Karl Marx

Karl Marx was a German scholar who lived in the nineteenth

century. He spent most of his life studying, thinking and writing

about history and economics. A many years of study, much of it spent

in England, he believed that he understood more deeply than anyone

who had ever lived before him why there is injustice in the world.

He said that all injustice and inequality is a result of one

underlying conflict in society. He called it a \'class struggle\',

that is, a conflict bet the class of people who can afford to own

money- producing businesses, whom he called \'capitalists\' or \'the

bourgeoisie\', and the class of people who do not surplus money to

buy businesses and who are therefore forced to work for wage whom he

called \'workers\'.

Marx said that, because it was always in the economic interest

of capita to take advantage of or \'exploit\' workers, nothing could

persuade capitalists change their ways. In other words, peaceful

progress toward equality and social justice was impossible. The only

way to establish justice, he said, was for t workers to overthrow

the capitalists by means

of violent revolution. He urged workers around the world to revolt

against their rulers. "Workers of the world unite!" he wrote.

have nothing to lose but your chains."

Another thing Marx taught was that organized religion, the

churches, helps capitalists to keep the workers quiet and obedient.

Religion, according to Mar \'the opiate of the masses\'. The church

tells working people to forget about the injustice they meet in

their lives and to think instead of how wonderful it will be in the

after- life when they go to heaven.

Marx, with his colleague, Engels, spread his ideas in two

famous books, Capital\' and The Communist Manifesto\'.

In the early years of the twentieth century, Russia was ready

for the idea Marx. The Russian people were extremely discontented

with their ruler, Tsar Nicholas II, who had little interest in

governing and was neglecting the count badly. Making conditions even

more miserable for the people were the hardships the First World War

and a particularly cold winter.

By 1917, the Russian people were desperate enough to accept a

revolution. fact, they got two for the price of one, the first in

March when the Tsar was deposed and a provisional government was set

up. Then in November a political called the Bolsheviks led a further

rebellion that ousted the provisional government. The leaders of the

Bolsheviks, Lenin and Trotsky, began to build a Russia, one built on

the ideas of Marx, where everyone was equal, where all property was

owned by \'the people\' rather than by capitalists and where the wo

were in control of the government.

Not long afterward, Communist Russia was attacked by Britain,

America and France, who wanted to get rid of the communist

government. They were afraid the workers in their own countries

might be inspired to imitate the example of Russia Trotsky, a highly

intelligent and energetic communist leader led the defense Russia

with great success.

After Lenin\'s death in 1924, a power struggle began

Category: History