Karl Marx Quotes – Inspiring Words From a Revolutionary Thinker

Karl Marx was a philosopher and economist who is best known for his theories about socialism and communism. He was also a prolific writer, and his quotes are still widely quoted today. Here are some of the best Karl Marx quotes to get you thinking about socialism and communism.

karl marx quotes

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the German city of Trier. He was the son of a successful lawyer and his wife, who belonged to the upper middle class. Marx was raised in a religious household and attended a Lutheran school.

In 1835, he entered the University of Bonn, where he studied law and philosophy. He became interested in the socialist ideas of the philosopher and economist Friedrich Engels and the political writings of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

In 1841, Marx moved to the University of Berlin, where he completed his doctoral thesis, “The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature.” Marx married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. The couple had seven children.

In 1848, Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto, which called for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist society.

He moved to London in 1850, where he lived until his death in 1883.

Marx was a prolific writer and produced a large body of work, including The Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy, and Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. 

Karl Marx’s ideas have been highly influential, and he is considered one of the most important figures in the history of socialism and communism.

63 Karl Marx Quotes

karl marx quotes on capitalism
  1. “Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.”

2. “I am nothing but I must be everything.”

3. “The heart of a man is a wonderful thing, especially when it is carried in his wallet.”

4. “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.”

5. “Ignorance never yet helped anybody.”

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

7. “Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another.”

8. “Wages are a direct consequence of estranged labor, and estranged labor is the direct cause of private property.”

9. “Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.”

10. “Education is free. Freedoom of education shall be enjoyed under the condition fixed by law and under the supreme control of the state”

11. “This class has always to sacrifice a part of itself in order not to be wholly destroyed.”

12. “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

marx quotes on capitalism

Famous Karl Marx Quotes

13. “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.”

14. “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.”

15. “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”

16. “Only in community with others has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible.”

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

18. “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”

19. “Everyone of our relationships with nature and man must be a definite expression of our real, individual life.”

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

21. “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

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

23. “To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For man, however, the root is man himself.”

Karl Marx Best Quotes

24. “Perseus wore a magic cap down over his eyes and ears as a make-believe that there are no monsters.”

25. “Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”

26. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

27. “The true law of economics is chance, and we learned people arbitrarily seize on a few moments and establish them as laws.”

28. “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary”

29. “You must be aware that the reward for labour, and quantity of labour, are quite disparate things.”

30. “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.”

31. “Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity”

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

Karl Marx Quotes on Life and Capitalism

33. “The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition that needs illusions”

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

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

37. “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps”

38. “Labor in the white skin can never free itself as long as labor in the black skin is branded.”

39. “No revolution is made out of shame. I reply: Shame is already revolution of a kind”

40. “The alienation of man thus appeared as the fundamental evil of capitalist society.”

41. “Machinery which is not used is not capital.”

42. “Democracy is the road to Socialism.”

43. “I am a machine condemned to devour books.”

44. “Diligence in some compels idleness in others.”

45. “The proletarians have nothing to loose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

46. “The more of himself man attributes to God, the less he has left in himself.”

47. “The modern history of capital dates from the creation in the 16th century of a world-embracing commerce and a world-embracing market.”

48. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”

49. “A class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital.”

50. “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”

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

52. “Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.”

53. “The increase in value of the world of things is directly proportional to the decrease in value of the human world.”

54. “The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got.”

55. “Government hears only its own voice … It knows it hears only its own voice and yet it deceives itself that it hears the people’s voice.”

56. “Economy of time, to this all economy ultimately reduces itself.”

57. “It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written.”

58. “The charges against communism made from a religious, philosophical, and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.”

59. “Money is the alienated essence of man’s labor and life; and this alien essence dominates him as he worships it.”

60. “Man makes his own history, but he does not make it out of the whole cloth; he does not make it out of conditions chosen by himself, but out of such as he finds close at hand.”

61. “Self-contempt is a serpent that ever gnaws at one’s breath, sucking the life-blood from one’s own heart and mixing it with the poison of misanthropy and despair.”

62. “Everyone should be able to attend to his religious as well as his bodily needs without the police sticking their nose in.”

63. “A people which subjugates another people forges its own chains.”

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