Economics from the 19th century onwards could not be understood if the key figure of Karl Marx. Was a German politician, philosopher and economist that changed the conception that the working class had about itself. His theories encouraged a large number of movements (Leninism, Maoism, etc.) and were always in constant dispute.
Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier (Prussia) within a middle class family and Jewish tradition. He attended a school with a liberal and humanistic tendency, for which he received great influences from both currents. In 1835, he went to the Bonn University, where he wanted to study Philosophy and Literature, but ended up opting for Law due to pressure from his father.
After a few years quite poor in terms of performance, he moved to Berlin, where especially broadened his knowledge and interests in history and philosophy. His thesis "Differences of the philosophy of nature in Democritus and Epicurus”He developed it at the University of Jena and was published in 1841. They were the first steps that led him to discover the materialistic critique of religion.
He was a member of the Young Hegelians, critics of the works of the German philosopher Hegel. Also in this group were the brothers Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach. In the case of Bruno Bauer, Marx found a great friend and colleague, to whom I would always go when I had a problem or doubt about any question of the time.
In 1842 it became editor-in-chief of the Rheinische Zeitung, an opposition newspaper made up of radical bourgeoisie. There he came into contact with economic problems and began to get to know French socialism better. This came about thanks to the reading of works by Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier and Proudhon.
Further, from his position he criticized European governments and the measures they practiced, but also to the liberals and some members of the socialist movement, whom he considered “anti-socialists”.
The articles published by the newspaper attracted the attention of the censors of the Prussian government, who decided to close down and ban the publication. Karl Marx she had moved to Paris after getting married in 1843, but the prohibition caused her to publish the calls: “Deutsch-französische Jahrbücher” (Franco-German yearbooks) in a single number in 1844.
In them criticized the Prussian government for the censorship it carried out and he also talked about “The Jewish question”. The rest of his works, especially the "Manuscripts of 1843 and 1844"Were largely influenced by Hegel's philosophy, no matter how openly Marx criticized it. The "Manuscripts”They spoke of alienation and influenced people's mentality.
The period he spent in Paris (1843-1845) and the one that happened in Brussels (1845-1848) marked by intense political activity. Instead of observing events from the outside, Marx multiplied his contacts with militant workers and with German immigrants.
But the most remarkable thing that would be key to all his future work was the union he made with Friedrich Engels. With him he founded the Society of German Workers of Brussels and he established a network of communist correspondence for all those who sympathized with his ideas.
Engels and Marx complemented each other perfectly and received a commission from the League of Communists to write a foundation for your organization. This is how the “Communist Party Manifesto”, One of the most important works of Marx and that can be considered as one of the pillars of marxism.
These years were when Marx qualified his philosophical conscience and elaborated his theory of historical materialism. There was a political and theoretical break with all the influences he had received in the past and he began to advocate for the expansion of his communist theories across the continent.
The outbreak of the Revolution of 1848 caused that the German philosopher was expelled from Belgium and happened to live in Cologne. There he undertook a new project that consisted of re-founding his old newspaper, so he published the call “Neue Rheinische Zeitung”, A gazette that collected articles intended mainly for the working class and that communed with the Marx's postulates.
This project lasted from June 1848 to May 1849, since the intellectual was once again expelled on two occasions: first, from Germany, which meant the closure of his medium; and then from France, so Marx ended up moving permanently to the United Kingdom.
He came to London in 1849 to live on the brink of misery. But even so, he did not stop working and studying economics. It was then that he conceived his most important work and that would be the basis of Marxist thought: “Capital”.
This writing revolutionized political economy, not only of the time, but to this day, as well as philosophy. Furthermore, while working on it, Marx developed the "History science”, another of the pillars of his theories.
In 1864, he was invited to lead the General Association of German Workers. He accepted the position and had the task of writing the “Inaugural proclamation" and the Statutes of the First International. He was in Paris during the Commune and gave a great militant interpretation of it in "The Civil War of France" (1871).
Later, he continued with the writing of “Capital”, While actively participating in the definition of the programs of the German workers' parties ("Criticism of the Gotha program") and French (“Considerations on the program of the French Workers' Party”).
He was always in a constant confrontation to defend his ideas, which allowed him to perfect the class struggle theory and to convince the proletariat of the need to establish its dictatorship, in order to achieve the abolition of “wage slavery”That caused the capitalism.
Over the years, Marx He contracted several lung diseases that ended up costing him his life on March 14, 1883.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.