Karl Marx Quotes

The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
Variant: All great historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice ... the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Karl Marx (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852)

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

History is not like some individual person, which uses men to achieve its ends. History is nothing but the actions of men in pursuit of their ends.

Karl Marx (Holy Family, 1844)

Hitherto, every form of society has been based ... on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

Karl Marx (Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843)

Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

We know only a single science, the science of history. History can be contemplated from two sides, it can be divided into the history of nature and the history of mankind. However, the two sides are not to be divided off; as long as men exist the history of nature and the history of men are mutually conditioned.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

Men's ideas are the most direct emanations of their material state.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

The animal is one with its life activity. It does not distinguish the activity from itself. It is its activity. But man makes his life activity itself an object of his will and consciousness. He has a conscious life activity. It is not a determination with which he is completely identified.

Karl Marx (The Paris Manuscripts, 1844)

Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex.

Karl Marx

To want to renounce the illusions concerning our proper situation implies that we renounce the situation that needs such illusions. The critique of religion demands the critique of the valley of tears of which religion is the aureola... The critique of religion must rid man of his illusions in order that he may think, act and build his reality as a being who has finally become reasonable, in order that his world rotate about himself, that is to say, about only true sun. Religion is merely a illusory sun.

Karl Marx (The Wisdom of Karl Marx)

In our days everything seems pregnant with its contrary.

Karl Marx (Speech in London, 1856)

Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. They have no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

Karl Marx (Critique of the Gotha Program, 1875)

In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.

Karl Marx (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852)

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it.

Karl Marx (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845)

Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history. One has to put up with the crude English method of development, of course. Despite all deficiencies not only is the death-blow dealt here for the first time to 'teleology' in the natural sciences, but their rational meaning is empirically explained.

Karl Marx (Letter to Ferdinand Lasalle, 1861)

We must emancipate ourselves before we are able to emancipate others.

Karl Marx (On the Jewish Question, 1843)

Ideas do not exist separately from language.

Karl Marx (Grundrisse - Notebook I, 1857)

Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.

Karl Marx (Quoted in Karl Marx, Man, Thinker, and Revolutionist, 1927)

A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells. But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality

Karl Marx. (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

The religious world is but the reflex of the real world.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.

Karl Marx (Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843)

Revolutions are the locomotives of history.

Karl Marx

Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science.

Karl Marx (The Paris Manuscripts, 1844)

Nothing can have value without being an object of utility.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

The imaginary flowers of religion adorn man's chains. Man must throw off the flowers and also the chains.

Karl Marx (The Wisdom of Karl Marx)

The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto - Chapter II, 1848)

Universal labour is all scientific labour, all discovery and all invention.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol III, 1867)

In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material forces of production. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society — the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life determines the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness... Therefore, mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the task itself arises only when the material conditions necessary for its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation... This social formation constitutes, therefore, the closing chapter of the prehistoric stage of human society.

Karl Marx (A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, 1859)

Language comes into being, like consciousness, from the basic need, from the scantiest intercourse with other human.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

Every emancipation is a restoration of the human world and of human relationships to a man himself.

Karl Marx (On the Jewish Question, 1843)

The human being is in the most literal sense a political animal, not merely a gregarious animal, but an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of society.

Karl Marx (Grundrisse - Notebook I, 1857)

Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand. 

Karl Marx

Communism deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour. The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

There is only one antidote to mental suffering. and that is physical pain.

Karl Marx

We should not say that one man's hour is worth another man's hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time's carcass.

Karl Marx (The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847)

On a level plain, simple mounds look like hills; and the insipid flatness of our present bourgeoisie is to be measured by the altitude of its great intellects.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

The past lies like a nightmare upon the present.

Karl Marx (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852)

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Karl Marx (Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843)

A specter is haunting Europe - the specter of communism.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto - Chapter I, 1848)

The productive forces are the result of man’s practical energy, but that energy is in turn circumscribed by the conditions in which man is placed by the productive forces already acquired, by the form of society which exists before him, which he does not create, which is the product of the preceding generation.

Karl Marx (Letter to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, 1846)

Experience praises the most happy the one who made the most people happy.

Karl Marx (Reflections of a Youth on Choosing an Occupation, 1835)

The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus the first fact to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature... Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life.

Karl Marx (The German Ideology, 1845 - 1846)

The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.

Karl Marx (Quoted in The Philosophy of Art by Karl Marx, 1938)

Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed.

Karl Marx

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

It is absolutely impossible to transcend the laws of nature. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws expose themselves.

Karl Marx (Letter to Dr. Kugelmann, 1868)

The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.

Karl Marx (The Paris Manuscripts, 1844)

When Engels and I first joined the secret Communist Society we made it a condition that everything tending to encourage superstitious belief in authority was to be removed from the statutes.

Karl Marx (Letter to Wilhelm Blos, 1877)

What is certain is that I am no Marxist.

Karl Marx (Quoted by Friedrich Engels)

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Karl Marx (Das Kapital - Vol I, 1867)

Men make their own history, but not just as they please. They do not choose the circumstances for themselves, but have to work upon circumstances as they find them, have to fashion the material handed down by the past. The legacy of the dead generations weighs like an alp upon the brains of the living.

Karl Marx (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, 1852)

Karl Marx Biography

Born: May 5, 1818
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx was a German philosopher, sociologist and revolutionary socialist. He developed the political theory known as Marxism. His ideas has had an important role in various political movements.

Notable Works

On the Jewish Question (1843)
The Paris Manuscripts (1844)
Holy Family
The German Ideology
(1845 - 1846)
The Communist Manifesto
Grundrisse (1857)
Das Kapital - Vol I
Das Kapital - Vol II
Das Kapital - Vol III