Biography of Karl Marx – Hello, Sinaumed’s, this time we will discuss about Karl Marx. Who does n’t know the Father of Socialism on this one?
This one figure is known for his revolutionary thoughts, especially regarding his very famous socialism and communism. It is not surprising that he is called the Father of Socialism and the Founding Father of Communism , along with his friend Friedrich Engels .
Karl Marx was a teacher of communism whose teachings are still used as a system of government in several countries around the world. This can happen, because Marx’s ideas began to show a great influence on the development of the world of work after he died. This influence continues to grow after being driven by the victory of the Marxist Bolsheviks in the Russian October Revolution.
However, did you know that the figure of Karl Marx was very unique and rebellious because of his thoughts in his time. Even so, in the history of his life, he is known as a philosopher, sociologist, political economist and social theorist.
Sinaumed’s is becoming more and more curious about what the life story of a Karl Marx is like? How come you have an idea about the concept of communism and what exactly does it mean by communism itself? So that you are not curious anymore, let’s look at the article below.
Karl Marx’s Childhood
Born on May 5, 1818 in the city of Trier, the southeastern region of Germany which was then still part of the Lower Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia. Marx was born into a Jewish family with middle-class economic conditions.
He was the third child of nine children owned by the couple Heinrich Marx and Henrietta Marx. Despite coming from a family of Jewish descent, his father in 1816 decided to be baptized a Christian at the age of 36.
Heinrich was a lawyer who was quite successful in Prussia. Marx’s father was also a reform activist during his time. His father’s decision to embrace Christianity was because in 1815, there was a regulation that prohibited Jews from occupying crucial positions in society.
Even so, his father was baptized by a Lutheran, not a Catholic which is the main faith in Trier. The reason, because Marx’s father was someone with beliefs that equate Protestantism with intellectual freedom.
Karl Marx himself was baptized when he was 6 years old, along with his siblings. Meanwhile, his mother was just baptized after his father died. Even though Trier was known as one of the Catholic cities in Germany at that time. However, the influence of liberal ideas became easier to enter because of its location on the border with France.
Until the age of 12, Karl Marx studied at home, aka homeschooling . However, he eventually continued his education at the Jesuit school, Trier, which at that time was known as the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium. Marx attended school for 5 years, from 1830 to 1835. During school, Marx himself was just an ordinary student, like most students in general.
One thing that was unexpected from his new school. It turned out that the principal at that time was a friend of his father who was a man with liberal views. The head of the school is a Kantian who is respected by the people of Rhineland, but is under suspicion by the authorities.
Because of the existing suspicions. Eventually the school came under surveillance and was raided in 1832.
Karl Marx’s Youth
So, it was when he entered the campus that Marx began to show his rebellious attitude . After studying at the Jesuits, Marx continued studying at the University of Bonn, Germany. In a way, he is an active student in academic life on campus and is also known as a rebel.
During the first two semesters, Marx spent his days making trouble, getting drunk, and even fighting. His father was furious and forced Marx to move to another, more serious school, namely the University of Berlin, majoring in philosophy and law.
This is where Marx got to know philosophy from GWF Hegel, a professor in Berlin. Although initially not so fascinated by Hegel’s theory, he was still heavily involved with Hegelian youth groups. In that group of radical students, among them were Bruno Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach. They usually criticized the problems of political and religious progress at that time.
In 1836, when Marx was increasingly eager to get involved politically. Marx was secretly engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, a woman from a respectable family in Trier who was four years his senior. Seeing the behavior of the child who is also increasingly radical. In a series of letters, Marx’s father expressed concern at seeing his son go crazy like that.
Heinrich also reprimanded her for not taking the responsibilities of marriage seriously enough, especially since her future wife was from an upper-class family. His father also asked Marx to stop his marriage to Jenny.
5 years passed, Marx finally received his doctorate from the University of Jena in 1841. Unfortunately, because of the radical politics he brought. This prevented him from getting a teaching position there.
He also moved on to find a new job. In 1842, he began working as a journalist, and within 10 months he became chief editor of a liberal newspaper in Cologne, called the Rheinische Zeitung. Not last long, one year later, Marx resigned on March 18, 1843. After his resignation, it became a coincidence, the local government ordered the closing of all newspapers starting April 1, 1843.
Three months later, exactly 7 years after Karl Marx was secretly engaged to Jenny von Westphalen. In June 1843, Marx married her and in October, they moved to Paris.
They were blessed with six children, but due to extreme poverty, only three children who were girls survived to adulthood. Karl Marx’s children as adults were also actively involved in political activities.
Marx’s life in Paris
In Paris, Marx met Arnold Ruge who was also active in politics. They even founded a political journal entitled Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher . Unfortunately, both have different philosophies from one another. Even so, the journal actually brought Marx to Friedrich Engels in August 1844 in a famous Parisian cafe at that time. Uniting them as collaborators and lifelong friends.
Friedrich Engels was the son of a textile factory owner who became a socialist and criticized the living conditions faced by working class people. Much of Marx’s pity, the misery of the working class stems from his exposure to Engels as well as his own ideas.
The two of them also began to write criticisms of the philosopher Bruno Bauer, a Young Hegelian and former friend of Marx while studying in Berlin. The results of the first collaboration between Marx and Engels were published in 1845 as The Holy Family.
That same year, he was caught writing for the radical newspaper Vorwärts. Marx was expelled from France and moved to Belgium. Vorwärts himself had strong ties to the organization that became the Communist League.
Marx’s life in Brussels
Moving country, moving philosophy. Karl Marx was reunited with another figure who introduced him to socialism experts, until he completely broke up with the Young Hegelian philosophy. That figure is Moses Hess.
While in Brussels, Marx wrote The German Ideology and first developed his theory of historical materialism. However, he could not find a publisher willing to publish his work. Until his death, the manuscript of the German Ideology was never published.
Then early in 1846, Marx founded the Communist Correspondence Committee in an attempt to connect socialists from all over Europe. Inspired through his ideas, particularly from his writings in the radical newspaper Vorwärts . The socialists in England held a conference and formed the Communist League.
A year later, the Communist League finally held a central meeting in London in 1847. The organization asked Marx and Engels to write Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (Manifesto of the Communist Party) which was published in 1848.
Again, in 1849 Marx was expelled from Belgium. Anticipating the socialist revolution, he returned to France, but he was also deported from there. His hometown, Prussia, also refused to re-naturalize Karl Marx. He eventually moved to London. Although the British refused him citizenship, Marx remained in London until his death.
Marx’s life in London
Although not a good new start. In London, Marx helped found the German Workers’ Education Society and the new headquarters of the Communist League.
He continued to work as a journalist, including a 10-year stint as correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune from 1852 to 1862. However, he never earned a decent wage and was largely supported by Engels. Marx became increasingly focused on capitalism and economic theory, until, in 1867, he published the first volume of Das Kapital.
The remainder of his life was spent writing and revising the manuscript for the additional volume of Das Kapital, which was not completed. The two remaining volumes were collected and published posthumously by Engels.
Karl Marx’s Lifetime Works
During his lifetime, although from year to year, Karl Marx was deported from various countries. He regularly writes down his thoughts and publishes them in journals, newspapers where he works, and even publishes a book.
Not infrequently, Karl Marx also worked with his best friend, Friedrich Engels. According to the marxist.org website , here are some of the important works of Karl Marx himself as well as works made with Engels.
- Theses on Feuerbach (Marx, 1845)
- The Poverty of Philosophy (Marx, 1847)
- Wage-labour and Capital (Marx, 1847)
- The Principles of Communism (Engels, 1847)
- Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx and Engels, 1848)
- Prices of Wages and Profit (Marx, 1865)
- The Housing Problem (Engels, 1872)
- Capital I, Capital II, Capital III (Marx, 1867 – 1894)
Marx and his Factory School Ideas
After the problems that occurred as a result of the Manifesto of the Communist Party he made. In spending his life in London. Karl Marx was also very active in forming a better curriculum for the children of workers there, you know .
At that time, children aged 9-12 years had to work in factories. For this reason, Marx put his ideas into creating a part-time system for the children of workers in his book entitled Capital. Marx hoped that the children would be able to work, but still be able to continue their education.
But unfortunately, the capitalists and the government at that time were not indifferent to this half-time idea of Marx. They said it would cost more just to hire 2 child labor shifts . As a result, many children of laborers are fired if they are caught working while at school.
The curriculum proposed by Marx at that time was actually not much different from conventional schools. Starting with mental education, physical education (a combination of gymnastics and military training), and there is also polytechnic education which teaches the general principles of all production processes.
The point is that Marx wanted to emphasize education for working children and youth, so that they could develop into individuals capable of carrying out social changes around them. Marx favors a combination of education and work, compared to an education system that requires children to study all day long.
According to Marx, with this part-time work and school system, children and youth workers can practice directly. They also know what causes the errors that have been made so far in the production system. It can also make them individuals who are willing to make changes for their people.
Karl Marx’s death
Not many people know that actually, Marx in most of his life had many health problems. The problem is related to insomnia, rheumatism, headaches, toothaches, and even heart disease.
Marx also died of pleurisy on March 14, 1883. He was buried in London and was only marked with a simple stone. Then in 1954, the British Communist Party erected a large monument decorated with a statue of Marx.
Until now, there is a large headstone that you can see when Sinaumed’s visits England. The tombstone contains the complementary sentence of the Communist Manifesto, namely ” Workers of the World Unite “, as well as a quote from the Thesis on Feuerbach.
Well, Sinaumed’s , that’s a brief history of the biography of Karl Marx and his works. It turns out that Karl Marx’s life at that time was the same as other scientists, huh. Even though Karl Marx was only an ordinary human being, it was his thoughts that made him extraordinary, like a scientist.
We can also take an example from the good intentions of Karl Marx who wanted to make changes, such as the curriculum and his attention to the world of education. To balance the learning activities of many children. Then they will be able to become better individuals. Not only learning from theory, but also from the practice of producing something. Hopefully Sinaumed’s can be inspired to make changes for the better, okay ?
For Sinaumed’s who are still curious about Karl Marx. You can really read the Biography of Karl Marx by Isaiah Berlin which you can find at sinaumedia.com. You too can understand Karl Marx’s views clearly and straightforwardly in the abridged version in the book Karl Marx A Brief Introduction by Peter Singer.
Then, if Sinaumed’s is interested in understanding and studying the thoughts of the Father of Socialism, of course he can read the book Thoughts of Karl Marx written by Frans Magnis Suseno. In his book, Frans explains the main points of Marx’s thoughts objectively and critically.
You can find these three books about Karl Marx, from his biography to an explanation of his thoughts and views, at your favorite sinaumedia or via sinaumedia.com .
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