The philosopher, social scientist, historian and revolutionary, Karl Marx, is without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th 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. Until quite recently almosthalf the population of the world lived under regimes that claim to be Marxist
Karl Heinrich Marx was born in Germany on May 5, 1818. Marx enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bonn. Marx became a member of the Young Hegelian movement. This group produced a radical critique of Christianity and, by implication, the liberal opposition to the Prussian autocracy.
During his staying inParis, Marx became a communist and set down his views in a series of writings known as the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts , based on a contrast between the alienated nature of labor under capitalism and a communist society in which human beings freely developed their nature in cooperative production. It was also in Paris that Marx developed his lifelong partnership with Friedrich Engels .While in Brussels Marx devoted himself to an intensive study of history and elaborated what came to be known as the materialist conception of history. This he developed in a manuscript (The German Ideology), of which the basic thesis was that "the nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production."
He was soon convinced that "a new revolution is possibleonly in consequence of a new crisis" and then devoted himself to the study of political economy in order to determine the causes and conditions of this crisis.
During the first half of the 1850s the Marx family lived in poverty in London.
Marx's major work on political economy made slow progress. By 1857 he had produced a gigantic 800 page manuscript on capital, landed property, wage labor, thestate, foreign trade and the world market.. It was not until 1867 that Marx was able to publish the first results of his work in volume 1 of Capital
One reason why Marx was so slow to publish Capital was that he was devoting his time and energy to the First International, Although Marx won this contest, the transfer of the seat of the General Council from London to New York in 1872, which Marxsupported, led to the decline of the International.
The most important political event during the existence of the International was the Paris Commune of 1871 when the citizens of Paris rebelled against their government and held the city for two months.
Marx was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalistsociety and of the state institutions which it had brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern proletariat, which he was the first to make conscious of its own position and its needs, conscious of the conditions of its emancipation. His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.
Marx's contribution to our understanding of society has been enormous. Histhought is not the comprehensive system evolved by some of his followers under the name of dialectical materialism. 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.
2.-Wage Labour and Capital
The piece of the commodity that is called “ labour” are continuallychanging. So the political economy appears to set the law which was concealed behind this changes in the commodity prices.
Here appears the “value of the commodities as the law controlling prices”. With this value all the fluctuations in price are to be explained.
Marx was the first to investigate the value, he discovered that not all labour apparently or necessary for the production of a good,...