Karl Marx And Marxism Essay

631 words - 3 pages

Karl Marx and MarxismKarl Marx set the wheels of modern Communism andSocialism in motion with his writings in the late nineteenthcentury. In collaboration with his friend, Heinrich Engels, heproduced the The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848.Many failed countries' political and socio-economic structureshave been based on Marx's theories, for example the USSR, EastGermany etc. Many people believe that Marxism is notapplicable to today's society, as Karl Marx put forward his ideasnot anticipating the type of society we have today. The welfarestate system has effectively nullified Marx's arguments, andmade them irrelevant.Karl Marx, born on May 5, 1818, died on March 14, 1883,was a German economist, philosopher and revolutionist whosewritings form the basis of the body of ideas known as Marxism.In his youth he was deeply affected by the philosophy of G.W.F.Hegel, and joined a rebel group called the Young Hegelians,which contributed ideas towards the movement againstorganized religion and the Prussian Autocracy. Later on in life,he was influenced by the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach, whowrote that God was invented by humans as a projection of theirown ideals, and that in creating such a 'perfect' being, incontrast to themselves, mankind lowered themselves to lowly,evil creatures who needed guidance from the church andgovernment. He said that, in creating God in their own image,humans had 'alienated themselves from themselves.'Karl Marx applied this alienation theory to privateproperty, which he said caused humans to work only forthemselves, not for the good of their species. The idea isfurther explained in the following sentences. The people whodo the work in a capitalistic society own none of the means ofproduction, (ie. machines, raw produce etc.) that they use intheir work. These are owned by the capitalists, to whom theworkers must sell their 'labour power', or ability to do work, inreturn for a wage. The capitalists, owning the factories,automatically have ownership rights to everything produced byit, and can do with it what the will. Because of this, the workeris alienated from...

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