Karl Heinrich Marx was born into a middle-class home in Trier, Germany on May 5, 1818. He came from a long line of rabbis on both sides of his family, and his father agree to baptize him as a Protestant so that he wouldn't lose his job as one of the most respected lawyers in Trier. At seventeen, Marx enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bonn. At Bonn, he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of Baron von Westphalen, a respected member of the Trier society, and a man responsible for interesting Marx in Romantic literature and Saint-Simonian politics. The next year, his father sent him to the more serious University of Berlin where he remained four years, at the time he abandoned his romanticism for the Hegelianism which ruled Berlin at the time.
Marx's moral critique of capitalism began with his theory of alienation. Marx felt that the system of capitalism made work become increasingly dehumanizing or "alienating", because the capitalist division of labor results in worker specialization. He argued that such specialization removes the workers from the final product being created and narrows the scope of their work to a small, seemingly meaningless aspect of production. In turn, the workers, in the Marxist worldview, become more alienated as their labor becomes less meaningful.
Marx argued that ideologies are the result of social and economic realities. His beliefs were based on dialectical materialism, a theory that explains history as the result of material forces in conflict and contradiction. Marx believed there was a natural political progression from feudalism to capitalism to communism. Marx's beliefs about the influence material realities have on human behavior led to his theory that workers will eventually rebel against capitalism.
Marxist believe that the last stage of historical political development is communism. Some Marxist insist that "real" communism has never been tried, despite the fact that several governments claimed to have followed Marx's ideas. According to Michael Delahoyde, a professor at Washington State University, for a political system to be considered truly "communist," the underclass-- rather than the government or military-- must collectively own the means of production.
Marx identified class struggle as the central social factor in human history. He believed that capitalism would create substantial inequality by concentrating wealth in the hands of few, while making the rest of the people weak and dependent. He predicted the eventual overthrow of the capital class by the working class.
Interesting Facts About Karl Marx
- Karl Marx was not just a philosopher; he was actually a Doctor of Philosophy.
- His love for his children was out of this world. With his wife, Jenny, Karl Marx has six children to which he came up with nicknames for them that were hysterical.
- For most of his life he was in pain as he had liver problems, rheumatism, frequent headaches, frequent toothaches, and bouts of insomnia.
- Marx had dreams of being a drama critic student, but his father talked him out of it.
- Marx lived in terrible poverty for most of his adult life.
- His famous work " The Communist Manifesto" was completed within 6 weeks.
- Karl is regarded as one of the most hated and reviled figures in history because of his economic theory; which involved the rich people not being rich anymore.