Karl Marx Research Paper

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Nearly a hundred and thirty years after his death, Karl Marx continues to exert enormous intellectual and practical influence across the world. Both a scholar and a political activist, Marx addressed a wide range of political as well as social issues, and is known for, among other things, his analysis of history. The interpretations of his theories, particularly those on political economy, have in the course of history generated decades of debate, inspired revolutions and cast him as both devil and deity in political and academic circles. Maligned by some, misunderstood by others and celebrated as one of the world's great thinkers by many more, Marx continues to be a divisive and much discussed individual. While there has been a substantial…show more content…
Yet, none of these facts can be seen as rendering Marx irrelevant or as diminishing the power and vitality of his theory and vision because of the following reasons: First, Marx broke new ground in human thought by making a very fundamental contribution. By demonstrating that human historical development can be understood in a scientific manner by looking at the way human societies produced and reproduced themselves, he elevated history into a Science, rather than mere descriptive narration of palace intrigues, wars, dynastic rulers and their numerous exploits. He placed human beings and their conscious, purposive activity –human labor –at the centre of his analysis of human history. He was able to show that the uniqueness of the human species lay in their conscious productive activity whereby they transformed Nature to produce their means of existence. In the process, human beings also changed and evolved, acquiring new knowledge and new skills all the time, and learning more and more about how nature works and harnessing this knowledge to improve the productive powers of society. Thus ceaseless…show more content…
Third, Marx demonstrated that, as productive powers of a human society – its ‘productive forces’ - inevitably keep growing, they necessarily come into conflict with the prevalent way of organizing social production and reproduction, which he called ‘the social relations of production’. Fourth, he made the point that as productive forces developed, there would emerge a surplus of production over and above the needs of social reproduction, which would then enable a section of society to live off the labor of the rest of society. In other words, the emergence of a surplus would make logically possible the coming into being of class society, based on a division of society between the majority who work – the exploited - and a minority who live off the labor of the majority – the exploiters. Such a class division would of course be possible only on the basis of the minority of exploiters being in control of social production, primarily through their monopoly of ownership of
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