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Philosophers: Karl Marx

Karl Marx was a German philosopher who critiqued the political economy. Throughout Marx’s life, he encountered many different philosophies and cultures, which influenced his beliefs shared in The Communist Manifesto. Such influences Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi’s critique of laissez-faire economics, Rousseau, materialism from Ludwig Feuerbach, and Friedrich Engels’ analysis of the working class. Through Sismondi’s statement on the bourgeois science of economics, Marx believed that the proletariat lived at the expense of society. He was also impacted by The Social Contract, by Rousseau, believing that individuals should sacrifice individual freedoms for state protection. Feuerbach’s materialism led to Marx’s critical analysis of religion. Charles Darwin’s work on natural selection in his Origin of Species also influenced Marx’s concept of historical materialism, which argues that changes in social structure are a result of technological conditions rather than ideals.

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