Education makes the world a better place by opening up our minds to limitless possibilities. Contemporary society is shaped by revolutionary scholars who studied the social and political ways of organizing and running the world. Karl Heinrich Marx was one of these important people. Over a hundred years after his demise, the world is still influenced by Karl Marx quotes on various aspects of life.
Karl Marx was an economist, sociologist, and historian who was born in Trier, Rhine province, Prussia, on the 5th of May, 1818. According to Karl Marx biography, he took his last breath on the 14th of March 1883 in London, England. Besides studying and coming up with the Karl Marx theory called Marxism, which is a technique of doing socioeconomic analysis in the world, he is also known for his words of wisdom. Karl Marx quotes on different topics teach us new things.
Famous Karl Marx quotes for everyone
The renowned sociologist and historian joined the Young Hegelians movement in his campus years. He was one of the young persons who criticized both the cultural and political structure of the society.
He later became a journalist who used a radical nature in his writing, so he was expelled from France, Germany, and Belgium. This experience did not stop him from questioning issues and speaking his mind.
Marx quotes covered a wide array of topics. He was a revolutionary scholar who did not shy away from expressing his beliefs, desires, and political stands.
Today, his words guide world leaders in decision making and also shape the society in different ways. The top 35 quotes by Karl Marx include the following;
Karl Marx famous quotes on communism
The revolutionary sociologist often spoke about communism, which is a system of social organization where all property is owned by each member of the community. However, each community member must contribute and be given the property according to their needs and abilities.
Karl Marx quotes on communism often challenge people to review the structure of their communities. The Marxist quotes on this topic include the following;
- "Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution."
- "Communism is for us, not a state of affairs, which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement, which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence."
- "Only in community with others has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible."
- "Communism now no longer meant the concoction, by means of the imagination, of an ideal society as perfect as possible, but insight into the nature, the conditions, and the consequent general aims of the struggle waged by the proletariat."
- "The entire movement of history, as simply communism’s actual act of genesis — the birth act of its empirical existence — is, therefore, for its thinking consciousness the comprehended and known process of its becoming."
- "But also when I am active scientifically, etc. – an activity which I can seldom perform in direct community with others – then my activity is social, because I perform it as a man. Not only is the material of my activity given to me as a social product (as is even the language in which the thinker is active): my own existence is social activity."
Communist Manifesto quotes
Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei is one of the most famous Karl Marx books. It was published in 1948, and it was a collaborative effort between him and Friedrich Engels. In English, it is known as The Communist Manifesto.
- "The book is the foundation of the body of belief and thought called Marxism. There are numerous Karl Marx Communist Manifesto quotes, and each of them has deep meaning."
- "The theory of communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."
- "Then the world will be for the common people, and the sounds of happiness will reach the deepest springs. Ah! Come! People of every land, how can you not be roused."
- "In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases."
- "Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labor of others by means of such appropriation."
- "The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones."
Karl Marx quotes on capitalism
Capitalism is a political and social system where the industry and all forms of trade are controlled by private owners and not the state. What Karl Marx said about capitalism? He said that capitalism sowed seeds of self-destruction.
The words of Karl Marx on capitalism are;
- "Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth - the soil and the laborer."
- "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."
- "In bourgeois society, capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality."
- "Not only can we manage very well without the interference of the capitalist class in the great industries of the country, but that their interference is becoming more and more a nuisance."
- "The will of the capitalist is certainly to take as much as possible. What we have to do is not to talk about his will, but to enquire about his power, the limits of that power, and the character of those limits."
Karl Marx religion quotes
Religion is always a sensitive topic of discussion, but the sociologist did not shy away from expressing his opinions. The famous Karl Marx quotes on religion make you think critically about your beliefs and how religion affects humanity.
The sociologist was baptized at the age of six years. As he grew up, he applied more critical thinking than he did religion in his life. However, that did not spare him from some harsh reality during the period of Enlightenment.
He was often prejudiced due to his Jewish ancestry, and this made him to ask what the role of religion in human life was. It also incited in him a deep desire for social change.
Some of the quotes from Karl Marx on religion are;
- "The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."
- "Man makes religion, religion does not make man... Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again."
- "Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand."
- "The democratic concept of man is false, because it is Christian. The democratic concept holds that . . . each man is a sovereign being. This is the illusion, dream, and postulate of Christianity."
- "The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-contempt, abasement, submission, humility, in a word all the qualities of the canaille."
- "Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like."
Karl Marx industrial revolution
The sociologist was very important during the industrial revolution because he often did anti-capitalist analyses of industrialization. He strongly believed that each worker developed some class consciousness in the industrialized capitalist system.
He also said that industrial revolution only increased the gap between the workers and the affluent people who owned the factors of production. He believed that the factory conditions would push workers to revolt.
His words on industrialization included the following;
- "Natural science has invaded and transformed human life all the more practically through the medium of industry; and has prepared human emancipation, although its immediate effect had to be the furthering of the dehumanization of man. Industry is the actual, historical relationship of nature… The nature, which develops in human history - the genesis of human society - is man’s real nature; hence nature as it develops through industry, even though in an estranged form, is true anthropological nature."
- "... it is impossible to carry on communist propaganda on a large scale and at the same time engage in huckstering and industry."
- "The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist."
- "The country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed, the image of its own future."
Words on socialism
Socialism is a theory that states that the means of production, exchange, and distribution of goods should be regulated by the whole community. The sociologist’s words on this topic are;
- "Democracy is the road to socialism."
- "Christian socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat."
- "The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."
- "The bourgeoisie is just as necessary a precondition for the socialist revolution as is the proletariat itself."
- "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness."
- "Hence forms of social production that preceded the bourgeois form, are treated by the bourgeoisie in much the same way as the Fathers of the Church treated pre-Christian religions."
Karl Marx on guns
The view of Marx on guns shocked many people. While people expected Karl Marx gun control opinion to be the disarmament of employees, he said the opposite.
There is only one famous Karl Marx quote on the topic, and it is;
- "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated by force if necessary."
Quotes from renowned scholars have the power to influence the entire world. Which Karl Marx quotes have influenced your perspective on life the most?