Karl of a lawyer, who was an adherent to

Karl Marx is the most famous and influential social thinker of the XIX
century. He was born on May 5, 1818 in the German family of a lawyer, who was an
adherent to the ideas of the French Enlightenment. After graduating from the
Gymnasium in Trier in 1835, Marx studied law, history and philosophy at the
Faculty of Law in Bonn and later in Berlin. At the time of studying, he becomes
a member of the so-called “Doctor Club1”, that includes the radical Young Hegelians:
the Bruno brothers and Edgar Bauer, who profoundly influenced the style of
Marx’s thinking.

In 1843, Marx married, but his family lived in
poverty despite the financial help from Friedrich Engels, his best friend. As
an ethnic Jew, Marx did not identify himself with Jewry and belonged to the
category of so-called “Jewish-hating Jews”. Marx identified himself
primarily as German. Also, he was in constant confrontation with various
political movements, not only bourgeois, but also the workers and the
socialist. Finally, he certainly turned out to be marginalized in the class
sense: he came from a wealthy social stratum and resolutely opposed it,
proclaiming the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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Marx is
famous for criticizing the whole idea of classical political economy and
establishing a new own tradition of Marxism, which later becomes a term which
has nothing to do with Marx’s ideas. In developing his critique of capitalism, Marx also helped
to trigger the development of sociology. The latter provided an alternative
account of modern industrial societies as the basis for economic, social, and
political reforms that might prevent the revolution Marx predicted and for
which a growing working class movement was mobilizing.

Marx, living in the 19th
century, has seen the conditions of workers in England of that time and the life
during Spring of Nations in 1848. The Revolutions of 1848 turned Europe into
revolting and unstable piece, starting from Paris to Frankfurt, to Budapest, to
Naples, where liberal protests were against conservative settlement. Marx,
living in France at that time, was able to write a book “The Class Struggle in
France with 1848 to 1850 “(1850)”, which expresses all pain and struggle
lower classes had during the hard time. This all means that Marx’s engagement
with specific socio-economic problems of the time was a way to address the poor
position of lower class on the social hierarchical tree.

There is a well-known idea coming from Engels and formulated by Lenin in
the article “Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism,” that the
sources of Marx’s teaching as a whole are German classical philosophy, British
political economy and French utopian socialism. In addition, Marx and Engels
recognized as their predecessors the English and French materialists of the
17th-18th centuries.

It is necessary to note the influence of the natural sciences on the
formation of Marx’s sociology. This applies, in particular, to such sciences as
geology and biology. Geology served as one of the sources of Marxian ideas
about the social system and its structure (the idea of ??a formation).

Sociality, according to Marx, manifests itself not only in the form of
“direct collectivity”, when the individual interacts with others face
to face. Society is present in a person and influences his behavior even when
the individual is alone with himself.

Marx’s understanding of social reality was strongly
influenced by his radicalism, socio-political utopia, providentialist belief in
the universal triumph of communism and the liberation mission of the
proletariat. His scientific research was primarily a means of substantiating
post festum these already formed ideals. Hence the division into
“prehistory” and “genuine” history, the development of the
study of revolutions into the thesis of the need for the continuous
revolutionization of society, the transformation of the study of the class struggle
into its praise. As a result, the proletariat, which, according to Marx,
establishes its dictatorship, no longer acts as a “gravedigger”, but
as a “killer” of the ruling classes.  

 

For the
purpose of this analysis, there will be discussed five main issues that Marx’s
work concerns. The first one is about a philosophical dispute between idealism
and materialism as well as the nature of social class. For this purpose it
might be useful to compare Hegelian idealism and Marxian materialism. Hegel
believed that self-consciousness of the mind is a disembodied entity and that individual
minds are fragments of Absolute Spirit, and that ‘real is rational’. Hegel
despised poverty and political oppression, and attributed it to illusions
caused by religion, and the emancipation would depend if a person could
overcome false feelings.

            Marx argued
that ‘it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but
their social existence that determines their consciousness’. Only free society
allows one to develop himself, and that pathological organization of society
was to blame in case of misery and poverty. Human emancipation required the
material transformation of the whole society rather than a change in a single
individual. He viewed man as a social animal who made himself through active
labour- main principle of materialist ontology of labour. I believe that Marx
supposed economic world, rather than intellectual was a key to development.

The second point is historical materialism which helps to
analyse the latter development. It presupposes the application of the Hegelian
dialectic to the internal relations and contradictions of capitalism. It was
presented in Communist Manifesto (1848) that class struggle is the motor of
history, that without struggle there won’t be light. The history of class
struggles, successful revolutions, and relations between different epochs are
the key to understanding the historical course. ‘Law of motion’ of specific
mode of production is discussed in Preface to the Contribution to the
Critique of Political Economy, where the society’s organization of economy
consists of patterns of forces, making the basis on which superstructures for
each mode of production and developments take place, resulting in economical
changes. It all leads to an era of social revolution where main relations of
production are disputed. Based on this, modern capitalism is called as
antagonistic mode of production. I believe that the latter book mostly is
focused on logical ideas of economical system rather than on class struggle
itself.

            The third
idea concerns the critique of capitalism. ‘Capital’ was mostly concerned with
how capitalism functions, mentioning that it would come to an end. Marx
believed that capitalism had an inherent logic, which did not depend on a country
it was in; and commodity was the key to understanding Marx’s thought. In Marx’s
opinion, capitalism had 2 features: 1- goods and services are produced as
commodities for money, and 2- labour power comes also in a form of commodity
for selling and purchasing. Wage labourers are free, however workers must sell
their capacity to work to one capitalist to survive. Basically, it works as a
principle that employees need employers to work for them to earn money, and
vise versa, so employers have money to live. The idea that value-added is due
to labour power can be easily explained as only labour can add value. To make
it clear, the struggle between capital and labour is the basis for class
struggle. I totally agree with the idea that class struggle has roots in the
organization of production itself as well as it concerns reproduction of the
dominance of the capital of wage labor in the economy.

            The fourth
point is Class as a social relation, where Marx wrote about proletarian class
in contrast to other social classes. Although the concept of the class is
central to the doctrine of Marx, he nowhere gives his general definition- I
image he considers it fundamental. What Marx did was – by introducing market
relations and monetary ties in all spheres of society and throughout the world,
he abolished traditional social ties among members of society. Thus, social
relations in capitalist societies are largely determined by the relationship
between capital and labor and the dynamics of accumulation. Marx believed that
as capitalism consolidates, the other classes will themselves eliminate,
however this thought is very disagreeable due to the fact that Darwin’s theory
of adaption, on which Marx based many of his thoughts, took years to happen and
for proletariat to expand it might need several centuries to develop. As we
know, Marx believed that the power is not only in class struggle but also in
revolution, this fight of classes could lead to a catastrophe. The Monifesto
shows the sociological theory of class formation, describing possibilities of
taking place in other countries, even an idea of peasant revolution in Russia
leading to a new idea of rural communism.

            The last
idea concerns the state and politics. Neither Marx, nor Engels, who published
some of Marx’s ideas, give a clear description or logical and full ideas of a
state, which I consider one of the greatest omission since the rest of the
theory is explained though out. Unclear idea that a state could be considered
autonomous, described in Bonaparte, to solve its problems or the other one, only
when this division is abolished through the self-organization of society. seem
ridiculous to me. Despite the !!!!!

       Karl Marx was an extremely educated
politician, economist, ideologists whose ideas have been used for almost a century and a half and
continue to be used in programs of the most diverse social movements in various
regions of the globe. Some totalitarian regimes have established Marxism as the
only ideology that has the right to exist, turning it into a kind of state
religion. Marx, opposing religion as such, became the ancestor of a new secular
cult. His own figure in this connection has turned into an object of
sacralization, and was perceived as a messiah, then as a messenger of the
devil. Marx was not the first one to talk about the division of classes,
however, his new ideological base gave that idea a totally new appearance. He
disagrees with Smith as he believes that division of labour does not produce
wealth for nations, but wealth for capitalists and poverty for workers.

This Marx’s novelty becomes very popular in proletariat and low social
classes, because many people saw a new, better life possibilities in his ideas.
There are more people who do not have enough finance to live well rather than
rich; therefore, his critique of political economy plays a trigger role in the
development of the society. For the evidence of his prominence, I can add that
he had many followers, meaning that other people also believed in social peace.

1 Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Doctor
Club | philosophical society. online Available at:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Doctor-Club Accessed 7 Jan. 2018.