Karl Marx was a German philosopher and sociologist who would go on to influence people around the world, remembered by many even more than 200 years after he was born. On Tuesday, as we marked Marx's birth anniversary, we decided to take a look at some of his more famous quotes.
Now, it must be mentioned that Marx, and the schools of thought his work and ideas gave rise to are not without controversies. But we'll get to that in a minute.
Called a 'socialist revolutionary' by many, Marx worked in collaboration with Friedrich Engels, publishing his research and ideas. Marx is perhaps best known for creating The Communist Manifesto in 1848 -- a pamphlet that has since inspired the thought processes of millions across the world. Another work of significance was the multi-volume Das Kapital.
Marx has over the years become synonymous with a school of thought that came to be known as Marxism -- which simply put, believes that human societies develop through class conflict and suggests a way of organising society where workers own the means of production. He contended that capitalism would lead to internal tensions between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, eventually leading to a breakdown of the existing system. To quote Marx himself: "The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property".
But while Marxism and communism has inspired people across the world, it has also had more than it's fair share of problematic moments. In 1997 several European academics came together to document a history of political repressions by Communist states. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression spoke about genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, killing populations in labor camps and artificially created famines.
On Tuesday, 202 years after his birth, we took a look at some Karl Marx quotes:
1. Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
2. Democracy is the road to socialism.
3. Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.
4. 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.
5. Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.
6. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
7. The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.
8. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
9. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough.
10. Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.
11. Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.
12. The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.
13. Without doubt, machinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers.
14. Machines were, it may be said, the weapon employed by the capitalists to quell the revolt of specialized labor.
15. The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.