Karl Marx is among the most important and influential of all modern philosophers who expressed his ideas on humans in nature. According to the University of Dayton, “the human person is part of a larger history of life on this planet. Through technology humans have the power to have an immense effect on that life.”[ii] The people of his time found that the impact of the Industrial Revolution would further man’s success within this world and would ensure his success as a species. Marx was extremely radical in finding that this was a positive impact on humans in nature.
In order to understand why his views were considered radical, it is important to understand his philosophy and the period of history during which Marx developed and formulated his views. Radical, as defined by the Webster’s New World Dictionary states, “disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions”[iii]. Marx’s theories certainly fit this definition of radical. Marx was the founder of the Communist movement, and his ideas about history and economics form the basis of socialist politics throughout the world. This philosophy was developed just as the Industrial Revolution, which was based on capitalism, was beginning to spread from England to the rest of Europe.
The writings of Karl Marx spell out the philosophic foundations of his radicalism. Marx’s philosophy is complicated and detailed. However, the central theme to Marx’s theories was his view that economic forces were increasingly oppressing human beings and his belief that political action and change were necessary. Marx’s thinking is a reaction to the industrial society of the mid ninete...
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...pitalism (New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1988), 8.
[viii] Gurley, 8.
[ix] Karl Marx. Manifesto of the Communist Party, ed. Friedrich Engels (The Avalon Project at Yale Law School), Section IV. Position of the Communist In Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties.
[xi] Gurley, 31.
[xii] John Elster. An Introduction to Karl Marx (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 7.
[xiii] Gurley, 27.
[xv] Gurley, 5.
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