Karl MarxHuman relationships have always been dynamic. Change and adaptability have gonehand in hand with the passage of time for human society. Systems have beendeveloped to regulate, direct and control the resources of this society. Thesystems are referred to as governments and the resources as the populace orinhabitants and forces of production. A government must be dynamic in its naturereflecting the change in society. At times these systems have resisted thenecessity to adapt with its components (Society) creating a deficit between thesystem and those it regulates.
As the deficits develop, they cause instability,and could lead to revolution. 1 Theories have been developed to explain thesystemic phenomenon Karl Marx was the greatest thinker and philosopher of histime. His view revolutionized the way in which people think. He created anopportunity for the lower class to rise above the aristocrats and failed due tothe creation of the middle class. Despite this failure, he was still a greatpolitical leader and set the basis of Communism in Russia. His life contributedto the way people think today, and because of him people are more open tosuggestion and are quicker to create ideas on political issues.Order now
Karl HeinrichMarx was born May 5th, 1818 in Trier. Although he had three other siblings, allsisters, he was the favorite child to his Father, Heinrich. His mother, a DutchJewess named Henrietta Pressburg, had no interest in Karl’s intellectual sideduring his life. His father was a Jewish lawyer, and before his death in 1838,converted his family to Christianity to preserve his job with the Prussianstate. When Heinrich’s mother died, he no longer felt he had an obligation tohis religion, thus helping him in the decision in turning to Christianity.
Karl’s childhood was a happy and care-free one. His parents had a goodrelationship and it help set Karl in the right direction. ” His ?splendidnatural gifts’ awakened in his father the hope that they would one day be usedin the service of humanity, whilst his mother declared him everything would gowell. (The story of his life, Mehring, page 2).
In High school Karl stood outamong the crowd. When asked to write a report on “How to choose aprofession” he took a different approach. He took the angle in which mostinterested him, by saying that there was no way to choose a profession, butbecause of circumstances one is placed in an occupation. A person with aaristocratic background is more likely to have a higher role in society asapposed to someone from a much poorer background. While at Bonn at the age ofeighteen he got engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, daughter of the upperclassmenLudwig von Westphalen.
She was the childhood friend of Marx’s oldest sister,Sophie. The engagement was a secret one, meaning they got engaged without askingpermission of Jenny’s parents. Heinrich Marx was uneasy about this but beforelong the consent was given. Karl’s school life other than his marks is unknown. He never spoke of his friends as a youth, and no one has ever came to speak ofhim through his life. He left high school in August of 1835 to go on to theUniversity of Bonn in the fall of the same year to study law.
His father wantedhim to be a lawyer much like himself but when Karl’s reckless university lifewas getting in the way after a year Heinrich transferred him to Berlin. Also, hedid not go to most lectures, and showed little interest in what was to belearned. Karl’s reckless ways were not tolerated at Berlin, a more conservativecollege without the mischievous ways of the other universities. While at Berlin,Marx became part of the group known as the Yong Hegelians. The group wasorganized in part due to the philosophy teacher Hegel that taught from 1818 tohis death. The teachings of Hegel shaped the way the school thought towards mostthings.
Those who studied Hegel and his ideals were known as the YoungHegelians. Hegel spoke of the development and evolution of the mind and ofideas. Although Karl was younger than most in the group, he was recognized forhis intellectual ability and became the focus of the group. While at Berlin”He came to believe that all the various sciences and philosophies werepart of one overarching, which, when completed, which would give a true andtotal picture of the universe and man. ” (Communist Manifesto, Marx (FrancisB. Randal), page 15) Marx was an atheist, and believed that science andphilosophy would prove everything.
Thus he had no belief in a god of any type. Marx believed that Hegel must have been an atheist as well because of his strongbelief in the mind. Marx’s doctoral thesis was competed in 1841. It carried thetitle “The Difference Between the Philosophies of Nature of Democrtius andEpicurus.
“(The Making of Marx’s Critical Theory, Oakley, page 11) It had todo with the Greek philosopher Epicurus and how his beliefs related to Marxs’ ofthat day. This thesis was an early indication of the thinking behind Karl Marx. Much of his later work and ideas are evident in this essay. He passed his thesisinto the University of Jena because Bonn and Berlin required an oral part to thethesis. The quickness was also a matter in this. He passed it in early April,and got his degree in history and philosophy in April 15, 1841.
After graduationhe was unable to find work. This caused him to take a job with the Germannewspaper Rheinische Zeitung in early 1842. By the end of the year, Marx madeeditor- in-chief. A few months after that in 1843 because of his radicalwritings, and his social views, Marx was forced to step down as editor, and soonafter that the paper closed altogether.
He married Jenny von Westphalen, andwith a member of the Young Hegelians, Arnold Ruge went to Paris to publish aradical journal on his beliefs. It was evident in his works that he was arevolutionary that advocated criticism of everything in existence. This wasespecially anticipated by the proletariat. The proletariat were the workingclass of the day.
They were the poor and made up the majority of people. Marxwent on to believe that the proletariat would rise up against the bourgeoisie. Then in 1844 Marx met a man that would change his life forever. When going toEngland after doing military service, he meet Marx in Cologne in the offices ofthe Rheinische Zeitung. Both of them had gone through the German philosophicschool and whilst abroad they came to the same conclusions but while Marxarrived at an understanding of the struggles and the demands of the age basis ofthe French Revolution, Engles did so on the basis of English industry. (TheStory of His life, Mehring, page 93) Friedrich Engles was born in 1820 in theRhine Province of the Kingdom of Prussia.
Like Marx he was brought up with theGerman philosophies of Hegel, and like Marx, Engles began to follow the works ofHegel. These parallels between Marx and Engles formed a relationship that wouldlast for the rest of each others lives. They both contributed to each othersworks, and co-wrote many things. The similarity in background between the twoalso meant a similarity in ideas. The both believed in the struggle of theproletariat and that it would rise up against the bourgeoisie.
Marx isconsiderate to be the greater of the two philosophies. The one contrast was theway in which one solved problems. Marx would use historical research to solve aproblem, as apposed Engles who used his imagination and pure mind to come abouta solution. These differences in culture and similarities in beliefscomplemented each other well. This outlook on society and the class war wasingenious. It was their greatest work together, the communist manifesto, whichachieved them their most popularity among the proletariat, and created the mostproblems with the government for the two.
Communist Manifesto or Manifest derKommunistischen Partel was a book written by Marx with collaboration from Engles. Basically meaning that Marx wrote it but he discussed the issues in themanifesto with Engles. It documents the objectives and principals of theCommunist League, an organization of arand intellectuals. It was published inLondon in 1848, shortly before the revolution in Paris. The manifesto is dividedinto four parts, and the beginning of the entire document reads “A specteris haunting Europe”. The first part outlines his ideas on history and aprediction on what is yet to come.
He predicts a confrontation between theproletariat and the bourgeoisie, the working class and the higher class. Becauseof the main logic behind capitalism the bourgeoisie will seek more power andmore wealth. With them doing this, the living conditions of the proletariat willdecrease. Numbers of proletariat will increase as well as their politicalawareness, and will revolt against the bourgeoisie and will eventually win. Inthe second part Marx discusses the importance of Communism, and if privateproperty is abolished, class distinctions will be as well. The second part alsostresses the importance of the necessity of the proletariat and bourgeoisiebeing common and the level of class being the same.
The third part critiquesother social ideas of the modern day. The final and fourth part discussed thedifferences between his political issues as apposed to those of the otheroppositonal parties. This part ends in bold capital letters “WORKINGMEN OFALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!” The days of November 1850 fall almost exactly in themiddle of Marx’s life and they represent, not only externally, an importantturning point in his life’s work. Marx himself was keenly aware of this andEngles perhaps even more so. (The Story of his life, Mehring, page 208) Livingin political exile his life changed.
His ideas were no longer followed like theyonce were. His isolation from the general public provided a new light in hislife. Then, in 1855, his only son died. His son showed much potential, and wasthe life of the family. When he died, Jenny became very sick with anxiety, andMarx himself became very depressed. He wrote to Engles “The house seemsempty and deserted since the boy died.
He was its life and soul. It isimpossible to describe how much we miss him all of the time. I have suffered allsorts of misfortunes but now I know what real misfortune is. .
. . ” (The Storyof his Life, Mehring, page 247) After the Communist League disbanded in 1852Marx tried to create another organization much like it. Then, in 1862 the FirstInternational was established in London. Marx was the leader. He made theinaugural speech and governed the work of the governing body of theInternational.
When the International declined, Marx recommended moving it tothe United States. The ending of the International in 1878 took much out ofMarx, and made him withdraw from his work; much like the ending of the CommunistLeague had done. This time, it was for good. The last ten years of his life isknown as “a slow death”. This is because the last eight years manymedical problems affected his life. In the autumn of 1873 he was inflected byapoplexy which effected his brain which made him incapable of work and anydesire to write.
After weeks of treatment in Manchester, he recovered fully. Hecontrolled the demise of his health. Instead of relaxing in his old age he wentback to work on his own studies. His late nights and early mornings decreasedhis health in the last few years of his life. In January of 1883, after thedeath of his daughter Jenny, he suffered from Bronchitis and made it almostimpossible to swallow.