Marx Das Capital Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

IntroductionKarl Marx's (1818-83) fundamental assertion, in the most simple of terms,was that economic forces determine all events. Marx was always well aware that it was not the working class but the middle class that drove history along its ever-progressing path. Social historians and political scientists have researched all levels of society to find "class consciousness," but it was the entrepreneurial-merchant class that actually carried out the historical task of liberation, modernization, and self-actualization. Marx also suggested that in one very real sense, the middle class was undeniably the protagonist of modern history through the simple, indisputable fact of having developed a higher consciousness of what history had created, established, and codified.His analysis of capitalist economy and his theories of historical materialism, the class struggle, and the meaning of value evolved as the basis of modern socialist doctrine. Those ideas are of decisive importance with respect to revolutionary action, his theories on the nature of the capitalist state, the road to power, and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Most of those ideas and ideals are captured in one of his most famous works "Das Kapital."Karl MarxBorn in Germany in 1818, Karl was part of a family who had converted from Judaism to Protestantism. At the age of seventeen, he enrolled at the University of Bonn to study law (his father was a lawyer), but his wild behavior of drinking and dueling led his father to transfer him to a more austere environment at the University of Berlin. While there, Marx made the decision to focus his studies in philosophy, and he joined a group of radical students and lecturers known as the "Young Hegelians," who made the assertion that religion was only a human invention that had been created to explain what could not be explained. That period in his life was extremely important in his intellectual and philosophical development (Kershaw 378).Marx began to develop his ideas while still in Berlin. He decided that it was possible to use using knowledge to deliver the victims of society from bondage. In 1842, he became editor of the Rheinische Zeitung, a radical newspaper critical of the treatment of the disadvantaged by both Prussia and Russia. Only a year later, the government for its radical ideas shut down the newspaper. He married and he and his new wife moved to Paris, the center of the Western world for radicals and revolutionaries. It was there that he met Friedrich Engels and it was while he was there that the Prussian government accused him of high treason. The French government expelled him from the country and he went into exile. Living first in Brussels and then, finally, settling in London where he spent the rest of his life."Marx was a thinker ahead of his time ... the current state of global capitalism would not have surprised him in the least. His worldview was a synthesis of German philosophy, English economics and French politics....

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