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Early And Later Writings Of Karl Marx. Compares The Classical Works Of Karl Marx And Looks At Some Of His Most Well Known Theories. Includes Works Cited.

2110 words - 8 pages

The Early and Later Writings of Karl MarxClassical Marxism has had an influence in a number of areas. One may first think of economics, but Karl Marx's theories have also affected ideas about history, society, ideology, culture, and politics, just to name a few. From his early writings in liberal newspapers to his later ones such as Capital, Marx remained true to his revolutionary ideas and Communist thinking. As most writers, his style may have changed as well as some of the vocabulary he used to express his ideas, but he did not change his basic concepts and principles. There was a shift in Marx's thinking from philosophical to more scientific during his career, but essentially, Marx's theories remained intact.Karl Marx was born in Prussia in 1818. His family was considered middle-class and his father was a lawyer. In 1841 he received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Berlin. After graduating, he began writing for the liberal-radical newspaper Die Rheinische Zeitung, but the government eventually shut the paper down due to its radical views. In 1843 Marx married Jenny von Westphalen and was soon forced to leave Germany. The couple settled in Paris where Marx soon met Friedrich Engles. This meeting was incredibly important, and began a lifelong friendship and collaboration of writings. 1845 saw Marx expelled from France, so he moved to Brussels and became associated with the Communist League. It was at this time that he and Engles were asked to write the Manifesto of the Communist Party. In 1849 Marx moved to London where he began backing away from his revolutionary activity and focused on researching the Capitalist system. During this time Marx lived in poverty while writing three volumes of Capital and was supported mostly by Engles. Marx once again became involved in political activity in 1864 when he joined "The International", an international movement of workers, but the group disintegrated in 1876. Marx's wife Jenny died in 1881, followed by a daughter in 1882, and he himself in 1883 (Ritzer 152-153).Much of Marx's early work was centered on the German idea of 'Kritik", which can be translated as criticism or critique. In one of his early letters to Arnold Ruge, he called for a "ruthless criticism of everything existing." 'Kritik' was an underlying and unifying theme in the classical Marxist writings (Tucker xxvii). The early writings of Marx spent much time heavily criticizing the works of Georg Hegel and also Ludwig Feuerbach, but it was Hegel that had the most influence on what was to later become Marxism. Marx borrowed the idea of the dialectic from Hegel, but put his own spin on it. Hegel's dialectic was based on ideas that would conflict to lead to new idea. Marx, however, placed his dialectic in the material world. It is this dialectical materialism that puts Karl Marx in the realm of sociology because he was interested in people's mode of production and how they survive. Marx's dialectical thinking was not a cause...

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