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Karl Marx
"Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."

Karl Marx's writings formed the theoretical base for modern international communism, which became one of the leading world ideologies of the Twentieth Century before its ultimate decline in the 1980s and 1990s.
How Marx would have reacted, had he seen to what use his ideas were put by the likes of Lenin, Stalin and Mao, will remain one of history's intriguing unanswered questions.

The philosopher, social scientist, historian and revolutionary, Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the Nineteenth Century. Although he was largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime, his social, economic and political ideas gained rapid acceptance in the socialist movement after his death in 1883.

He said: "The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates…"


Factoids on Marx

He was fond of beer. During his time he spent in London, Marx frequented many a pub around the capital.

Until fairly recently almost half the population of the world lived under regimes that claim to be Marxist.

In 2001, former East Germany overwhelmingly voted for Karl Marx as the best German of all times during a game show.

Marx's mother's quipped, "If only Karl had made capital instead of writing about it!"

In 1871, his sixteen year old daughter, Eleanor Marx, helped him with his the second volume of Das Kapital.


Karl Marx studied law and philosophy, and was initially influenced by the dialectical method and historical orientation of G.W.F. Hegel. Marx rejected the idealism of Hegel and developed a more materialistic theory of history as science, ultimately predicting that the triumph of the working class was inevitable. With his collaborator Friedrich Engels, Marx published the Communist Manifesto in 1848 which analysed history in terms of class struggles - summed up famously in its opening line: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle."

Exiled from Europe, Marx lived in London, England and earned money through contributions to various newspapers, including the New York Tribune. Marx devoted the last decades of his life to working on Das Kapital, and was active in early communist organisations. His work greatly influenced modern socialism, and he is considered one of the founders of economic history and sociology.

Marx on Moving Words

"All I know is I'm not a Marxist."

"Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included."

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

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

"Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains."