Who is Karl Heinrich Marx (Marx)?June 25, 2021
Karl Heinrich Marx (pronounced Karl Haynrih Marx) (5 May 1818 Trier – 14 March 1883 London) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist and revolutionary, and the theoretical founder of Communism in the most basic sense.
Karl Marx (1818-83) was born in Trier, Prussia, to a middle-class Jewish family. Marks was educated first at the University of Bonn and later at the University of Berlin. Here he discovered philosophy and became a member of a dynamic, socially conscious and active group of thinkers known as the “Young Hegelians”. Among the young Hegelians, there were theologians and philosophers who used Hegel’s theories and the belief that society as they knew it was far from perfection and in need of improvement. The group engaged in tireless and brutal attacks against the Prussian church and state.
In 1840, Marx wanted to avoid submitting his doctoral thesis on Greek atomists to the University of Berlin and instead try to submit it to the University of Jena. However, he chose to return to journalism as a career, as his views were too radical for academic circles. He moved to Paris and lived there as a freelance journalist. In Paris, he met with Friedrich Engels (1820– 95), who woke him up to the difficult and bad situation of the working classes.
Engels led Marx to study economics. The two worked and wrote together for the rest of Marks’ life. After settling in London, Marks joined the International Employees Association. The last years of his life were when he produced some of his most important writings. Above all, he wrote Das Kapital (subtitled “The Critique of Political Economy”). The first volume of the book was published in 1867, and the next two, edited by Engels after Marx’s death, were published in 1885 and 1894. As his health deteriorated rapidly in the last years of his life, Marks toured spas in Europe (and one in North Africa), but his health did not improve. The deaths of his wife and eldest daughter also wore him down and he died in 1883.
Although he has ideas on many political and social issues, he is best known for his analysis of history summarized in the opening sentence of The Communist Manifesto (1848): “The history of all societies hitherto is the history of class struggles.” Marx believed that capitalism, like all previous socioeconomic systems, would create internal dynamics that would lead to self-destruction. Just as capitalism took the place of obsolete feudalism, communism, a classless society, will take its place after the political transition, where “the state is nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat”.
Marx looked at socioeconomic changes from the perspective of a certain historical necessity. Capitalism will definitively give way to communism as a result of the dynamics and conflicts of its structural situation:
“The development of modern industry pulls from under the feet of the bourgeoisie the basis on which it produces and appropriates the products itself on the basis of it. What the bourgeoisie produces, then, is above all its own gravediggers. Its overthrow and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.” (Communist Manifesto)
On the other hand, Marx used to say that this change would come through an organized revolutionary movement. This change comes only through the united movement of the international working class:
“For us, communism is neither a state that must be created, nor an ideal to which reality has to adapt. We call the real movement communism that will put an end to the present state of affairs. The conditions for this movement arise from the premises that now exist.” (German Ideology)
Although Marx was not a world-renowned figure during his lifetime, his thoughts shaped the world labor movement shortly after his death. The Marxist Bolsheviks’ October Revolution in Russia is the biggest example of this. In the 20th century, there are very few countries in the world where Marxist thought did not visit. Marxism is the most debated topic in academic and political circles.
As a social scientist, historian, and revolutionary, Marx is undoubtedly the most influential socialist thinker. Although he was not given much attention by scientists during his lifetime, the social and political ideas he developed were widely accepted in the socialist movement after his death in 1883. Until yesterday, almost half of the world lived under regimes claiming to be Marxist.
However, even this achievement itself shows that Marx’s original ideas were ambiguous so that they could be adapted to very different political conditions. The belated publication of many of his writings also reveals that the opportunity for a fair assessment of Marx’s intellectual position has only been obtained quite recently.
Marx was born into a comfortable middle-class family in Trier, on the Moselle River, in Germany. Descendants of a number of rabbis on the maternal and paternal side