Karl Marx

Karl Marx - One of the most significant political theorists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Marxism, a vast intellectual and cultural movement he founded, and communism, a global political movement he founded, both continued his work by spreading the ideas of class conflict, historical materialism, and the inherent contradictions of industrial capitalism.

I. Introduction about Karl Marx biography

The great aspiration of mankind is liberation and development. All his life, Karl Marx worked, struggled and made a great contribution to realizing that aspiration of mankind.

Who is Karl Marx?

1. Who is Karl Marx?

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818–1883) was an economist, social theorist, novelist, and philosopher. His ideas on capitalism, socialism, and communism are well known. 

The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 by Marx and Friedrich Engels. Later in life, Marx created Das Kapital, which explored the labor theory of value. The first volume was published in Berlin in 1867; the second and third volumes were released posthumously in 1885 and 1894, respectively.

2. Karl Marx early life 

Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, in the Rhineland, then part of Prussia. Marx's father was a liberal lawyer who converted to Protestantism from Judaism despite coming from a long line of rabbis. He did this for social reasons. Marx briefly studied at the University of Bonn before enrolling in the University of Berlin to study law, theology, and philosophy. He belonged to the Poets' Club in Bonn, which had numerous political radicals among its members. He joined the Doctor Club in Berlin, where he became friends with the Young Hegelians, whose writings he would later appropriate for his historical materialism lectures. 

Marx produced some poetry and fiction during his college years, and we also have access to a number of the love poems he wrote to his sweetheart Jenny von Westphalen. After courting as youngsters, Jenny and Karl got married after finishing their studies, had seven kids, and remained together into old age.

Karl Marx early life

Germany, Rhineland Palatinate, Trier

At the University, in 1836, in addition to jurisprudence, history and foreign languages, Karl Marx began to deeply study philosophy. In the spring of 1837, Karl Marx began to carefully study the works of Hegel. From 1839 to 1840, Karl Marx focused on studying the problems of the history of ancient philosophy. On April 15, 1841, at the age of 23, Karl Marx received a doctorate in philosophy.

Young Hegelians, a group of students who opposed the political and religious establishments of the time, introduced him to radicalism when he was a young boy. In 1841, Marx graduated with a doctorate from the University of Jena. He couldn't get a teaching job because of his radical beliefs, so he became a journalist and later the editor of the liberal Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne.

Karl Marx is a person with the ability to think independently, creatively, with a passion for scientific research. In particular, Karl Marx soon had the spirit of revolutionary democracy and atheism; has a humanitarian spirit, loves people and loves freedom with the dream of liberating people from all forms of oppression, injustice, and enslavement.

3. Karl Marx Sociology 

a. Contribution

Karl Marx, a 19th-century theorist, was the source of the theories, writings, and ideas that gave rise to the Marxist theoretical worldview (born in modern-day Germany in 1818). Today, the study of sociology, economics, history, and a host of other areas still rely heavily on his views. Karl Marx wrote during the Industrial Revolution, a period of intense societal transformation.

The Industrial Revolution is a term used to describe a period in Western Europe when rural agricultural cultures were transformed into industrialized urban working centers, especially in England and Germany. During this time, industry, railroads, and the movement for rights in most facets of society all come into being. 

It is important to keep in mind that the developments of that era affected Marx as he wrote because the repercussions of the industrial revolution can still be felt now. Karl Marx  views are widely accepted today, and his concepts have been expanded upon and modernized so that they may be used to understand current society.

 Karl Marx Sociology

b. Conflict Theory

Conflict theory is the name given to the sociology that Karl Marx has contributed to. According to conflict theories, societies are constantly at odds with one another because they are engaged in competition. Conflict theories include both Marxist and Neo-Marxist ideologies. Feminism is a different sociological viewpoint that is referred to as a conflict theory.

c. Karl Marx main ideas in Sociology 

The majority of Karl Marx contributions to sociology have been taken from his writings. Marx published The Communist Manifesto, Capital Vol. 1, Capital Vol. 2, and other works throughout his life. Through the theoretical prism of Marxism, current events have been examined and explained using the theories presented in his literature. 

Marxists, sometimes known as neo-Marxists, are thought leaders who support Marxist ideology. Even though the concepts may differ, the terms are frequently used synonymously. 

What then is the thesis that Karl Marx formulated in his writings? What is Marxism ? 

  • In a capitalist society, production : Marxist theory diverges from the capitalist society's mode of production, which describes how things are made. The means of production and the social relations of production are the other two divisions of the mode of production;

  • Social stratification in a capitalist society : The social classes that exist in a society vary depending on the epoch (century) in which you live. Karl Marx argues that there are various social classes present within the capitalist era in which we currently live;

  • Class conflict : The majority of the theories that follow will emphasize the exploitative connection between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat because Marxism is a conflict theory. In short, Marx's thesis holds that only through a revolution and the adoption of communism as a system of government will the proletariat be able to achieve true freedom from oppression. The communist epoch, which would be "classless" and devoid of exploitation and private ownership, would succeed the capitalist epoch.

d. Karl Marx impact on Sociology

Sociology has been greatly influenced by Karl Marx. Marxist perspectives are prevalent in almost all sociological fields. Consider the following outlines:

  • Marxist theory in education : According to Bowles and Gintis, the educational system generates a certain class of workers for the capitalist economy. The class structure is ingrained in children as a standard and an unavoidable reality.

  • Marxist theory on the family : Eli Zaretsky contends that by enabling women to perform unpaid work, the family meets the interests of the capitalist society. Additionally, he contends that by spending a lot of money on luxury products and services, the family supports the requirements of the capitalist society and ultimately boosts the capitalist economy. 

  • Marxist theory on crime : Marxists contend that the majority of criminal activity in capitalist society is rooted in consumerism and materialism. Crimes committed by the proletariat are targeted, but bourgeoisie offenses (such fraud and tax evasion) are disregarded.

II. Karl Marx theories

Marx's own field of economics, Marxian economics, is not favored by contemporary mainstream thought, despite the fact that it was inspired by classical political economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Marx's theories have nevertheless had a significant impact on society, particularly in communist endeavors like those in the USSR, China, and Cuba. Karl Marx continues to have a significant impact on contemporary intellectuals in the areas of sociology, political economy, and several subfields of heterodox economics. 

Karl Marx argued that the extraction of surplus labor and the chaotic character of free market competition are the two main defects in capitalism that cause businesses to exploit employees. Karl Marx concluded by saying that capitalism would ultimately fail as more people were relegated to the working class, inequality increased, and competition would drive corporate profits to zero. He predicted that this would result in a revolution where the entire working class would take control of production.

Karl Marx’s theories on communism and capitalism formed the basis of Marxism. His main ideas were critical of capitalism and its flaws. Marx believed that capitalism would eventually self-destruct. A classless society would be established as a result of the alienated, oppressed workers overthrowing the owners and seizing control of the means of production themselves.

1. Karl Marx communism

The political and economic ideology of communism opposes liberal democracy and capitalism and advocates for a system without classes in which the means of production are owned collectively and private property is nonexistent or severely restricted.

Marx's description of a communist society is strikingly (and possibly purposefully) hazy. Contrary to earlier "utopian socialists," such as Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen, whom Karl Marx and Engels ridiculed as unscientific and impractical, Marx did not create detailed plans for a future society. He did mention some elements, like public education and a graduated income tax, which are now standard. Other elements still hold true to their radical nature from Marx's time, such as public ownership of the primary means of production and the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" in the distribution of goods and services. Although Marx was reluctant to "write recipes for the kitchens of the future," many of his followers were not. In the main, Marx believed that the institutions of a future communist society should be designed and decided upon democratically by the people living in it. Friedrich Engels, a friend and fellow author, was one of them.

After Marx's passing in 1883, Engels took over as the principal exponent of Marxist theory, which he streamlined and modified in a number of ways. Marxist theory became more rigid and deterministic under his interpretation of it, which he called "scientific socialism," than Karl Marx had intended. Marx's historical materialism, which holds that only physical matter and its motions are real, thus evolved into a subset of philosophical materialism. Everything, including history, nature, and even human thought, can be reduced to matter moving in accordance with the same immutable "iron laws" of motion, according to Engels' science of "dialectics." The foundation for the later growth of dialectical materialism in the Soviet Union was this modification of Marxist theory.

Karl Marx theories

Monument of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

2. Karl Marx Capitalism 

The technology and work habits that men and women use to exploit their environment to meet their needs are, strictly speaking, the forces of production. These forces of production are expressed in men's interactions with one another, which are not dependent on any one person and are not guided by personal desires or goals. Karl Marx uses the term "relations of production" to refer to the social relationships that people enter into through participation in economic life, whereas industrialism would be a particular "force of production" and capitalism would be a particular "relation of production." The relationships that people (men and women) form with one another when they use available raw materials and technologies to achieve their production objectives are known as the relations of production.

The market and factory, for instance, emerged in the feudal system but were incompatible with the feudal way of life. A professional merchant class was created by the market, and a new proletariat was created by the factory (or class of workers). As a result, tensions were created within the old institutional arrangements as a result of new inventions and the application of new technologies, and the old social classes based on manorial farming were in danger of being replaced by the new ones. Conflict followed, followed by a revolution that created a new ruling class based on the new production forces. Based on new economic forms, a new class structure and a change in the distribution of wealth and power emerged. Capitalism replaced feudalism, and factories and capital ownership replaced land ownership as the predominant form of capital.

Karl Marx argued that capitalism also carries the seeds of its own demise, just like feudalism did. It creates a group of workers known as the proletariat who are fundamentally opposed to the capitalist class and who will eventually unite to overthrow the government they are dependent upon. In a subsequent lecture, we'll discuss the revolution's development.

3. Karl Marx religion

“Religion is the opium of the people. It is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of our soulless conditions.”

Karl Marx and his ideas are sometimes derided by religious people because they believe he called religion "the opiate of the masses," but this isn't exactly what he said. Additionally, he wasn't always against religion or its function in society. 

Marx's remarks on religion can be found in his unfinished project A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy, which is, of course, in German. He uses the German word Volk, which generally means "the people" as opposed to "the masses," as his critics prefer to assert. 

Overall, Karl Marx is speaking as a secular humanist rather than as a man of faith. He does, however, seem to imply that religion could play a largely beneficial role in an exploitative and alienating society. Some of our most religious citizens wear the biggest blinders when it comes to the disturbing habit of killing one another over religious differences. Marx is correct, though, in saying that wherever they may be, "heart" and "soul" are needed in our society.

4. Karl Marx philosophy

There are countless interpretations of the "philosophy of Marx," both inside and outside the Marxist movement. Étienne Balibar has noted that Marx's works can be divided into "economic works" ( 1867), "philosophical works," and "historical works," despite the fact that some have divided them into a "young Marx" and a "mature Marx" (especially the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844) or into purely philosophical, economic, and political interventions (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, the 1871 Civil War in France which concerned the Paris Commune and acclaimed it as the first "dictatorship of the proletariat", etc.) 

Thus, Marx's philosophy is intimately connected to his critique of political economy and to his historical interventions in the workers' movement, such as the 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program or The Communist Manifesto, which he co-wrote with Engels (who was observing the Chartist movement) a year before the Revolutions of 1848). Karl Marx ideas changed after the socialist movement in France was crushed in Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup in 1851 and again after the fall of the Paris Commune in 1871. 

Thus, it was a common explanation for Marxism's philosophical foundations to come from three sources: German idealist philosophy, French republicanism, and radicalism, and English political economy. This "three sources" model is oversimplified, but it still holds some amount of validity.

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it," said Karl Marx in 1845. He altered it. 

In the 19th and 20th centuries, political movements that stood for large groups of newly employed industrial workers—many of whom were inspired by his ideas—reformed and revolutionized society. His work had an impact on labor unions, labor parties, social democratic parties, and helped communist parties in Europe and elsewhere ignite revolution. There were "Marxist" governments established all over the world that claimed to be dedicated to his principles and upheld extreme interpretations of his ideas as part of their official doctrine. 

Marx's ideas were revolutionary. It eventually sparked debates in all major languages, as well as in philosophy, history, politics, and economics. Even the discipline of sociology was aided by it. His work continues to aid theorists in making sense of the intricate social structures that shape our lives, even though his influence in the social sciences and humanities is less than it once was.

III. Karl Marx Quotes 

Karl Marx spent decades living in exile in London with his wife and children after becoming stateless as a result of his political writings. Marx's political and philosophical ideas had a significant impact on later historical periods of thought, economies, and politics. His name has been applied to a social theory school, an adjective, and a noun.

Some of Karl Marx best quotes are:

  •  Last words are for fools who haven't said enough;

  • Religion is the opium of the masses;

  • History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce;

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

  • Revolutions are the locomotives of history;

  • The history of all previous societies have been the history of class struggles;

  • There is a specter haunting Europe, the specter of Communism;

  • Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please;

  • From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs;

  • Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains;

  • Capitalism: Teach a man to fish but the fish he catches aren't his. They belong to the person paying him to fish and if he's lucky he might get paid enough to buy a few fish for himself;

  • The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.

IV. Karl Marx books and Poems

1. What book did Karl Marx write?

At least fifteen full multi-volume books by Karl Marx were written and published during his lifetime, in addition to a large number of pamphlets, articles, and essays. He frequently wrote in the reading rooms of the British Museum in London. 

The Communist Manifesto, which is arguably his most well-known work, is an attempt to explain the objectives of Marxism and later, socialism, by summarizing Marx and Engels' theories about the nature of society and politics. Karl Marx and Engels explained in The Communist Manifesto why they believed capitalism was unsustainable and that the capitalist society that existed at the time would eventually give way to a socialist one. 

Das Kapital was a thorough three-volume critique of capitalism that is known in English as Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. It lays out Marx's theories on the production of commodities, labor markets, the social division of labor, and a fundamental understanding of the rate of return to owners of capital. It is by far the most academic work. Engels published the third volume after Marx's passing, which was largely based on his notes because he passed away before it was finished. Numerous aspects of capitalism's theories and criticisms are still relevant today, including the emergence of monopolistic mega-corporations, high rates of unemployment, and the ongoing conflict between employees and employers.

 What book did Karl Marx write?

Although Karl Marx focused on economic issues in his writings, sociology and history have benefited most from his contributions. The "dialectical" model, which views every social system as having immanent forces within it that give rise to "contradictions" (disequilibria) that can only be resolved by a new social system, was Marx's most significant contribution to sociological theory. Neo-Marxists continue to approach capitalist society using this model even though they no longer subscribe to the economic theory presented in Das Kapital. In this sense, Marx's mode of analysis, along with those of Thomas Malthus, Herbert Spencer, or Vilfredo Pareto, has evolved into one of the theoretical frameworks that are the social scientist's legacy.

2. Karl Marx poems 

By 1837, Karl Marx was writing both fiction and non-fiction. He had already finished the plays Oulanem and Scorpion and Felix as well as several love poems for Jenny von Westphalen. All of this early writing was never published while he was alive.

The love poems were included in the first volume of the Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Karl Marx soon gave up fiction in favor of other interests, such as the study of both Italian and English, art history, and the translation of Latin classics. In 1840, he started working with Bruno Bauer on editing Hegel's Philosophy of Religion. Marx was also working on The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, his doctoral thesis, which he finished in 1841. The essay was divisive, especially among the conservative professors at the University of Berlin. It was called "a daring and original piece of work in which Karl Marx set out to show that theology must yield to the superior wisdom of philosophy."

Karl Marx made the decision to submit his thesis to the more liberal University of Jena, and in April 1841, the faculty there conferred a Ph.D. on him. As atheists, Marx and Bauer started making plans in March 1841 for a publication called Archiv des Atheismus (Atheistic Archives), but it was never published. Marx and Bauer traveled from Berlin to Bonn in July. By getting wasted, laughing in church, and galloping through the streets on donkeys, they embarrassed their class there.

V. Where was Karl Marx buried 

When Karl Marx died in 1883, he was buried under a plain, flat slab on a small side path at Highgate, with only a dozen people attending his funeral. Marx's remains were transferred to a more visible location in the cemetery in 1954, and a monument was added. The grave had been neglected for many years and had become increasingly obscured by overgrown weeds. Along with his wife, one of his daughters, two grandchildren, and the family housekeeper, he is interred there. 

The enormous granite gravestone, which is topped by a bronze bust of Karl Marx, has been listed as a monument by the British government as having special historical significance. Two of his most well-known quotes, "Workers of all lands unite" and "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways," are inscribed on the stone. But changing it is the point. 

Marx's is one of the last notable graves in the cemetery's eastern alleys before visitors are enticed into a charming maze of smaller, crumbling tombs covered in weeds or cracked by tree roots that have reclaimed some ground. 

According to Mary Davis, a labor history professor and the secretary of the Karl Marx Memorial Library in London, visitors from nations like China and Cuba have traditionally paid respects at Marx's grave on the anniversary of his passing. The location has drawn those seeking a symbolic final resting place as well. For example, former members of Communist parties from countries like Iraq, Serbia, and South Africa are interred near Karl  Marx. Due to the cameras keeping an eye on their famous neighbor, those graves may now also be constantly watched.

VI. 10 Facts about Karl Marx

The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818–1883) believed that the end of capitalism would be a workers' uprising in which the working class (or proletariat) would seize the means of production from the elites (or bourgeoisie) and share them in a new, classless society characterized by economic equity. Marx did not invent communism, but he did spend most of his life popularizing the socialist dictum, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Ten things about Marx's life and work are listed below.

10 Facts about Karl Marx

1. The reasons for his Baptism at the age of six were most likely Political

Karl Marx mother's father was a rabbi, and his paternal ancestors had been rabbis in Trier, Prussia (now in eastern Germany) since 1723. Following the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, the French government left Prussia, and the new administration started enforcing a law prohibiting Jews from holding professional or public office. Heinrich Marx, a successful attorney, converted to Lutheranism in 1816, probably as a result of the law. In 1824, Marx and his siblings underwent baptism.

2. Authorities reportedly raided his high school

Karl Marx was instructed at home by Heinrich, who was greatly influenced by Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire, until 1830. Marx enrolled at Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium after that. Johann Hugo Wyttenbach, the headmaster, frequently employed liberal educators who supported logic and the right to free speech. Police raided the school in 1832, when Marx was matriculating, because they believed it was sheltering revolutionaries.

3. His "WEAK CHEST" allowed him to avoid entry to the military

Karl Marx managed to avoid being drafted into the military due to his "weak chest," a nebulous diagnosis that was undoubtedly made worse by his late-night drinking, poor diet, drinking, and chain smoking. In a letter to Marx, his father even offered advice on how to stay out of the military: "If you can, arrange to be given good certificates there by competent and well-known physicians, and you can do it with good conscience... but to be consistent with your conscience, do not smoke too much."

4. His College experience was characterized by a Duel and Jail time

Beginning in 1835, Karl Marx enrolled at the University of Bonn, but it appears that he spent the majority of his time intoxicated and disorderly. He joined the Poets' Club, a radical political organization, and served as co-president of the Trier Tavern Club, a drinking club that clashed with the more aristocratic groups on campus. His involvement in the latter resulted in a 24-hour jail sentence. He also came into conflict with the Borussia Korps, a militant organization that coerced college students into swearing allegiance to Prussian rule. Karl Marx once agreed to a duel with a member of the Borussia Korps in which he was injured over his left eye and carried a gun to defend himself (which got him into more trouble with the police). He transferred to the University of Berlin's more demanding atmosphere after spending a year in Bonn.

5. He married a friend from his childhood in a contentious ceremony

Before Karl Marx was born, his father had cultivated a friendship with Ludwig von Westphalen, a liberal Prussian aristocrat. He introduced Marx to his daughter Jenny von Westphalen when she was five years old and he was one. Even though they didn't share the same social class and men marrying older women was taboo in Prussia at the time, Jenny and Marx got engaged when she was 22 after she called off an earlier engagement to a young aristocrat.

6. Marx absorbed the funeral of his father

Marx's turbulent college years caused a rift in his family, showing his intellectual disobedience to their bourgeois complacency. Once he started attending the University of Berlin, Marx refused to go visit them. A year before he passed away, his father, horrified by his son's imprudence, suggested that Karl Marx try to gain social respectability by penning an ode that extols Prussia and its rulers. Marx had no desire to submit, so he wrote that it should "afford the opportunity of allotting a role to the genius of the monarchy... If executed in a patriotic and German spirit with depth of feeling, such an ode would itself be sufficient to lay the foundation for a reputation." Karl Marx did not return from Berlin when Heinrich Marx passed away in May 1838 from tuberculosis.

7. For Money, he depended on Engels

Karl Marx only spent two years in Paris, a center of political thought in the middle of the 19th century, but it was there that he first met Friedrich Engels at the Café de la Régence and began one of the most significant philosophical relationships in modern history. Engels' practical knowledge as the proprietor of his family's textile mill influenced Marx's conception of the proletariat. Additionally, they worked together on a number of essays, including The Communist Manifesto, and Engels provided the funding for the publication of Das Kapital. 

Engels also frequently provided Marx with financial support so that his family could survive (capitalism was not kind to the philosopher). The wealthy industrialist profited from the labor of his employees while working with Marx to promote a system that would challenge his own dominance.

8. He kept receiving travel bans from nations 

In his biography, orders to leave a country within 24 hours frequently appear. When Tsar Nicholas I requested that Marx's newspaper, the Rheinische Zeitung, be outlawed in Prussia in 1843, he set the precedent. As a result, Karl Marx left for France and joined as co-editor of a radical left-leaning publication in Paris. His brand-new magazine, Vorwarts, was shut down by the French government in 1845. , and kicked Marx out. He next traveled to Belgium, but after being detained there in 1848 on charges that he had used a third of his inheritance to arm laborers, he fled to France (which was then governed by a new government) before returning to Prussia to found the disastrous Neue Rheinische Zeitung. 

In May 1849, the government shut down the paper and ordered Marx to leave Prussia; however, when he fled to France, the Parisian government also expelled him; as a result, Marx and his wife, who was carrying their fourth child, sought refuge in London. He established a life in England but passed away without any nationality.

9. He was suffering from poor health. 

Marx's health issues, according to his biographer Werner Blumenberg, included headaches, eye inflammation, joint pain, insomnia, liver and gallbladder issues, and depressive symptoms. Marx referred to his health issues as "the wretchedness of existence." Marx's bad habits, including working late into the night, eating foods that tax the liver, and smoking and drinking excessively, most likely made the pain worse. Karl Marx continued to work despite suffering from excruciating boils in 1863 that prevented him from sitting down. 

According to recent studies, Marx may have suffered from hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful skin condition that can also lead to poor moods and a negative self-image. Not to mention the "weak chest" he had at the age of 18, which may have been brought on by pleurisy, an inflammatory disease of the lungs and thorax. He eventually passed away at the age of 64 from that illness.

10. During his life, his love Poems and Novels were UNPUBLISHED

Karl Marx wrote several love poems to Jenny, a play that was based in an Italian mountain town, and a satirical book called Scorpion and Felix in addition to his political theories and economic endeavors. All of his writing, including the fragments of Scorpion and Felix, was published posthumously in the 50-volume collection of Marx and Engels' Collected Works. None of his fiction was ever published during his lifetime.


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