karl marx bio

A Bio of Karl Marx



vain fascinate contradiction
broody conformist to stand out
realize exciting non-conformist
truly mankind proletarian
inspire influence God given
join rebellious thorn in the side
thorn scrutinize sweetheart
genius broke (2) handle (2)
censor faithful terribly (2)
adore wealthy mechanism
admire shining industrialist
loyal meet up one another
prefer practical exploitation
toil response troublemaker
unite chain (3) rallying cry
rally manifesto lose/lost/lost (2)
expel heart (3) nothing to lose
defeat head (3) course (2)
enemy analyze recognize (2)
profit benefit controversial
bold definitive take its place



Video: Who was Karl Marx?



Who was Karl Marx, this man of many contradictions?

He was born in 1818, in the small German town of Trier.

The son of a lawyer, his start in life was hardly proletarian: the young Karl soon stood out as a vain, non-conformist, and a broody outsider.

While studying law in Berlin, he soon realized how much more exciting philosophy was: Hegel’s thinking fascinated him.

What if mankind could truly influence the course of history, and nothing was God given?

He joined rebellious student groups and became a thorn in the side of the Prussian state.

In 1843, he married his childhood sweetheart: Jenny von Westphalen. Although she adored his revolutionary ideas, Marx was less of a genius when it came to handling money. He was constantly broke and not terribly faithful either.

In the same year, the young couple had to leave their home, as Marx’s works were censored here. So they headed for Paris.

Here, Marx met up with Friedrich Engels, the wealthy son of an industrialist. The two inspired one another: Engels, his loyal admirer; Marx the shining light.

How practical that Engels had money to fund them both. Marx himself much preferred thinking to working.

In 1848, his great work, The Communist Manifesto, was published as an angry response to industrialization in the nineteenth century.

It called for an end to the exploitation of workers, who were being killed toiling in capitalist factories, and included his rallying cry: “Working men of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.”

Marx the troublemaker. One year later in 1849, he was expelled from France and moved to England, the heart of capitalism.

Marx analyzed and scrutinized the mechanisms of this system. “Only he who knows his enemy can defeat him,” he wrote.

In 1867, Marx published a huge book, Das Kapital. He recognized that the work of many benefits the profit of the few.

Down with this evil system.

But what should take its place?

Even Marx had no definitive answer to that question.

Marx died in 1883, a nineteenth century philosopher, whose bold theories are today, as exciting and controversial as ever.

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1. Karl Marx was Russian. True or false?

2. Did he come from a working class background?

3. Was Marx an ordinary, normal student?

4. What was the thinking of his time, in terms of fate and destiny?

5. The Prussian government ignored Marx. Is this right or wrong? Did they tolerate him?

6. Did Marx stay in Trier? Did he spend his entire life there?

7. Marx and his family always lived a comfortable, middle class life. Is this correct or incorrect? Did he have a job? What was his job?

8. What were Marx’s main philosophy and ideas?

9. Does everyone admire Marx, hate him, or is he very controversial?

A. We studied the life and teachings of Karl Marx in school. Yes or no?

B. What do you think of Marx and Marxism? Do you think it’s wonderful, great, mostly good, both good and bad, largely negative, or terrible and evil?

C. What do people in your society think of Marx and Marxism?

D. Have there been famous Marxists or communist groups in your country?

E. Have there been a lot of controversy over Marxism?

F. What will happen in the future?


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