Western Civilization II
I Karl Marx 1818-1883
The 19th century philosopher who developed the Theory of International Communism.
II Mr. Marx, a German philosopher and economist who is best known for his philosophy, Marxism.
The basic philosophy behind Marxism is an anti-capitalism stance against materialism and differing social classes, (social cliques). He spent his time largely studying and writing about history, economics and politics.
Due to the century of his birth, Karl was born into and lived influenced by the beliefs that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition and tyranny, to build a better world. This kind of thinking, combined with the injustices and chaos brought on the working class poor, by the industrial revolution, turned Karl against capitalism and materialism. He argued, both, breeded social classes, (the haves and the have-nots). He added to the idea of Ludwig Feverbach, the alienation to private property. Karl elaborated that this alienation had an economic base and called for a communist society to overcome the dehumanizing effect of private property.
With the co-authorship of a wealthy friend, Fredric Engels, Karl wrote a book. The German Idealogy, stated that economic and social forces , (especially those related to the means of production), determined human thought. They also created a method of analysis called, Dialectical Materialism, where the clash of historical forces, leads to changes in society.
Karl and Engels were asked by a labor union to prepare a program for them, they created in 1848, The Communist Manifesto, declaring, all history was the history of class struggles. Under capitalism the struggle between the working class and the business class would end in a new society, a Communist one.