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History
IN OUR TIME'S GREATEST PHILOSOPHER VOTE
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GREATEST PHILOSOPHER

 
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
advocated by Francis Wheen

 Listen to Francis Wheen say why you should vote for Karl Marx

'The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.'

Karl Marx. Marx developed the theories upon which modern communism is based and is considered the founding father of economic history and sociology.

Marx set down his ideas in The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital ((3 vol., 1861, 1885, 1894) arguing that economic relations determined all other features of a society, including its ideas.

He also outlined the goal of Marxism - the creation of social and economic utopia by the revolution of the proletariat which would "centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state."

All class boundaries would be destroyed and each individual would find personal fulfilment, having no need for the bourgeois institutions of religion or family. Marx himself was an atheist, coining the phrase, "Religion is the opium of the people."

Marx continued to express views about class struggle and bourgeois oppression throughout his life, despite being exiled from his homeland and coping with both his own illness and the death of his children.

Most modern socialist theories are drawn from his work but Karl Marx has had a wider influence touching on many areas of human thought and life such as politics, economics, philosophy, and literature.

Works by Karl Marx on Project Gutenberg: The Communist Manifesto

Read about Karl Marx on Wikipedia

Read about Karl Marx on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Please note: the BBC accepts no responsibility for the content of external websites.

 Listen to Francis Wheen say why you should vote for Karl Marx

Francis Wheen

Francis Wheen (born 1957) is a writer and journalist who was educated at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He is the author of several books, including a highly acclaimed biography of Karl Marx which has been translated into twenty languages. An award-winning column for The Guardian ran for several years. He writes for Private Eye and is the magazine's deputy editor. He broadcasts regularly and is a regular panellist on The News Quiz.

 
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