Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883)
He was born in Trier, Germany, in 1818. He studied law in Bonn and Berlin, but he was especially interested in history and philosophy, in particular in relation to Hegel and Feuerbach. For a while he was the editor of a magazine of radical tendencies, the "Rheinische Zeitung". After its closure, he moved to Paris (1843), where he became a communist and a revolutionary, and then to Brussels (1845). In the meantime, in 1843 Marx married Jenny von Westphalen.
In collaboration with Engels, whom he had met in Paris in 1844, in 1848 he finished writing The Communist Manifesto, in which they attacked the state as a means of oppression. He was expelled from Brussels, so he settled in London, where he studied economy and wrote the first volume of his main work, Das Kapital (1867, two further volumes were added in 1884 and in 1894). He was one of the most important participant in the First International, from 1864 until its end in 1872. The last decade of his life was characterized by many health problems. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery, in London.
Marx is one of the most important socialist thinkers to emerge in 19th century. His ultimate concern was with human freedom and capitalism he considered as being the greatest enemy to this freedom. He is also known for his materialistic view of history.
One of Marx' most often quoted assertion is that "religion is the opium of the people."