Karl Marx as an Economist

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On May 5, 1818, Karl Heinrich Marx was born in a region known as Prussia. He was a philosopher, historian, writer, and above all, an economist. Karl Marx pursued a greater interest in sociopolitical theories during his time in college and examined and researched them more. Heinrich and Henrietta Marx, who resided in Trier, Prussia, were the parents of Karl Marx. His father was a lawyer who also served as an activist in Prussia, and there were nine children in the household when he was born. Karl Marx’s parents were Jews, but later in the year, 1816 changed to Christianity, and Karl Marx was baptized when he was six years old. This paper discusses achievements and the life of Karl Marx.

While at school, Marx performed averagely. He studied in Lutheran elementary school, and it was during this time that he changed his mind and therefore did not have faith in Gods existence and he also did not accept the aspect of physical matter being genuine. These beliefs that Marx had made him renounce Christianity and Jewish ethical rules and claimed they never existed and furthermore, there was not any evidence supporting them (McLellan 3). In 1830, he joined a school called, Trier Gymnasium for five years. The same year after completing his high school level, Marx entered the University of Bonn where he actively participated in academic activities. Being blinded by the campus life, he started drinking, and he got arrested during his second semester for drunkards he also used to distract other students after drinking, he had borrowed many debts and not able to pay them. Due to this reason, Marx’s father thought it would be better for him to join another university where he would take life seriously and study hard. For this reason, Marx was transferred to the University of Berlin (Adams et al. 7).

Marx pursued law and philosophy while he was at the University of Berlin. Later on, he joined Young Helegan's group where he found Bruno Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach whereby they all criticized the religious and political systems that were present that time. Helegan group consisted of students who ultimately refused to accept the ideas of Hegel. It is so unfortunate that Marx’s father dies in the year 1838. In the year 1841, he graduates from the University of Berlin and then gives away his thesis to Jena University where they accept him, and he started his degree of doctor of philosophy. He later wrote some comments on the Latest Prussian Censorship Instruction in the year 1842 that significantly criticizes the absolutist feudal ways in Prussia, and this was the first item that Marx had ever written on journalism (Marx et al. 25).

In the year 1843 in the month of June, Karl Marx and Jenny Wesphalen whose father was a boron of Prussia got married and gave birth to seven kids though four died while they were still young, thereby remaining with three girls; Eleanor, Laura, and Jenny. Marx and his wife lived shortly in Prussia and later decided to move to a place called Paris escaping the Prussian government’s censorship that used to crack down on the agitators in the left wing.

Karl Marx was the most swayful economist in the nineteenth century; his financial knowledge provided a way for the classical economist and neoclassical economic. The neoclassical economic response against the attempt to reject the Marxian critique of the classical economics. Marx learnt being and to economic entity which is shaped by the political, social and cultural institutions. The modes of production were brought about by the technology and Marx said that even though the methods of production got introduced, the poor people will just continue to live in poverty and the rich individuals will also retain their state of being rich because of classes in which people are born. According to him, the slaves of Rome were being exploited by their masters, and their capitalist bosses were exploiting the modern workers. With the use of economic system through controlling the means of production, the people who owned land and capital were able to establish the financial wills of their societies (Marx et al. 9).

In 1840, there was a lot of development process which entailed many changes, during this he met with Fredrick Engels who was a radical in English and them after they became very close friends and associates. Later on, after they had known each other well, Marx made Fredrick his head financial supporter. In the mid-twenties, Marx who got trained as a philosopher took another direction of his profession which was economics and political matters. In his work about the economy, he stressed about capitalism as it was standard issue in economic development.

In 1844, Marx presented his article that was titled, Communism Economic and Philosophical Manuscript which was meant to show communism as the right thing to prevail over the estrangement of toil under the capitalism (Marx et al. 1884). He also showed an interest in the progress history that was happening in that he referred to all that had been happening as a way of materialism whereby people were only basing in benefitting from the investment themselves than helping people in a broader aspect. In his manuscript, Marx wrote about private, communism and money which were the expressions of his argument. He said that the situation of the modern, inclusive societies impact to the alienation of worker who worked to get wages from the lives that they lived with work. In this manuscript, he wrote more of economic quotes which defined that era they were living in at that time. Marx explained and illustrated how people depended on their work to live. This situation had risen before people started to rely on nature in the modern society where one would only eat after working which also meant that without work there would be no food hence people were afraid of lacking it. He said that a worker is alienated from his or her subject to become a slave towards, also look for work themselves to get earnings and the employee also needed to find a means of subsistence.

Karl Marx also wrote a book called Paris Manuscript that described economy and philosophy. In this manuscript, he urged that a worker got estranged in four major ways; through the product that a worker, when his or her labor came as impersonal, from the nature and self-personality of the employee and finally produces from other people.

As an economist, Karl Marx arranged theories which talked about the value of goods about the amount of money such as the cost of production and the amount of labor given. He went on saying that money had a problem in that it changes from being a substitute and becomes useful in his writing about the demand and supply of products. Money does not represent the worth of several goods, but instead, it showed the worth of those goods that got declined by a specific amount of currency. In the market process of exchange of goods and services, Karl Marx that the market needs a to make a formula of; money- commodity- profit which would be different from the traditional one of; commodity- money- commodity for it to be vicious in the market formula (Marx et al. 11).

In his book, Das Kapital Karl Marx debated that using machines is easier and produces more profit than human labor because the wage increases as the devices also become many and at the end, more work is realized. Hence, entrepreneurs should use them. However, when the expenditure of capital on the machines goes higher, the reasonable wages also increases, leading to small benefits in consideration to the total expenses and therefore for each added cost, the capitalist gets little return and can overcome his bankruptcy by pressurizing his workers to ensure this risk gets avoided. Due to this reason, the capitalists may not be able to know their slaves as they have less income which also leads to their downfall because slaves are their workers hence, without them work cannot go on. Their destruction also creates new platform for the working class individuals to acquire both political and economic power.

Karl Marx indicates that the market arrangement does not serve a little want of exchange, but it aims at getting a profit. When people get profits, the money is saved and eventually becomes capital that impacts to capitalism. Marx further refers capital as a labor that has accumulated over a specified period of time. He goes on stating that the estrangement existed because of the transmission of money. He says that the exchange of human state is due to the exchange of individual commodity is the possible origin of activities that man takes part. Marx sees human nature in a particular mutual life and if that does not exist then people forms their shared human nature by creating their normal life. He stated that with the same idea of Aristotle that mutual life does not come from thinking but needs of life and the egoism (Aristotle 3). According to Marx, life should be organized in a human way so as to allow an exact form of a mutual life because estrangement interaction about things that makes it submissive.

By exposing alienation and poverty; individuals have to satisfy their needs in that exchange of property is essential to create equality in the arrangement of trade and capital. Marx opposes this idea that alienation happens when labor becomes a way of getting wages. He states that the payment only covers the needs of the worker and the family. The market price does not show the prize which finally implies that the value is given to the worker as an additional cost usually goes back to the capitalist so as to increase the income of the capitalist. Due to this reason of alienating, Marx brings up the issue if specialization and division of labor. He further says that the laborers have an impossibility of realizing that themselves. The division of human labor brings about civilization which means that as the money gets introduced, the workers cannot exchange their surplus but instead they exchange the money that they own.

Karl Marx also talked about the capitalism in that the broadly outlined its whole concept and its possibilities of causing destroy of oneself, this is contained in his book called Theories of Surplus Value between July and August in the year 1863. In the book, Marx talked about all sections about the current and the coming events that will happen due to the capitalistic society outlining the most critical situations. He further illuminated the issue of surplus value as an outcome of capitalism in that it was not the high population that compelled wages to basic levels but preferably the empirical reality of many people who lack employment. Marx explained in details that it is always easier for the capitalists to make workers take more time doing the tasks than promoting profit themselves by setting easy strategies for property access and practical acquisition means. In this argument, he said that profit was improved from the exploitation of the poor because the profit earned depended on the number of employed workers. He supported this statement by saying that a machine cannot get corrupted, they cannot chip into the summation of interest though they assist in production of more remarkable commodities.

In the list of awards, Karl Marx won a Nobel Prize in economics for his book called Das Capital which turned out to surprise the economic foundation. The book was explaining main work of Marx in the nineteenth century as a prominent philosopher and economist. The book brought a massive exposition about capitalism as it explained the phenomena of capitalism, its broad perspective, and the likelihood of causing self-damage. He stated that his aim was to teach and empower people on proper ways of earning and getting income in the modern society without suffering harm. The book also stresses on the on the idea of the surplus value of work and its repercussions for capitalism. (Katz et al. 372)

Karl Marx also received the Swedish State Bank’s Past Award because he was an economist who came up with the theories that gave a real explanation of the work of the capitalist arrangement. He also got the award because he had seen the damage that resulted from the system and the reason as to why it can get dissolved.

Marx had a list of achievements that he made during his time. He developed six stages of success in development in Western Europe which include the communism that participated by the members of the society, slave association, capitalism, socialization, and communism. He helped to analyze capitalism because he lived at that stage and Marx thought that one day he would be at the stage of socialism and then get to communism. Marx’s theory talks majorly about the development of the society and human’s productive power.

He again discussed the issue of class struggles with high influence. He formed a conflict of social arrangements where the class struggled and that created fear in the state because people used to compete for their socioeconomic interests and the likes of different categories. Marx stressed that class struggles played a role in the hierarchical system in the history of class-based which got formed as capitalism. He stated that the capitalist community had two social groups; workers who earned a living by offering labor to the capitalist and the capital lists who generate income through surplus value that they get from the workers. Their earnings help them to exploit their employees, so the Marx theory in the history of class system had a huge influence on the society and the culture of human beings.

Writing about the theory of historical physicalize was also his significant accomplishment. The theory was the weighty contribution that he made, and he stated in the argument that the society that connects people enables them to produce and reproduce the way of human life and the existence (Marx vol 4).

Writing about Das Kapital was very significant because he clearly explained the idea that the workers did not get paid for the labor. Marx said that if salaries were not paid to the worker because many people were unemployed which mad the capitalist to accumulate their capital (Tsoulfidis 110).

Karl Marx also made notable achievements by reviving the communist league and also created the International Workingmen’s Association which consisted of 800,000 participants. In the year 1864, Marx got elected as a member of the provisional committee that got approved later on.

Marx made a landmark in the economic status of the societies, and his work is relevant even in today’s life, and it became his contribution to the community. He was the one who came up with the idea of examining and resolving the economic that clearly states outlining both social and political matters are contributing factors. In this case, he explained how different people in different classes get affected by the economy; the bourgeoisie who come from the highest class and the serfs who are from the low living status in the society. He discussed that for the rich people to achieve their set standards, they have to manipulate their workers, and therefore this criticizes the role of economic development. He, therefore, suggested that to get the gain in the capitalistic society, the have to change because everything changes and the communities also show changes time (Moore et al. 93).

He also explained about the accumulation of capital that included committing capital to get financial gains later, the expansion and processes in the capitalistic states. He said that the profit might reduce when people think that they are saving more for an extended period which jeopardizes the efforts of economic development which at the end leads to little savings. He urged that keeping capital brings both riches and poverty because it created unemployment and makes small business that depended on them to lack such opportunities hence at the end they both resolve to compete for the little capital. He finished this statement by saying that short time businesses were very dangerous and did not produce enough capital and as season’s changes, capitalists had to make sure that they survive destitute of the period as the type of season because seasons are natural (Marx et al. 56).

Marx did the investigation about industrial capitalism which made him come up with a labor theory by analyzing how the workers in the capitalist got exploited. Marx got the beginning of the surplus value which was started by the capitalism so that they can increase their surplus value and the way in which the surplus got redistributed among them. He further said that the workers were bound to suffer so as to bring wealth in the capitalist society.

He also noted that the state cannot address the crisis of capitalism as he doubted financial policies to be the solution for what Marx knew to be the decennial cycle, although he believed that some budget and bank measure faced outcome about economic activity temporarily. Marx also said that the state could come In with financial legislation so as to support the capitalist against the growing workers.

Karl Marx did a lot of notable work in the economic field where he struggled tirelessly about the economic progression. He died on 14th March 1883 having attained the age of 64 years. Karl Marx died in London after being diagnosed with lung abscess, and he got buried in Highgate Cemetery, situated in London. His wife had died earlier on December 2, 1818. Though dead, Karl Marx’s ideas still benefit the entire world, and they gave a pathway to the school of communism referred as Marxism (Marx 66). Today, the Marxism school has formed many branches as schools of communism.

In conclusion, Karl Heinrich Marx is a prominent economist who has made tremendous changes in the section of economy. In his work he dwells on the idea of the society as a capitalistic one which exists in different in different states of people; the high class, who own properties and the low class who are mainly the workers. The workers face challenges because they relate their labor as the origin of their manipulation as they dedicate their lives to the given work becoming an object of investment but do not enjoy the fruits of their work as they work under their masters. Marx also stresses in his work that was done to the outside environment of the workers. Marx’s ideas also contrast to Hegel’s in that he explains the alienation as the occurrence of two things at the same time in that people live and depend in the world and also depend on their labor to lead a decent life and lastly, Marx defines a capitalistic society as a series of ownership as private. Due to all these, Karl Marx’s ideas are still applicable in the life today.

Works Cited

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The economic and philosophic manuscripts of 1844 and the Communist manifesto. Prometheus Books, 2009.

McLellan, David. "Karl Marx a Biography." (1995).

Marx, Karl, and David McLellan. Karl Marx: selected writings. Oxford University Press, USA, 2000.

Katz, Claudio J. "Karl Marx on the transition from feudalism to capitalism." Theory and Society 22.3 (1993): 363-389.

Marx, Karl. "A contribution to the critique of political economy." Marx Today. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2010. 91-94.

Marx, Karl. "The Marx-Engels reader (Vol. 4)." (1972).

Marx, Karl, George Alan Bonner, and Emile Burns. "Theories of surplus value." (1954).

Tsoulfidis, Lefteris. "Karl Marx’s Das Kapital." Competing Schools of Economic Thought. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009. 85-131.

Adams, Henry Packwood. Karl Marx in His Earlier Writings (RLE Marxism). Vol. 7. Routledge, 2015.

Marx, Karl, Friedrich Engels, and Samuel Moore. The communist manifesto. Vol. 6008. New York Labor News Company, 1959.

June 26, 2023

Political Science

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