Karl Marx Theory

Karl Marx Theory Article by Joanna Webster

The socialistic countries of the 20th century could not have conducted their policies without the fundamental works by Karl Marx. His philosophy and ideology became the most famous and some of the most often cited ideas in the European states of the revolutionary period. Karl Marx was a very highly educated philosopher and economist, who received his worldwide fame because of his non-traditional approaches to quite a traditional social life. Marx’s political and economic works illustrated many sophisticated ideas of the development of a socialistic society. Although controversial ideas focused on the concept of the existence of a utopian society, many countries used his conceptions as an ideological base for more than a century.

Karl Marx was born in a Prussian town in a Jewish family of a lawyer. However, it seemed that the religious issue in the family was not seriously comprehended from the spiritual point of view. Karl Marx became a protestant, as it was much closer to his views and gave him some intellectual freedom. His first revolutionary ideas with a hint of atheism appeared in the university, where Marx demonstrated his quite mercurial character. Nevertheless, it did not prevent him from graduating with excellent grades and ideas. After graduation, Karl Marx started his carrier as a journalist. However, his open politics of the authority opposition stimulated closure of the newspaper he was working in. Thus, Karl Marx embarked on a long period of travelling between the central European cities. Marx and his family suffered from an acute lack of money. It is possible to assume that impecuniousness transformed his ideas into progressive and sophisticated papers. Nevertheless, the biggest fame came to the philosopher after his death, when socialistic and communist revolutions used his ideas as the base doctrine.

Many consider Karl Marx to be the creator of the materialistic ideology of social development, which even bears his name – Marxism. Of course, one must admit that not all of his ideas and theories appeared accidently. His most firm and lasting friendship with Engels, aimed the revolutionary’s new thoughts in the direction of the working class. Even the times of his student life had changed the views of young Karl Marx, who was interested in Hegel’s philosophy. Karl Marx created many theories; however all of them were based on the idea of socialistic and economic development. It is necessary to admit that Marx’s theories were utopian in their nature, though his works became an important base for the ideology of many communistic countries. His theories differentiated from other philosophical ideas of the time. It seemed as if he used the known conceptions and transformed them into a new opposite ideology. Karl Marx created many diverse works and theories, but it is possible to distinguish several of his central ideas.

The most significant concept of the philosopher was the theory of materialism and labor. One might characterize it as utopian socialism, because not only the existence of the society in Marx’s vision is debatable, but his whole theory is controversial as well. It is impossible to assess whether his theory could have had positive results in reality, even if a socialistic society would have developed according to his guidelines. Nevertheless, Karl Marx was sure that material was the beginning of existence, and it has created the spirit of humans. All the processes of life were the result of labor relations, which depended only on the labor power. Thus, labor was a driving force of life and social development. In addition, the future depended not on the personal efforts but rather on the social processes. Consequently, society was the central unit and mechanism of life. Development was not a result of thinking but a result of labor relations. Class diversity, according to Marx, caused disorder and disbalance. The philosopher explained the ways of escaping this situation. Marx proposed two methods for overcoming class inequality in a society. These are poverty and creation of a universal working class. It is hard to imagine such a formless and faceless society, which is the ideal according to Marx. It was an absolute utopia, but socialists considered him the most famous ideologist of the 19th century. The economic theory, as presented in his work “Capital” was Karl Marx’s most significant work. This work was truly tremendous and fundamental in its nature. However, David L. Prychitko expressed Marx’s theory in only one sentence: “The theory’s basic claim is simple: the value of a commodity can be objectively measured by the average number of labor hours required to produce that commodity” (n.d). Marx did not insist on a real life implementation of all his ideas. Moreover, he explained and analyzed the global processes that affected society. He also blamed the whole system and gave essential arguments of the disadvantages of a capitalistic society. Anthony Imoisi Ilegbinosa made a conclusion that although Karl Marx raised the economic problems almost two centuries ago, his ideas are still relevant and have quite a lot of space for current debates. According to his conception people had to sell their labor in order to survive. It is hard to object to the existence of this possibility now.

Thus, Karl Marx’s contribution to field philosophy was very significant, because the research based on Marx’s theory is still relevant. Moreover, the beginning of the previous century brought unprecedented fame to the philosopher. However, his ideas about capital, labor theory and materialism seemed to be quite controversial and utopist in their nature. The existence of the society without diversity is debatable, but economists gave the variants of achieving social equality. Karl Marx presented new and revolutionary ideas about the development of life, where material unity was the beginning of life. He transformed previous philosophical theories and opposed them. His contribution to philosophy was obvious, even after his death he was a very famous personality in and in Europe in general and especially in socialistic states.

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