The Development of Marxist Thought In the Young Karl Marx


  • Helen Hund Wichita State University


Karl Marx, Marxism, communism


Karl Marx was born a contradiction to the world of his time: from a Jewish family, he would become the world's foremost proponent of atheism; from a culture steeped in German romanticism and Hegelian idealist philosophy, he would become the foremost materialist philosopher; from a profligate son and later, profligate husband and father, he would become the economist who spent hours researching the topic of money for the world-changing "Das Kapital;" and from this man noted for his culture, intelligence, and arrogance would come the destruction of the old order of privilege through the "Communist Manifesto." Karl Marx was a contradiction to his times, and a revolutionary with a burning desire to change the existing society. His thought, however, was not revolutionary in the sense of being original, but a monumental synthesis of influences in his life, which congealed and culminated in three early works: "Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right," "Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction," and the "Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844."