Talk:Karl Marx

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 Definition 19th century philosopher and economist. Creator of a theoretical foundation for Communism. [d] [e]
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october 20, 2007

Richard, sorry, but Marx is obviously a philosopher first and foremost, and an economist. Those are the subjects that he wrote about and is famous for. He also really belongs in politics because of his foremost position as the political theoretician of the left. He had a great impact on history, obviously, but via his impact on philosophy, economics, and politics. The leading experts about Marx are not historians, but philosophers, economists, and political theorists. --Larry Sanger 13:29, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

Larry--let's your experts handle this one please. Let the philosphers contribute but so far they have not made a contribution here. As fir the economists, he's a minor figure as the article explains. Richard Jensen 13:44, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

I don't believe we have anyone here who is an expert about Marx. If you can find one, Richard, perhaps we should consult him or her. --Larry Sanger 15:04, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

This is a tough call. In the narrow social sciences, Marx's contribution is I think in the order Politics, Sociology, Economics. History is clearly a major component -- not only because of his historical importance, but also because of the role of history in his own writings. Arguably, his account of the transition from feudalism to capitalism was the best thing he wrote. And, yes, he also has a role in philosophy. How to prioritise? I have no idea. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:48, 20 October 2007 (CDT)
History comes in because he had an enormous influence on historiography. Economics on the other hand --he had little influence there. ("a minor ricardian" as Samuleson says.) In 2007 among active scholars I would guess he is best represented in literature departments! The problem is that the coding system allows only three categories. The solution is to chnage a line or two of code and make that 5 categories. Richard Jensen 14:19, 20 October 2007 (CDT)
I concur with Samuelson on that.--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 14:52, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

who studies Marx?

Which disciplines pay most attention to Marx? I looked at the most recent 50 articles (including book reviews) in JSTOR with "Karl Marx: in the title. Here's the list of journals. I think politics and history clearly predominate, with Sociology 3rd and philosophy training behind.

  1. American Ethnologist > Vol. 12, No. 1 (F
  2. American Ethnologist > Vol. 14, No. 4 (N
  3. American Journal of Political Science >
  4. Assemblage > No. 41 (Apr., 2000), p. 21
  5. Canadian Journal of Political Science /
  6. Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers
  7. Comparative Studies in Society and History >
  8. Contemporary Sociology > Vol. 13, No. 6
  9. Contemporary Sociology > Vol. 13, No. 6
  10. Critical Inquiry > Vol. 28, No. 2 (Winte
  11. Europe-Asia Studies > Vol. 49, No. 8 (De
  12. German Studies Review > Vol. 12, No. 2 (
  13. International Political Science Review /
  14. Journal of Interdisciplinary History > V
  15. Latin American Perspectives > Vol. 27, N
  16. Man > New Series, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar.,
  17. MELUS > Vol. 28, No. 2, Haunted by History (S
  18. Modern Judaism > Vol. 4, No. 3 (Oct., 19
  19. New German Critique > No. 82,
  20. Noûs > Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp.
  21. Perspectives on Politics > Vol. 1, No. 1
  22. Philosophy > Vol. 63, No. 246 (Oct., 198
  23. Political Psychology > Vol. 5, No. 3 (Se
  24. Political Theory > Vol. 12, No. 4 (Nov.,
  25. Political Theory > Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug.,
  26. Polity > Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter, 1989),
  27. Reviews in American History > Vol. 22, N
  28. Shakespeare Quarterly > Vol. 43, No. 3 (
  29. Slavic Review > Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter,
  30. Social Scientist > Vol. 12, No. 9 (Sep.,
  31. Social Studies of Science > Vol. 20, No.
  32. Sociological Analysis > Vol. 46, No. 2 (
  33. Soviet Studies > Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1
  34. Teaching German > Vol. 19, No. 2 (Autumn
  35. Technology and Culture > Vol. 29, No. 2
  36. The American Historical Review > Vol. 95
  37. The American Historical Review > Vol. 94
  38. The American Historical Review > Vol. 92
  39. The American Historical Review > Vol. 90
  40. The American Journal of Sociology > Vol.
  41. The Economic Journal > Vol. 103, No. 416
  42. The English Historical Review > Vol. 107
  43. The History Teacher > Vol. 29, No. 3 (Ma
  44. The Journal of Modern History > Vol. 69,
  45. The Journal of Modern History > Vol. 62,
  46. The Journal of Modern History > Vol. 62,
  47. The Journal of Politics > Vol. 48, No. 2
  48. The Journal of Religion > Vol. 66, No. 2
  49. Theatre Journal > Vol. 42, No. 3, Women
  50. Theory and Society > Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jun
  51. Richard Jensen 14:34, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

That proves little. Try searching for "Marx OR Marxian OR Marxist". Philosophers, in discussing Marx's philosophy, might not use the phrase "Karl Marx" so much in titles, of course. Articles in the history of philosophy rarely use the full name of a thinker. Another reference point would be which departments offer courses in which Marx is a major figure.

Capital is, of course, as much a treatise of economics as anything, and it is the main source of his reputation as a theoretician. How history is included and economics is not is beyond me. Removing history again, on these rather obvious grounds. --Larry Sanger 15:04, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

Well, "Marx" and "Marxism" are really two very different things. "Marx", in my mind, would be categorized as sociology, economics, history whereas "Marxism" would be politics, sociology, philosophy. (Keep in mind that my education is in sociology, so I probably give it more weight than it deserves.) --Joe Quick 16:50, 20 October 2007 (CDT)
Joe is of course right and we have a separate article on Marxism. The CZ categories are 21st century categories, and here is what scholars since 1990 in different fields have done. Since 1990, the term "Marx" or "Marxism" has appeared in titles in JSTOR journals:
  1. 118 articles in history journals
  2. 108 in sociology and population studies
  3. 100 in politics and public policy
  4. 93 in literature
  5. 48 in philosophy
  6. 44 in economics and business

Richard Jensen 16:56, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

If we make this crucial distinction between Marx and marxism, then in my opinion Marx must be history, politics, sociology. His political economy contribtions can be subsumed within politics, and are not important for the economics discipline. For marxism [which I recommend with lower case], it would be sociology, politics and philosophy I suppose (I am less sure about the order, here).
To clarify for poor Larry, who is mortified by the idea of excluding economics: it is possible to write about economics, and to have more of an impact upon (a) other academic disciplines, and (b) the real world, in a historical sense. This is why someone who is first and foremost linked with economics in the popular mind, is actually of marginal interest for that profession. Anyway, that's my penny's worth :-) --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:14, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

I don't have time for this. Go ahead and do what you wish. --Larry Sanger 19:18, 20 October 2007 (CDT)

OK, when it comes to the exclusion of philosophy, I have to insist: Marx is first and foremost known and studied as a philosopher--even if he is known and studied as a philosopher by people who are not actually philosophers themselves. It's rather like all the people in literature who study Derrida, who wrote about philosophy. The notion that sociology is included as a category and not philosophy is quite simply ridiculous.

Let's consider the categories settled now. Let's not waste any more time in further debate. Let's allow real Marx scholars--which means, none of us--hash this out later. --Larry Sanger 09:39, 21 October 2007 (CDT)

Possibly, one of the recent recruits from Balkan countries has expertise in this area. WE should try to find a marx scholar or two for this article. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 11:01, 21 October 2007 (CDT)

January 23 2008

I am not for the moment inserting any edits in the article. It behooves me, however, to remark that this article is incorrect to "reduce" Marxism to "economic self-interest," and also the brief section on alienation errs in attributing an individualist emphasis to Marx's writings. The author is probably over-influenced by the arguments of Jon Elster, two of whose books are cited in the bibliography with external links to text. Despite Elster's being well known, and despite the relatively wide circulation of his publications, he interprets Marx not in terms of what Marx meant but in terms of what Elster the philosopher of neo-positivism, and self-proclaimed "methodological individualist," would like Marx to have meant. Also it is necessary to register a quibble about whether anyone can be said to be "the most important of all socialist thinkers" (what is the criterion); and to indicate that since he died in 1883 and the Bolshevik Revolution occurred 1917, it may be problematic to suggest that he is "the creator of ... the political system called Communism," moreover insofar as it is impossible to find any description remotely resembling the Soviet regime in all of his vast writings. Robert M. Cutler 23:03, 23 January 2008 (CST)

I think we can reasonably tell readers that Marx is the most important socialist thinker. The Communists hail him as their founder. On the Elster-isms, authors are free to add to the article. (If you delete stuff, bring it to talk first).Richard Jensen 05:13, 24 January 2008 (CST)
The above comment is unattributed. By CZ rules it should be deleted or brought to administrative attention. Also, I have to check to see whether it is obligatory to discuss deletions in Talk before executing them. I believe it is protocol to bring unsigned comments to a Constable's attention. (That Communists hail Marx as their founder does not make him by itself the most important socialist thinker. Best known, perhaps.) Robert M. Cutler 03:20, 24 January 2008 (CST)
sorry about the missing signature (the History page tells everyone who wrote it). The Communists hail Marx as their founder, and the Socialists also do so. Who is more important, Engels? Richard Jensen 05:13, 24 January 2008 (CST)
Aside from the difficulty of speaking about either "Communists" or "Socialists" in categorical terms, it's unclear exactly who is meant by these terms. Who is more significant than Marx? Well, Engels is more significant than Marx in some respects: Engels, not Marx, created dialectical materialism, which was developed into the official ideology of the Stalin period, which for some people is the epitome of Communist rule. And the choice isn't just between Marx and Engels. There is absolutely nothing about a vanguard (Leninist) party in either Marx or Engels, and references to a "dictatorship of the proletariat" are rare and vague. So it is very arguable that "Communism" (as the term is conventionally used) would not have existed without Lenin and Trotsky. And then, there is a whole gallery of non-Marxian socialists before and since Marx and "during"), who don't get the attention they deserve. Robert M. Cutler 21:32, 24 January 2008 (CST)
yes, but this is an encyclopedia entry on Marx and we should summarize the main consensus among scholars. I think the articles on Marxism, Socialism and Communism are the places to talk about other people and their ideas. The Soviet Communists (back in 1986 when I was a visiting professor at Moscow State U) were careful to give Marx and Lenin top billing (with Lenin somewhat higher).Richard Jensen 21:49, 24 January 2008 (CST)
The other people and their ideas should have their own articles. Marxists are overrepresented among scholars of the left because they had a state apparatus or two subsidizing their labors. I also observed the emphasis on Marx and Lenin when I lived in Moscow in 1979-80 and on my numerous trips before and since. But are you advocating an uncritical adoption of the historiographic tradition of Soviet historians? They have a reputation for leaving things out, not to mention falsification. Robert M. Cutler 22:02, 24 January 2008 (CST)
No, I certainly never was a Marxist! as for leaving things out, the MGU library had no copies of any English language newspapers except the daily Worker, and it did not even have the sports scores! We went to the US embassy a couple times a week to beg or borrow a copy of the Intl Herald Tribune. The graduate students in US History had to have special permission to read the microfilm copies of US newspapers from the 1890s. Food was bad too--they left out the taste.Richard Jensen 00:07, 25 January 2008 (CST)
Did you run into my nauchnyi rukovoditel' Iaz'kov at MGU or hang out at the USA-Canada Institute on Khlebnyi pereulok? Robert M. Cutler 00:35, 25 January 2008 (CST)
they put us in the 12th-floor tower apartment (3 bedrooms), across from the rector. Very pleasant digs indeed for Moscow. However we had twin babies (7 months old) and did not get out much, needless to say. I did give a talk at the USA-Canada Institute. MGU had recently decided that American Marxist interpretationos of US politics were worthless from a policy perspective, and they were betting on quantitative history, so they welcomed my methodology. After my lectures on US history they debriefed the grad students so they would not get any wrong ideas. Richard Jensen 02:11, 25 January 2008 (CST)

Interesting page on French WP

I discovered that the French WP has 3 related pages 1) Marx - Life 2) Marx - Thoughts 3) Marxism


We may as well have 2) Marxian thought, with Marx as a pioneer in this kind of thinking, courageously resisting the rise of Marxist thinking (Marx himself said he wasn't a marxist). This is basically what the WP-FR article is based on. Experts needed -- of course.

Pierre-Alain Gouanvic 01:53, 24 January 2008 (CST)

This looks like a good general organization for information about any political thinker (or maybe any thinker at all): biography (just the facts), thoughts (explication of ideas in writings mentioned in biography), and continuators (intellectual legacy, including but not limited to social movements if any). For some figures, additional separate pages or subpages may added as appropriate. Robert M. Cutler 00:57, 25 January 2008 (CST)


Karl Marx (1818-1883) was the most important of all socialist thinkers and the creator of a system of thought called Marxism, and the political system called Communism. With the publication of the Communist Manifesto, his ideas motivated radical political activists who joined his call to overthrow capitalism...

Marxism, reduced to the theory that all events are caused by economic self-interest, had a strong influence on many areas of thought from politics to history to literature, although it cut rather little swath in the discipline of economics itself.

I found the above end to the introduction quite an extraordinary statement! All events are caused by economic self-interest? It cuts rather little swath in the discipline of economics itself?

Whatever you think of Communism etc, Marxism is studied everywhere - if nothing else it is widely regarded as the most simple explanation of Capitalism we have. Who disagrees with that? The Communist Manifesto came later, and was a separate revolutionary side to him. The 20C came later too. He originally wrote about natural transitional periods (broadly; feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism - though I've missed out some early ones) rather than communism enforced by revolution. Many people still see practical value in his works, and some countries like Cuba and Venezuela maintain popular communist economies too (despite a certain nearby frostiness). We should not be degrading anything, or anyone.

Marx is studied in straight economics, sociology and philosophy - and all the innumerable disciplines that use them, like literature and history. Parts of the US may possibly avoid Marxism if they can, but the rest of the world has little of that fear. An economist would explain it better, but he is still be applied to new economic thought today. Surely there isn't a prejudice against socialism going on here? Based on my own memory of studying him, I've tried this:

Karl Marx (1818-1883) was the most important of all socialist thinkers and the creator of a system of thought called Marxism, and the political system called Communism. With the publication of the Communist Manifesto, his ideas motivated radical political activists who joined his call to overthrow capitalism. Marx's ideas of class-based struggle, the self-destructive nature of capitalism, and the corruptive nature of material gain can be applied to many areas of study, from philosophy to history to literature. His and Frederick Engels economic theory is studied in economics classes the world over.

It might not be perfect, but I couldn't leave the intro I saw. --Matt Lewis 06:36, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Das Kapital - and a list of works, obviously.

His best known quotes like "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and "Democracy is the road to socialism". "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." "Religion is the opium of the masses. " and "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle " "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains."

I consider this a core article, and one which could improve on the Wikpedia one too. --Matt Lewis 06:56, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Framework for a rewrite

This is just a suggestion, on the assumption that it is agreed that a rewrite is necessary.

Main text

1. Overview (to introduce the article structure]
2. Biography
3. Theoretical contributions

3.1. Economics
3.2. Philosophy
3.3. Historicism
3.4. Politics

4. Legacy

4.1. Intellectual impact
4.2. Political impact



Addendum (for Communist Manifesto)

Nick Gardner 20:16, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I am still reading the page but noticing little details, e.g., on the first sentence! I was jarred by the phrase socialist in connection with Marx, since this phrase is not historically situated. When was he a socialist for example. It's sort of like calling Plato a Platonist, which he never was. That was for his followers. Now in Marx's case, he is indeed a socialist but as to the moment when the transformation takes place, at some point in the early forties, before that he is a Hegelian, later a communist. Anyway, I can go on, sentence by sentence with such trivial questions. I like the organization you are suggesting for the page. Perhaps we could also add sections for some of his major works, and also a sort of 'history' or progression of his thought through these in historical order of their writing. I know you suggest subpages but given that these will be stubs, they could begin as smaller bits of the Marx page and be moved later, when we are ready to develop them? I'm ok either way on this. Maria Cuervo 02:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
I have suggested a rewrite partly because of the flaws in the existing text, but mainly because its structure is too hard to adapt to the task of repairing its omissions. (We could, I suppose, add the above structure to the end of the existing text, but that would make it look very odd).
If you agree, I will draw this to the attention of Roger Lohman and Russell Jones as Politics and History editors. I suggest we await their reactions, and those of others, before moving or deleting any large chunks of the existing text. In the meantime I plan to set up a timelines subpage and start work on it. I have often found that to be a help in organising my thoughts. It can be put together piecemeal and you could make your contributions to it when you have time.
What do you think? Nick Gardner 07:48, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

The bare bones of the Works and Timelines subpages are in place. It would be good to put flesh on the bones in the form of a few words of explanation against each item. Nick Gardner 20:38, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Nick, this is great. I just wanted to share a bit of information though, as I sift through the page. Marx actually never says those exact words opiate of the people. The originator of the phrase, and its not exact either, is de Sade. many decades before Marx writes a word de Sade, in Juliette, remarks that Culture is the opium of the people. It could be, a speculation, that Marx gets the phrase from a popular repetition of this and substitutes religion. I am sorry not to have done much with this yet. I am now just wrapped up on some university stuff and will hopefully have more time. There is a very interesting video btw where Hitchens also remarks on the phrase:

Ok. I am reading some of what you have done now, as well as the page in question. More substantive responses to follow. Sorry to have all these Marx-lite comments preceding.

Maria Cuervo 22:28, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

And...I am free this weekend, and tomorrow Friday, and hope to spend some time on this, doing more than gossiping on the sidelines. Please do not take my citation of Hitchens to be either an affiliation or not with his position, which from how I read it, was a bit slippery toward the end....

Maria Cuervo 22:30, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

My understanding is that it was Charles Kingsley who applied the phrase to religion. Peter Jackson 10:04, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
The phrase "It is the opium of the people", referring to religion, appears in the 4th paragraph of the introduction to Marx's Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right[1]. Nick Gardner 10:45, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Useful account on Wikipedia, from which it appears the idea goes back to Novalis, though Marx seems to have originated the exact wording. Peter Jackson 09:42, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Revised structure

I have introduced the proposed structure into the article without major deletions, by transferring some material into the Addendum subpage, and moving the remainder into new paragraphs. I have not made any changes to the retained text. My purpose is to enable a start to be made on drafting new material and editing the existing material. Nick Gardner 09:00, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

In editing the existing text, I plan to remove unbacked assertions of opinion, except where it appears likely that a supporting citation could be found and added later. Nick Gardner 10:59, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Having cleared the way with the run-of-the-mill stuff on "Overview" and "Life and Works", there remains the hard graft of setting out the article's intellectual substance - and I intend to take a break. Nick Gardner 21:37, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Nick, I am studying what is there and thinking about it. Maybe it would be good for you to work on the general page and for me to read and comment and tweak. At the same time I could start to work on asub-page. I would almost feel more comfortable, given the hugeness of the subject matter, to settle on one text, and do a narrow treatment, like the German Ideology or some such. One quick remark: Marx was not a Marxist so whenever we do change the content, that part of the first paragraph needs to be rewritten. It's like calling Plato a Platonist! Marx's followers are Marxists. Maria Cuervo 00:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Maria - If you would like to make a start on the philosophy paragraph (or sub-paragraphs?), I will tackle the rest. I will rewrite the lede straight away. I will set up a Tutorials subpage on which you can develop topics that are too narrow to merit detailed treatment on the main page. Nick Gardner 07:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Nick, I will look over the sub-paragraphs and try and prioritize according to my knowledge + importance of the topic. I may add to the tutorial subpage if topics occur to me that are missing there. By the way, the changes you have made to the first paragraph are excellent. I was slightly despondent looking at the WP page since it's quite good and it makes me think we need to emphasize different things in order to 'add value' to the subject in general. Maria Cuervo 16:05, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Can you edit the 'definition' to remove creator of Marxism and align more so with your new introductory paragraph?
Maria Cuervo 16:15, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I strongly suggest that at some point we revise the sub-paragraph 'Philosophy' and break this into sub-groupings. to reflect the turns in his thought, i.e., there is not one philosophy but periods in this thinking, such as the young Marx and the later Marx etc. ...said Maria Cuervo (talk)
I am working on it right now. I am probably going to focus on specific works, i.e., Capital and/or the German Ideology. I am reviewing some things from Adam Smith right now and Ricardo. Unfortunately I will dwell in minutiae. Most likely contribution to the general page you are working on will be to footnote, add very obscure details to specific sentences, and expand specific sentences. Philosophical training has made me very cautious about broad statements. That is the state of affairs. More later, as the sub-pages or paragraphs begin to appear. It may take all weekend to do small bits of the one text. I will try to broaden my horizon whenever it is at all possible, for the sake of our overall progress. ...said Maria Cuervo (talk)

Marx v. Marxism

I'd like to reiterate that a clearer line of development might be to separate Marx the man and writer from Marxism the philosophy (as things stand now, Marxism redirects here and that's wrong). It may also be fruitful to have separate articles on Das Kapital, Communist Manifesto, and/or The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, etc. This collection of articles will be about one of the most influential thinkers of modernity (cf. "Darwin?"); this article should be solely about the biography of the man, no? Russell D. Jones 19:37, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Russell, Absolutely! I am beginning to work on individual works this weekend. Right now the German Ideology. I am also interested in The Eighteenth Brumaire and the Grundrisse. I am not sure that the article should limit itself to the man since the man wrote works and espoused theories. I do agree that these should direct to sub-pages where the works could be closely analyzed. This is why I suggested that Nick work on the general page and that I could focus on particular works such as the Brumaire, the Ideology, etc. Because of my philosophical training I have a hard time painting with a broad brush and feel more comfortable working on the sub-pages. If I am to take up the three texts I've mentioned here, it may take some time as it is since each of them is quite long. I chose not to start with Capital because Wikipedia has such an extensive page. Their German Ideology page is only a stub,however, and not that great. That is what I am working on today (at least an outline which I hope others will contribute to and enrich). I am also interested in developing sub-pages that clarify Marx's relation to Stirner, Hegel, Kant, and other philosophers. Maria Cuervo 19:55, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Russell, I had not intended that the term "marxist" should appear anywhere in the article (although the term "Marxian" might}. I had thought, however, that an article on Marx would be incomplete without an assessment of his extraordinary influence on the way people have since thought and behaved.
I have not thought out the content of paragraph 4 (Legacy), but under the "intellectual impact" sub-heading, I had envisaged looking at Marx's consensus impact, rather than the systems of belief spawned by his works; and I had envisaged that the "political impact" subheading would consider the political movements that drew inspiration from his writing, rather than the rationales that they adopted. When you say "solely about the biography of the man", are you suggesting that we should forget all that stuff and delete paragraph 4 ? - Nick Gardner 21:43, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
This is good. I have started writing on the Ideology. If you include a link to a page for German Ideology on the main page (or I will tomorrow) I will paste it in as I get further along, hopefully by sometime in the afternoon. --Maria Cuervo 21:46, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay, Nick, maybe I overstated the case. Certainly something about what he did and worked on his whole life is relevant here, but I would say "don't go overboard" <and I'm not saying that you have>. I think I'm arguing for a broad perspective here about how the whole topic should be organized. Russell D. Jones 21:59, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

New Marx page added

Nick, I've created a first very preliminary draft of The German Ideology article. It's a 5 page summary of the first 100 pages (the first part on Feuerbach). If you don't mind, I added a link from the main Marx page, so you may want to change or tweak that sentence I added. Since this is one of my first articles I am not even sure how to add references and such but will try that and other issues out for before signing off. I've not introduced any secondary literature at this point, simply want to get the bare bones in there. The Ideology is almost 600 pages long so compressing the thought as I did was not easy. An unrelated question: why is the Communist Manifesto in the addendum of the Marx main page?

Finally, I will continue to work on the Ideology page I created but am more than happy if anyone can or wishes to improve the exposition. I can also move on to other texts once this one is in a somewhat better shape in a few days. P.S. I am probably not using citation in the way preferred by Citizendium but according to my own training. Not a problem to repair this or whatever needed but I'm just happy to get a page there and its a page that is pretty useful and not repeated very satisfactorily on WP. Maria Cuervo 02:59, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

BTW, and P.S., I have no idea how to create the metadata page for the page I just created. If your or anyone reading this feels the slightest inclination to help, and can point me in the right direction, please feel free.--Maria Cuervo 03:18, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


"Marx argued that social systems change with the conditions of production ... . Thus, for every period of economic development, there is a corresponding class system."

A philosophy graduate once told me that similar ideas could already be found in Adam Smith. Peter Jackson 09:45, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Did he say where? Nick Gardner 21:34, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Fraid not. (And your sexual stereotyping is interesting, though correct.) Peter Jackson 09:58, 7 April 2012 (UTC)


It is, I suggest, a misuse of wikilinks to insert them where they cannot contribute to the reader's understanding of the text. For example, it is unhelpful to the reader to enclose the word China in wikilink brackets, implying (if it implies anything at all) that the reader's understanding of the sentence in which it occurs, would be increased if he read the article on China. Admittedly the practice is harmless where their use is so obviously mindless, because sensible readers will treat them as no more than an irritating irrelevance. The practice can be actively harmful, however, if it causes the reader needlessly to doubt that he has fully grasped the meaning of the word, and distracts his reading of the text by sending him on a wild goose chase.

I offer the above as a justification of my intention to remove unhelpful wikilinks from this article. Nick Gardner 20:47, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

In so doing you isolate the page and make it less likely that people who are browsing the site will continue to do so by moving on to articles that may catch their eye. Not everyone will read the article intently and only be interested in moving ever-deeper into subjects directly related to the topic. We had this issue before with a former Editor who also believed in incredibly sparse linking and the result was scores of articles which now sit in splendid isolation.
In any case, people will have different views about what is relevant. You have just removed two links to 'religion' and 'working class', both of which are obviously related to Marx's work. Given the existence of Chinese communism, you can argue for a link to the article on the country. In fact, for almost any link you can argue for inclusion. John Stephenson 01:01, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I have tried to take seriously the likelihood that a person who had opened an article on Karl Marx would decide that what he was really interested in was religion, but I can't do it. Nick Gardner 05:36, 7 April 2012 (UTC)


I have no more to add to this, except that I am willing to expand the "life and works" paragraph, if that is considered to be required for the purpose of balance. I do not think it should be considered for approval until it has been reviewed and edited by someone who is qualified in philosophy.Nick Gardner 09:51, 12 April 2012 (UTC)