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.

German vs German-Jewish[edit]

Is it better to describe Marx as German or German-Jewish?

Chewings72 recently reverted my edit of describing Marx as German (see

I've edited again and described Marx as German-Jewish.--John Bird (talk) 11:41, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Which is even less appropriate, so I too have reverted you. RolandR (talk) 11:45, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Can you explain why?--John Bird (talk) 11:54, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

This has been discussed no end of times.[1][2][3][4][5] Please familiarise yourself with the talk page archives before trying to make contentious edits. RolandR (talk) 12:31, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Marx was prusian nor german — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nov (talkcontribs) 18:15, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Prussians were/are Germans.--Maurice Smith (talk) 20:25, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

And speaking of "Prusian"...[edit]

In the info box, it says of his nationality: "Nationality Prusian/stateless". If this is, indeed, an English-language page, should that not be "Nationality Prussian/stateless", with two "s"s? And if so, could somebody else please fix this? Thanks. 2601:C6:4100:D3:7485:AE:CB11:DD42 (talk) 19:26, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

That's a very recent change. Rather than correct the spelling, I'm going to revert for now, because the article body claims him as German. I've no expertise in the topic, and would rather wait until someone with access to best quality sources (and has this page on their watchlist) happens along. It would seem - from the infobox - that the kingdom of Prussia was part of the German Confederation - so "German" may well be correct. Haploidavey (talk) 00:35, 11 December 2016 (UTC).

The article on the German Confederation has a list of its 34 founding members, as designated by treaty in 1815. The Kingdom of Prussia is among them. Dimadick (talk) 13:16, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Germans existed before the Unification of Germany in 1871. Prussians were/are Germans. Nevertheless, Marx was ethnically Jewish.--Maurice Smith (talk) 20:30, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

If Prussian is in the article it should be spelled with two esses. I do not have any information about Marx' citizenship. Elinruby (talk) 07:50, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Removal of content from Categories listings[edit]

The categories listed below have been removed from the Categories listing by Cliftonian who is evidlently unfamiliar with WP guidelines on the removal WP:REMOVAL of content which advises: “When removing content from a page, it is important to be sure there is consensus to do so.”

As far as WP category listings are concerned the distinction introduced by Cliftonian “of Jewish descent, but not Jewish” is entirely spurious. That the operative criteria for inclusion in the removed listings is Jewish ancestry is evident from the listings therein of Derrida, Adorno, Marcuse, etc. To challenge this WP wide consensus the issue would need to be addressed on the appropriate Project Page.

The content below should accordingly be restored to the Categories section of the article unless a further case for their removal gains support:

Ashkenazi Jews, German people of Jewish descent, Jewish atheists, Jewish philosophers, Jewish socialists, Jewish sociologists. Almanacer (talk) 11:02, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

On what basis? Would we include him in 'Dutch philosophers', 'Dutch sociologists', 'Dutch socialists' etc as well, on the basis that his maternal grandfather was Dutch? He and his family were baptised Lutherans, but I note we don't bother with those sorts of categories. What is it, then, that makes the Jewish aspect so indelible here? Are we really the kind of organisation that designates people as 'Jews' based on ancestry—regardless of how 'Jewish' they actually are—and makes lists of them on that basis? Derrida, Adorno and Marcuse are three different cases here, all again different from this one—you cannot deal with them all exactly the same as the circumstances are different. Please explain what you think these categories add here. Note that the category "German people of Dutch-Jewish descent" remains, making "German people of Jewish descent" redundant in any case. Cheers —  Cliftonian (talk)  11:07, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
To answer your question - WP is indeed the kind of organization that creates lists based on Jewish ancestry for the very good reason that it adds to the value and utility of the encyclopedia. If you object to this WP-wide consensus you need to raise the issue on the appropriate project page, not here. Clearly Marx qualifies for inclusion in these lists - the most recent scholarly biography by Steadman Jones begins with a section entitled "Revolution, Empire and the Jews of the Rhineland". Whether he belongs in other lists depends on comparable reliable sources none of which to my knowledge justify his inclusion in Dutch listings. Almanacer (talk) 20:42, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Arendt and Habermas[edit]

The following edit [6] was introduced into the Legacy section with reference to contributions of Arendt and Habermas to Marx studies. Another editor took exception and asked for quotation to be added. After it was added, the same editor indicated that some basic phrases in poitical economy were not known to him. The dialogue is below and the material appears to be useful to add to the article which currently inaccurately identifies only two sources of critique. JohnWickTwo (talk) 17:38, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Both Hannah Arendt and Jurgen Habermas have extensive Marxist credentials. When I found that Wikipedia already has articles about two of their books dealing with these issues, then I did not include quotations from those books in the Marx article since interested readers could look at the articles for their books which I linked. It seemed that an article on Marx should not need extensive quotations from these books which might distract the reader of the Marx article, although both Arendt and Habermas discuss Marx by name extensively. Is there a way to return some of this mention of Arendt and Habermas to the Marx article? JohnWickTwo (talk) 15:39, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I, actually, still think we need to be more specific. I don't think it's distracting in the form of refs (explanatory and otherwise). Also, establishing their KM credentials (in modern historiography) is also worthwhile: proving they are a third main current. What they each say can be further clarified, too. El_C 15:52, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Here is a quote from Habermas which is to the point from 1981, Habermas, Kleine Politische Schrifen I-IV, pp. 500f., which states:

"The point on which I differ from traditional Marxist analysis is that, today, when we use the means of the critique of political economy, we can no longer make clear predictions: for that, one would still have to assume the autonomy of a self-reproducing economic system. I do not believe in such an autonomy. Precisely for this reason, the laws governing the economic system are no longer identical to the ones Marx analyzed. Of course, this does not mean that it would be wrong to analyze the mechanism which drives the economic system; but in order for the orthodox version of such an analysis to be valid, the influence of the political system would have to be ignored."

This is a little long but perhaps you could figure out a way to shorten it for including it in the Marx article. Critique of totalitarianism as asserted in Marx has been a major topic in 20th century Marx legacy assessment and should be included in the article. JohnWickTwo (talk) 16:10, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Sure, perhaps excerpt parts of it. But clarify what he means by "autonomy of a self-reproducing economic system," first. As for totalitarianism: what do you mean by "as asserted in Marx?" For this article, I think it needs, specifically, to connect to KM. Otherwise, there may be more suitable articles. El_C 16:26, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
But an issue I took with your version related to your "limits of totalitarian perspectives" (ascribed to whom?) which I find somewhat unclear. Point is, there could be more than two or three main responses to KM and his body of work—and, no mention of the East in that discussion, just the West. El_C 16:48, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Ok, going with your version with no new additions and I'll shorten the blockquote somewhat for inclusion there. JohnWickTwo (talk) 16:58, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
What I suggest is that you take your proposal to the article talk page first for the purpose of gaining consensus for it. El_C 17:07, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Blockquote was shortened as you requested and "autonomy of a self-reproducing economic system" is fairly basic wording in Marxist commentary as used by Habermas here. The edit appears to be worth adding to the article. JohnWickTwo (talk) 17:38, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

A more overarching question is whether these two constitute a 3rd main perspective, or whether they can be seen to be encompassed by one of the two already mentioned. El_C 17:47, 16 February 2017 (UTC) Again, regarding "limits of totalitarian perspectives": meaning what? Ascribed to whom? Thanks. El_C 17:52, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Arendt presents this in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, it is worth reading and looking at it. JohnWickTwo (talk) 18:11, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
That I gather. The onus, however, is on you to explain what it means and to whom it is ascribed, in what context, and so on. El_C 18:14, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
My reference was to look at the link to the Wikipedia article on Arendt's book and its section titled "Mechanics of Totalitarian Movements". That should clarify it. JohnWickTwo (talk) 18:20, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I, and our readership/editors, are looking for an explanation, not a link to elsewhere, sorry. How is it linked to KM? Does stand as its own third main current? El_C 18:25, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
It is not clear here if you are objecting to this edit because you do not like the edit or if you are not familiar with the words which Habermas uses in his quote about Marxism, "autonomy of a self-reproducing economic system" and the other phrase "limits of totalitarian perspectives". Not understanding what basic phrases in orthodox Marxist discussion are is not usually a reason to revert an edit. If you would like to request that a new page be written for either of these two key terms in orthodox Marxism then I can help you in writing them. Not understanding the content of the Habermas quote which you single out is not a reason to exclude a fully researched and sound edit as I have written it here to enhance the article and to recognize two central thinkers of 20th century Marxist critique not currently appearing in the article. Another reference page you can look at is Totalitarianism and The Origins of Totalitarianism, especially the section titled "Mechanics of Totalitarian Movements". If you do not like my referenced edit or if you do not understand the contents of the Habermas quotation which I included then let me know and I can try to help you write a page for these orthodox Marxist terms. However, your not understanding the terms used in a fully referenced edit is usually not a reason to exclude it from this article. JohnWickTwo (talk) 15:43, 17 February 2017 (UTC)