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Karl Marx: Modern Revolutionary. Essay

1506 words - 6 pages

"Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make under thecircumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmittedfrom the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating somethingentirely new, precisely in such epochs revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up spirits of thepast to their service an borrow from them names, battle slogans and costumes in order to presentthe new scene of world history in this time-honored disguise and this borrowed language,'(Tucker,Ed. 595)Karl Heinrich Marx; a name, which is often a victim of slanderous, misguidedinterpretations put forth by those blinded by the evils of modern day or likely past actions ofcommunist nations of the world. Marx's works are clearly the paternal figure in the birth ofcommunism in Europe. The end result of this concoction of political and economic critics wouldsplit the world in two and start a frozen war of brinkmanship. Where each opposing side took as bold a measure as possible to show their tenacity. However in the time of Karl Marx his working was drastically influenced by the cruel and changing world around him.These influences are shown in the polemic style used to write' The Communist Manifesto" Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the city of Trier in Rheinish Prussia. His family was Jewish, but converted to Protestanism in 1824. This may have had an effect on Marx's feelings on religion as told by MacLellan "...Marx belived that religion was the most extreme form of alienation and the point where any process of secularization had to start, and this supplied him with a model for criticism of other forms of alienation" (Mac Lellan 88). The family was petty-bourgeois; (meaning they worked for a living and were considered middle class) his father was a lawyer. After graduating from a Gymnasium (High School) in Trier, Marx entered the university, first at Bonn and later in Berlin, where he read law, majoring in history and philosophy. He concluded his university course in 1841, submitting a doctoral thesis on the philosophy of Epicurus. At the time Marx was a Hegelian idealist(an early viewpoint and pollitical party which had some similarities to communism) in his views. In Berlin, he belonged to the circle of "Left Hegelians" who sought to draw atheistic and revolutionary conclusions from Hegel's philosophy.After graduating from university, Marx moved to Bonn, hoping to become a professor. However, the reactionary policy of the government made Marx abandon the idea of an academic career. At the begining of 1842, some radical bourgeois in the Rhineland (Cologne), who were in touch with the Left Hegelians, founded a paper in opposition to the Prussian government, called theRheinische Zeitung. Marx was invited to be the chief contributors, and in October 1842 Marx...

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