Throughout history there have been numerous philosophers who have left their mark in time, and one of the most influential figures has been Karl Marx , who with his theories about society, politics and economics founded the foundations of Marxism . Karl Marx major works
Who was Karl Marx?
Karl Marx was a prominent German philosopher, thinker and militant of Jewish origin . Along with his friend Friedrich Engels, he is considered the father of scientific socialism , Marxism, and modern communism . He was a scholar who exploited all the models of the political-economic doctrines, which were under the influence of industrial capitalism and pseudo feudal, because of the exploitation that the workers suffered.
Karl Marx biography
He was born on May 5, 1818 in the city of Trier, Prussia, present-day Germany, into a middle-class family of Jewish origin, who later converted to Protestantism. He was the son of the Jewish lawyer Heinrich Marx and the Dutch Henrietta Pressburg.
At the end of primary school, Karl Marx entered the University of Bonn at the command of his father to study law. However, he abandoned this career to study philosophy at the University of Jena, obtaining a doctorate in 1841. A year later, he began to work for the Gaceta Renana newspaper, about social reality. Karl Marx major works
In 1843 he married Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a liberal-minded aristocrat, who aroused his curiosity about the first socialist intellectuals and the rationalism of the French Revolution . For some time he worked as a journalist and teacher.
However, his political ideals forced him to leave Germany and go to Paris (France), where he met Friedrich Engels with whom he formed a strong friendship and who accompanied him for the rest of his life. The Prussian government expelled him in 1845 from France, due to his revolutionary articles, so he moved to Brussels (Belgium). There he formed the League of Communists and published together with his friend Friedrich the Manifesto of the Communist Party.
He is expelled again for being considered a political threat and moves to London where he remained for the rest of his life and developed a large part of his work. He went through major financial problems, which he overcame with the help of Friedrich. In 1864 he participated in the founding and organization of the First International and in 1871 after the defeat of the Paris Commune, he abandoned the political struggle and devoted himself to his writings. Karl Marx major works
It witnessed the first great crisis of capitalism in the 1830s, and revolutions in 1848 . This leads Karl Marx to develop an economic theory which provided explanations for the crisis and at the same time encouraged the proletariat to actively participate in it to achieve revolutionary change.
Criticisms of Karl Marx
For Karl Marx, criticism is to make clear what is dark, that is, to become aware of what is happening. For this reason, he dedicated most of his life to works where he makes numerous philosophical, political and political economy critiques. Karl criticizes the Hegelian philosophy of his time for separating theory from reality, for which he calls philosophy alienating. According to Karl Marx, the truth is made in praxis, in the earthly of thought.
He criticized capitalism many times , the socioeconomic form of society, which Marx said was the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie . He claimed that it was carried out by the wealthy classes, to which the means of production belonged, only for their benefit. The critique of political economy in Los Manuscritos is based on his humanist project of freedom and the fight against alienation.
From this point he blames the liberal and bourgeois political economy of being a simple ideological instrument to justify the capitalist structure . Also, to show capitalism as something natural and without history, as if it were the only option for the progress of humanity. Karl Marx major works
In Capital , one of his greatest and most famous works, Karl Marx criticized the classical economists and created his own economic theory. For him, only work is a source of wealth and only a minority keep that wealth. He exposed the exploitation of the worker, evident in the extraction of the work not paid to the worker and which the capitalist appropriated (surplus value). He also denounced the violent, illegitimate and unjust essence of the capitalist economic system , in which he observed the basis of the class rule carried out by the bourgeoisie. Karl Marx major works
Among the most relevant thoughts of Karl Marx are the following:
- Man is the supreme being for man .
- The worst fight is the one you don’t know.
- Religion is people’s opium.
- The worker needs more respect than bread.
- The engine of history is the class struggle.
- It is not the consciousness of the human being that establishes his life, but on the contrary, it is life that establishes his consciousness.
- The workers have nothing to lose except their chains .
- Workers of all countries, unite!
Karl thought that the success of the worker would form a classless society. This would be achieved by the union of the working class established by a revolutionary party. He advocated the value of work, which is when there is no inequality between the benefits that the boss receives for work done by the proletarian and his salary for the same work. Karl Marx major works
Karl Marx ideology
The ideology of Karl Marx was based on the solidarity of the working class, the common interest and thus end the plundering of those who have a desire to control the resources and wealth of a country. This way of understanding social relations was reflected in the Manifesto of the Communist Party and mainly in his work El Capital.
Issues influenced by the ideology of Karl Marx
This tireless thinker walked through various fields where he left his mark on each of them such as politics, journalism, history, science, philosophy, economics and sociology.
Karl Marx works
There were many works that captured the way of thinking of Karl Marx, many of which he wrote in collaboration with his friend Friedrich Engels. Among his most outstanding books are:
Among the many works that Marx published, the most relevant are the following:
It is his most momentous work. He collects in three volumes his ideas on the relationship of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat within the framework of a scheme of class rule.
He makes a portentous critique of the economic policy of the moment and, in turn, reflects the characteristics of modern society from a historical point of view. Karl Marx major works
In this work, he establishes that the economic sphere is decisive in what refers to how modern society works.
The Communist Manifesto (1848)
This work is based on the crossing of two specific ideas. The first is that every individual – and therefore, the society in which they develop – has an ideology that characterizes them.
His thinking, his idea of concepts, his way of conceiving life, social and moral values and the application of all this, are determined in a decisive way by the productive and economic structure of each society.
For this reason, Marx estimates that the economic-productive structure is the differentiating element between the different societies that exist. Karl Marx major works
The other idea of this manifesto is based on the relationship of power and usufruct of the workforce, represented by the individual whom the capitalist exploits to obtain economic benefits and capital gains that are above what it initially costs to hire him.
The German Ideology (1846)
This work aims to understand what capitalism is all about and what its impact is on the society of the moment. His idea of justice aims to transform a society in which man is exploited by man.
He maintains that the only way to understand the society of the moment is to identify through what actions man reaches the situation in which he finds himself. This is only achieved by understanding its historical evolution; that is the source from which historical materialism draws.
This work arises in contrast to the ideas put forward by Hegel and defends the fact that only concrete actions, of exchange and relationship between human beings with nature and other men, allow us to understand the history of their societies and not the thought or image they have of themselves.
– Salary, price and profit.
– Critique of Hegel’s philosophy of law.
– Thesis on Feuerbach .
– Difference between the philosophy of Democritus and that of Epicurus.
– The bourgeoisie and the counterrevolution . Article published in the newspaper Rheinische Zeitung .
– The misery of philosophy.
– Future results of British domination of India.
– Speech on free trade.
– Revolutionary Spain.
– Inaugural Manifesto of the International Workers Association.
After the death of his wife, Karl Marx died at the age of 65 on March 14, 1883 in London due to bronchitis and pleurisy . His remains are buried in London’s famous Highgate Cemetery. On his tombstone are the words of the last line of the Communist Party Manifesto: Workers of all countries, unite! Karl Marx major works
Karl Marx legacy
Although Karl Marx died without wealth, he was very successful intellectually and his influence continues to this day. In many countries of Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America and certain countries of the Middle East, the establishment of communism is observed .
As far as social movements are concerned, the right to strike, the fight for the reduction of working hours, the creation of education and public health systems and a minimum wage, are social and political elements in which a important role the work of Karl Marx. Karl Marx major works