Short Biography of Karl Marx
Known as the father of communism, Karl Marx once stated he was not a Marxist. In that statement, he meant that countries applying his theories were doing so incorrectly. In his Communist Manifesto, he claims class struggles lead to revolution, which then sparks rapid change and dramatically alters history.
Born in Germany, his intelligence and analysis of the social systems of the day was noticed at university. He decided to quit his courses and support the rights of the European Workers’ Movement. From that vantage point on of the working class’ struggles, he published Das Kapital. Like a wildfire, his ideas of reform, revolution, and social change blazed throughout Russia and Europe. Marx believed the philosophy of the day, which claimed that dialectic measures should be taken to resolve conflict, was the only path society as a whole could take to advance itself.
During his life, Karl Marx also opposed the slavery that was going on in the world, namely in Britain and especially its rampant presence in the United States was distasteful to the philosopher and socialist revolutionary. He predicted in his Manifesto that the struggle of the social classes is what changed the tides of time and would do so for those living the dreadful life of slavery.
Karl Marx argued for, while still formulating his own ideology, that there is a difference between what people see and what is there. His argument was that if a person had not experienced a materialistic world, this would prevent that person from seeing the true conditions of his or her life. And, once these ‘materials’ were realized, the working and lower classes would fight for their rights to also be able to enjoy those higher standards of living.
Marx’s work was soon taken with and divided among all sorts of other popular philosophies of the day, in both Europe and in Asia. He believed that the social situation of a person along with his physical location determined who that person was in more than his or her own will or his natural tendencies. He founded the ideas that a society was truly made up by its laborers; they were the ones who controlled production. He called this a transformation of nature, where what is natural becomes transformed into something material – hence the industrial age. He continued by stating that work is not individualistic, but something that forms the basis, or the mesh of society. Work creates change, and people have the ability to control their own labor power. His beliefs in the power of labor and the necessary balance between structure and economy still forms the basis of many countries’ own economic policies.