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Karl Heinrich Marx. May 5, 1818 March 14, 1883 BIOGRAPHY. Is Marxian Economics Dead. The fall in 1989 of the Soviet Union has lead many to argue that Marxian economics is dead Before addressing that we must look at the person, his theories, and the application of those who said to Marxians.

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karl heinrich marx

Karl Heinrich Marx

May 5, 1818

March 14, 1883


is marxian economics dead
Is Marxian Economics Dead
  • The fall in 1989 of the Soviet Union has lead many to argue that Marxian economics is dead
  • Before addressing that we must look at the person, his theories, and the application of those who said to Marxians
  • Karl Marx born in Trier, Bruckergasse 664
  • son of Jewish lawyer Heinrich Marx and his wife Henriett
  • Appears to have had a normal childhood
  • Father baptizes Karl and his 5 sisters and a brother into the Protestant church
  • The reason he converted to Christianity was in order to reduce the limitations in his profession Jews normally encountered
  • Not surprisingly, at a very early age Marx begins to wonder about the devotion aspect of religion and places its importance more as a social phenomenon
  • Not surprisingly later in his life he is quoted as stating that:
  • “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
  • In his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Introduction]
formal education
Formal Education
  • On October 15th, 1835 at the age of 17 he enrolls at the University of Bonn
  • He last there less than a year since he flunks out due to excessive partying…
but before more formal education
But Before More Formal Education
  • Marx spends his summer vacations in Trier. In Summer of 1836 becomes secretly engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, daughter of Government Counselor Ludwig von Westphalen.
more formal education
More Formal Education
  • On October 22 1836, Marx is enrolled in the Faculty of Law of Berlin University.
  • After completing his studies in Berlin he attends the University of Jena.
  • Writes a dissertation entitled: “he Difference Between Democritean and Epicurean Natural Philosophy” Obtain Ph.D. in April of 1841
early jobs
Early Jobs
  • Attempts to get teaching position at the University of Bonn but does not get a job.
  • Marx moves to Cologne
  • Marx and Bruno Bauer were invited to be the chief contributors, and Marx moves to Bonn
  • In October 15th, 1842 Marx became editor-in-chief of Rheinische Zeitung
early jobs1
Early Jobs
  • Later that year, Marx briefly makes Engels' acquaintance when the latter, in route to England, calls at the editorial office of Rheinische Zeitung
  • The newspaper's revolutionary-democratic trend became more and more pronounced under Marx's editorship, and the government first imposed double and triple censorship on the paper, and then on January 1 1843 suppressed it.
major change in his life 1843
Major Change in his Life, 1843
  • March 17/18: Marx formally relinquishes the editorship of Rheinische Zeitung and publishes a "statement" that he has left the editorial board "because of the present censorship conditions."
  • His opinions are considered too “socialist”
major change in his life 18431
Major Change in his Life, 1843
  • June 19: Marx marries Jenny von Westphalen
  • She was a childhood friend he had become engaged to while still a student.
  • She came from a bourgeois family of the Prussian nobility, her elder brother being Prussia's Minister of the Interior during an extremely reactionary period — 1850-58.
jenny von westphalen
Jenny von Westphalen
  • They have seven children
  • Jenny,
  • Laura,
  • Edgar,
  • Heinrich,
  • Franziska,
  • Eleanor
the kids
The Kids
  • And one more that dies before he is named
  • Only Jenny, Laura and Eleanor survived into their teens.
  • Jenny is oldest daughter
  • Born in 1844
  • Dies shortly before her father

in 1883

the kids1
The Kids
  • Laura was the second daughter of Karl and Jenny.
  • Born in 1845 and died in 1911
  • She was active in the French working class movement
the kids2
The Kids
  • Eleanor Marx
  • Youngest daughter
  • Born 1855 and died 1898
  • Active in British politics and the international working-class movement.
  • Founder of the Socialist League in 1884.
  • Was active in founding trade unions for unskilled workers in England.
  • From 1884 on, lived in common law with Edward Aveling.
  • In the autumn of 1843, Marx went to Paris in order to publish a radical journal abroad, together with Arnold Ruge (1802-1880). Only one issue of this journal Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, appeared.
  • Publication was discontinued owing to the difficulty of secretly distributing it in Germany, and to disagreement with Ruge.
  • Marx's articles in this journal showed that he was already a revolutionary who advocated "merciless criticism of everything existing", and in particular the "criticism by weapon", and appealed to the masses and to the proletariat.
  • Marx and Engels, having both become contributors to Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher (Marx is co-founder), enter into correspondence with each other.
  • Shortly after meeting, Marx and Engels worked together to produce the first mature work of Marxism — The German Ideology. In this work, largely produced in response to Feuerbach's materialism.
  • Marx and Engels set down the foundations of Marxism with the materialistic conception of history.
  • Broke from Left Hegelian idealism with a critique against Bruno Bauer and Max Stirner. "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways;"
  • Marx wrote in an outline for the beginning of the book, " the point is to change it."
1844 cont
1844 (cont.)
  • Marx makes personal contact with Proudhon, keeps in contact with him through the rest of his stay in Paris and in the course of lengthy, often all-night discussions infects Marx with “Hegelianism."
1844 cont1
1844 (cont.)
  • His writings are not appreciated by the Prussian Government.
  • He is found guilty of treason in absentia by the Prussian Government.
  • The government of Prussia puts diplomatic pressure on the French government.
  • At the insistent request of the Prussian government, Marx was banished from Paris in 1845, considered by both governments a dangerous revolutionary.
  • Marx then moved to Brussels.
  • First publication by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx appears: The Holy Family, or Critique of the Critical Critique. Against Bruno Bauer and Associates.
  • Marx and Engels make a study trip to England, where they make contact in London with the League of the Just and with Weitling.
  • Marx's daughter Laura is born.
  • Early June: First Congress of the League of Communists in London. For lack of money, among other things, Marx cannot travel to London and gets Engels (from Paris) and W. Wolff (from Brussels) to represent him. The Congress resolves to reorganize the League of the Just totally, to assume the name "League of Communists" and to prepare a Communist Creed for the next Congress.
  • In the spring of 1847 Marx and Engels joined a secret propaganda society called the Communist League.
1847 cont
1847 (cont.)
  • November 29 - December 10: Marx participates in the second Congress of the League of Communists in London, which adopts the programmatic and tactical principles championed by Marx and Engels in prolonged discussions, and instructs Marx to draft the Manifesto of the Communist Party.
  • February (late): The Manifesto of the Communist Party is published in London.
  • February 25 - March 4: Marx takes an active part in the preparations for an armed republican uprising in Brussels. He donates major sums of money to arming the local workers. He also participates in the preparations for an armed uprising in Cologne.
  • March 4: Marx is arrested by the police at 1 a.m. while getting ready to leave; after several hours of detention, he is released and taken under police escort to the French frontier, when he immediately continues his journey to Paris
  • March/April: The central authority of the League of Communists constitutes itself in Paris, elects Marx its President, Schapper its Secretary, and Bauer, Engels (then still in Brussels), Moll, Wallau and W. Wolff as members.
  • After the March Revolution, he leaves Paris and goes to Cologne
  • Marx arrives in Cologne with Engels and Dronke and at once assumes organization of a big daily, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, started by democratic and partially communist groupings.
1848 1849
  • An article by Engel leads many share holders to abandon Neue Rheinische Zeitung
  • The victorious counter-revolution first instigated court proceedings against Marx (he was acquitted on February 9, 1849),
  • Eventually magazine is outlawed in 1849
1848 18491
  • Then he is banished from Germany (May 16, 1849).
  • First Marx went to Paris, where he was again banished after the demonstration of June 13, 1849,
  • and then went to London, where he lived until his death.
  • Helps German refugees in London
  • The first Neue Rheinische Zeitung -- Political-Economic Review is published in Hamburg in 2,500 copies. From Marx, the issue contained the article on "The Defeat of June 1848" -- "Marx's first attempt to interpret piece of contemporary historic in the light of his materialist philosophy from the economic situation prevailing at the time." (Engels)
  • Due to lack of rent he and his family is evicted.
  • With the help of Engels and others is able to move into new housing: 28 Dean Street.
1850 1851
  • He is given access to the British Museum Reading Room where he reads classical economist and begins writing his critique
  • Son dies of meningitis
  • Writes articles for the New York Tribune Newspaper on the situation in Germany
  • Family sick
  • Financial situation worsens
  • Can not write articles for the New York Tribune since he can not afford to buy newspapers to keep informed
  • Communist League declares itself dissolved on Marx's motion and declares its further existence London as well as on the continent
1853 1855
  • This period he is financially is dire-straits
  • He is ill
  • Does not advance on his economic studies
1855 1866
  • Second son dies and Jenny Marx (wife) gives birth to a child which dies soon after
  • Agrees to become a contributor to Neue Oder-Zeitung
  • Has disagreement with Lassalle (from Neue Oder-Zeitung)
  • Begins writing Das Kapital
  • March 27: Marx completes the fair copy of Volume I of Das Kapital
  • September (3rd week): Volume I of Das Kapital is published in a print run of 1,000
  • Financial situation does not improve
1878 1880
  • Begins work on Vol. II of Das Kapital
  • Financial and health problems continue
  • Attempts to get Charles Darwin to accept a dedication on Vol. II
  • Darwin declines on the grounds -- among others -- that he does not wish to offend his family's religious sentiments.
1881 1883
  • Wife dies on December 2, 1881
  • 1882 his health deteriorates
  • He dies on March 14, 1883
  • Marx passed away peacefully in his armchair
  • He lies buried next to his wife at Highgate Cemetery in London.