Karl Marx

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Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, communist, and revolutionary, whose ideas played a significant role in the development of modern communism and socialism. Marx summarized his approach in the first line of chapter one of The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Marx argued that capitalism, like previous socioeconomic systems, would inevitably produce internal tensions which ####would lead to its destruction. Just as capitalism replaced feudalism, he believed socialism would, in its turn, replace capitalism, and lead to a stateless, classless society called pure communism. This would emerge after a transitional period called the "dictatorship of the proletariat": a period sometimes referred to as the "workers state" or "workers' democracy". While Marx remained a relatively obscure figure in his own lifetime, his ideas and the ideology of Marxism began to exert a major influence on workers' movements shortly after his death. This influence gained added impetus with the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian October Revolution in 1917, and few parts of the world remained significantly untouched by Marxian ideas in the course of the twentieth century. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science.

Influences on Marx's thought
Marx's thought demonstrates strong influences from:
• Hegel's dialectical method and historical orientation;
• the classical political economy of Adam Smith and David Ricardo;
• French socialist and sociological thought, in particular the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henri de Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier;
• earlier German philosophical materialism, particularly that of Ludwig Feuerbach
• the solidarity with the working class of Friedrich Engels
Marx's critiques of German philosophical idealism, British political economy, and French socialism depended heavily on the influence of Feuerbach and Engels. Hegel had thought in idealist terms, and Marx sought to rewrite dialectics in materialist terms. He wrote that Hegelianism stood the movement of reality on its head, and that one needed to set it upon its feet. Marx's acceptance of this notion of materialist dialectics which rejected Hegel's idealism was greatly influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach. In The Essence of Christianity, Feuerbach argued that God is really a creation of man and that the qualities people attribute to God are really qualities of humanity. Accordingly, Marx argued that it is the material world that is real and that our ideas of it are consequences, not causes, of the world. Thus, like Hegel and other philosophers, Marx distinguished between appearances and reality. But he did not believe that the material world hides from us the "real" world of the ideal; on the contrary, he thought that historically and socially specific ideology prevented people from seeing the material conditions of their lives clearly.

Some of his works:
• The Philosophical Manifesto of the Historical School of Law (1842)
• Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843
• On the Jewish Question, 1843
• Notes on James Mill, 1844
• Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, 1844
• The Holy Family, 1845
• Theses on Feuerbach, 1845
• The German Ideology, 1845
• The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847
• Wage-Labor and Capital, 1847
• Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848
• The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852
• Grundrisse, 1857
• A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, 1859
• Writings on the U.S. Civil War, 1861
• Theories of Surplus Value, 3 volumes, 1862
• Value, Price and Profit, 1865
• Capital, Volume I (Das Kapital), 1867
• The Civil War in France, 1871
• Critique of the Gotha Program, 1875
• Notes on Wagner, 1883
• Capital, Volume II [posthumously published by Engels], 1885
• Capital, Volume III [posthumously published by Engels], 1894

Sources

wikipedia

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