Karl Marx (1818-1883) was born into a wealthy German family, the third of nine children. His father was a classical liberal, a philosophy from which Karl would eventually stray. Marx was a philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and the founder of Marxism.
Karl studied privately under his father until he was twelve years old, at which time he attended the local high school. When he was seventeen years old he went to the University of Bonn. Marx wanted to study philosophy and literature. However his father, a lawyer, desired that his son follow in his footsteps. Soon after, Marx transferred to the Berlin University because of bad grades. He then studied law, and philosophy on the side. In 1841 he got his P.H.D.
In 1843, Karl married Jenny von Westphalen, whom he had been engaged to for seven years. They had their first child, a daughter, in 1844. Together they would have seven children, only three of whom would survive to adulthood.
After graduating from college, Marx began to embrace communist ideas. He met Friedrich Engels, a fellow communist, in 1844. They became life-long friends and were the founders of Marxism. In 1848, the two wrote their most important work, The Communist Manifesto.
Karl Marx died in 1883, soon after his wife’s death.
As previously mentioned, Marxism was founded by Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx believed that Communism would inevitably come forth, without any help. According to Marx, this would occur when the lower class overthrew the upper class capitalists.
Marx also believed that the state was the result of the exploitation of one class of another (the upper class of the working class). Therefore, when the lower class revolted the state would wither away.
Why did Marx think that Communism was superior to Capitalism? Marx said that the division of labor would be abolished, therefore human opportunity, apparently previously stifled, would now flourish. In other words, there would be more autonomy.
He also said that there would be more productivity because society would be planned.
However, in reality, after observing Marxism put to use throughout history, autonomy did not increase, and neither did productivity. Marx’s communist system brought forth dictatorships and unhappiness to the countries wherein it was employed.