Karl Marx was the creator of Marxism and a new type of economy and government. His ideas were appealing to the working class people and emphasized the community rather than the individual. His theories spawned communism and his ideas still remain in effect in some modern day countries.
Marx’s ideas originate from his experiences in Europe and his collaboration with Frederich Engels. In addition, Marx's work seems to be more of a criticism of Hegelian and other philosophy, than as a statement of his own philosophy. While Hegel felt that philosophy explained reality, Marx felt that philosophy should be made into reality, a hard thing to do. He thought that one must not just look at and inspect the world, but must try to transform the world, much like Jean Paul Sartre's view that "man must choose what is best for the world; and he will do so."
Marx is unique from other philosophers in that he chooses to regard man as an individual, a human being. This is evident in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. There, he declares that man is a "natural being" who is endowed with "natural [and] vital powers" that "exist in him as aptitudes [and] instincts." Humans simply struggle with nature for the satisfaction of man's needs. From this struggle comes man's awareness of himself as an individual and as something separate from nature. So, he seeks to oppose nature. He sees that history is just the story of man creating and re-creating himself and sees that man creates himself, and that a "god" has no part in it.
Marx also says that the more man works as a laborer, the less he has to consume for himself because his "product and labor are estranged" from him. Marx says that because the work of the laborer is taken away and does not belong to the laborer, the laborer loses his "rightful existence" and is made alien to himself. Private property becomes a product and cause of "alienated labor" and through that, causes disharmony. "Alienated labor is seen as the consequence of market product, the division of labor, and the division of society into antagonistic classes." So, capitalism, which encourages the possession of private property, encourages alienation of man. Capitalism, which encourages the amassment of money, encourages mass production, to optimize productivity. Mass production also intensifies the alienation of labor because it encourages specialization and it makes people view the workers not as individuals but as machines to do work. It is this attitude that incites the uprisings of the lower classes against the higher classes, namely, the nobility.
Regarding Marx's attitude toward religion,...