Karl Marx’s Influence on European History

Who Was Karl Marx?

In a household of nine children, Karl Marx was the oldest boy who survived when he was born in Trier, Prussia, in 1818. Although his parents were originally Jewish and came from long lines of rabbis, his father, a jurist, changed to Lutheranism around 1816 due to legislation that forbade Jews from holding positions of power. Karl, who was christened at the age of 6 at the same church, turned atheist. Marx started contributing to Rheinische Zeitung after getting his degree as a liberal democrat, and in 1842 he was appointed editor. The following year, the Prussian government outlawed the paper for being too radical. 1843 Marx relocated to Paris with his new spouse, Jenny von Westphalen.

What Were the Major Influences in Karl Marx’s Life?

Marx’s works from this time showed a thirst for self-sacrifice for humanity and a sense of Christian devotion. He enrolled in Bonn University in October 1835. He participated in typical student activities, fought in a duel, and was detained for a day for being intoxicated and rowdy. He led the Tavern Club, a group that disagreed with other more aristocratic student organizations, and he became a member of a group for poets that also included some political militants. There was, in fact, a politically dissident student culture in Bonn. Because of a student-led attempt to interrupt a Federal Diet session in Frankfurt, numerous students were detained; others continued to be expelled during Marx’s time.

What Key Ideas or Influences Did Karl Marx Develop?

At least fifteen complete multi-volume novels by Karl Marx were written and published during his lifetime, in addition to many pamphlets, papers, and essays. He frequently wrote in the reading rooms of the British Museum in London. The Communist Manifesto, arguably his most well-known work, attempts to describe the objectives of Marxism and socialism by summarizing Marx and Engels’ views on the character of society and politics. Marx and Engels stated in The Communist Manifesto why they believed the capitalist system was unsustainable and that the capitalist system that existed at that point would inevitably give way to a socialist one.

Marx wrote a thorough three-volume analysis of capitalism, Das Kapital: A Critique of Political Economy. Marx’s theories on the production of goods, labor supply, the social distribution of labor, and a fundamental comprehension of the return on investment to capital owners are laid out in this work, which is unquestionably the more academic. Engels released the third volume after Marx’s passing, primarily based on his notes because he passed away before it was done. Numerous aspects of capitalism’s theories and criticisms are still relevant today, including the growth of monopolistic mega-corporations, high rates of unemployment, and the ongoing conflict between employees and employers.

What Influence did Karl Max Have on Subsequent History?

Future communist leaders like Josef Stalin and Vladimir Lenin had their foundations built on Marx’s work. His theories laid the groundwork for Marxism and provided the theoretical framework for communism, both of which operated under the presumption that capitalism held the roots of its demise. Marx almost exclusively wrote from the perspective of the average worker. Marx is credited with popularizing the notion that capitalist profits are attainable because worth is “stolen” from employees and given to an employer. In fact, after 1898, once economist Eugen von Böhm-Karl Bawerk’s Marx and the ‘Close of His System’ got published in English, only a few Western philosophers embraced Marxism. Today, very few people directly support Marxist principles in their purest form.

Marx offers some insights that even contemporary economists might benefit from. Marx was the most outspoken opponent of capitalism, but he recognized it was by far the most productive economic system ever developed. In Das Kapital, he discussed “capitalist production,” which includes the creation of new technologies and the “together of diverse processes into a social whole.” Karl Marx promoted the idea once all nations had achieved capitalism and developed their productive ability, employees would naturally revolt and bring about communism, in which the working class would become the prominent social class and take collective control of the methods of production. His attempt to promote communism and influence the masses to revolt saw him become an enemy of various European countries. Marx foresaw that the profitability rate in an economy would always decline over time due to capitalism’s persistent pursuit of profit through competition and technological advancement to reduce production costs. Karl Marx had a negative influence on capitalist societies while at the same time promoting communism.

Marx’s main contribution to economics was a 10-paragraph section of The Communist Manifesto, where he discussed how social class upheavals brought about by economic expansion frequently resulted in political power struggles. This explains a facet of economics that is sometimes overlooked: the players’ feelings and political behavior. French economist Thomas Piketty later advanced this argument’s corollary. He argued that while there was nothing inherently wrong with income disparity in the economy, it might lead to a backlash against the capitalist system among the general populace. Any economic system, then, has an anthropological and moral component.

The hypothesis is that societal organization and changes from one hierarchy to another may be caused by modernization in how products are made in an economy. In other words, historical materialism. Although Marx focused on economic concerns in his writings, sociology and History have benefited most from his contributions. Marx’s basic analysis technique, the “dialectical” model, considers every social system to have immanent forces inside it, which gave birth to conflicts that can only be resolved by a new social structure, which was his most significant contribution to sociological theory. Neo-Marxists continue to view capitalist society using this model even though they no longer subscribe to the economic theory presented in Das Kapital.

Marxism was founded on the communist and capitalist doctrines of Karl Marx. His main ideas were scathing about capitalism and its flaws. Marx believed that capitalism would eventually self-destruct. A classless society would be established as a result of the alienated, oppressed workers overthrowing the owners and seizing control of the methods of production themselves. Karl Marx is still debatable, yet his writings are still relevant today. Marx had a lot to say regarding the capitalistic manufacturing system and harshly criticized it for leading to social and wealth inequities, externalized costs, and class conflict, even though mainstream economics has consigned Marxism to an unorthodox school of thought. In the end, Marx’s forecasts regarding the approaching demise of the capitalist system and the communist uprisings proved him wrong. As a result, many individuals have disregarded Marxian thought. However, his writings are still influential to some philosophers.


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