Talk:Karl Marx

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Good article Karl Marx has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

non-neutral 'Marx's work in economics laid the basis for the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital'[edit]

"Marx's work in economics laid the basis for the current understanding of labor and its relation to capital" should be rephrased as "Marx's work in economics laid the basis for some current theories of labor and its relation to capital"

Stating that his work is the basis for the 'current understanding' implies strongly that ALL modern theories rely upon his work. This should be changed for the sake of Neutral point of view. (talk) 18:01, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Seems neutral to me. Do you have any sources that contradict it? TFD (talk) 18:48, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
It might be helpful to point to a specific person who holds views that are in contrast to Karl Marx's views. I would submit Milton Friedman who believed that the relation of labor and capital was based on Voluntary Cooperation. Milton Friedman expresses a view that is held by much of the Republican party in the United States of America. These views are formed from the works of Adam Smith ( specifically The Wealth of Nations ( and are often said to be in conflict with the views of Karl Marx. Silhouette568 (talk) 06:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
How is "voluntary cooperation" contrary to what Marx wrote? TFD (talk) 12:57, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
In what terms is Marx the basis of our understanding? In Neoclassical economics and Keynesian economics he is ignored - the foundations there are based on individualism and an updated form of marginalism. However in economic sociology Marx's work can have a claim as forming a basis on which subsequent thinkers and theorsits built on - including Max Weber, Arlie Russell Hochschild and Pierre Bourdieu. In a sense you are both right. What you are looking is not how much Marx influenced subsequent thinking, but which subsequent thinking he influenced. It would read better as "Marx's work in economics laid the basis for the current sociological/socio-economic understanding of labor and its relation to capital", or something along these lines. --Tco03displays (talk) 00:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Labor works for capital in return for pay. TFD (talk) 01:01, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
In Marxian terms, labor (that is the proletariat in a capitalist mode of production), produces surplus-value, a fraction of which is returned to him/her as a wage while the rest is accumulated by the bourgeois (capitalist), giving him/her his/her wealth. It is NOT what you are describing, and this view is not included in neoclassical and Keynesian economics. What you are describing comes from the theories of Adam Smith, a thinker who pre-dates Marx and was an influence on him.--Tco03displays (talk) 01:33, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
While Marx accepted Smith's classical liberal labor theory of value, he said that labor works for capital in return for pay. I do not think that economists have rejected that theory or his description of it as capitalism. I suggest you re-read a book by your favorite Austrian economist and see what he says about Marx's influence. TFD (talk) 04:13, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I did read the first volume of Das Kapital, and the more I talk with you, the more I think you haven't. This is going nowhere.--Tco03displays (talk) 10:44, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

For what its worth I feel obligated to state agreement with Tco03 on this matter. Marxist theories of labor, while still popular in many ways, do not form the foundation for modern understanding as expressed by the Austrian or Chicago schools, nor does Marx's thoughts on the matter serve as a sort of global underpinning for modern understandings. Please note I am not making a judgment as to which view is correct. This is obviously a very contentious issue. In order to maintain the most informative possible article I think it may be necessary to explain a bit of the controversy in article. I would hate to see the article continuously defaced or something similar. Jaydubya93 (talk) 17:17, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

The article does not say that modern writers accept the labor theory of value which in any case was not created by Marx but appears in Smith and Ricardo and formed part of the classical liberal ideology. The relationship between workers and capital is that workers work in return for pay. Can you tell me which modern economists reject that view? TFD (talk) 17:28, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
If all Marx meant is that "workers work in return for pay," then his view on the relation between labor and capital would be banal. It's unlikely that other economists would be influenced by a platitude. I doubt that's the claim the sources the contested sentence is attributed to have in mind.2601:B:C580:F45:226:6CFF:FE2E:33D (talk) 16:57, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
It is only banal because it is generally accepted today. But in pre-capitalist society, there was a relationship of lord and master and people were obligated to work. A person's occupation was his "calling", i.e., what called had called him to do. Marx saw that human relationships had changed and called the new system "capitalism." TFD (talk) 19:19, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Marx in Soho[edit]

I could not find a reference to Howard Zinn's one-person play Marx in Soho (1999), which is a wonderful portrayal of the personal life of Marx during his later life living in London. Could this be included in the works about Marx in the article? There's a YouTube clip of Brian P. Jones performing this play in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2012. I won't include the URL here, but it's easy to find. --Saukkomies talk 18:10, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

russia being socialist[edit]

russia is at best a state capitalist country the revolution of 1917 saw the end of feudalism and the beginnings of capitalism in russia.The revolution of 1917 followed previous revolutions in england,france,germany etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

See WP:NOTFORUM AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:46, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Why? What he said is relevant. This article names the USSR and China as socialist states, even though it is disputed whether they truly were or not (in any form and to any degree, in any stage or time). Many groups and sources describe them as state capitalist. Zozs (talk) 01:25, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Zozs has removed the word 'socialist' from the following sentence "Revolutionary governments self-described as socialist and Marxist took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People's Republic of China in 1949." without an edit summary. I reverted the edit, reinserting the word 'socialist'. Zozs has again removed the word 'socialist'.
Wikipedia is not a place for political discussion, this should really be a discussion of how reliable sources have described the founding of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, and a chance to consider WP:BRD: Boldly make an edit, the edit is Revrted, Discuss the edit]]. This does not mean Zozs should replace the challenged edit: removing 'socialist'. - Neonorange (talk) 02:47, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
"USSR was socialist" is disputed by reliable sources, "USSR was self-described as socialist" is unquestionable.
Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7, "State Capitalism versus Communism: What Happened in the USSR and the PRC?" Zozs (talk) 04:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Please take to heart WP:NOTAFORUM. You have listed seven sources that are entire articles, amounting to tens of thousands of words. Many of these sources come from secretarian debates within the US New Communist Movement in the 80s, WP:TLDNR. Well, I did read, but my conclusion is that the sentence you repeatedly revised, "Revolutionary governments self-described as socialist and Marxist took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People's Republic of China in 1949." is as fair a judgment as we can devise from reliable sources. The key phrase leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People's Republic of China in 1949. isn't negated by subsequent changes, such as the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but it is also and encyclopedia that develops by consensus. It is not a study group, nor a place to push a political line. - Neonorange (talk) 16:15, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
That's my very point. IT'S NOT THE JOB OF THE "KARL MARX" ARTICLE TO PUSH THE VIEW THAT THE USSR ACHIEVED SOCIALISM. It is COMPLETELY USELESS, and anyway it can be DONE IN COMPLETELY NEUTRAL TERMS. I am not pushing any view here. I am pushing that it is either removed (not very relevant for this article, it is debatable how much these states followed Marxism anyway, in any case even less relevant to Karl as a person) or it is wrote as "they described themselves as socialist" which is completely neutral and could not give any sort of problem. Zozs (talk) 16:22, 2 June 2014 (UTC

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is Wikipedia; a collaborative process that includes editors from the entire political spectrum. It shouldn't work; yet somehow it does.WP:CONSENSUS evidently works. Otherwise this discussion could not take place. Don't expect to win a political argument here. In other words, don't be an idealist, attempting to cut articles to fit your worldview (whatever that may be). Wikipedia is not what any editor thinks, but a balanced use of reliable sources. - Neonorange (talk) 00:45, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

The text did not say these states were socialist, but that they self-described as socialist. Rather than be pedantic, we then refer to them as socialist states. In the same way when writing about U.S. conservatives we would explain that they self-describe as conservatives, explain why some/most sources reject the description, then call them conservatives in the article. TFD (talk) 01:16, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
A fair answer, economical and clear; works for me! Thanks. - Neonorange (talk) 01:31, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
A masterful use of non-arguments when faced with logic, Neonorange. I am not arguing that my view should be the one used or having a political discussion here but rather than it would be best to not attempt to use the "Karl Marx" article to give an opinion about whether the USSR was actually socialist or not. Additionally I am also argumenting that this also would be the best option according to Wikipedia policy. Understand? Zozs (talk) 19:37, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
It would not be according to Wikipedia policy. It would be privileging your own idiosyncratic viewpoint in violation of NPOV.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
That's your opinion without any arguments. I can claim that the current version is doing the same thing. You should stop checking my edit history and trying to sabotage everything I do when you have no knowledge about the topic at hand, buddy. Zozs (talk) 21:23, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
No, my statement above is exactly that - an argument. As is that of Neonorange. You're just dismissing everything that anyone - and that's quite a handful of people - says to you by saying "that's just your opinion". That's not the case. You have a particular POV. And no reliable sources to support it. The text in the article is supported by sources. Hence, your view does not represent sources and including it just because you want us to would be a violation of NPOV. At the same time you claim that you "have knowledge of the topic" but others don't. Just because you say so. That's not how it works.
And I'm not your buddy, pal.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:36, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Why should the Karl Marx article deal with whether the USSR was socialist or not, and what sources are being used in order to do so, товарищ? Zozs (talk) 21:48, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Because it was the largest and most notable state which referred to itself, and which was referred to by others as socialist, and which was based on (modified) Marxist philosophy. Which is sort of stating the obvious seeing as how CCCP has the word "socialist" in it. As for sources, again, this is so trivial and obvious that it's hard to consider your question in good faith [1].
And drop the obnoxious forms of address please.Volunteer Marek (talk) 22:03, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
So since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) has the word "Democratic" on it, it should be referred to as a "democratic state"? Nice logic, buddy. I'm not convinced by your so-called arguments. As admitted by other articles on Wikipedia it's hotly debated whether the USSR was actually "socialist" or not. And Marxism-Leninism (the ideology of the USSR) is not Marxism but rather something completely different. Of course since it has the word "Marxism" on it it must have correctly followed Marxism, right? Ridiculous. I stand by my arguments, which have only been replied to with non-logic and non-sense. This isn't about my personal beliefs, this is about Karl Marx's article shouldn't be used to push a personal view (or shared by however many sources, which are however in contradiction of other sources) that the USSR achieved "Socialism". Zozs (talk) 16:31, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Socialistic is an adjective to many things, some of them with nothing to do with neither Marx or URSS. Ruddah (talk) 16:44, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Socialism (according to all reliable sources) is a clearly defined concept which states that the management and ownership of the means of production should be in the hands of its workers or society. Something which obviously didn't exist in the Soviet Union. But this isn't about our personal views here. It's debated whether the USSR was "socialist" or not between reliable sources, so it shouldn't be called a "socialist state". Zozs (talk) 17:16, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The Jewish Question[edit]

The article strays quickly away from his foundations. He was Jewish from birth to death yet there's little that perpetuates this. I believe in order for anyone to understand Marx, the following quotes should be entered (by him); The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner not only by gaining financial power, but because through him and without him money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The self-emancipation of the Jews has gone so far that the Christians have become Jews. Yes, the practical dominion of Judaism over the Christian world has reached its normal, unambiguous expression in North America." - "We recognize therefore in Judaism a generally present anti-social element which has been raised to its present peak by historical development, in which the Jews eagerly assisted, and now it has of necessity to dissolve itself. In its final meaning the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of humanity from Judaism." - — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Marx was not "Jewish from birth to death"; he was baptised at the age of six, and later disavowed any religious belief or faith. Thde quotes you mention, from On the Jewish Question, should certainly not be included without contextualising them and showing their role in the development of Marx's critical thinking. And this is how they are treated in the article on that work. To simply add them to this article, without any explanation, would serve no purpose except to imply (falsely) that Marx was an antisemite. Looking at the few other contributions from this IP, I'm afraid I find it difficult to assume good faith in their editing related to Jews> RolandR (talk) 00:00, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

- The quotes should be added in because it demonstrates what was truly priority in his writings. He may not have been religious, but he certainly saw himself as Jewish, to denote him as simply German is a lie, and degrading to the man himself. He often connected his views on Judaism with Communism, this is a another fact, I can drop more quotes directly from his works pertaining but let's work one at a time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Who says it was a 'priority'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
In this brief article, we provide weight to various acts and writings of Marx according to the weight they are normally assigned in books about him. I notice for example that in the fourth edition of Karl Marx: His Life and Environment, Isaiah Berlin briefly mentions the essay on p. 73.[2] Can you provide any biographies of Marx that provide the same emphasis you think it deserves? TFD (talk) 02:01, 25 May 2014 (UTC)