“The history of all previously existing societies is the history of class struggles.” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels collaborated to create what is now known as the socialist bible, The Communist Manifesto. Socialism was created in 1815, during the Enlightenment movement in Europe. It is a philosophy that explains how economic planning, greater economic equality, and state regulation of property are key factors for a successful society. Socialism was acutely aware of the French Nationalism and Liberalism movements, and did not agree with these principles. Socialists believed that these movements were a way of fomenting individualism and division of societies.
The middle class and the poor were a great appeal to early French socialists. “Marx ridiculed such appeals as naive.” In Marx’s views, the middle class – the bourgeoisie – and the poor – the proletariat – was more split than ever in socialist views. “For Marx, class identity triumphed national identity.” As a result of his ideas, the proletariat grew in size and the bourgeois owned the small means of production available. Later on, Marx predicted that the proletariat would revolutionize against the bourgeois. Karl Marx was mainly influenced by English classical economists, that believed in the value of labor.
Nowadays, communism is not as popular worldwide as capitalism is, but it is still part of societies around the world. China is one of the largest countries with communist views. Ever since 1949, China has been ruled by the Communist Party, and it still remains as the dominating power. This is evidence of Marx’s influences and importance in the Enlightenment and in modern society.