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A comparison and contrast of the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

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Together they exhorted the working class to rise up and demand their rights. From the time that they were thrown together, these two men devoted their lives to the cause of the emancipation of the working class. Besides collaborating with Marx in his great writings, Engels also provided financially for Marx MARX & ENGELS and his family. He gave Marx the royalties from his book The Condition of the Working Class in England and negotiated an agreement with his father’s firm in such a way that he provided lifelong economic security for himself and Marx.

He also arranged for sympathizers to donate generously to Marx so that he could concentrate on his writings. Marx was in such a state of penury when he was writing his Das Kapital, that but for Engels’ help he would not have been able to finish the book. Engels himself has often admitted to his fame being dependant on his association with his friend Marx; however, many modern critics argue that Engels’ ideas have influenced and enhanced Marx’s work. Not only did Engels put the complex economic theories of Marx into a form that the common man could easily understand; he also contributed his own knowledge and experience to developing the theories of communism.

It is evident through their correspondence that Marx relied on Engels’ judgment both in his writings and his policies. This close friendship and exchange of ideas with Engels is considered an important factor in Marx’s study of political economy that produced his great revolutionary writings. Marx and Engels believed that "The history of society in the past is the history of class struggles. "(Marx & Engels 1886) They held that private ownership of goods and services put power in the hands of the owners to suppress the workers.

These unequal relationships were the root cause of all unhappiness. Capitalism was a social order whereby the bourgeoisie who owned the tools to produce commodities; exploited the proletariat and forced them to sell their labor cheaply. They believed that the excesses of capitalism and the conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie would finally end MARX & ENGELS in a violent revolution where the workers would overthrow the system thus leading to the downfall of the capitalist system.

It is argued however, that Engels leaned towards the less violent form of revolution that was preached by his friend Robert Owen. Marx on the other hand believed that history was a continuous battle of social classes opposing one another and an ever changing cycle of social organization.

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preview essay on A comparison and contrast of the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Ph.D.
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