Karl Marx


German Philosopher, Sociologist, Economic Historian, Journalist and Revolutionary Socialist

Author Quotes

It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving - as if it were an individual person - its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.

Democracy is the road to socialism.

Capital is money, capital is commodities. By virtue of it being value, it has acquired the occult ability to add value to itself. It brings forth living offspring, or, at the least, lays golden eggs.

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.

Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.

A commodity appears at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.

Follow your own path no matter what people say.

The philosophers have interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.

The more these conscious illusions of the ruling classes are shown to be false and the less they satisfy common sense, the more dogmatically they are asserted and the more deceitful, moralizing and spiritual becomes the language of the established society.

Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.

Men make their own history… but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past. The traditions of all dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the minds of the living.

The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

In the social production of their existence, human beings necessarily enter into determinate relations, independent of their will, relations of production, corresponding to a given stage of development of their material productive powers. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which rises a legal and political superstructure and tow which correspond determinate forms of social consciousness. the mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and spiritual life. It is not the consciousness of human beings which determines their existence, but their social existence determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive powers of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or - this merely expresses the same things in terms of right - with the property relations in the framework of which they have thus far operated. From forms of development of the productive powers these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure.

Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is ours only when we have it - when it exists for us as capital, or when it is directly possessed... In the place of all physical and mental senses there has therefore come to be the sheer alienation of all these senses, the sense of having. The human being has been reduced to this absolute poverty in order that he might yield his inner wealth to the outer world.

The overcoming of private property means the complete emancipation of all human senses and qualities, but it means this emancipation precisely because these senses and qualities have become human both subjectively and objectively. The eye has become a human eye, just as its object has become a social, human object derived from and for the human being. The senses have therefore become theoreticians immediately in their practice. They try to relate themselves to their subject matter for its own sake, but the subject matter itself is an objective human relation to itself and to the human being, and vice versa. Need or satisfaction have thus lost their egoistic nature, and nature has lost its mere utility by use becoming human use.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is this: man makes religion; religion does not make man. Religion is, in fact, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet gained himself or has lost himself again... The wretchedness of religion is at once an express of and a protest against real wretchedness. Religion is the sigh of the opposed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

When machinery seizes on an industry by degrees, it produces chronic misery among the operatives who compete with it. Where the transition is rapid, the effect is acute and felt by great masses.

The foundation of every division of labor that is well developed and brought about by the exchange of commodities is the separation between town and country. It may be said, that the whole economical history of society is summed up in the movement of this antithesis.

In slave labor, even that part of the working day in which the slave is only replacing the value of his own means of existence, in which, therefore, in fact, he works for himself alone, appears as labor for his master. All the slaves labor appears as unpaid labor.

The capitalist mode of production and accumulation, and therefore capitalist private property, have for their fundamental condition the annihilation of self-earned private property; in other words, the expropriation of the laborer.

As society itself produces man as man, so it too is produced by him. Activity and mind are social in their content as well as in their origin; they are social activity and social mind... The individual is the social being.

Though man is a unique individual, he is equally the whole, the ideal whole, the subjective existence of society as thought and experienced. He exists in reality as the representation and the real mind of social existence, and as the sum of human manifestations of life.

The tradition of all past generations weights like an Alp upon the brain of all living.

The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and extent. The worker becomes a cheaper commodity the more commodities he produces. The increase in value of the world of things is directly proportional to the decrease in value of the human world. Labour not only produces commodities. It also produces itself and the worker as a commodity, and indeed in the same proportion as it produces commodities in general.

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German Philosopher, Sociologist, Economic Historian, Journalist and Revolutionary Socialist