Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a radical political figure who advocated the abolition of private property and the overthrow of the ruling elite. Marx called his idea of goverment Communism, as as we know today it had a profound influence on the events of the following century. Born in Germany, Marx was not a stellar university student although he had a keen interest in philosophy. During his early life he developed a great sympathy for the alienation of the working classes of Europe which was occurring during the Industrial Revolution.

Marx wrote many publications supporting his beliefs, but the two most well-known are The Communist Manifesto (1848), which outlined his thoughts and called for a worker's revolution, and Das Kapital (1867) which explains the deficits in the capital mode of production which lead to class struggle. 

The publication of his ideas were not popular with most governments and Marx was forced to leave Germany and later France before finally settling in London.  He lived in almost total poverty with his wife and children helped only by the financial support of his close friend and intellectual counterpart, Friedrich Engels.

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