Karl Marx


Karl Marx Essay, Research Paper


Karl Marx was a German scholar who lived in the nineteenth century. He

spent most of his life studying, thinking and writing about history and

economics. A many years of study, much of it spent in England, he believed

that he understood more deeply than anyone who had ever lived before him

why there is injustice i world.


He said that all injustice and inequality is a result of one

underlying conflict in society. He called it a ‘class struggle’, that is,

a conflict bet the class of people who can afford to own money- producing

businesses, whom he called ‘capitalists’ or ‘the bourgeosie’, and the

class of people who do not surplus money to buy businesses and who are

therefore forced to work for wage whom he called ‘workers’.


Marx said that, because it was always in the economic interest of

capita to take advantage of or ‘exploit’ workers, nothing could persuade

capitalists change their ways. In other words, peaceful progess toward

equality and social justice was impossible. The only way to establish

justice, he said, was for t workers to overthrow the capitalists by means

of violent revolution. He urged workers around the world to revolt against

their rulers. “Workers of the world unite!” he wrote. “You have nothing to

lose but your chains.”


Another thing Marx taught was that organized religion, the churches,

help capitalists to keep the workers quiet and obedient. Religion,

according to Mar ‘the opiate of the masses’. The church tells working

people to forget about the injustice they meet in their lives and to think

instead of how wonderful it will in the after- life when they go to heaven.


Marx, with his colleague, Engels, spread his ideas in two famous

books, Capital’ and ‘The Communist Manifesto’.


In the early years of the twentieth century, Russia was ready for the

ide Marx. The Russian people were extremely discontented with their ruler,

Tsar Nicholas II, who had little interest in governing and was neglecting

the count badly. Making conditions even more miserable for the people were

the hardships the First World War and a particularly cold winter.


By 1917, the Russian people were desperate enough to accept a

revolution. fact, they got two for the price of one, the first in March

when the Tsar was deposed and a provisional government was set up. Then in

November a political called the Bolsheviks led a further rebellion which

ousted the provisional government. The leaders of the Bolsheviks, Lenin and

Trotsky, began to build a Russia, one built on the ideas of Marx, where

everyone was equal, where all property was owned by ‘the people’ rather

than by capitalists and where the two were in control of the government.


Not long afterward, Communist Russia was attacked by Britain, America

and France, who wanted to get rid of the communist government. They were

afraid the workers in their own countries might be inspired to imitate the

example of Rus Trotsky, a highly intelligent and energetic communist

leader, led the defence Russia with great success.


After Lenin’s death in 1924, a power struggle began between Trotsky

and a leader within the Communist Party named Stalin. While Trotsky was a

brilliant intellectual and an idealist, Stalin was a simpler, quieter sort

of person, who based his power not so much on plans and ideas as on

alliances with other member of the Communist Party. While Trotsky believed

in Russia’s trying to assist two all over the world to rise up in communist

revolutions against their bosses, S wanted Russia to take care of its own



The rivalry between the two leaders went on for several years.

Eventually 1929 Stalin gained the upper hand and drove Trotsky from Russia.

Stalin later up a scheme to industrialize the backward country which he

called the Five-Yea Plan. It included a number of Trotsky’s ideas which

Stalin had previously oppo


As Russia developed under Stalin, members of the Communist Party took

for themselves many privileges. All the original communist ideals of Marx

received service, but it became clearer and clearer that members of the

Communist Party becoming a ruling class that was not equal to non-members.


Most important of all to Stalin was ensuring that he remained in

power. H often used the most brutal tactics. Chief among his creations were

two highly effective political weapons – an efficient propaganda machine

which more and m promoted the idea of Stalin as a great, nearly god-like

leader, and a secret p force which kept the country quiet through the use

of terror. At one point during his rule, he organized ‘Show Trials’ in

which many of the people he did not lie strangely ‘confessed’ to very

serious crimes and were executed or sent to harsh prison camps.


Eventually Stalin began trading with non-communist countries of

western Europe, although he continued to be hostile to Germany. Then, in a

shocking ab face in 1939, he suddenly signed a non-aggression pact with

Hitler. Not long afterward, though, Hitler broke this agreement and

attacked Russia. In 1941 St was forced to enter World War II and make an

alliance with Britain and America




This takes us up to the time of the writing of Animal Farm – 1944. As

you see, nearly every event in the novel can be traced directly to an event

in Rus during the period from 1900- 1943. An interesting project is to list

the events the novel and match them up with the real events which Orwell

intended to sati In fact, the story has many, many similarities to the real

historical events, of them very detailed. For example, the digging up of

Major’s skull, and the h destroying their own eggs, both refer to specific

events that took place during rule of Stalin.

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