Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818-1883 )

German

Karl Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Born in the Kingdom of Prussia to a middle-class family, Marx embraced political radicalism and became stateless, moving around Europe until settling with his family in London, England, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels.

Marx wrote and published many works during his life, the most well-known being the 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. His work was well-distributed during his lifetime, but it's grown in stature since, significantly shaping movements and events in intellectual, economic, and political history.

Marx's theories about society, economics, and politics—collectively understood as Marxism—hold that human societies develop through class struggle; in capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes  that control the means of production and working classes  that enable these means by selling their labour for wages.

Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism.

For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and eventually the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by a free association of producers.

Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and his work has been both lauded and criticised. His work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought.

Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx's work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.

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