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Karl Marx

(18181883)
Philosopher, Economist, and Socialist.
Introduction

Born in Trier, Germany.


Studied political economy.
He developed his initial
ideology with Friedrich
Engels.
Published several famous
books.
The Communist Manifesto
Marxism

The Communist Manifesto (1848):


Human societies progress through class struggle.
Class struggle is the conflict between bourgeoisie (the ruling
class) and proletariat (the working class) in a society.
Class relationship: Bourgeoisie control the food production
and the proletariat get paid wages for their labor.
In capitalism, the ruling class exploit the working class and
oppress them.
The state is the means whereby the ruling
class forcibly maintains its rule over the other classes.
Karl Marxs criticism of Capitalism (Capital, Volume 1)

1. Theory of Alienation:
People experience estrangement from their work as modern
industry is divided up into parts.
Workers do not get to see the product of their hard work, therefore
become demotivated.
2. Commodification:
People are commodified i.e. turned into objects for an employers
use.
3. Insecurity in workers:
Modern work is insecure as technology replaces human labor.
Workers are in constant fear of being let go.
4. Income inequality:
Workers get paid little and capitalists get rich.
Karl Marks Proletarian Revolution

Karl Marx used the methodological approach, Historical materialism


(study of the development in human societies) to predict a revolution.
The revolution would overthrow capitalism just as capitalism had
replaced feudalism in the past.
The proletarian would overthrow the bourgeoisie in all capitalist
countries.
As a result, Communism would replace capitalism.
In communism, the means of production would be controlled by the
common people and for the common good.
Influence

Marx was thought to have been influenced by German


idealistic philosophy; French socialism, particularly from
Jean-Jacques Rousseau; and the working class analysis of
Friedrich Angels. Also influenced by Auguste Comte.
Legacy

Karl Marxs work has had great impact on world politics and
intellectual thought. The initial and later socialists mostly have
been influenced by Marx, most of whom cite him as their
authority.
Marxist ideals were embraced by communist revolutions in
Russia and China.
Influenced many revolutionists who have publicly called
themselves Marxists, famous figure include Che Guevara,
Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lennin.