Presentation on theme: "Karl Marx ‘The most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century’"— Presentation transcript:
Karl Marx ‘The most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century’
Karl Marx – Background info 1818-1883 Born into a comfortable middle-class home in Trier in Germany on May 5, 1818. Father was a lawyer – therefore Marx also studied law at Bonn university and then Berlin university. At the latter, Marx came under the influence of Bruno Bauer, whose radical political opinions got him into trouble with the authorities. Bauer introduced Marx to the writings of Hegel, a previous philosopher at the university. Marx then became a member of the young Hegelian movement and produced radical critique of Christianity and became the liberal opposition to the Prussian government. Hegel’s ideology that a thing or thought could not be separated from its opposite can be said to have inspired Marx for class equality.
Background info continued... October 1842 – became the editor of ‘The Rhenish Gazette’ - Marx was first recognised by this paper when he wrote an article defending the freedom of the press. However the paper was soon banned by the government. Threatened with arrest, Marx fled to Paris and finally mixed with the working class. In an article he wrote in a political journal, he said “the proletariat would eventually be the emancipators of society”. While in Paris he become a close friend of Friedrich Engels who shared Marx's views on capitalism and after their first meeting Engels wrote that there was virtually "complete agreement in all theoretical fields". Marx and Engels decided to work together.
The Communist Manifesto Inspired by ‘The Communist Committee’ – unite socialists from all over Europe – aim: "the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the domination of the proletariat, the abolition of the old bourgeois society based on class antagonisms, and the establishment of a new society without classes and without private property". Written for a mass audience, the book summarised the forthcoming revolution and the nature of the communist society that would be established by the proletariat. The Communist Manifesto begins with the assertion, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Marx argued that if you are to understand human history you must not see it as the story of social classes and their struggles with each other.
He went on to argue that the conflict between these two classes would eventually lead to revolution and the triumph of the proletariat. With the disappearance of the bourgeoisie as a class, there would no longer be a class society. The Communist Manifesto was published in February, 1848. The following month, the government expelled Marx from Belgium. 15 th September 1849, after being expelled from both Cologne and France again, Marx moved to England, supported by the liberal Prime minister John Russell. Marx continued his journalism, including writing for many well established American newspapers. Published ‘Das Kapital’ – 1867. A detailed analysis of Capitalism – dealt with issues such as revolution. Marx argued that the laws of capitalism will bring about its own destruction.