Karl Marx

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Karl Marx

A 19th-century economic philosopher. He espoused common ownership (not state ownership) of the means of production. He taught that the capitalist class of persons (who control the money) exploits the proletariat (who provide most of the labor) to the detriment of the latter. According to Marx, as the direct result of industrialization, the proletariat inevitably will overthrow the capitalist class and, after a brief period in which the state controls the means of production, the state will fade away to create a communist society. His philosophy, Marxism, significantly influenced communist thinking for the next century. He lived from 1818 to 1883.