Karl Marx

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Karl Marx

Marxism is the movement founded by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles which "fights for the self-emancipation of the working class"(Blunden 1). Standing for the destruction of the capitalist state by the organsed working class, Marxism opposes all forms of reformism and "gradualism" or "evolutionary socialism"; Marxism is "revolutionary" (Blunden 2). Marxism shares with other progressive social movements an uncompromising hostility to all forms of domination — sexism, racism, and so on, but what marks Marxism out from other progressive movements is that Marxists struggle always to overcome the manifold forms of domination and exploitation in and through the self-emancipation of the working class.

Karl MarxKyra Hill 7/25/14Mrs.Irwin


Karl Marx became a journalist, and "the radical nature of his writings would eventually get him expelled by the governments of Germany, France and Belgium"(Kaidantzis 4). In 1848, Marx and fellow German thinker Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto,” which introduced their concept of socialism as a natural result of the conflicts inherent in the capitalist system. Marx later moved to London, where he would live for the rest of his life. In 1867, he published the first volume of “Capital” (Das Kapital), in which he laid out his vision of capitalism and its inevitable tendencies toward self-destruction, and took part in a growing international workers’ movement based on his revolutionary theories.


Karl Marx plays a big role in the book Animal Farm. Old Major, a wise and persuasive pig, inspires the rebellion with his rhetorical skill and ability to get the other animals to share his indignation. He's meant to represent Karl Marx, one of the most famous philosophers and political theorists in the history of the Western world. Old Major is based upon both Lenin and Marx — Old Major is the inspiration which fuels the rest of the book. Though it is a positive image, Orwell does slip some flaws in Old Major, such as his admission that he has largely been free of the abuse the rest of the animals have suffered. As a socialist, Orwell agreed with some of Karl Marx's politics, and respected Vladimir Lenin. However, the satire in Animal Farm is not of Marxism, or Lenin's revolution, but of the corruption that occurred later. Old Major not only represents Karl Marx in the allegory, but also the power of speech and how it can and was used to evoke and inspire people. Old Major also represents the generation who were not content with the old regime and therefore inspired the younger generations to rebel against the regime under which they were living. Old Major and Marx's death are connected also because they both died in March, which says "Three nights later old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was buried at the foot of the orchard"(Orwell 5).This was early in March.


Animal farm

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Animal Farm." Shmoop.com . Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 25 Jul. 2014.Kaidantzis, Janet Beales. "Karl Marx." : The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. N.p., 2008. Web. 23 July 2014."Karl Heinrich Marx - Biography." European Graduate School. N.p., 1997-2012. Web. 25 July 2014.Kreis, Steven. "Karl Marx, 1818-1883." History Guide. N.p., 30 Jan. 2008. Web. 23 July 2014.Blunden, Andy. "Marxism." Marxism by Andy Blunden. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. "Karl Marx". HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2012. Web.

Mini Bio: Karl Marx

As a philosopher, Marx was influenced by a number of different thinkers, including the Kantian and German Idealist Immanuel Kant; the Hegelianists Georg Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804 - 1872); the British political economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo (1772 - 1823); and the French social theorists such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Charles Fourier (1772 - 1837), Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 -1825), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809 - 1865), Flora Tristan (1803 -1844) and Louis Blanc (1811 - 1882). Some have argued that Marx's original contributions to philosophy were "extremely limited or even zero, and that all he did was to adapt Hegel's work to his own political, social and economic ends"(Europen Graduate School 5). As a young man at Humboldt and Jena Universities, Marx became involved with the atheistic Young Hegelians, particularly Ludwig Feuerbach (1804 - 1872), Max Stirner (1806 - 1856) and Moses Hess (1812 - 1875), who had begun to adapt Hegelianism and to criticize Hegel's metaphysical assumptions, but also to make use of his dialectical method (separated from its theological content) as a powerful weapon for the critique of established religion and politics.

During the last decade of his life, Marx's health declined and he was incapable of sustained effort that had so characterized his previous work. He did manage to comment substantially on contemporary politics, particularly in Germany and Russia. In Germany, he opposed in his Critique of the Gotha Programme, the tendency of his followers Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900) and August Bebel (1840-1913) to compromise with state socialism of Lasalle in the interests of a united socialist party. In his correspondence with Vera Zasulich Marx contemplated the possibility of Russia's bypassing the capitalist stage of development and building communism on the basis of the common ownership of land characteristic of the village mir. Marx's gravesite, Highgate Cemetary, LondonMarx's health did not improve. He traveled to European spas and even to Algeria in search of recuperation. The deaths of his eldest daughter and his wife clouded the last years of his life. Marx died March 14, 1883 and was buried at Highgate Cemetery in North London. His collaborator and close friend Friedrich Engels delivered the following eulogy three days later.

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in the city of Trier, Germany. His father was a lawyer who came from a long line of Rabbis, but had changed his faith to Protestantism in order to keep his job. Karl Marx went to the University of Bonn to study law when he was 17 years old. Here he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, whose father, Baron von Westphalen, influenced Marx to read Romantic literature and Saint-Simonian politics. Only a year later, Marx was moved by his father to the University of Berlin where he studied Hegelianism, influenced by Ludwig Feurbach and other Hegelians.


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