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Karl Heinrich Marx

Also Known As: "Karl Marx"
Birthplace: Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Death: Died in London, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Heinrich Hirschel Marx and Henriette Marx
Husband of Johanna Bertha Julie Jenny Marx
Partner of Helene Demuth
Father of Frederick Lewis Demuth; Jenny Caroline Longuet; Jenny Laura Lafargue; Edgar Marx; Heinrich and 6 others
Brother of Mauritz David Marx; Sophie Schmalhausen; Hermann Marx; Henriette Simons; Louise Juta and 3 others

Occupation: Philosopher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Karl Marx

Karl Marx Documents on Geni

Karl Heinrich Marx (Trier, May 5, 1818 - London, 14 March 1883) was a philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist, writer and thinker German Jewish socialist. Father theorist of scientific socialism and communism, along with Friedrich Engels, is considered a key historical figure for understanding society and politics.

Karl Marx was the third of seven children of a middle-class Jewish family. His father, Herschel Mordechai (after Heinrich) Marx, who was descended from a long line of illustrious rabbis, practiced law in Trier his hometown. Herschel's brother Samuel was—like many of his ancestors—chief rabbi of Trier. The family name was originally "Marx Levi".

Herschel was also counselor of justice, but received strong political pressure, by the Prussian authorities forbade him to continue his legal practice according to their religion and forced him to embrace Protestantism in order to maintain offices in the Rhineland. Karl's mother was Henrietta Pressburg, born in the Netherlands, and Jewish at the time of Karl's birth, although she converted upon the death of her parents. Karl was baptized when he was six years old. Little is known about Marx's childhood.

His siblings were Sophie, Hermann, Henriette, Louise, Emilie and Caroline.

Karl studied law at Bonn University but left to study philosophy at Berlin. He received his doctorate at Jena in 1841 with a thesis entitled The difference between the natural philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. He soon became involved in developing work on social reality, working in 1842 with Bruno Bauer in the publishing of the Rhenish Gazette (Rheinische Zeitung), publication of which soon became editor. During this period he attended the philosophical coterie of books (Die Freien). The final publication would be operated by the censor, and later, Marx had to go into exile.

The period of Paris

Along with Ruge in Paris founded the journal Annals Franco-German (Deutsch-französische Jahrbücher), of which he was director, although for a short time since the French government pressure closes the Prussian government. In 1844, in Paris, Marx met and befriended with Friedrich Engels, who will become its main partner and will also provide financial support on many occasions due to the economic hardship that his family is subject given the possibility of their income .

Also known in France with other major socialist thinkers of the era such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Louis Blanc and Mikhail Bakunin and the German poet Heinrich Heine. He wrote his theoretical reflections of that time in a series of workbooks that were published posthumously as Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. Moreover, the political weight of his newspaper articles won him fame as a revolutionary, leading to his expulsion from France.

The period from Brussels and the Manifesto [edit]

Established in Brussels, he founded the League of Communists, after which it is declared a stateless person, atheist and revolutionary. After the revolutionary period of 1848 and the publication of the Communist Manifesto, written with Engels, he moved to Cologne, where he organizes a new journal, "New Rhenish Gazette" (Neue Rheinische Zeitung). His new publication reaches an immediate success in the context of an era of strong social feeling and revolutionary commitment. It is therefore forbidden by the government Rhineland.

The period of London and Capital [edit]

It is now that Marx is dedicated to writing one of his major works, The Capital, which develops in the reading rooms of the British Museum. The first volume of Capital will not see light until 1867, after eighteen years of work.

Moreover, Marx participated in the founding and organization of the First International (28 September 1864), known as the International Workers Association (IWA), participating actively in the discussions. He is charged with drafting the inaugural International Call and participates in the drafting of the statute and other documents. It will initiate discussions after a clash between Marx and Bakunin, culminating in the expulsion of the latter in the Hague Congress of 1872 and the output of the Bakun International sections. The latter, in Congress assembled, Saint-Imier (Switzerland), would not recognize the agreements refound the Hague and the International.

After the defeat of the Paris Commune of 1871, which was a heavy blow to the International, Marx retired from political struggle and devoted himself to writing his thoughts. On March 14, 1883 died in London.

Family Life

Karl Marx married Jenny von Westphalen, daughter of the Prussian interior minister, a childhood friend who promised to be a student, but only succeeded in marrying her after the death of her father, who opposed the relationship, and after obtaining a degree of economic stability (if any) as director of the "Franco-German Annals. They lived with severe economic hardship due to erratic earnings Marx, political persecution (which censured and closed the magazines published) and constantly having to move country.

Marx to Jenny von Westphalen had 6 children in 1849 and the fourth expected in 1855 and had died three-Guido, and Edgar Franciska convulsions, bronchitis and tuberculosis would cause the small, Eleanor Marx was part of the feminist movement and Laura Marx, she married Paul Lafargue French socialist leader, and committed suicide with him in 1911.

With them lived Demouth Helene, who helped them with household chores and had an excellent relationship with the Marx family. He was especially close to Karl, as well, which is supposed to have had an illegitimate child with her that was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels as its own to avoid disputes within the marriage of Karl and Jenny.

Marx had a personal life devoted to study exhaustively the various disciplines of thought and especially of philosophy and history which had never meant that economic stability, but always had the loyal and unconditional support of his friend Engels.

Thought [edit]

Witness and victim of the first great crisis of capitalism (1830s) and the 1848 revolutions, Marx set out to develop an economic theory capable of providing explanations to the crisis, but at the same time to compel the proletariat to participate in it actively to produce a revolutionary change.

Marx's work has been read in different ways. It includes works of economic theory and criticism, philosophical polemics, manifestos of political, workbooks and articles on current events of the nineteenth century. Many of his works were written with Engels. The main issues on which Marx worked were philosophical criticism, political criticism and the critique of political economy.

Some authors attempted to integrate the work of Marx and Engels in a system of philosophy, Marxism, articulated around a philosophical approach called dialectical materialism. The principles of Marxist analysis of reality also been systematized in the so-called historical materialism and Marxist economics. Of historical materialism, which places the class struggle in the center of analysis, have used many twentieth-century social scientists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, art theorists, and so on. It has also been influential his theory of alienation.

Other authors, most notably Louis Althusser argued that Marx's writings do not form a coherent whole, but the author himself, to develop their critical reflections on the political economy during the 1850s, got rid of his own philosophical consciousness earlier and began working scientifically. From this perspective there would be no Marxist science, but a scientist, Karl Marx, who was a pioneer in understanding the fundamental mechanisms governing the functioning of modern society, especially with his reworking of the theory of value, and whose work summit was Capital.

Marx's works have inspired numerous political organizations committed to overcome capitalism. First, the interpretation should be noted that they have done the Leninists, who believe that a vanguard of the proletariat, organized in a revolutionary party, prepared, if necessary, to work underground, push the working class to gain power through force insurrectionary masses to overthrow their ancient and oppressive and dominant classes, the bourgeoisie and aristocracy, seized control of the state apparatus and the means of production, and the process of building a state worker who as well as institute a former ruling class, you can move forward toward socialism highly egalitarian and inclusive society, based on workers democracy and social ownership of the means of production, and strong cultural and productive development, with a planned economy can comfortably meet the main needs majority-and the disappearance of the division of society into classes, to get to communism and classless society without a state, based on a very high level of civilization.

On the other, which makes the social, originally opposed to revolutionary tactics and in favor of moving towards socialism through parliamentary reforms progressive (I must say that most social democratic parties have gradually been reforming their approach to accept the market economy). Other theorists, such as the council communism favor of the takeover of power by self-organized working class and not by a party.

Ideas of Philosophy [edit]

During his youth, and while it was in philosophy, Marx was influenced by German philosopher prevalent in Germany at that time, Hegel. This author took the method of dialectical thinking, which, in his words, put on their feet signifying the passage of the dialectical idealism of spirit as a whole "constant dialectic of becoming" where the synthesis, unlike Hegel, had not been made. Furthermore, still using the dialectical method to analyze the contradictions in the history of humankind, specifically, that between capital and labor.

An interpretation on the development of Marx's work, from the French Louis Althusser, believes that Marx's writings are divided into two parts. This interpretation is relevant in Marxist exegesis, yet is very controversial and many authors maintain it to this day. Althusser finds two stages:

1 - Young Marx (to 1845) period in which he examines the alienation (or disposition) and ideology, from a perspective closer to humanism largely influenced by the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach.

Marx asks and answers in Manuscripts of 1844:

What, then, is the alienation of labor? First in that labor is external to the worker, ie does not belong to his being, that in his job, the worker does not affirm himself but refuses, he is not happy, but unhappy, does not develop free physical energy and spiritual, but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. So the worker only feels itself outside of work, and work beside himself. It's in his own when not working and when it works is not his thing. His labor is, therefore, not voluntary but forced, forced labor. So it is satisfying a need, but only a means to satisfy needs outside of work. Its alien character is clearly demonstrated by the fact that as soon as there is no physical coercion or any other work is shunned like the plague. The external work, work in which man alienates himself, is a work of self-sacrifice, of mortification. Ultimately, the worker shows the exteriority of work in that this is not his, but another, that does not belong, in that when it does not belong to himself but to another. (...) It belongs to another, is the loss of self. [1]

Parallel to these ideas describes man with different ideas: be it as a real flesh and blood is merely the result of economic history, a predicate for the production of the same story.

He thinks that man is made by changing the nature to meet their needs in a dialectical process in which the transformation of agent and patient is mutual transformation. Self-generation of man is a real process, historical - dialectical understanding of dialectics as a process and movement through synthetic overcoming contradictions.

When Marx speaks of 'reality' refers to the social and historical context to the world of man. Ensures that man is social relationships.

For Marx, what man is can not be determined from the spirit or the idea but from the man himself, of what it is specifically the real man, bodily, standing on the mainland. Man is not an abstract, outside the world but that man is in the world, this is the state and society.

Freedom, the capability to choose, is limited to historical determinations, but at the same time, the engine of those where social and technical relationships falling into crisis.

God, Philosophy and alienation in the state are thinking, alienation dependent economic alienation, for Marx only considered real alienation.

In general, Marx defends the idea that poorer alignment sociohistorical man denying the possibility of changing aspects of the areas in which you are involved, causing a false consciousness of their reality. However, this is a fact that can be deleted.

Politically, the German thinker advocates a communist society. Among the alienated man (that which does not coincide with itself) and the common man (who is finally equal to men) placed the transformative process. Only in communist society will be gone all alienation.

2 - mature Marx (1845-1875): According to Althusser, 1845, the year of The German Ideology and the Theses on Feuerbach, mark the epistemological break (a concept borrowed from Gaston Bachelard). From which Marx broke with its previous stage, ideological, philosophical, scientific and inaugurated a period in which economic and historical development of studies using the method of historical materialism. As Althusser would say, Marx opens the continent history.

This is eminently the period of his magnum opus, Capital. Critique of Political Economy. Do not forget, moreover, the texts from which this book emerges: the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (which will input to the first chapter of Capital) or the Grundrisse, whose belated discovery caused a lot of talk on the continuities between Marx and his first step and gave ammunition to critics of the epistemological break. During its mature stage, Marx's work becomes more systematic and arise their most important economic concepts: the theory of value, exploitation and appropriation of surplus value, or explanatory theory of capitalist crises.

But others, including Erich Fromm, deny "epistemological break" and argue that the idea of alienation is fundamental throughout the thought of Karl Marx. Nearest humanism, do not consider that there is a young and an old Marx and asserting the continuity of his work around a concept of man and his alienation under capitalism.

Critics of Marx [edit]

The significance of Karl Marx in the intellectual and political landscape of the nineteenth century and its legacy in the twentieth century have led to numerous criticisms of his work and his person. In the nineteenth century, the main criticism came from intellectuals and labor movement organizations who held political views different from those of Marx. Among others, Bakunin, anarchist and rival in the inspiration of the International, Marx considered authoritative.

During the last third of the nineteenth century and especially during the twentieth century, strength of Marxism in the intellectual circles and political organizations around the world caused many conservative and liberal thinkers refuted it. Some critics focus on specific elements of Marx's work, while others are opposed to any versions of the Marxist canon established by political organizations and intellectuals socialists or communists.

Shortly after the death of Marx, the Austrian economist Bohm-Bawerk published studies on the subjective value, including Karl Marx and the Close of His System, 1896, where considered refute Capital and labor theory of value Marx , while field theories of the economy. Already in the twentieth century, one of the most influential criticism has been that of Karl Popper. In The Open Society and Its Enemies analyzed what he called 'prophecies' Marxists, allegedly contradicted by history. Popper wrote an essay critical of the claims of Marxism as a science of history, considering incurring what he calls "historicism".

At the level of personal criticism, the historian Paul Johnson devotes a chapter to Marx Intellectuals, a book that highlights the personal pettiness of many other intellectual luminaries. [1]

Bibliography [edit]

Works of Karl Marx [edit]

Capital, Karl Marx.

   * Difference between the natural philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus (1841) 
   * On the Jewish Question (1843) 
   * The Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1844) 
   * Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844, published posthumously in 1932) 
   * Theses on Feuerbach (1845, published posthumously) 
   * Wage Labor and Capital (1845) 
   * The Holy Family (in collaboration with Engels, 1845) 
   * The German Ideology (with Engels, 1845, published posthumously) 
   * The Poverty of Philosophy (1847) (criticizing the Philosophy of Poverty by Proudhon) 
   * Communist Manifesto (with Engels, 1848) 
   * Circular of the Central Committee of the Communist League (in collaboration with Engels, 1850) 
   * The Class Struggles in France from 1848 to 1850 (Written from January to November 1, 1850) 
   * On the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1851-1852) 
   * The revolutionary Spain [2] (Written in 1854. First edition: New York Daily Tribune, September 9, 1854) 
   * [Simón] Bolívar y Ponte (1858) 
   * Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) 
   * The technology of capital: formal and real subsumption subsumption of the work process to the process of recovery. (Excerpts from the manuscript of 1861-1863) Karl Marx 
   * Capital (Das Kapital) (1864-1877. Only the first book was completed by Marx) 
   * General Statutes of the International Workers Association (1864) 
   * Wages, Price and Profit (1865) 
   * The Civil War in France (1870-1871) 
   * Of the resolutions of the Conference of Delegates of the International Workers Association (London, September 23, 1871) (in collaboration with Engels, 1871) 
   * Critique of the Gotha Program (1875, published posthumously) 

Biographical works on Karl Marx [edit]

   * Fernández Buey, Francisco: Marx (without isms). Barcelona, El Viejo Topo, 2004 
   * Berlin, Isaiah: Karl Marx: His Life and its environment. 
   * Blumenberg, Werner Marx. 
   * Mehring, Franz: Karl Marx: History of his life. 
   * Reiss, Edward: A guide to understanding Marx. Madrid, Spain's Siglo XXI Editores, 1997 

Works on the thought of Karl Marx [edit]

   * Althusser, Louis Marx's theoretical revolution and to read the capital, both published by Siglo XXI. 
   * HARNECKER, Marta, the basic concepts of historical materialism. Siglo XXI. Introductory book to the theory of Marx. 
   * LENIN, V. I., Karl Marx. Short text, informative style, which requires however a careful and critical reading. 
   * LENIN, V. I., The State and Revolution. A systematic reading about the Marxist texts on the state, theoretically and rigorously define the notion of the socialist state or dictatorship of the proletariat as a transitional phase towards the extinction of the state or communist society. Indispensable. 
   * LENIN, V. I., The three sources and three members of the Marxist parties. These sources would be the materialism of the eighteenth century German philosophy, the British classical political economy and French utopian socialism. 
   * LENIN, V. I., Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this work, Lenin declared: "Imperialism is capitalism at the stage of development that has taken shape in the dominance of monopolies and finance capital, has acquired export signal importance of capital, has begun the distribution of the world by international trusts and has completed the distribution of the entire Earth between major capitalist countries. A classic, it is however not export it mechanically, as is usually the juncture of the century. 
   * NEGRI, Antonio, Marx Beyond Marx. Workbook on the Grundrisse. Madrid: Akal, 2001. Classic text of one of the most prominent authors from the Italian workers movement. 
   * Ricoeur, P. (1999), Freud: An Interpretation of Culture, Mexico, Siglo XXI. First published in 1970. It's where you made the famous comparison between Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, being the three great nineteenth century authors than rationalism, and who called masters of suspicion. 
   * RUBEL, M., The state seen by Karl Marx

Karl Marx Documents on Geni

1913--1996- The Eger Family Association- pg.39

1913--1990- The Eger Family Association-אילן יח-

Ancestors family tree for information on his works, including Das Kapital.

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Karl Marx's Timeline

May 5, 1818
Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
May 1, 1844
Age 25
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
September 26, 1845
Age 27
Brussel, Brussel Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgique
February 12, 1847
Age 28
Brussel, Brussel Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgique
November 5, 1849
Age 31
March 28, 1851
Age 32
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
June 23, 1851
Age 33
London, United Kingdom
January 16, 1855
Age 36
London, Reino Unido
Age 38