55 Facts About Karl Marx

1. Karl Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.

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2. Karl Marx was born at Bruckengasse 664 in Trier, an ancient city then part of the Kingdom of Prussia's Province of the Lower Rhine.

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3. In 1815, Heinrich Karl Marx began working as an attorney and in 1819 moved his family to a ten-room property near the Porta Nigra.

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4. Karl Marx was privately educated by his father until 1830 when he entered Trier High School, whose headmaster, Hugo Wyttenbach, was a friend of his father.

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5. In October 1835 at the age of 17, Karl Marx travelled to the University of Bonn wishing to study philosophy and literature, but his father insisted on law as a more practical field.

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6. Karl Marx joined the Trier Tavern Club drinking society where many ideas were discussed and at one point he served as the club's co-president.

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7. Additionally, Karl Marx was involved in certain disputes, some of which became serious: in August 1836 he took part in a duel with a member of the university's Borussian Korps.

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8. In October 1836, Karl Marx arrived in Berlin, matriculating in the university's faculty of law and renting a room in the Mittelstrasse.

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9. Karl Marx became interested in the recently deceased German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, whose ideas were then widely debated among European philosophical circles.

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10. Karl Marx was engaged in writing his doctoral thesis, The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, which he completed in 1841.

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11. Karl Marx decided instead to submit his thesis to the more liberal University of Jena, whose faculty awarded him his Ph.

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12. Karl Marx was considering an academic career, but this path was barred by the government's growing opposition to classical liberalism and the Young Hegelians.

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13. Karl Marx moved to Cologne in 1842, where he became a journalist, writing for the radical newspaper, expressing his early views on socialism and his developing interest in economics.

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14. Karl Marx criticised right-wing European governments as well as figures in the liberal and socialist movements, whom he thought ineffective or counter-productive.

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15. In 1843, Karl Marx became co-editor of a new, radical left-wing Parisian newspaper, the, then being set up by the German activist Arnold Ruge to bring together German and French radicals.

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16. Karl Marx contributed two essays to the paper, "Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right" and "On the Jewish Question", the latter introducing his belief that the proletariat were a revolutionary force and marking his embrace of communism.

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17. On 28 August 1844, Karl Marx met the German socialist Friedrich Engels at the Cafe de la Regence, beginning a lifelong friendship.

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18. Still, Karl Marx was always drawn back to his studies where he sought "to understand the inner workings of capitalism".

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19. Unable either to stay in France or to move to Germany, Karl Marx decided to emigrate to Brussels in Belgium in February 1845.

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20. Karl Marx used the trip as an opportunity to examine the economic resources available for study in various libraries in London and Manchester.

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21. In collaboration with Engels, Karl Marx set about writing a book which is often seen as his best treatment of the concept of historical materialism, The German Ideology.

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22. Whereas the utopians believed that people must be persuaded one person at a time to join the socialist movement, the way a person must be persuaded to adopt any different belief, Karl Marx knew that people would tend, on most occasions, to act in accordance with their own economic interests, thus appealing to an entire class with a broad appeal to the class's best material interest would be the best way to mobilise the broad mass of that class to make a revolution and change society.

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23. Temporarily settling down in Paris, Karl Marx transferred the Communist League executive headquarters to the city and set up a German Workers' Club with various German socialists living there.

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24. Karl Marx moved to London in early June 1849 and would remain based in the city for the rest of his life.

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25. Karl Marx maintained that this would spell doom for the Communist League itself, arguing that changes in society are not achieved overnight through the efforts and will power of a handful of men.

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26. Karl Marx deemed it fanciful to propose that "will power" could be sufficient to create the revolutionary conditions when in reality the economic component was the necessary requisite.

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27. Karl Marx continued to write articles for the New York Daily Tribune as long as he was sure that the Tribunes editorial policy was still progressive.

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28. In 1864, Karl Marx became involved in the International Workingmen's Association, to whose General Council he was elected at its inception in 1864.

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29. In that organisation, Karl Marx was involved in the struggle against the anarchist wing centred on Mikhail Bakunin.

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30. In 1859, Karl Marx published A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, his first serious critique of political economy.

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31. Karl Marx proposes that the driving force of capital is in the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the ultimate source of surplus value.

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32. In one of the drafts of this letter, Karl Marx reveals his growing passion for anthropology, motivated by his belief that future communism would be a return on a higher level to the communism of our prehistoric past.

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33. Karl Marx added that "the vitality of primitive communities was incomparably greater than that of Semitic, Greek, Roman, etc.

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34. Karl Marx was afflicted by poor health and various authors have sought to describe and explain it.

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35. From 1863, Karl Marx complained a lot about boils: "These are very frequent with liver patients and may be due to the same causes".

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36. Karl Marx argued cuttingly, his biting satire did not shrink at insults, and his expressions could be rude and cruel.

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37. Karl Marx's surviving daughters Eleanor and Laura, as well as Charles Longuet and Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx's two French socialist sons-in-law, were in attendance.

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38. Where Hegel saw the "spirit" as driving history, Karl Marx saw this as an unnecessary mystification, obscuring the reality of humanity and its physical actions shaping the world.

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39. Karl Marx believed that he could study history and society scientifically and discern tendencies of history and the resulting outcome of social conflicts.

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40. Instead, Karl Marx set out to analyse "the despotism of capital".

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41. Fundamentally, Karl Marx assumed that human history involves transforming human nature, which encompasses both human beings and material objects.

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42. Karl Marx acknowledges that Hegel "grasps the nature of work and comprehends objective man, authentic because actual, as the result of his own work", but characterises Hegelian self-development as unduly "spiritual" and abstract.

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43. Karl Marx wrote extensively about this in terms of the problem of alienation.

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44. Karl Marx described this loss as commodity fetishism, in which the things that people produce, commodities, appear to have a life and movement of their own to which humans and their behaviour merely adapt.

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45. Karl Marx was an outspoken opponent of child labour, saying that British industries "could but live by sucking blood, and children's blood too", and that US capital was financed by the "capitalized blood of children".

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46. Karl Marx regarded this mismatch between economic base and social superstructure as a major source of social disruption and conflict.

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47. Karl Marx considered the capitalist class to be one of the most revolutionary in history because it constantly improved the means of production, more so than any other class in history and was responsible for the overthrow of feudalism.

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48. Karl Marx observed that in practically every successful industry, input unit-costs are lower than output unit-prices.

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49. Since Karl Marx believed that profit derived from surplus value appropriated from labour, he concluded that the rate of profit would fall as the economy grows.

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50. Karl Marx viewed Russia as the main counter-revolutionary threat to European revolutions.

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51. Karl Marx was absolutely opposed to Pan-Slavism, viewing it as an instrument of Russian foreign policy.

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52. In both cases, Karl Marx recognizes the immense suffering brought about during the transition from feudal to bourgeois society while insisting that the transition is both necessary and ultimately progressive.

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53. The legacy of Karl Marx's thought has become contested between numerous tendencies, each of which sees itself as Karl Marx's most accurate interpreter.

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54. In contrast to other philosophers, Karl Marx offered theories that could often be tested with the scientific method.

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55. In 2017, a feature film, titled The Young Karl Marx, featuring Marx, his wife Jenny Marx, and Engels, among other revolutionaries and intellectuals prior to the Revolutions of 1848, received good reviews for both its historical accuracy and its brio in dealing with intellectual life.

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