Karl Marx: Impact on Today's Society

Life of Marx: The Beginning

Karl Marx began his life in a small town of Trier, Germany. His parents were Hirschel and Henrietta Marx; Hirschel Marx was a lawyer and part of the Jewish faith. Early in Karl Marx’s life his father decided to change religions, he became a protestant to avoid religious persecution. Not much is known of the early days of Karl's life, other than his father home schooled him; later in his life, he went to college at Bonn University to study law. While he was there, he was in a duel over the amount of debt that he had accumulated during the time he was in college, the duel left him wounded. His father caught word of the problems his son was having, he came and settled the debt. After that incident Karl began to work really hard on his studies, he took to one of his professors, Bruno Bauer, who introduced him to the works of G.W.F. Hegel, who became one of the most influential people in his life. Karl was forced to stop going to school when his father passed away, he had to start making his own living. That’s when Marx started to build his theories.

Life of Marx: The early working days


Karl Marx started working as a lecturer at the University of Jena, and also tried to become a journalist, but he failed at both because of his very radical political views. A newspaper, The Rheinsche Zeitung, contacted him about writing for them full time, and he accepted. While at this newspaper he began to write about socialism. He was forced to move to Paris after the government shut down Rheinsche Zeitung, but found another political newspaper to write for in Paris. The main person that influenced Karl’s political view was Friedrich Engels; he introduced Karl to the idea that the working class was being taken advantage of by the upper five percent; this was one of the most important things that came out of Paris for Karl Marx. After the shut down of another of the political newspaper Marx moved to Brussels. In Brussels he worked on “The Communist Manifesto”, this was a book on the beliefs of the communist league and set the way for Marxism. He started to become a political leader in the communist party and even started to arm some of the workers in Belgian to overthrow their government. After that he was forced to flee, he returned to Paris where he started to pass out papers that said only four out of the ten things in the communist manifesto had to be done to start the communist way. The first and most important was the over throw of the bourgeoisie or the richest five percent. After that happened Marx decided to make his own make his own political newspaper. This did not last very long though, his paper was forced to stop printing and he was exiled from Belgium, Germany, and Paris.

Life of Marx: London


Marx was forced to move to, London, a place he had never lived before, but he ended up staying for the rest of his life. In London he was very active in both the London communist league and German Workers’ Educational Society, which both met in London. In London, Marx started to try to understand both capitalism and political economies. While this was happening Marx’s health took a turn for the worst. At this time he started to write the Das Kapital, a book dealing with revolution and a critical look on capitalism. Marx died after he wrote Das Kapital; Marx life was one of many revolutionary new ideas that he implemented.

Marx’s Theory: On Communism

Communism is what Karl Marx wrote about, he believed that communism is ultimately what the world’s governments will become. Communism is a classes less, money less, and stateless society. Communist believes that everyone is entitled to everything and that people will continue to work for the betterment of the people. The idle type of government, the perfect society, this would give people equality. Communism is an economic, political, and social structure that makes everyone in the country equal to one other. Marx had the revolutionary thought that the common people or the proletariat would over throw the upper class or the bourgeoisie. He said that when the distribution of income was too different and the common class could not help themselves anymore there would be a revolution and the common people would make a new socialist style of government. This type of government is known as a social ownership, where everyone has a common ownership. He believed that after that was stable, another revolution would happen to communism. This was an overlooked part of the doctrine. Marx believes this would take time and it would be a progression over many years. The countries today that are communist are not how Marx envisioned the revolution to happen. There was not enough time for the transformation to happen in Marx's eyes. Marx also believed that the working class had to be the main source for the revolution not one person or a smaller group. Communism is one of the influential topics of the twentieth centenary.

Impact on the World

Today, there are seven countries that are communist. Five of them are truly communist and two of them elect a leader every year still. These countries are China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus, and Nepal. The most famous communist country is still the Soviet Union. It only lasted only sixty-nine years but it was one of the most dominating powers at that time. The Soviet Union controlled about8.5 million square miles. This was one of the largest countries ever in the world. The Soviet Union was controlled by the USSR or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They were not a true communist country; they did not go through true revolution of the working class. They had a small group of wealth people push for communism while the country needed a revolution. The communist party won the battle and the Soviet Union was created. Since this was not true communism, there were some flaws in the system and human nature got in the way of the ultimate goal ruining the communist way. Another communist country today is China. China at one point was the closest to real communism. China started in rural areas by giving the people of the town the land instead of one or two people to control all the land. Since the people had the land they all farmed it and worked to make it the best it could be, but the Chinese people who were farming it were still getting incentives. When they tired to take the incentives away they farmers revolted. China still has a communist government but it is not true communist. It has a capitalist market place now making not a true communist government. Even though there is not a country that is a true communist country, they still strive for it.



Karl Marx was on of the most influential people of this era. He changed the way people looked at societies. He believed that having all the money with only a few people and the common working class person didn’t have enough, would lead to a revolution to a classless society. Karl Marx’s life was a direct relation to why he thought this. He started his life with a lot of money and when he was forced to move to London he lived in poverty. In the world today, there are many countries that are striving for true communism, but none are there yet. His theories have made people follow him and to overthrow their government for the idea of equality. Karl Marx has changed the world with his writings, theories, and way of thought.

Work Cited

Spartacus Educational: Karl Marx from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUmarx.htm
Marxism: Library of Economic and Library 2008 by David L. Prychitko from http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Marxism.html
Karl Marx Capitalism Marxism Critique Of Capitalism 2009 from http://www.economictheories.org/2008/07/karl-marx-capitalism-marxism-critique.htmlKarl Marx and informal education 2000 from http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-marx.htm
The History Guide: Karl Marx 2008 from http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/marx.html
Communism in China by Ruven Chu, Shane Moriah, Daniel Lau, Amos Schallich 2009 from http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~eroberts/cs181/projects/communism-computing-china/china.html
The Soviet Union 1995 from http://markhumphrys.com/soviet.html