Though these many excepts have discrete arguments, they also share several underlying themes. Of these several themes, of fundamental importance is one of work in philosophy and social science bringing about real change in the world. Throughout his writing he continues to focus upon the individuals that from the world, particularly the oppressed, not just the powerful on whim the lens of social science and particularly history is often pointed. Even for those who do not agree with Marx on his prescription for the world, his determination to improve the conditions of the oppressed is a model we should all strive to emulate.
“To Make the World Philosophical”, provides excerpts from Marx's doctoral dissertation and his preparatory materials.
“For a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing”, is a letter published in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher in 1849. It suggests the notion of criticism to be the theme of this journal which Marx edited with Arnold Ruge to whom the letter is addressed.
“On the Jewish Question” is an essay published in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher in 1843. It provides a critical evaluation of Bruno Bauer's writings on the topic. The writings resolve around the question of emancipation for German Jews.
“Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844” is a collection of writings that appear to be intended to be a book. These manuscripts provide important information about the the way in which Marx interpreted history, particularly the ways in which the revolution of the proletariat and the future prevalence of communism as the result of historical progression. It also tells the historical story of man's alienation.
In the manuscript “Estranged Labor”, Marx argues that within the system of private property society will naturally become divide into property owners and property-less workers. Because of this division, workers will be impoverished and oppressed, bust also experience alienation from the world. This alienation occurs because the product of the work is an object that is removed and hostile to the worker. The worker invests his labour into the object, but because the worker is unable to own the results of their labour, the worker becomes alienated from that which they produce. The workers helps to create objects but does not posses the fruit of their labour. Thus the first type of alienation is of the worker from the product of their work. The next form of alienation is of the worker from the activity of production.
“Theses on Feuerbach” is a collection of eleven theses which were written as Marx started work on “The German Ideology”. They represent a critique of the ideas of philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach who like Marx was a Young Hegelian (@, p143). In the first thesis, Marx critiques existing expressions of materialism. Materialism though useful for understanding the physical manifestations of the world, ignores the role of humans in creating the world. The second thesis argues that whether...