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Karl Marx

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Karl Marx "Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make under the circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something entirely new, precisely in such epochs revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up spirits of the past to their service an borrow from them names, battle slogans and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honored disguise and this borrowed language,'(Tucker, Ed. ...read more.


Marx became a member of the Young Hegelian movement. This group, which included the theologians Bruno Bauer and David Friedrich Strauss, produced a radical critique of Christianity and, by implication, the liberal opposition to the Prussian autocracy. Finding a university career closed by the Prussian government, Marx moved into journalism and, in October 1842, became editor, in Cologne, of the influential Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal newspaper backed by industrialists. Marx then emigrated to France. Marx was expelled from Paris at the end of 1844 and with Engels, moved to Brussels where he remained for the next three years, visiting England where Engels' family had cotton spinning interests in Manchester. ...read more.


Volumes II and III were finished during the 1860s but Marx worked on the manuscripts for the rest of his life and they were published posthumously by Engels. Marx's contribution to our understanding of society has been enormous. His thought is not the comprehensive system evolved by some of his followers under the name of dialectical materialism. The very dialectical nature of his approach meant that it was usually tentative and open-ended. There was also the tension between Marx the political activist and Marx the student of political economy. Many of his expectations about the future course of the revolutionary movement have, so far, failed to materialize. However, his stress on the economic factor in society and his analysis of the class structure in class conflict have had an enormous influence on history, sociology, and study of human culture. ...read more.

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