Karl Marx was a celebrated philosopher whose impressive works had inspired many communist regimes, especially in the twentieth century. Popularly known as a philosopher, Marx grew into prominence as a revolutionist whose innate desire is to see the world become a better place. It’s hard to think of many philosophers who have had so much influence in modern times like Karl Marx. His works today cut across different fields of human endeavor from politics to sociology to economics. Countries like Cuba, Russia, and Germany have at one point in history benefited from the ideas of Karl Marx. So what does Karl Marx thinks about capitalism and socialism? Read on, and your curiosity would be satisfied.
Who was Karl Marx?
Karl Marx was the oldest of nine children born to Heinrich and Henrietta Marx. History states that Karl Marx was born in 1818, Trier, Prussia. His father was said to have been a successful lawyer known to be devoted to Kant and Voltaire, two men popular for their agitation for a constitution in Prussia. Although both of his parents were of Jewish decent, they were forced to convert to Lutheranism following laws that banned Jews from high society. Subsequently, Marx was baptized at the age of 6 but later became an atheist. Like most of his peers, the young Karl was tutored at home by his parents until he was 12 before he was enrolled in Jesuit High in 1830. There he spent five years before the school was shut down for harboring liberal teachers.
Marx university career started in 1835 when he was enrolled to study law at the University of Bonn. Reports state that it was at this school that Marx learned his rebellious culture from; owing to the school’s hostile environment and student unionism. Regrettably, his days at the University was short lived due to his annoying habits of drunkenness and disturbance of peace. This very shameful habit forced his father to enroll him in a more serious University of Berlin.
At the University of Berlin, Marx was reported to have studied law and philosophy under the tutelage of renowned professor G.W.F. Hegel. Although Marx was a little bit repugnant to the teachings of Hegel, he soon joined the Young Hegelians, a radical student union, popular for its criticism of political and religious institution. While Karl Marx went on to bag his doctorate from the University of Jenna in 1841, he was unable to land a teaching job because of his radical beliefs and revolutionary tendencies. Sadly, Karl Marx died of pleurisy disease on March 4, 1843.
Karl Marx thought on capitalism
All through his life and works, Karl Marx consistently challenged and criticized capitalism, particularly the outcome. His teachings and works dwelt heavily on the concept of capitalism which was intertwined in class struggles, domination, exploitation, slavery, etc. According to Karl Marx, capitalism is an exploitative system that is more concerned about amassing wealth and power for the ruling class, much to the detriment of the poor working class. Marx argues that capitalism which thrives based on private ownership of means of production enriches the capitalist much at the expense of poor workers. According to him, under capitalist society, owners of means of production are bound to exploit workforce. He believes that capitalism would impoverish the working class.
The scholar further states that private ownership of means of production is the reason why the poor keep latching on to the ruling class. Karl Marx thoughts on the exploitative structure of capitalism gave birth to the school of thought known as Marxism. According to those in the school, they believed that capitalism is a controversy laden system known to increase severity.
In this regard, Marx advocated that the only way the poor can put an end to the evils of capitalism is to overthrow the system by staging a revolution that would birth socialism. He further states that only through revolution can the poor enjoy the gains of communism which he calls an advanced form of socialism. Although a lot of people seem to agree with Marx on this issue, nevertheless, he has also come under intense criticism apparently from individuals and government who are benefitting from the capitalist system. Also, other socialists believe that rather than abolish the system as advocated by Marx, the system should be regulated.
Karl Marx thought on socialism
Socialism is Karl Marx most preferred economic system. He sees socialism as the antidote to poverty, social inequality, exploitation, slavery and other ills that plague the capitalist structure. Karl advocated for socialism because of the need to move from a profit centered production that exploits the poor to a people oriented production. According to Marx, the goal of socialism was the realization of individual freedom from the claws of social injustice and capitalism. Simply put, this means freedom from alienation. Imposed by the selfishness, material scarcity and coercive social relationship embedded in the capitalist system. According to Karl Marx, the ultimate goal of socialism is to provide a level playing ground where every individual can explore his genuine interest, enjoy more freedom and is not deterred by any form of social control that compels people to work for exploitative class of owners
However, Karl Marx stated that for individuals to enjoy the dividends afforded by socialism, there is a need for a revolution that will oust the all-powerful capitalist system that has ravished the world. Notwithstanding, Karl Marx thought on socialism had generated a lot of criticism from capitalist enthusiasts who are hell bent on controlling the means of production.
In a Nutshell
Very few philosophers have been able to achieve some of Karl Marx positive achievements. Many communist governments have implemented his thoughts on socialism and communism all through history. Today, his teachings and works have revolutionized the field of politics, sociology, economics and communications; little wonder why Karl Marx has become a household name especially among social scientists who revere his teachings.
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