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Essay: Karl Marx

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Karl Marx, born on 5 may 1818 at Brückengasse 664 in Trier, a town then part of the Kingdom of Prussia’s Province of the lower Rhine. Ancestrally Jewish, his grandfather was a Dutch rabbi. Herschel, Karl’s father was a lawyer and lived a relatively wealthy and middle-class life. Back then, they were living in anti-semitic legislation. To escape from the anti-semitic legislation, Herschel converted from Judaism to Lutheranism (a major branch of Protestant Christianity which identifies with the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546)), then changed his name to Heinrich.
Heinrich was non-religious, he was a man that interested in the ideas of the philosophers for instance, Immanuel Kant and Voltaire. He believe in classical liberalism (a political ideology that values the freedom of individuals) where he took part in reforming Prussia, back then was governed by an absolute monarchy. Heinrich Marx later work as attorney in 1815.

Young Karl was privately educated by his father until 1830, then he entered Trier High School. Teachers of the Trier High School mostly were liberal humanist where the school was raided by the police in 1832 and discovered that the literature espousing political liberalism was being distributed among the students. Due to the police findings, the authorities instituted reforms and replace several staff during Marx’s attendance.

Marx travelled to the University of Bonn to study philosophy and literature but his father was insist on law. While at the University, he join several club such as Poet’s Club where the club was containing several member of political radicals that were monitored by the police. He also joined the Trier Tavern Club Drinking Society, later he became as club co-president. His father force to transfer Marx to University of Berlin due to his deteriorated grades.

In Berlin, he studied law but he was so fascinated by philosophy. He became so interested that he studied the ideas of German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel, whose ideas was widely debated among European philosophical group. He later joined a club where they discussed about Hegelian ideas, then later he involved in a group if radical thinkers known as the Young Hegelians in 1837. Marx’s father died in May 1838. Marx had been emotionally close to his father and treasured his memory after his death.

In 1842, Marx moved to Cologne. He became a journalist and writing for the radical newspaper Rheinische Zeitung (Rhineland News). In his writing, he criticised both right-wing European governments and liberal and socialist movements. His writing attracted the attention of Prussian government. The Prussian government checked every issue for seditious material before it’s distributed. Tsar Nicholas I requested the radical newspaper banned in 1843 due to an article that strongly criticised the Russian monarchy.

In 1843, Paris was the heart of politics in Europe. By the time Marx moved there, he founded a single issue of journal titled Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher (German-French Annals). In 1844, he met his lifelong friend and will become his collaborator, Friedrich Engels. Both of them began to criticise former friend of Marx’s and a Young Hegelian, Bruno Bauer. In 1845, they published their first collaboration titled The Holy Family.

Marx was finally broke off from Young Hegelians’s philosophy after he was introduced socialism by Moses Hess. He developed his first theory on historical materialism after he finish wrote The German Ideology. The German Ideology was not published after his death because there are no individuals willing or taking the risk to publish it.

Early 1846, Marx discovered that Communist Correspondence Committee attempt to link all socialist around the Europe. Socialist in England formed an organization called the Communist League due to his ideas and in 1847, Marx and Engels write Manifest der Kommunistichen Partei (Manifesto of the Communist Party).

The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 and it was their one of the famous work until the present day. In 1849, Marx was kick out from the Belgium. He went to France and join the socialist revolution but he was caught and deported back to where he from. Prussia refused to claim him and so Marx moved to London although Britain at that time denied his citizenship.

Marx was one of the founders of the German Workers’ Educational Society. He continued his work as journalist and from 1852 to 1862, he work as correspondent for New York Daily Tribune for 10 years. While he was there, he was fully supported by Engels because he never earned a single living wage.

Marx became more focusing of capitalism and economic theory. He published the first volume of Das Kapital in 1867. After that he spend his whole life writing and revising manuscripts.

In December 1881, Marx lost his wife, Jenny. Marx died in London on 14 March 1883 (age 64) due to pleurisy. Marx died without any citizenship. On 17 March 1883, h.is body buried in High Cemetery, London.

Born in 1864 in Erfurt, Province of Saxony, Prussia, Karl Emil Maximilian Weber was the oldest of the seven children of Max Weber Sr. His Father, Max Weber Sr was a member of the National Liberal Party. His wife Helene (Fallenstein) was partly descended from French Huguenot (members of the French Reformed Church) immigrants. Young Max and his brother Alfred was thrived in the intellectual atmosphere thus both of them became a sociologist and economist. In 1876, his Christmas present were two historical essays titled “About the course of German history” and “About the Roman Imperial period from Constantine to the migration of Nations”. Bored with his school, Max became disrespectful towards his teachers and later being disdained by his teachers. Max was being affected by the tension between his father “a man that enjoyed with earthly pleasures’ and his mother, “who was ascetic or pursuing spiritual goals”.

Max entered in the University of Heidelberg in 1882 as a law student then he join military. After his military service, he then transferred to the University of Berlin. At early stages as a student, he spent his time by drinking beer and fencing. Webber passed the examination for Referendar in 1886. Webber continued his study in law and history in the late 1880s. In 1889, he earned his law doctorate by writing a thesis on legal history.

In 1881, he joined an association of German economists called Verein Fur Socialpolitik. He also joined the left-leaning Evangelical Social Congress. In 1890, Webber was in charge in the study of the influx of Polish workers into the eastern Germany as local labourers. It was a program that has been established by the Verein at that time. Webber able to wrote a large part of the final report which eventually draw attention and controversy. It has been marked as the beginning of the Webber as a social scientist.

Weber joined the Pan-German League from 1893 to 1899. It is an organization that against the migration of the Polish workers. Weber criticises the immigration of poles and blames the members of the landed nobility in Prussia for perpetuating Slavic immigration to serve their selfish interest.

Weber married his distant cousin Marianne Schitger in 1893. Marianne was later became a feminist activist and author. They can’t have any children and Weber was finally able to leave his parents’ house. In 1894, they moved to Freiburg and Weber became a professor of economics at the University of Heidelberg in 1896. Weber became a public figure at the University where they also have so called “Weber Circle”. In the Verein and the Evangelical Social Congress, his research more focus on economics and legal history.

His father, Max Weber Sr. died in 1897. Due to his father death, Weber became depress, nervous and insomnia. His condition forcing him to leave his duties as a professor and leave the unfinished course in 1899. Weber admitted to sanatorium in 1900 for several months and eventually Weber and his wife travelled to Italy until April 1902. By that time, Weber was unable to teach at the university.

Weber famous work is his essay “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” which he began to publish in 1904. Later, he began his research on the impact of the cultures and religions on the development of economic systems. This e
ssay was the only one of his works that been publish as a book during his life time.

Due to the disappointment with the Verein, he co-founded an organization called German Sociological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Soziologie) or DGS. However, in 1912 he resigned from the DGS. Weber attempted to organise a left-wing political party in 1912. The party combining social-democrats and liberals but the attempt was unsuccessful. This is because of mostly liberals are feared with social-democratic revolutionary ideas.

Weber volunteered for a service as a reserve officer in World War 1. He’s in charge in organizing the army hospitals in Heidelberg until the end of 1915. At first, he supported the national rhetoric and the war effort. Although he had hesitation on his opinion on the war, where the war only to fulfil German duty as a leading state power. However, he became on of the critics of German expansionism and the Kaiser’s war policies. Later, he supported calls for democratisation and constitutional reform.

Weber organized a party called German Democratic Party and ran for parliamentary seat but the attempt was unsuccessful. In January 1919, weber delivered his greatest lectures, “Politics as a Vocation”. The lectures was based on handwritten notes which were transcribed by a stenographer. The lecture is about reflection on the inherent violence and dishonesty found among politicians.

Weber continue teaching at this time, he started teaching at the University of Vienna and later in 1919, he teaching at University of Munich. In Munich, he became the head of the first German University Institute of Sociology. Due to his response of German Revolution, many students in Munich are angry about the response that he’s made. On 14 June 1920, Max Weber died of pneumonia in Munich.

Karl Marx famous work is The Communist Manifesto. It divided into four sections and a preamble. The Manifesto begin with mentioning all the parties at that time and the government. The introduction also include the result of the fact that has been state in the introduction. It also telling the Communists to openly share their goals with the whole world.

The first section is about “Bourgeois and Proletarians”. Bourgeois means the owner of the production or company while Proletarians is the industrial working class. The societies have been familiar with the understanding of that those who are oppressed living under their oppressive. In society, the bourgeois have been look up as the supreme class and they displacing all the old powers of feudalism. The bourgeois constantly taking advantage on proletarians for example exploiting for their labour power thus this will result in largely profiting themselves. Eventually, the proletarians will realised that they have been use for their self-interest and the proletarians will realised their own potential or power to rise and demand a revolution.

The second section of the Manifesto is about the “Proletarians and Communists”. In the Manifesto, it state that the communists will not opposed or use the other working class. Unlike the “Bourgeois”, this relationship will express the general will (the will of the people as a whole). In this section also defend the communist from various charges such as claiming that the communists advocates “free love”.

The third section of the manifesto is about “Socialist and Communists Literature”. This section differentiate the communists and others socialist doctrines such as Bourgeois Socialism, Critical-Utopian Socialism and Reactionary Socialism at that time. Although their perspectives different, all of them are rejected for supporting reformism and fail to identify the role of pre-eminent revolutionary of the working class.

The last section is “Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Opposition Parties”. This section discuss about the struggle of the communists in specific countries such as France, German, Poland and Switzerland. This section also state that it predicts that the world revolution will occur soon.

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