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Karl Marx Birth Anniversary: German Philosopher’s Striking Quotes

Statue of the German philosopher Karl Marx in the center of Chemnitz town, Germany, in 2018. (Image: Shutterstock)

Statue of the German philosopher Karl Marx in the center of Chemnitz town, Germany, in 2018. (Image: Shutterstock)

His ‘The Communist Manifesto’ went on to inspire thousands and ‘Das Kapital’ is considered to be the most important book for the socialist movement

Born on May 5, 1818 in Germany, Karl Karl Heinrich Marx was philosopher, historian, economist, sociologist, and revolutionist. His family was Jewish but were forced to convert to Christianity. He witnessed a lot of prejudice and unfair treatment first hand.

Marx grew up learning law and philosophy. Later, he began contradicting existing political and societal ideas. His writings have changed the course of history in a major way. He is still considered as one of the most influential characters in the history of mankind

Marx described communism as the answer to a better society. He wrote several books and papers explaining his theories. His ‘The Communist Manifesto’ went on to inspire thousands and ‘Das Kapital’ is considered to be the most important book for the socialist movement. His work gained recognition after the Russian leader, Vladimir Lenin, incorporated the teachings from the Communist Manifesto in his governance.

Today, Marx has become synonymous with a school of thought known as Marxism — which advocates that human societies develop through class conflict and suggests a way of organising society where workers own the means of production.

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On his birth anniversary, let’s look at some of his most striking quotes:

  • 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.
  • Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.
  • Machines were, it may be said, the weapon employed by the capitalists to quell the revolt of specialized labor.
  • The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
  • The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.
  • Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed.
  • The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.
  • Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand
  • Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form
  • History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

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first published:May 05, 2021, 08:25 IST