerbach
The "Theses on Feuerbach" are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx's fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach...

 (edited by Engels): "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways—the point however is to change it". The Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

 had the monumental tombstone built in 1954 with a portrait bust by Laurence Bradshaw; Marx's original tomb had had only humble adornment. In 1970 there was an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the monument using a homemade bomb.

The later Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm , CH, FBA, is a British Marxist historian, public intellectual, and author...

 remarked that "One cannot say Marx died a failure" because, although he had not achieved a large following of disciples in Britain, his writings had already begun to make an impact on the leftist movements in Germany and Russia. Within 25 years of his death, the continental European socialist parties that acknowledged Marx's influence on their politics were each gaining between 15 and 47% in those countries with representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 elections.

Inspirations



Marx's thought demonstrates influences from many thinkers, including but not limited to:
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

    's philosophy;
  • The classical political economy
    Political economy
    Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

     (economics) of Adam Smith
    Adam Smith
    Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

     and David Ricardo
    David Ricardo
    David Ricardo was an English political economist, often credited with systematising economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill. He was also a member of Parliament, businessman, financier and speculator,...

    ;
  • French socialist thought
    History of the Left in France
    The Left in France at the beginning of the 20th century was represented by two main political parties, the Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party and the French Section of the Workers' International , created in 1905 as a merger of various Marxist parties...

    , in particular the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

    , Henri de Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier
    Charles Fourier
    François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

    ;
  • Earlier German philosophical materialism, particularly that of Ludwig Feuerbach;
  • The working class analysis by Friedrich Engels
    Friedrich Engels
    Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

    .


Marx's view of history, which came to be called historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

 (controversially adapted as the philosophy of dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism synthesizing Hegel's dialectics. The idea was originally invented by Moses Hess and it was later developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

 by Engels and Lenin) certainly shows the influence of Hegel's claim that one should view reality (and history) dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

ally. However, Hegel had thought in idealist terms, putting ideas in the forefront, whereas Marx sought to rewrite dialectics in materialist terms, arguing for the primacy of matter over idea. Where Hegel saw the "spirit" as driving history, Marx saw this as an unnecessary mystification, obscuring the reality of humanity and its physical actions shaping the world. He wrote that Hegelianism stood the movement of reality on its head, and that one needed to set it upon its feet.

Though inspired by French socialist and sociological thought, Marx criticised utopian socialists, arguing that their favoured small scale socialistic communities would be bound to marginalisation and poverty, and that only a large scale change in the economic system
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 can bring about real change.

The other important contribution to Marx's revision of Hegelianism came from Engels's book, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844
The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844
The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 is one of the best-known works of Friedrich Engels.Originally written in German as Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England, it is a study of the working class in Victorian England. It was also Engels' first book, written during his stay in...

, which led Marx to conceive of the historical dialectic in terms of class conflict
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

 and to see the modern working class as the most progressive force for revolution.

Marx believed that he could study history and society scientifically and discern tendencies of history and the resulting outcome of social conflicts. Some followers of Marx concluded, therefore, that a communist revolution would inevitably occur. However, Marx famously asserted in the eleventh of his Theses on Feuerbach
Theses on Feuerbach
The "Theses on Feuerbach" are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx's fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach...

 that "philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point however is to change it", and he clearly dedicated himself to trying to alter the world.

Philosophy and social thought


Marx polemic with other thinkers often occurred through critique
Critique
Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgement, but it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt...

, and thus he has been called "the first great user of critical method in social sciences." He criticised speculative philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, equating metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 with ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

. By adopting this approach, Marx attempted to separate key findings from ideological biases. This set him apart from many contemporary philosophers.

Human nature



Fundamentally, Marx assumed that human history involves transforming human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

, which encompasses both human beings and material objects. Humans recognise that they possess both actual and potential selves. For both Marx and Hegel, self-development begins with an experience of internal alienation
Marx's theory of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation , as expressed in the writings of the young Karl Marx , refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony...

 stemming from this recognition, followed by a realisation that the actual self, as a subjective
Subject (philosophy)
In philosophy, a subject is a being that has subjective experiences, subjective consciousness or a relationship with another entity . A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed...

 agent, renders its potential counterpart an object
Object (philosophy)
An object in philosophy is a technical term often used in contrast to the term subject. Consciousness is a state of cognition that includes the subject, which can never be doubted as only it can be the one who doubts, and some object or objects that may or may not have real existence without...

 to be apprehended. Marx further argues that, by molding nature in desired ways, the subject takes the object as its own, and thus permits the individual to be actualised as fully human. For Marx, then, human nature
Marx's theory of human nature
Marx's theory of human nature occupies an important place in his critique of capitalism, his conception of communism, and his 'materialist conception of history'. Marx, however, does not refer to "human nature" as such, but to Gattungswesen, which is generally translated as 'species-being' or...

—Gattungswesen, or species-being—exists as a function of human labour. Fundamental to Marx's idea of meaningful labour is the proposition that, in order for a subject to come to terms with its alienated object, it must first exert influence upon literal, material objects in the subject's world. Marx acknowledges that Hegel "grasps the nature of work and comprehends objective man, authentic because actual, as the result of his own work", but characterises Hegelian self-development as unduly "spiritual" and abstract. Marx thus departs from Hegel by insisting that "the fact that man is a corporeal, actual, sentient, objective being with natural capacities means that he has actual, sensuous objects for his nature as objects of his life-expression, or that he can only express his life in actual sensuous objects." Consequently, Marx revises Hegelian "work" into material "labour", and in the context of human capacity to transform nature the term "labour power".

Labour, class struggle and false consciousness


Marx had a special concern with how people relate to that most fundamental resource of all, their own labour power. He wrote extensively about this in terms of the problem of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation , as expressed in the writings of the young Karl Marx , refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony...

. As with the dialectic, Marx began with a Hegelian notion of alienation but developed a more materialist conception. Capitalism mediates social relationships of production (such as among workers or between workers and capitalists) through commodities, including labour, that are bought and sold on the market. For Marx, the possibility that one may give up ownership of one's own labour—one's capacity to transform the world—is tantamount to being alienated from one's own nature; it is a spiritual loss. Marx described this loss as commodity fetishism
Commodity fetishism
In Marx's critique of political economy, commodity fetishism denotes the mystification of human relations said to arise out of the growth of market trade, when social relationships between people are expressed as, mediated by and transformed into, objectified relationships between things .The...

, in which the things that people produce, commodities, appear to have a life and movement of their own to which humans and their behavior merely adapt.

Commodity fetishism provides an example of what Engels called "false consciousness", which relates closely to the understanding of ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

. By "ideology", Marx and Engels meant ideas that reflect the interests of a particular class at a particular time in history, but which contemporaries see as universal and eternal. Marx and Engels's point was not only that such beliefs are at best half-truths; they serve an important political function. Put another way, the control that one class exercises over the means of production includes not only the production of food or manufactured goods; it includes the production of ideas as well (this provides one possible explanation for why members of a subordinate class may hold ideas contrary to their own interests). An example of this sort of analysis is Marx's understanding of religion, summed up in a passage from the preface to his 1843 Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
[Contribution to the] Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right is a manuscript written by German political philosopher Karl Marx in 1843....

:
Whereas his Gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 senior thesis argued that religion had as its primary social aim the promotion of solidarity
Solidarity (sociology)
Solidarity is the integration, and degree and type of integration, shown by a society or group with people and their neighbors. It refers to the ties in a society - social relations - that bind people to one another. The term is generally employed in sociology and the other social sciences.What...

, here Marx sees the social function of religion in terms of highlighting/preserving political and economic status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

 and inequality
Economic inequality
Economic inequality comprises all disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among countries. The issue of economic inequality is related to the ideas of...

.

Economy, history and society



Marx's thoughts on labour were related to the primacy he gave to the economic relation in determining the society's past, present and future (see also economic determinism
Economic determinism
Economic determinism is the theory which attributes primacy to the economic structure over politics in the development of human history. It is usually associated with the theories of Karl Marx, although many Marxist thinkers have dismissed plain and unilateral economic determinism as a form of...

). Accumulation of capital shapes the social system. Social change
Social change
Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a society. It may refer to the notion of social progress or sociocultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic...

, for Marx, was about conflict between opposing interests, driven, in the background, by economic forces. This became the inspiration for the body of works known as the conflict theory
Conflict theory
Conflict theories are perspectives in social science that emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group, that critique the broad socio-political system, or that otherwise detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservativism...

. In his evolutionary
Sociocultural evolution
Sociocultural evolution is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time...

 model of history, he argued that human history began with free, productive and creative work that was over time coerced and dehumanised, a trend most apparent under capitalism. Marx noted that this was not an intentional process; rather, no individual or even no state can go against the forces of economy.

The organisation of society depends on means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

. Literally those things, like land, natural resources, and technology, necessary for the production of material goods and the relations of production
Relations of production
Relations of production is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their theory of historical materialism, and in Das Kapital...

, in other words, the social relationships people enter into as they acquire and use the means of production. Together these compose the mode of production
Mode of production
In the writings of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory of historical materialism, a mode of production is a specific combination of:...

, and Marx distinguished historical eras in terms of distinct modes of production. Marx differentiated between base and superstructure
Base and superstructure
In Marxist theory, human society consists of two parts: the base and superstructure; the base comprehends the forces and relations of production — employer-employee work conditions, the technical division of labour, and property relations — into which people enter to produce the necessities and...

, with the base (or substructure) referring to the economic system, and superstructure, to the cultural and political system. Marx regarded this mismatch between (economic) base and (social) superstructure
Base and superstructure
In Marxist theory, human society consists of two parts: the base and superstructure; the base comprehends the forces and relations of production — employer-employee work conditions, the technical division of labour, and property relations — into which people enter to produce the necessities and...

 as a major source of social disruption and conflict.

Despite Marx's stress on critique of capitalism and discussion of the new communist society
Communist society
The communist society or communist utopia is the society postulated by the ideology of communism: a society which is classless and stateless, based upon common ownership of the means of production with free access to articles of consumption, the end of economic exploitation.The term "communist...

 that should replace it, his explicit critique of capitalism is guarded, as he saw it as an improved society compared to the past ones (slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 and feudal). Marx also never clearly discusses issues of morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 and justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, although scholars agree that his work contained implicit discussion of those concepts.


Marx's view of capitalism was two sided.
On one hand, Marx, in the 19th century's deepest critique of the dehumanising aspects of this system, noted that defining features of capitalism include alienation, exploitation and recurring, cyclical depressions leading to mass unemployment; on the other hand capitalism is also characterised by "revolutionizing, industrializing and universalizing qualities of development, growth and progressivity" (by which Marx meant industrialisation, urbanisation, technological progress, increased productivity
Productivity
Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of what is produced to what is required to produce it. Usually this ratio is in the form of an average, expressing the total output divided by the total input...

 and growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

, rationality
Rationality
In philosophy, rationality is the exercise of reason. It is the manner in which people derive conclusions when considering things deliberately. It also refers to the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons for belief, or with one's actions with one's reasons for action...

 and scientific revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

), that are responsible for progress. Marx considered the capitalist class to be one of the most revolutionary in history, because it constantly improved the means of production, more so than any other class in history, and was responsible for the overthrow of feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 and its transition to capitalism. Capitalism can stimulate considerable growth because the capitalist can, and has an incentive to, reinvest profits in new technologies and capital equipment.

According to Marx capitalists take advantage of the difference between the labour market and the market for whatever commodity the capitalist can produce. Marx observed that in practically every successful industry input unit-costs are lower than output unit-prices. Marx called the difference "surplus value
Surplus value
Surplus value is a concept used famously by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. Although Marx did not himself invent the term, he developed the concept...

" and argued that this surplus value had its source in surplus labour
Surplus labour
Surplus labour is a concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. It means labour performed in excess of the labour necessary to produce the means of livelihood of the worker . According to Marxian economics, surplus labour is usually "unpaid labour"...

, the difference between what it costs to keep workers alive and what they can produce. Marx's dual view of capitalism can be seen in his description of the capitalists: he refers to them as to vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

s sucking worker's blood, but at the same time, he notes that drawing profit is "by no means an injustice" and that capitalists simply cannot go against the system. The true problem lies with the "cancerous cell" of capital
Capital (economics)
In economics, capital, capital goods, or real capital refers to already-produced durable goods used in production of goods or services. The capital goods are not significantly consumed, though they may depreciate in the production process...

, understood not as property or equipment, but the relations between workers and owners – the economic system in general.

At the same time, Marx stressed that capitalism was unstable, and prone to periodic crises
Crisis theory
Crisis theory is generally associated with Marxian economics. In this context crisis refers to what is called, even currently and outside Marxian theory in many European countries a "conjuncture" or especially sharp bust cycle of the regular boom and bust pattern of what Marxists term "chaotic"...

. He suggested that over time, capitalists would invest more and more in new technologies, and less and less in labour. Since Marx believed that surplus value appropriated from labour is the source of profits, he concluded that the rate of profit would fall even as the economy grew. Marx believed that increasingly severe crises would punctuate this cycle of growth, collapse, and more growth. Moreover, he believed that in the long-term this process would necessarily enrich and empower
Empowerment
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, racial, educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities...

 the capitalist class and impoverish the proletariat. In section one of The Communist Manifesto Marx describes feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

, capitalism, and the role internal social contradictions play in the historical process:
Marx believed that those structural contradictions within capitalism necessitate its end, giving way to socialism, or a post-capitalistic, communist society:
Thanks to various processes overseen by capitalism, such as urbanisation, the working class, the proletariat, should grow in numbers and develop a class consciousness
Class consciousness
Class consciousness is consciousness of one's social class or economic rank in society. From the perspective of Marxist theory, it refers to the self-awareness, or lack thereof, of a particular class; its capacity to act in its own rational interests; or its awareness of the historical tasks...

, in time realising that they have to change the system. Marx believed that if the proletariat were to seize the means of production, they would encourage social relations that would benefit everyone equally, abolishing exploiting class, and introduce a system of production less vulnerable to cyclical crises. Marx argued that capitalism will end through the organised actions of an international working class:
In this new society the self-alienation would end, and humans would be free to act without being bound by the labour market. It would be a democratic society, enfranchising the entire population. In such a utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

n world there would also be little if any need for a state, which goal was to enforce the alienation. He theorised that between capitalism and the establishment of a socialist/communist system, a dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

—a period where the working class holds political power and forcibly socialises the means of production—would exist. As he wrote in his "Critique of the Gotha Program
Critique of the Gotha Program
The Critique of the Gotha Program is a document based on a letter by Karl Marx written in early May 1875 to the Eisenach faction of the German social democratic movement, with whom Marx and Friedrich Engels were in close association...

", "between capitalist and communist society
Communist society
The communist society or communist utopia is the society postulated by the ideology of communism: a society which is classless and stateless, based upon common ownership of the means of production with free access to articles of consumption, the end of economic exploitation.The term "communist...

 there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

." While he allowed for the possibility of peaceful transition in some countries with strong democratic institutional structures (such as Britain, the US and the Netherlands), he suggested that in other countries with strong centralised state-oriented traditions, like France and Germany, the "lever of our revolution must be force."

Personal life



Marx married Jenny von Westphalen
Jenny von Westphalen
Baroness Johanna Bertha Julie "Jenny" von Westphalen was the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. They became engaged in 1836 and married in 1843. They had six children.- Background :...

 in 1843. Together had seven children, but partly due to the poor living conditions they were forced to live in whilst in London, only three survived to adulthood. The children were: Jenny Caroline
Jenny Longuet
Jenny Marx Longuet was the eldest daughter of Jenny von Westphalen and Karl Marx.Known as 'Jennychen' in the Marx circle, Jenny Longuet, Marx's eldest daughter, was a socialist activist...

 (m. Longuet; 1844–83); Jenny Laura
Laura Marx
Jenny Laura Marx was the second daughter of Karl Marx and Jenny von Westphalen. In 1868 she married Paul Lafargue. As an elderly couple, the two committed suicide together in 1911....

 (m. Lafargue; 1845–1911); Edgar (1847–1855); Henry Edward Guy ("Guido"; 1849–1850); Jenny Eveline Frances ("Franziska"; 1851–52); Jenny Julia Eleanor
Eleanor Marx
Jenny Julia Eleanor "Tussy" Marx , also known as Eleanor Marx Aveling, was the English-born youngest daughter of Karl Marx. She was herself a socialist activist, who sometimes worked as a literary translator...

 (1855–98) and one more who died before being named (July 1857). There are allegations that Marx also fathered a son, Freddy, out of wedlock by his housekeeper, Helene Demuth
Helene Demuth
Helene "Lenchen" Demuth was the housekeeper of Jenny and Karl Marx. She assisted Marx in his political work and may also have been the mother of a child by Marx....

.

Marx frequently used pseudonyms, often when renting a house or flat, apparently to make it harder for the authorities to track him down. While in Paris, he used that of 'Monsieur Ramboz', whilst in London he signed off his letters as 'A. Williams'. His friends referred to him as 'Moor', due to his dark complexion and black curly hair, something which they believed made him resemble the historical Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 of North Africa, whilst he encouraged his children to call him 'Old Nick' and 'Charley'. He also bestowed nicknames and pseudonyms on his friends and family as well, referring to Friedrich Engels as 'General', his housekeeper Helene as 'Lenchen' or 'Nym', while one of his daughters, Jennychen, was referred to as 'Qui Qui, Emperor of China' and another, Laura, was known as 'Kakadou' or 'the Hottentot
Khoikhoi
The Khoikhoi or Khoi, in standardised Khoekhoe/Nama orthography spelled Khoekhoe, are a historical division of the Khoisan ethnic group, the native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen . They had lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD...

'.

Widespread influence




Marx has widely been thought of as one of the most influential thinkers in history, who has had a significant influence on both world politics and intellectual thought. Marx's biographer Francis Wheen
Francis Wheen
Francis James Baird Wheen is a British journalist, writer and broadcaster.-Early life and education:Wheen was born into an army family and educated at two independent schools: Copthorne Preparatory School near Crawley, West Sussex and Harrow School in north west London.-Life and career:Running...

 considered the "history of the twentieth century" to be "Marx's legacy", whilst Australian philosopher Peter Singer
Peter Singer
Peter Albert David Singer is an Australian philosopher who is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne...

 believed that Marx's impact could be compared with that of the founders of the two major world religions, Jesus Christ and Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. Singer noted that "Marx's ideas brought about modern sociology, transformed the study of history, and profoundly affected philosophy, literature and the arts." Stokes said that Marx's ideas led to him becoming "the darling of both European and American intellectuals up until the 1960s", and have influenced a wide variety of disciplines, including archaeology
Marxist archaeology
Marxist archaeology is an archaeological theory that interprets archaeological information within the framework of Marxism. Whilst neither Karl Marx nor Freidrich Engels described how archaeology could be understood in a Marxist conception of history, it was developed by archaeologists in the...

, anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, media studies
Media studies
Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

, political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, theater, history, sociological theory
Sociological theory
In sociology, sociological perspectives, theories, or paradigms are complex theoretical and methodological frameworks used to analyze and explain objects of social study. They facilitate organizing sociological knowledge...

, cultural studies
Cultural studies
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

, education, economics
Marxian economics
Marxian economics refers to economic theories on the functioning of capitalism based on the works of Karl Marx. Adherents of Marxian economics, particularly in academia, distinguish it from Marxism as a political ideology and sociological theory, arguing that Marx's approach to understanding the...

, geography
Marxist geography
Marxist geography is a critical geography which utilises the theories and philosophy of Marxism to examine the spatial relations of human geography. In Marxist geography the relations that geography has traditionally analyzed - natural environment and spatial relations - are reviewed as outcomes of...

, literary criticism
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

, aesthetics
Aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

, critical psychology
Critical psychology
Critical psychology is an approach to psychology that takes a critical theory–based perspective. Critical psychology is aimed at critiquing mainstream psychology and attempts to apply psychology in more progressive ways, often looking towards social change as a means of preventing and treating...

, and philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

.

In July 2005, 27.9% of listeners in a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 series In Our Time
In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)
In Our Time is a live BBC radio discussion series exploring the history of ideas, presented by Melvyn Bragg since 15 October 1998.. It is one of BBC radio's most successful discussion programmes, acknowledged to have "transformed the landscape for serious ideas at peak listening time"...

 poll selected Marx as their favorite thinker.

The reasons for Marx's widespread influence revolve around his ethical
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 message; a "morally empowering language of critique" against the dominant capitalist society. No other body of work was so relevant to the modern times, and at the same time, so outspoken about the need for change. In the political realm, Marx's ideas led to the establishment of governments using Marxist thought to replace capitalism with communism or socialism (or augment it with market socialism
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

) across much of the world, whilst his intellectual thought has heavily influenced the academic study of the humanities and the arts.

Marxism




Followers of Marx have drawn on his work to propose grand, cohesive theoretical outlooks dubbed "Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

". This body of works has had significant influence on the both political and scientific scenes. Nevertheless, Marxists have frequently debated amongst themselves over how to interpret Marx's writings and how to apply his concepts to their contemporary events and conditions. The legacy of Marx's thought has become bitterly contested between numerous tendencies which each see themselves as Marx's most accurate interpreters, including (but not limited to) Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

, Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

, Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

, Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

, Luxemburgism
Luxemburgism
Luxemburgism is a specific revolutionary theory within Marxism, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg. According to M. K...

, and libertarian Marxism
Libertarian Marxism
Libertarian Marxism refers to a broad scope of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism, emerged in opposition to Marxism–Leninism and its derivatives, such as Stalinism, Maoism, and...

. In academic Marxism, various currents have developed as well, often under influence of other views, resulting in structuralist Marxism, historical Marxism, phenomenological Marxism, Analytical Marxism
Analytical Marxism
Analytical Marxism refers to a particular Marxist approach that was prominent amongst English-speaking philosophers and social scientists during the 1980s. It was mainly associated with the September Group of academics, so called because of their biennial September meetings to discuss common...

 and Hegelian Marxism.

Moreover, one should distinguish between "Marxism" and "what Marx believed"; for example, shortly before he died in 1883, Marx wrote a letter to the French workers' leader Jules Guesde
Jules Guesde
Jules Basile Guesde was a French socialist journalist and politician.Guesde was the inspiration for a famous quotation by Karl Marx. Shortly before Marx died in 1883, he wrote a letter to Guesde and Paul Lafargue, both of whom already claimed to represent "Marxist" principles...

, and to his own son-in-law Paul Lafargue
Paul Lafargue
Paul Lafargue was a French revolutionary Marxist socialist journalist, literary critic, political writer and activist; he was Karl Marx's son-in-law, having married his second daughter Laura. His best known work is The Right to Be Lazy...

, accusing them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of lack of faith in the working class. After the French party split into a reformist and revolutionary party, some accused Guesde (leader of the latter) of taking orders from Marx; Marx remarked to Lafargue, "if that is Marxism, then I am not a Marxist" (in a letter to Engels, Marx later accused Guesde of being a "Bakuninist").

Founder of social science


Marx is typically cited, along with Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 and Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. In contrast to philosophers, Marx offered theories that could often be tested with the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

. Both Marx and Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte , better known as Auguste Comte , was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism...

 set out to develop scientifically justified ideologies in the wake of European secularisation and new developments in the philosophies of history
Philosophy of history
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

 and science. Whilst Marx, working in the Hegelian tradition, rejected Comtean sociological positivism, in attempting to develop a science of society he nevertheless came to be recognised as a founder of sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 as the word gained wider meaning. In modern sociological theory
Sociological theory
In sociology, sociological perspectives, theories, or paradigms are complex theoretical and methodological frameworks used to analyze and explain objects of social study. They facilitate organizing sociological knowledge...

, Marxist sociology
Marxist sociology
Marxist sociology refers to the conduct of sociology from a Marxist perspective. Marxism itself can be recognized as both a political philosophy and a sociology, particularly to the extent it attempts to remain scientific, systematic and objective rather than purely normative and prescriptive....

 is recognised as one of the main classical perspectives. For Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

, Marx may be regarded as the "true father" of modern sociology, "in so far as anyone can claim the title."

Predictions and theories


While many Marxist concepts are still of importance for modern social science, some specific predictions Marx made have been shown to be unlikely. Marx is often criticised for expecting a wave of socialist revolutions, originating in the most highly industrialised countries, to overturn capitalism. However others, pointing to Marx's encounter with late 19th-century Russian populism and Marx and Engels's preface to the second Russian edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1882), have argued that Marx evinced a growing conviction in his late writings that revolution could in fact emerge first in Russia. Marx predicted the eventual fall of capitalism, to be replaced by socialism, yet since the late 20th century state socialism is in retreat, as the Soviet Union collapsed
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 shifted towards a market economy
Socialist market economy
The socialist market economy or socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics is the official term used to refer to the economic system of the People's Republic of China after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. It is also referred to as socialism with Chinese characteristics...

. Additionally, his argument that profits are generated only through surplus labour
Surplus labour
Surplus labour is a concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. It means labour performed in excess of the labour necessary to produce the means of livelihood of the worker . According to Marxian economics, surplus labour is usually "unpaid labour"...

 has been challenged by the counterclaim that profits also come from investments in human capital
Human capital
Human capitalis the stock of competencies, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience...

 and technology. Marx predicted that over time, inequality would grow (correctly) but also that this would mean growing impoverishment of the growing worker class, increasingly exploited by the capitalists. The latter has also come true; as in the developed world, through liberal reforms, trade unions won many concessions, improving the situation of the workers (something that Marx considered very unlikely); in the more populated parts of the world such as Africa, India, and China the populations continue to grow and all the industry is moving there if it hasn't already established itself in the last two decades. Worldwide poverty has increased since the end of the 19th century especially considering that the richest are richer than ever but the poor have remained at the same level and the percentage has risen in the last 30 years... (It should be noted that scholars have debated whether Marx's comments about the proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

 can be analyzed in the context of the working class). In addition to specific predictions, certain of Marx's theories, such as his labour theory of value, have also been criticised.
However, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008 some thinkers like Terry Eagleton
Terry Eagleton
Terence Francis Eagleton FBA is a British literary theorist and critic, who is regarded as one of Britain's most influential living literary critics...

, David Harvey
David Harvey (geographer)
David Harvey is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York . A leading social theorist of international standing, he received his PhD in Geography from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited...

, and David McNally
David McNally (professor)
David McNally is a Trotskyist theorist and is a Professor of political science at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and chair of the university's political science department....

 have given renewed impetus to the debate on whether Marx was right that capitalism inherently tends towards crisis (which Marx discussed as the "contradictions of capital").

Marxism as the ideology of totalitarian states


While Marxist thought may be used to empower marginalised and dispossessed people, it has also been used to prop up governments who have utilised violence to remove those seen as impeding the revolution. In some instances, his ultimate goals have been used as justification for the end justifies the means logic. Moreover, contrary to his goal, his ideas have been used to promote dogmatism and intolerance
Toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

. Polish historian Andrzej Walicki
Andrzej Walicki
Andrzej Walicki is a Polish historian. He was a professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He specializes in philosophy of sociopolitics, history of Polish and Russian philosophy, Marxism and liberal thought. He is one one the scholars who form the "Warsaw school of the history of...

 noted that Marx's and Engels's theory was the "theory of freedom", but a theory that, at the height of its influence, was used to legitimise the totalitarian socialist state of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. This abuse of Marx's thought is perhaps most clearly exemplified in Stalinist Marxism, described by critics as the "most widespread and successful form of mass indoctrination... a masterly achievement in transforming Marxism into the official ideology of a consistently totalitarian state." The controversy is further fueled as some left-wing theorists have tried to shield Marxism from any connection to the Soviet regime. Lastly, the undue focus on the Marxist thought in the former Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

, often forbidding social science arguments from outside the Marxist perspective, led to a backlash against Marxism after the revolutions of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

. In one example, references to Marx drastically decreased in Polish sociology after the fall of the revolutionary socialist governments, and two major research institutions which advocated the Marxist approach to sociology were closed.

Selected bibliography

  • The Philosophical Manifesto of the Historical School of Law (1842)
  • Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
    Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
    [Contribution to the] Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right is a manuscript written by German political philosopher Karl Marx in 1843....

    , 1843
  • On the Jewish Question
    On the Jewish Question
    On the Jewish Question is a work by Karl Marx, written in 1843, and first published in Paris in 1844 under the German title Zur Judenfrage in the Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher. It was one of Marx's first attempts to deal with categories that would later be called the materialist conception of...

    , 1843
  • Notes on James Mill, 1844
  • Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
    Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844
    Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 are a series of notes written between April and August 1844 by Karl Marx. Not published by Marx during his lifetime, they were first released in 1927 by researchers in the Soviet Union.The notebooks are an early expression of Marx's analysis of...

    , 1844
  • The Holy Family
    The Holy Family (book)
    The Holy Family was a book written by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels in November 1844. The book is a critique on the Young Hegelians and their trend of thought which was very popular in academic circles at the time. The title was a suggestion by the publisher and is meant as a sarcastic reference to...

    , 1845
  • Theses on Feuerbach
    Theses on Feuerbach
    The "Theses on Feuerbach" are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx's fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach...

    , 1845
  • The German Ideology
    The German Ideology
    The German Ideology is a book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1846. Marx and Engels did not find a publisher. However, the work was later retrieved and published for the first time in 1932 by David Riazanov through the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow...

    , 1845
  • The Poverty of Philosophy
    The Poverty of Philosophy
    Misère de la philosophie, German title Das Elend der Philosophie, English title The Poverty of Philosophy, is a book by Karl Marx published in Paris and Brussels in 1847, where he lived in exile in 1843-1849...

    , 1847
  • Wage-Labour and Capital, 1847
  • Manifesto of the Communist Party
    The Communist Manifesto
    The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party is a short 1848 publication written by the German Marxist political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It has since been recognized as one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the...

    , 1848
  • The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
    The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
    Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon was written by Karl Marx between December 1851 and March 1852, and originally published in 1852 in Die Revolution, a German-language monthly magazine published in New York and established by Joseph Weydemeyer...

    , 1852
  • Grundrisse
    Grundrisse
    The Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie is a lengthy manuscript by the German philosopher Karl Marx, completed in 1858. However, as it existed primarily as a collection of unedited notes, the work remained unpublished until 1939...

    , 1857
  • A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
    A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
    A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy is a book by Karl Marx, first published in 1859. The book is mainly an analysis of capitalism, achieved by critiquing the writings of the leading theoretical exponents of capitalism at that time: these were the political economists, nowadays often...

    , 1859
  • Writings on the U.S. Civil War, 1861
  • Theories of Surplus Value, 3 volumes, 1862
  • Value, Price and Profit, 1865
  • Capital, Volume I
    Capital, Volume I
    Capital, Volume I , by Karl Marx, is a critical analysis of capitalism as political economy, meant to reveal the economic laws of the capitalist mode of production, how it was the precursor of the socialist mode of production, and of the class struggle rooted in the capitalist social relations of...

     (Das Kapital), 1867
  • The Civil War in France
    The Civil War in France
    The Civil War in France was a pamphlet written by Karl Marx as an official statement of the General Council of the International on the character and significance of the struggle of the Parisian Communards in the French Civil War of 1871....

    , 1871
  • Critique of the Gotha Program
    Critique of the Gotha Program
    The Critique of the Gotha Program is a document based on a letter by Karl Marx written in early May 1875 to the Eisenach faction of the German social democratic movement, with whom Marx and Friedrich Engels were in close association...

    , 1875
  • Notes on Wagner, 1883
  • Capital, Volume II
    Capital, Volume II
    Capital, Volume II, subtitled The Process of Circulation of Capital, was prepared by Friedrich Engels from notes left by Karl Marx and published in 1885...

     (posthumously published by Engels), 1885
  • Capital, Volume III
    Capital, Volume III
    Capital, Volume III, subtitled The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, was prepared by Friedrich Engels from notes left by Karl Marx and published in 1894...

     (posthumously published by Engels), 1894

See also

  • Karl Marx House
    Karl Marx House
    The Karl Marx House museum is the house in Trier in which Karl Marx was born in 1818; it is now a museum. The significance of the house went unnoticed until 1904, at which point the Social Democratic Party of Germany worked hard to buy it, succeeding in 1928...

  • Marx Memorial Library
    Marx Memorial Library
    The Marx Memorial Library in London holds more than 43,000 books, pamphlets and newspapers on Marxism, Scientific Socialism and Working class history. The library also features the fresco The worker of the future upsetting the economic chaos of the present by Jack Hastings, painted in 1935. It is...

  • Marx’s method
    Marx’s method
    Various Marxist authors have focussed on Marx’s method of analysis and presentation as key factors both in understanding the range and incisiveness of Karl Marx’s theoretical writing in general and Capital in particular...

  • Marx's notebooks on the history of technology
    Marx's notebooks on the history of technology
    Karl Marx wrote a number of notebooks on the history of technology. Their whereabouts were not known but in the past they were read and discussed by Marxist writers...

  • Marxian Class Theory
    Marxian Class Theory
    Marxian Class Theory is a broad range of social concepts related to the study of Marxism. It asserts that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by his role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position...

  • Mathematical manuscripts of Karl Marx
    Mathematical manuscripts of Karl Marx
    The Mathematical manuscripts of Karl Marx consist mostly of Karl Marx's attempts to understand the foundations of infinitesimal calculus, from around 1873–1883. A Russian edition edited by Sofya Yanovskaya was eventually published in 1968, and an English translation was published in...

  • Pre-Marx socialists
    Pre-Marx socialists
    While Marxism is generally considered to be the brainchild of Karl Marx, on careful perusal of the socialist literature, at least the following can be credited with socialist principles very similar to Marxism much before Marx....


Footnotes



Further reading


  • Althusser, Louis and Balibar, Étienne. Reading Capital. London: Verso, 2009.
  • Avineri, Shlomo
    Shlomo Avineri
    Shlomo Avineri is an Israeli political scientist. He is Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

    , The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx (Cambridge University Press, 1968) ISBN 0521096197
  • Axelos, Kostas, Alienation, Praxis, and Techne in the Thought of Karl Marx (translated by Ronald Bruzina, University of Texas Press, 1976).
  • Barnett, Vincent, Marx (Routledge, 2009)
  • Blackledge, Paul. Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History (Manchester University Press, 2006)
  • Bottomore, Tom, ed. A Dictionary of Marxist Thought. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Alex Callinicos
    Alex Callinicos
    Alexander Theodore Callinicos is a Trotskyist political theorist, a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party and its International Secretary, and is Director of the Centre for European Studies at King's College London...

    , The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (Bookmarks, 1983)
  • Isaiah Berlin
    Isaiah Berlin
    Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

    , Karl Marx: His Life and Environment (Oxford University Press, 1963) ISBN 0195200527
  • G. A. Cohen
    Gerald Cohen
    Gerald Allan "Jerry" Cohen was a Marxist political philosopher, formerly Visiting Quain Professor of Jurisprudence, University College, London and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls College, Oxford...

    , Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (Princeton University Press, 1978) ISBN 0691070687
  • Andrew Collier, Marx (Oneworld, 2004)
  • Hal Draper
    Hal Draper
    Hal Draper was an American socialist activist and author who played a significant role in the Berkeley, California, Free Speech Movement and is perhaps best known for his extensive scholarship on the history and meaning of the thought of Karl Marx.Draper was a lifelong advocate of what he called...

    , Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution (4 volumes) Monthly Review Press
    Monthly Review
    Monthly Review is an independent Marxist journal published 11 times per year in New York City.-History:The publication was founded by Harvard University economics instructor Paul Sweezy, who became the first editor...

  • Ronald Duncan and Colin Wilson
    Colin Wilson
    Colin Henry Wilson is a prolific English writer who first came to prominence as a philosopher and novelist. Wilson has since written widely on true crime, mysticism and other topics. He prefers calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism.- Early biography:Born and...

    , (editors) Marx Refuted, (Bath, UK, 1987) ISBN 090679871X
  • Fine, Ben
    Ben Fine
    For the New York Times reporter see Benjamin FineBen Fine is Professor of Economics at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. He is the author of a number of works in the broad tradition of Marxist economics, and has made contributions on economic imperialism and social...

    . Marx's Capital. 5th ed. London: Pluto, 2010.
  • Foster, John Bellamy
    John Bellamy Foster
    John Bellamy Foster is a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and also editor of Monthly Review, an independent socialist magazine. His writings have focused on political economy, environmental sociology, and Marxist theory...

    . Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000.
  • Stephen Jay Gould
    Stephen Jay Gould
    Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

    , A Darwinian Gentleman at Marx's Funeral – E. Ray Lankester, Page 1, Find Articles.com (1999)
  • Harvey, David
    David Harvey (geographer)
    David Harvey is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York . A leading social theorist of international standing, he received his PhD in Geography from University of Cambridge in 1961. Widely influential, he is among the top 20 most cited...

    . A Companion to Marx's Capital. London: Verso, 2010.
  • Harvey, David. The Limits of Capital. London: Verso, 2006.
  • Georg G. Iggers, "Historiography: From Scientific Objectivity to the Postmodern Challenge."(Wesleyan University Press, 1997, 2005)
  • Leszek Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism Oxford: Clarendon Press, OUP, 1978
  • Daniel Little, The Scientific Marx, (University of Minnesota Press, 1986) ISBN 0816615055
  • Mandel, Ernest
    Ernest Mandel
    Ernest Ezra Mandel, also known by various pseudonyms such as Ernest Germain, Pierre Gousset, Henri Vallin, Walter , was a revolutionary Marxist theorist.-Life:...

    . Marxist Economic Theory. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970.
  • Mandel, Ernest. The Formation of the Economic Thought of Karl Marx. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977.
  • McLellan, David Marx before Marxism (1980), Macmillan, ISBN 9780333278826
  • McLellan, David. Karl Marx: his Life and Thought Harper & Row, 1973 ISBN 9780060128296
  • Franz Mehring
    Franz Mehring
    Franz Erdmann Mehring , was a German publicist, politician and historian.-Early years:Franz Mehring was born 27 February 1846 in Schlawe, Pomerania, the son of a bourgeois family.-Political career:...

    , Karl Marx: The Story of His Life (Routledge, 2003)
  • Miller, Richard W. Analyzing Marx: Morality, Power, and History. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1984.
  • Boris Nicolaevsky
    Boris Nicolaevsky
    Boris Ivanovich Nicolaevsky was a revolutionary Russian Marxist activist, archivist, and historian. Nicolaevsky is best remembered as one of the leading Menshevik public intellectuals of the 20th Century.-Early years:...

     and Otto Maenchen-Helfen (translator), Karl Marx: Man and Fighter (Penguin Books, 1976) ISBN 0140215948
  • Postone, Moishe. Time, Labour, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Murray Rothbard
    Murray Rothbard
    Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

    , An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought Volume II: Classical Economics (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 1995) ISBN 094546648X
  • Maximilien Rubel
    Maximilien Rubel
    Maximilien Rubel was a famous Marxist historian. He was educated in law and philosophy in Vienna and Chernivtsi before moving to France to take German studies at the Sorbonne, from which he received his Licence-dès-lettres in 1934...

    , Marx Without Myth: A Chronological Study of his Life and Work (Blackwell, 1975) ISBN 0631157808
  • Saad-Filho, Alfredo
    Alfredo Saad-Filho
    Professor Alfredo Saad-Filho BSc, MSc PhD has degrees in Economics from Universidade de Brasília and the University of London , and has taught and researched in universities in Brazil and Mozambique as well as the UK...

    . The Value of Marx: Political Economy for Contemporary Capitalism. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Schmidt, Alfred. The Concept of Nature in Marx. London: NLB, 1971.
  • Jerrold Seigel, Marx's fate: the shape of a life (Princeton University Press, 1978) ISBN 0271009357
  • Thomas T. Sekine
    Thomas T. Sekine
    Thomas T. Sekine is a Japanese economist and is considered to be one of the most important theorists on the field of Marx's theory of value. His main work The Dialectic of Capital was published in 1986. He is a scholar of Kozo Uno.-Main Work:...

    , The Dialectic of Capital. A Study of the Inner Logic of Capitalism, 2 volumes (preliminary edition), Tokyo 1986; ISBN 9784924750449 (vol. 1), ISBN 4924750344 (vol. 2)
  • Paul Strathern
    Paul Strathern
    Paul Strathern is a British writer and academic. He was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he travelled overland to India and the Himalayas...

    , "Marx in 90 Minutes", (Ivan R. Dee, 2001)
  • Thomas, Paul. Karl Marx and the Anarchists. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.
  • Walker, Frank Thomas. 'Karl Marx: a Bibliographic and Political Biography. (bj.publications), 2009.
  • Amy Wendling, Karl Marx on Technology and Alienation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
  • Francis Wheen
    Francis Wheen
    Francis James Baird Wheen is a British journalist, writer and broadcaster.-Early life and education:Wheen was born into an army family and educated at two independent schools: Copthorne Preparatory School near Crawley, West Sussex and Harrow School in north west London.-Life and career:Running...

    , Karl Marx: A Life, (Fourth Estate, 1999), ISBN 1857026373
  • Francis Wheen, Marx's Das Kapital, (Atlantic Books, 2006) ISBN 1843544008


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