Karl Marx, Hegel and Communism

Karl Marx (1818)
- Karl Marx was born in Germany and had parents who were Jewish. Marx himself converted to Lutherism.
- He studied Law, then studied Philosophy and then Revolution. 
- Marx meets Fredrich Engles in 1844 in Paris; whom becomes of great help to Marx's himself.
- The Communist Manifesto was a manuscript written by Marx, and even to this day is one of the most influential political manuscripts in the world. This was written in 1848 and Marx had a lot of help from Fredrich Engles. 
- Marx was a Journalist and editor for a radical newspaper in Europe. He fled to London where he lived until his death in 1883. England was Marx's sanctuary and he felt at peace here, which is the reason he stayed here until his dying day.
- He was anti-capitalist and believed in making a difference. This quote on his gravestone portrays this; “Workers of all the land unite… The philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point however is to change it."
- Another famous quote said by Marx is; "The philosophers up to this point have only interpreted the world - the point however is to change it."
- Marx believed that you could explain everything about a society by analysing the way economic forces in shape social, religious, legal, political processes. 
- In his time, Marx achieved a fusion of;
1. Hegelian Philosophy (philosophy of history and dialects)
2. British Empiricism (especially economics of Smith)
3. French Revolutionary Politics, especially Socialist Politics (man is born free but everywhere in chains)

Around the time of Marx is the Darwin era. Marx tried to use the science of Darwin in his methods. By researching every method and aspect of society in order to understand things. 

Marx: 'man is the productive animal'
Aristotle: 'rational man'
Plato: 'political man'
Kant: 'moral animal'

Teleological: This is the meaning that history is going somewhere.

- Hegel believed that history had a purpose
- Not only this, but he also believed that spirit is the guide
- History will finish when spirit will achieve full-self knowledge

Thesis = A proposition
Anthesis = A counter proposition - contradiction
Synthesis = Combination of refuting of 1 proposition

Marx deeply disagreed with much of what Hegel said but he agreed with Hegel's system. Hegel talks about the battle between good and evil and Marx thought it is more about the battle between Rich and Poor and the battle of classes in general. Dialect is the meaning of when ideas clash which is what Hegel spoke of. Marx was constantly trying to show this stuff in the real world, making it real in general. Marx said the working class were the people without any property, which in some cases can be true. 
"You have nothing to lose but your chains." This was said by Marx and can be related to the way he wanted people to fight. (This quote can also relate to Rousseau.) Marx wanted the lower classes to fight for more as they in many ways were separate from everyone else. 
Alienation was what Marx said stopped the lower classes from fighting. He speaks of the way Capitalism alienates men from themselves and each other. Ultimately, it stops you from being yourself and we see others as commodities. 
The process of work was separating people from their real selves and this is the problem that Marx saw. He believed that working in factories, destroyed people mentally and that the culprit of all of this was the bourgeoise (the owners of the factories and production.) However unhappy these lower classes were, the carried on due to alienation, they just had no need to fight. 

- Thesis: The bourgeoisie (free market capitalism, liberal state and individual rights)
- The hegalian dialect - Marx sees this as a product of history
- Inside capatalism is an inside virus. It will destruct. Ultimately, it can never survive and will destroy itself in time. Marx describes how it creates its own grave diggers.
- Synthesis = Socialism
Capitalism will try to survive by investing in better technology and exporting these products. Capitalism is all about profit and the interest is this. 
The commodity (the things we want) will always be too expensive than what we can afford.
Capatalism can be flexible yet Marx did not understand/see this.
1st there will be a revolution (fighting on the streets and complete violence) - Marx thinks conflict is the way we will progress
2nd we will have socialism - after which, this state we have created will wither away, meaning we do not have a government and it will be a free state.

Communism -as said by Chris- will be like John Lennon's 'imagine' and everything will be perfect, no countries, no possessions, no struggle. This is similar to the State of Nature, and can be seen as hegalian. 
Marx theory of False consciousness is one that I have studied in College in Media Studies, it relates to the way we as a society always want more than we can have, and are never satisfied by what we have. 

Content of Marx's Work
- The revolutions 1848 - Spring of Nations
- The idea of nationalism
- Europe, wide explosions of revolutions - France, Italy, Germany
- Anyone of any intellectual ability was German e.g. Freud, Marx, Heidegger, Jung, Einstein.
- There wasn't really a Germany at the time, it was just a killing ground with no Cohesion. 
- The idea of Romanticism 
- 1848 - revolutions were everywhere
- Germany became the idea of the perfect nation
The growth of Prussia is something Hegel thought was perfect. 


  1. I have to say, I was brought to this page thanks to the image of Marx here. Maybe I'm missing it, but I thought I'd ask... what/who is the original source for this image?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Georgia. I came here via the image as well - I've actually used it on my blog, too: http://www.monkeyswithtypewriters.co.uk/the-social-revolution
    I credited your blog at the end of the post, but like your previous commenter, would love to know the original source. Many thanks, Jemima