Explain the political, social, and economic views of Karl Marx. In what ways was he inspired by Georg Hegel’s ideas?
Karl Marx is a famous political critic of capitalism and was a staunch supporter of socialism. He favored the abolishing of class systems and equality for everyone. He stated that class systems caused struggles and promoted crime like thievery. If everyone was treated equally then there will be no negative behaviour in society. Private ownership of properties should not be allowed and every property should be state-owned. During his time, capitalism was on the rise and the concepts of capitalism were opposite to his beliefs so he wrote many books criticizing it. He identified many problems within a capitalist society and this essay will explore these problems in detail.
He considered the modern work system to be alienating. In the past, people were involved in the entire process of developing a product, (for instance a baker was responsible for baking the bread) and this labour brought them joy. However, in capitalist society, the whole process of manufacturing has been divided. For instance, in the process of bread making; one person will be responsible for mixing the dry ingredients, one would knead the ingredients and another would bake it. This process alienates the person from labor and the product he is making. He is further alienated from his friends as everyone is competing for him in his pursuit of a job and lastly he is also alienated from himself as he is just living paycheck to paycheck. He thought that capitalism made the rich, richer and kept the poor chasing after money. According to Marx, capitalism was creating a more strict class system from which breaking out would be impossible (Marx).
Marx was inspired by the philosopher George Hegel and spent six years studying his work. Hegel presented the idea that to gain an understanding of everything in this world; one must perceive all things as a part of an irresistible march towards freedom, truth, and reason. Hegel believed that all progress made will eventually lead to the perfect freedom of humans (Hegel). This idea resonated with Marx as he believed that humans could become truly free if the class systems were abolished and everyone had equal rights.