The Echoes of the Mind (119-3) Karl Marx

Karl Marx

Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand. ~ Karl Marx

German historian, sociologist, and economist Karl Marx (1818–1883) is best known for his fervent espousal of socialism to address the societal evils of capitalism. He came to favor this polity as a remedy to man’s rapacious nature: the ready willingness to exploit and subjugate, thereby accumulating wealth at others’ diminution.

The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs. ~ Karl Marx

Marx’s key observation was that the method of material production determines social structure in a society. Marx’s sociology focused on how the wealth inequality generated by capitalism invariably drove schisms in society, creating socioeconomic classes.

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

To Marx, dominant capitalists not only exploit workers, they also determine a society’s collective psyche through their social power. The ruling elite maintain their power in part by determining the cultural milieu.

The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. ~ Karl Marx

An idealist like Comte, Marx had an undue respect for the idea that there could be a science of societal engineering. Marx called his proposed political system “scientific socialism.”