Karl Marx. Born May 5th 1818, died March 14th 1883
I apologize for the late hour as I have been busy and I also unable to write much about Marx on his birthday. So all I have to offer is a few of my favorite Marx quotes.
The first is one of my all time favorites, not in the way that a celebrity’s song or role is a favorite, but it hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it. An explanation in a nutshell of how the real world works that corresponded with objective reality as I lived it. My added emphasis in the quote below. Richard Mellor
In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces 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.
In studying such transformations it is always necessary to distinguish between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, artistic or philosophic – in short, ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out.
Capitalism, Labor, capitalists
Use-values must therefore never be looked upon as the real aim of the capitalist; [neither must the profit on any single transaction. The restless never-ending process of profit-making alone is what he aims at. This boundless greed after riches, this passionate chase after exchange-value is common to the capitalist and the miser; but while the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser. The never-ending augmentation of exchange-value, which the miser strives after, by seeking to save his money from circulation, is attained by the more acute capitalist, by constantly throwing it afresh into circulation.
The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.
Without doubt, machinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers.
The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.
a schoolmaster is a productive labourer when, in addition to belabouring the heads of his scholars, he works like a horse to enrich the school proprietor. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead of in a sausage factory, does not alter the relation.
Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed.
The development of civilization and industry in general has always shown itself so active in the destruction of forests that everything that has been done for their conservation and production is completely insignificant in comparison.
Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science.
It is absolutely impossible to transcend the laws of nature. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws expose themselves.
Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.
Revolutions are the locomotives of history.
The way people get their living determines their social outlook.
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.
The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles.
Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.
If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist.
Society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand.
Democracy is the road to socialism.
The workers of the world have nothing to lose but their chains, workers of the world unite