Karl Marx

DEFINITION of 'Karl Marx'

A philosopher and economist famous for his ideas about capitalism and communism. Born in Prussia in 1818, Marx, in conjunction with Friedrich Engels, published "The Communist Manifesto" in 1848, which explains history as a class struggle between workers and owners of capital and sees a classless, communist society as an inevitable result of this struggle. Later in his life he wrote "Das Kapital," which discussed the labor theory of value.

BREAKING DOWN 'Karl Marx'

Marx's work laid the foundations for future communist leaders, such as Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, and for a political system that would take hold in countries including Russia, China, North Korea and Eastern Europe. Marx is often criticized for discussing economic theory and the exploitation of the working class while failing to maintain a job for a significant period of time.

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