The Legacy of Karl Marx Essay

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Karl Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany to Jewish parents. His parents converted to Christianity when anti-semitism reared its ugly head with Hitler’s rise to power. He was influenced heavily by the philosophy of Hegel, but turned away from what he considered Hegel’s idealism and developed his own theories. He married in 1843 and partnered with Friedrich Engels in 1844. Engels would support him financially and co-authored some of Marx’s most influential works. While his early works focused on philosophy, his later research revolved around economics. He is considered one of the most influential social theorists in history with his sustained analysis of modern capitalism. His work focuses on the relationship between human lives…show more content…
Because of growing technology, Marx argues that the means change more rapidly than the relationships when it comes to production. When people accept payment for their labor, they are not selling the product they are selling their labor which in turn allows them to survive. Those that sell their labor power are known as proletarians and the person who buys their labor, who is also usually the one who owns the technology and the land, is a capitalist or “bourgeois.” Marx believed that the bourgeois would invest more and more in technology and less in labor and thereby create a periodic crisis. He argues that a cycle of growth, collapse and growth would continue as profits fell, even as the economy grew. Recessions and depressions would be created in certain sectors, creating hardships for those producing the labor. He believed that over the long term, the bourgeois would become empowered, while the proletariat would become more impoverished. He also argued that the proletariat, if they took over the production, would encourage relationships between themselves that would benefit everyone equally, after being so poorly treated by the bourgeois. Marx believed in massive, well organized revolutions in making this happen, as he believed that peaceful negotiations were not possible or practical. Marx believed that the capitalistic system that we live under today
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