Karl Marx

Akhil Chawla
English 10 Honors
Mr. Immler
May 17, 2000
The Life of Karl Marx
Karl Marx was one of the greatest thinkers ever. Studying law and philosophy, he became an important social philosopher and revolutionary. He influenced the lives of millions of people in generations well past his. A man of mystery in the democratic societies, Karl Marx led an interesting life of new ideas that would influence millions in the future.
Karl Marx was born on May 5th, 1818 (Karl Marx). He was the eldest son of Heinrich and Hennrietta Marx. He was born in Trier, Germany. Karl was the oldest surviving boy of nine children (Coser). Heinrich Marx was a very successful and well-educated lawyer (“Marx, Karl”, Britannica). Both parents were Jewish and descended from a long line of rabbis. About a year before Karl was born, Heinrich and Henrietta converted. Karl’s Jewish background brought him some prejudice (“Marx, Karl”, Encarta). The prejudices, which he may heave experienced in his early life, may have brought him to question the role of religion in society, which may have influenced his desire for social change.

Marx was educated from 1830 to 1835 in his hometown (“Marx, Karl”, Britannica). In October, 1835, he went off to college at the University at Bonn. Marx generally studied humanities (Coser). Marx left Bonn after a year and in October 1836. He then enrolled at the University of Berlin to study law and philosophy (“Marx, Karl”, Grolier). Marx’s studies were not his top priority here, and he soon found himself behind. He submitted an application to the university at Jena, which was known to have low standards in its academic requirements. Karl was accepted and received his degree in April of 1841(“Marx, Karl”, Encarta).

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Marx was only seventeen years of age when he got engaged. He engaged to Jenny von Westphalen in 1837. Marx’s parents were very opposed to the engagement because of Marx’s young age (Basgen).

In January 1842 Marx began contributing to a newspaper newly founded in Cologne. It was called the Rheinische Zeitung. Cologne was the center of industries in Prussia (“Marx, Karl”, Britannica). On October 15th, 1842, Marx became editor of the Rheinische Zeitung. He was required to write many editorials from a variety of social issues. He also wrote about the new phenomenon of communism (“Marx, Karl”, Grolier).

On June 19th, 1843, Karl Heinrich Marx was wedded to Jenny von Westphalen. The marriage took place seven years after their engagement (Marx). Jenny was an attractive, intelligent, and much-admired woman. She was four years older than Karl (“Marx, Karl”, Britannica). Karl Marx’s wife was the sister of the women who later became the Prussian Minister of the Interior (Walmsley). Jenny gave birth to seven children, one dying at birth, leaving six. Their names were Jenny, Laura, Edgar, Heinrich, Franziska, and Eleanor. Only Jenny, Laura, and Eleanor survived into their teens (Basgen).

After much writing on social problems Karl began to take much interest in communism, which was a new idea being spread (Walmsley). Marx decided to summarize these ideas into his own book. He would change the way people lived for years to come. In late 1847 Karl Marx wrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party, commonly called the Communist Manfesto (“Marx, Karl”, Grolier). It covers all aspects of communism. All communist governments were based off of the Communist Manifesto (“Marx, Karl”, Encarta). It consists of four parts; they are “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, “Proletarians and Communists”, “Socialist and Communist Literature”, and “Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties”. After the publishing of the Manifesto of the Communist Party Marx’s name spread across Europe and then around the world.
Karl Marx led an interesting life of new ideas that would influence millions in the future. After his childhood in Trier, Germany, Marx went on to become a successful and well-known philosopher (“Marx, Karl”, Encarta). He was guided by his idol, Heinrich Marx, his father, who was a very well educated lawyer and an intellectual (Marx). After creating one of the most famous books in the world, the Communist Manifesto, Marx lived the rest of his life as an admired man until his death in 1818 (Coser). The name of Karl Marx is one that will always be noted in the history of communism.


Works Cited
Basgen, Brian. Jenny von Westphalen. Internet. 14 May 2000 .

Coser. Marx. Internet. 11 May 2000 < http://www.runet.edu/~lridener /DSS/INDEX.HTML#marx>.

Karl Marx. Marxists. Internet. 9 May 2000 .

“Marx, Karl.” Encarta. Windows, Ver. 95. CD-ROM. Encarta, 1998.
“Marx, Karl.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Windows, Ver. 95. CD-ROM.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1999.

“Marx, Karl.” Grolier Encyclopedia. Windows, Ver. 95. CD-ROM. Grolier
Encyclodpedia, 2000.

Walmsley, Trevor. “Karl Marx by Frederick Engels”. Internet. 12 May 2000 .

Karl Marx

Karl Marx
Karl Marx:
Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in a place called Trier in Prussia. His parents were of Jewish descent, however they did not practice Judaism. In 1824 Karl’s father adopted Protestantism. Marx attended the university of Bonn and later the university at Berlin, where he studied in law, while majoring in history and philosophy. After his education, Marx associated himself with the “Left Hegelians,” along with Bruno Bauer, which were a group who formed atheistic and revolutionary ideas from Hegel’s philosophy. The Young Hegelians practiced philosophical idealism. Here he first meet Arnold Ruge and Ludwig Feuerbach. In 1842 Marx and Bruno Bauer were asked to contribute to the Rheinische Zeitung, a German paper, in Cologne. At the time Marx started, the paper had only 400 subscribers. Marx in October of 1842, became editor-in-chief, and decided to move from Bonn to Cologne. As the paper became more and more revolutionary and widely read, the government decided to censor, and eventually suppress it. The paper was banned in March of 1843. At this time, it had more than 3,400 subscribers from all over Germany. Karl Marx was married to his childhood friend Jenny von Westphalen, in 1843. Later in the fall of that year Marx along with another Left Hegelian, Arnold Ruge, moved to Paris and began publication of a radical journal entitled Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher. However due to the problems in publishing such a radical paper, only one issue appeared. Karl met his closest friend in September of 1844, when Frederick Engels arrived in Paris. Together they participated in the activities of many revolutionary communities. They formed the theory and ideas of revolutionary proletarian socialism, also known as communism. Also in 1844, Marx wrote a revolutionary book called the Holy Family. It is a materialist view of the history of man. Basically, it was a critique on his former philosophy group, “The Young Hegelians.” It expressed the view of history being mans activities. “History’ is not, as it were, a person apart, using man as a means to achieve its own aims; history is nothing but the activity of man pursuing his own aims.” Finally in 1845 Marx was banished from Paris as a dangerous revolutionary. He wrote satirical poems for revolutionary-democrats. The paper, “Vorwarts”, was attack by reactionary papers asking for government banning or censorship, but instead they banned Marx from Paris. He decided to head for Brussels, where he and Engels joined, in 1847, a group called the Communist League. At the leagues request, Marx and Engels drew up the Communist Manifesto in 1848. This is one of the most well known works of the pair. Once the Revolution of February 1848 took place, Marx was again banished, except this time from Belgium. He returned to France for the March Revolution, and then traveled to Germany where he published the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, from June 1, 1848 to May 19, 1849. Again Marx was banished from Germany, and again he returned to Paris. After the demonstration of June 13 1849, Karl Marx, was, yes, banished once again. That would be the last time Karl Marx was banished anywhere. His last trip would take him to London where he would live for the rest of his life. Marx lived a hard life in London. If it had not been for the financial help from his good friend Engels, he would have not been able to continue his lifelong struggle. Marx got himself involved in political activity in the 1850’s and 1860’s with the revival of democratic activities. Most of the important works written by Marx can be summed up by the results of the revolution in “The Class Struggle of France.” In these works Marx shows for the first time materialist dialec…..tics to the study of an entire historical period. Marx tells the entire tall of causes, character, and course of the French bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1848. In March of 1950, Marx tried to reorganize the Communist League. In his efforts to reorganize this League, he wrote several address for the Central Committee. These address’ outlined the need to continue this League and gave local branches slogans and demands. After a few more address’ the League was restored. In 1951, Marx had no regular income. It was difficult for him to support his family. In the summer or that year, he became a correspondent for New York Times. Even then, income was irregular. Because of such hardships, the Marx family lived in very poor conditions. The Marx were so poor that only 3 of the 7 children survived. Once on better grounds of living, Marx once again studied political economy. He worked with vigor to gain a true understanding of the economy. To do so, he even studied natural science and mechanical science. Through his research, he critiqued Ricardo’s view on capital, the view that it is plainly wealth. Marx concluded that capital was “Capital is the sum-total of values which is again designated for the production, a sum not only of products nor even for the production of products, but a sum for the production of values.” This means that Ricardo’s belief is a sum of things. Marx’s belief is that capital is a definite social relation. The social relation coincides with the historical stage of commodity production. In 1857, Marx formed his revolution in political economy. Between 1850 and 1860, the volume of transaction in the world market doubled, railway was tripled, and banks boomed. Marx, with his extensive background, predicted the over production crisis. There were sharp cut backs, massive close downs, numerous bankruptcies, closing markets, plummeting prices and the like. Marx wrote many articles revealing why the world wide capitalist crisis occurred. Marx’s view shows that capitalism is a cycle where over production is inevitable. Marx then wrote his manuscripts of economy. Marx also became the leader of the International Working Men’s Association, for whom he wrote the first address. He also wrote resolutions and manifestoes for this group. Capital is book on the history and current economy. Capital was published in volumes. In the first volume he summarizes A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, a critique written in 1858. Marx also begins with an analysis of commodity. The meat of capital is placed on exploitation of wage labor. Marx discovered the fact that it is not labor itself, but labor power that is the commodity which the worker sells and the capitalist purchases. This is the key discovery for the connection for the determination of the commodity value by labor. Capital also establishes two main points. The first is that the capitalist can increase the rate of surplus value by prolonging the working day. This is absolute surplus value. The second is by increasing the intensity of the working day. This is relative surplus value. Marx covers every aspect of capitalist economy, and depicts every flaw. Though never completed, it is the work of his life time. On December 2, 1881, His lifelong wife passed away. Marx’s health declined due to his strenuous work with the International and the Capital. And just more than a year later Karl Marx died peacefully at his home. Both were buried at Highgate Cemetery in London, where they still lie today. Marx has affected nearly all aspects, whether it be economy, politics, natural science, Darwinism, or even philosophy. His impacts have positively changed the world even still today, Marx’s ingenious is all around us.

Karl Marx

.. ers have other, often conflicting, identities. One is not only a worker – or a capitalist-but also a Frenchman, a German, or an Italian; a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew; a conservative, a liberal, or a radical; a citizen of a state or a subject of a sovereign; a holder of ethical opinions; and – a man or a woman. It is hard for people to sort out what their self-interest is and harder to act on it. We are not entitled to the presumption that membership in a class is the ultimate reality that will dominate all the others. Only an examination of specific circumstances will tell us which identity takes precedence at a given moment.

Successful modern politicians instinctively know this. I am reminded of my short-lived experience as an industrial worker in the late 1940s when I was shocked to hear the white workers abuse the black workers behind their backs; and women, of whom there were none on the shop floor, spoken of in disrespectful language. I had been somewhat misled about what to expect. In spite of a widespread belief to the contrary, Marx and Engels did not assert that a socialist revolution was inevitable. A revolution would come about only by the political activity of the working class.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The authors of the Manifesto considered the possibility of what they called the ruin of the contending parties. This fact is noted by Hobsbawm in his introduction. The world wars of the twentieth century, the Great Depression, fascism, and Soviet communism are ample illustrations of this point. The workers of the world had more than their chains to lose. They had their lives to lose.

And they did. Further on in the Manifesto, Marx and Engels discuss the relations of workers and communists. The communists are not a separate party, they declare, and have no separate interests. Their role is to point out the common concerns of the workers and to represent the interests of the movement as a whole. This is a far cry from Lenin and Stalin. Which brings up the inevitable question: how far are Marx and Engels responsible for the blunders and crimes committed in their names? Everyone must judge for himself.

A reasonable answer might be: as far as Jesus was responsible for Torquemada and Moses was responsible for Netanyahu. Marx and Engels also discuss utopian socialism, which they dismiss as small-scale, middle class, do-good, fantastic. We are entitled to ask whether the views put forth in The Communist Manifesto are not also a fantasy. We would have to say that the effort to predict the future from the past, with the degree of confidence implied in the language of the Manifesto, is itself a fantasy. As much so the idealization of the working class as a class with a mission to liberate humanity from several thousand years of oppression.

But that is not the last word. Their understanding of capitalism as an epoch in history that is both expansive and unstable is the foundation for any realistic discussion of the system in which we live. Socialist and reform parties have challenged capitalism, have even administered it at times, and have taken off some of its raw edges. Even today, after all their failures in the twentieth century, social democratic parties are either in power or form the main opposition in most countries of Europe. With all their doctrinal changes, they are still carriers of a secular ideal. Ironically, capitalism has turned back on itself over the last twenty-five years and in 1998 looks more like the capitalism of the Manifesto than it did in 1948, 1958, or 1968.

Eighteen million workers are unemployed in Europe. The gap between rich and poor has grown everywhere. The welfare state is under assault. The sweatshops of 1998 look like those of 1898. International financial manipulations are beyond the control of sovereign states.

We have suffered a Sisyphus syndrome, rolling the stone of reform up the hill from 1945 to 1973, only to see it roll back down again. Eric Hobsbawm puts it bluntly: at the beginning of the new millennium, triumphant capitalism is out of control. What of socialism in the future? It will be premised on the failure of the socialist and communist parties of the twentieth century. It must be different. It may not even be called socialism, which is immaterial. If capitalism is reformed to the point where majorities truly control the political, social, and economic policies of state and superstate organizations, the system will no longer be capitalism.

It will be postcapitalism under some name that we or our grandchildren choose to give it. The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened the way to a hitherto impossible convergence of socialist, labor, and reformist movements. This point was impressed on me by Donald Sassoon, author of a masterly book on the European left, One Hundred Years of Socialism. Everyone is speaking to everyone else in civil tones again. The self-defeating split between social democrats and communists has passed into history. They are prepared to present friendly socialism, friendly Labourism (British), and friendly reformism (U.S.) to the electorate.

They are prepared to experiment with many different forms of social organization, much along the lines that Alec Nove pointed out in his 1991 book, The Economics of Feasible Socialism Revisited. People do not want to be scared out of their wits. They want feasibility, not apocalypse. For skeptics who doubt the possibility of change for the good, I would like to point out that the sense of what is legitimate and what is not is subject to change. It was once acceptable to spit on the sidewalk, blow your nose in the air, break wind in public, perform surgery without handwashing, smoke in crowded rooms, drive drunk, subordinate women, own slaves, and exclude citizens from voting. None of these practices any longer make sense.

Is it too much to believe that desperately poor children, sick people without adequate care, poor people who live in dilapidated houses and send their children to dilapidated schools, people who hold jobs that leave them in poverty, and involuntary joblessness itself, will some day be viewed as an intolerable social blight? Won’t the day come when the present indecent disparities in wealth and power will appear as outmoded and unacceptable as the medieval disparities between lord and serf appear to us today? The point of The Communist Manifesto is not that preconceived historical changes are inevitable, but that they are brought about by political movements within the conditions available to them. On this subject the last laugh has not yet been laughed. Philosophy Essays.

x

Hi!
I'm Adrienne!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out