Karl Marx was a German philosopher, empiricist and economist. He began his life as a top law student and to the surprise of his family, friends and tutors; he switched to philosophy and journalism. He had many theories on how and why the problems of society existed, however his theories on solving these problems were somewhat naïve and a little un-realistic.
Marx believed that man is the productive animal, and was the master of the world basically because of his use of tools and the fact that he is able to co-operate and live. He also believed that if you managed to grasp the economy, then it would be the key to understanding the human life. This is the reason that he based most of his theories and conclusions on the collection of masses of statistics and evidence. Marx is notably known for going to the British Library every day collecting data such as demographics, wages, prices of commodities, price of housing and price of bread; this was similar to that of Darwin. He then drew out conclusions from this empirical data to how life would evolve, being the first economist to do so.
For someone who was interested in these sorts of things, he had a strong dislike for philosophy and he believed that philosophers done nothing to change the world, they only interpret it. You can actually read on his tombstone ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world – the point however is to change it’.
Marx was fond of Hegel’s theory of materialism in his dialectics. This was basically that Marx believed that in the future there would be a war between the two opposing ends of society: the bourgeoisie (rich) and the proletariat (poor). He believed that the poor would overcome the rich, introducing a socialist system where everyone was equal. What this meant for the economy would be that production would now benefit society as oppose to the market. Although this is a good theory on paper there were clear flaws with this sort of communist theory.
It can be argued that Marx did not understand human nature in that it would not be as smooth as everyone settling down in to this Utopian society, ready to be equals with each other, without any central government or religion. Firstly without a central government and rules, there would be huge amounts of disorder and the country would soon spiral out of control. Secondly, people just DO NOT give up religion, to a lot of people their religion is so important, it is worth dying for, so to eradicate religion for a communist world is virtually impossible.
Without the feel of personal gain and improvement, people would start to get lazy and start to feel un-motivated to pull their weight. This is another major flaw in the theory in that if one person sees another not working as hard as they are but reaping the same benefits, they are going to quickly follow suit, which in turn would result in the decline of the economy.