Karl Marx

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Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a German philosopher, political economist, historian, sociologist, humanist, political theorist and revolutionary credited as the founder of...

Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a German philosopher, political economist, historian, sociologist, humanist, political theorist and revolutionary credited as the founder of communism.

Marx's approach to history and politics is indicated by the opening line of the first chapter of The Communist Manifesto (1848): “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Marx argued that capitalism, like previous socioeconomic systems, will produce internal tensions which will lead to its destruction. Just as capitalism replaced feudalism, capitalism itself will be displaced by communism, a stateless, classless society which emerges after a transitional period, the 'dictatorship of the proletariat'.

On the one hand, Marx argued for a systemic understanding of socioeconomic change. He argued that it is the structural contradictions within capitalism which necessitate its end, giving way to communism:
“ The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. ”

— (The Communist Manifesto)

On the other hand, Marx argued that socioeconomic change occurred through organized revolutionary action. He argued that capitalism will end through the organized actions of an international working class, led by a Communist Party: "Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence." (from The German Ideology)

While Marx was a relatively obscure figure in his own lifetime, his ideas began to exert a major influence on workers' movements shortly after his death. This influence was given added impetus by the victory of the Marxist Bolsheviks in the Russian October Revolution, and there are few parts of the world which were not significantly touched by Marxian ideas in the course of the twentieth century.

Works (selection)

* Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843
* On the Jewish Question, 1843
* Notes on James Mill, 1844
* Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, 1844
* The Holy Family, 1845
* Theses on Feuerbach, 1845
* The German Ideology, 1845
* The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847
* Wage-Labor and Capital, 1847
* Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848
* The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852
* Grundrisse, 1857
* Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, 1859
* Writings on the U.S. Civil War, 1861
* Theories of Surplus Value, 3 volumes, 1862
* Value, Price and Profit, 1865
* Capital, Volume I (Das Kapital), 1867
* The Civil War in France, 1871
* Critique of the Gotha Program, 1875
* Notes on Wagner, 1883
* Capital, Volume II [posthumously, published by Engels], 1885
* Capital, Volume III [posthumously, published by Engels], 1894

Notable marxists:

* Theodor W. Adorno
* Louis Althusser
* Walter Benjamin
* Eduard Bernstein
* Ernst Bloch
* Amadeo Bordiga
* Bertolt Brecht
* Cornelius Castoriadis
* Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya
* James Connolly
* Guy Debord
* Daniel De Leon
* Joseph Dietzgen
* Raya Dunayevskaya
* Friedrich Engels
* Antonio Gramsci
* Harry Haywood
* Max Horkheimer
* C.L.R. James
* Fredric Jameson
* Karl Kautsky
* Alexandre Kojève
* Alexandra Kollontai
* Karl Korsch
* Kim Il Sung
* D. D. Kosambi
* Paul Lafargue
* Henri Lefebvre
* Vladimir Lenin
* Georg Lukács
* Rosa Luxemburg
* Herbert Marcuse
* José Carlos Mariátegui
* Paul Mattick
* William Morris
* Antonio Negri
* Sylvia Pankhurst
* Anton Pannekoek
* Georgi Plekhanov
* Maximilien Rubel
* Otto Rühle
* Alfred Sohn-Rethel
* Joseph Stalin
* George Derwent Thomson
* Leon Trotsky
* Karl August Wittfogel
* Mao Zedong

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  • ut0

    I regularly see better pretentious critical theory discussion on facebook than in this shitty group, yall are counter-revolutionary as fuck

    28 maj 2012 Svara
  • sGarrista-


    27 apr 2011 Svara
  • RockyRevolution


    12 apr 2011 Svara
  • Waagbistritz69

    Karl Marx was a mod

    19 sep 2010 Svara
  • trailways

    stop trolling

    25 aug 2010 Svara
  • Acrobat1234

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAeKKAz0gUk :)

    9 aug 2010 Svara
  • Gracchvs

    "I like the mixture of pretentious critical theory discussion and ignorant "Stalin was a mahxist blah blah blah" banter in this shoutbox. " ^^^This^^^

    22 jul 2010 Svara
  • Gracchvs

    No, Trummey, Orwell was not a Trotskyist. Firstly there is the lack of Marxism evident in his writings. Second is the fact that he 'named names' to the British government, exposing certain Soviet agents in the British inteligentsia, an act fo class treason to Marxists. At best he could be described as some form of occasionally radical liberal.

    22 jul 2010 Svara
  • blackless

    He was also very competent in the field of mathematics

    17 apr 2010 Svara
  • StDionysus

    I like the mixture of pretentious critical theory discussion and ignorant "Stalin was a mahxist blah blah blah" banter in this shoutbox.

    28 jan 2010 Svara
  • Trummeyftw

    Well, Orwell himself was a trotskyist.

    3 jan 2010 Svara
  • Existenz_

    I've read Animal Farm years ago and I liked it very much. But I don't really think that a fictional novel will pass as a source for studies in history of ideas.

    2 jan 2010 Svara
  • darthyutsi

    stalin was not a marxist he claimed to be but in reality he was a totalitarian. read animal farm by george orwell.

    1 jan 2010 Svara
  • Existenz_

    Hi. How are you boactwo23?

    1 jan 2010 Svara
  • Existenz_


    17 dec 2009 Svara
  • Deconstruction

    Dialectical materialism is a joke.

    16 dec 2009 Svara
  • wizardovski

    I'm sorry cause i can't participate more in discussions because of my not so excellent english, but i can say that Marx has one of the greatest philosphical concepts with his dialectical materialism.

    31 jul 2009 Svara
  • Existenz_

    Yes. In Adorno's thought there never is harmony - the history will always be full of contradictions. The subject won't ever be the same as object. There is always an "escaping element" which won't be captured by the "sameness". And this is where Adorno close to poststructuralist thought (á la Deleuze). Negative dialectic is the logic of critique and negation. This is the most radical difference between Adorno and (for example) totalitarian marxists (and Marx himself) who thought that the subject and object will come together through the revolution. This is what Adorno denies.

    19 apr 2009 Svara
  • soeren45

    Lukàcs theory of reification is indeed an aspect that hat eminent influence on Adorno and Horkheimers Critical Theory, but although Lukács had been an agitator for a while, his interpretation of Marx contradicts Stalinism and any vulgar-Marxism. Furthermore, Lukács was a positive-dialectician whereas Adorno has tried to develope a negative dialecitc.

    17 apr 2009 Svara
  • Existenz_

    There will be no cencorship in this group. Mao & co. are part of marxist tradition and history so their names will stay in the list.

    16 apr 2009 Svara
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