(1818-1883)

"Young men let their beards grow and memorized concepts of Karl Marx and phrases of Fidel Castro...If the conditions for evolution are not right, the true revolutionary must create them, is written in indelible letters of the walls of the university" (Allende 179).

 

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Karl Marx

Karl Marx's writings

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Karl Marx was a German philosopher in the mid 1800's whose political ideas had an outstanding impact on the twentieth century. After being exiled from several countries for his radical ideas, Marx along with his partner and friend Friedrich Engels joined a newly formed group of German exiles called The Communist League. When asked to write a statement about the group's beliefs, Marx and Engel produced the Communist Manifesto, which began with a now famous warning: "A spectre is haunting Europe-the spectre of communism" (Marx, p.1).       

During Marx's time, capitalism was an extremely harsh system. Marx believed that capitalism produced "riches for few and poverty for everyone else" (Sowell, p.22). He saw that through capitalism, wealth was unevenly distributed. The working class, who produced the wealth, received nothing, while the controllers of the working class reaped all the benefits by receiving the wealth. To solve this problem, Marx created what is now known as Marxism. He believed that the working class would revolt against the upper class, and soon society as a whole would be equal. The main flaw with his plan, however, was that Marx did not worry about corruption in his new society. He believed that corruption was a "product of oppression" (Kort, p. 27). As history proved, it is impossible for Marx to have believed in a society where people get along so well that all work is done voluntarily and there is no need for prisons, judges, or governors, as Marx would have liked to have happened. As a result of his false perception of human nature, no Marxist society ever avoided massive abuses of power by those in control.

 

Works Cited

Kort, Micheal G. Marxism in Power. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press, 1993.

Marx, Karl, and Fredrick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc., 1964

Sowell, Thomas. Marxism, Philosophy, and Economics. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985