Karl Marx is one of the greatest philosophers, a revolutionary, historian and social scientist from the 19th century. He was born in May 5, 1818, in Germany. In 1842, he became the editor of Rheinische Zeitung, a liberal newspaper. However, this paper was shut down due to its harsh economic comments. He migrated to Paris and started expressing his support for communism after publishing Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts in 1844. This paper talked about a humanistic concept of communism and it contrasted with the alienation brought about by capitalism (Smith 2005). He was expelled from this city and moved to Brussels together with his friend being known as Engels. While being in Brussels, he published a manuscript known as The German Ideology that concentrated on the materialist conception of history. He also joined the Communist League, while being in London, and helped to publish The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Most publishers feared to publish the works done by Karl Marx, since they felt that his works incited people. However, in 1867, he published a book known as The Capitalist that showed the capitalist process of production. This essay critically focuses on the contribution of Karl Marx to our understanding of human nature.
Karl Max helped us to understand that human beings are driven by the fact that they want to satisfy their own needs and desires. If human beings want to succeed in the particular thing, they will do everything to help them succeeding in that thing. He claimed that there are natural and vital powers that make a man as an active natural being. Vital powers and instincts make man do things that aim at satisfying his external needs (Brudney 1998). If a human being is hungry, he will do everything to fulfill his desire of eating a meal. That is the reason that people work at day and night in order for them to obtain food. If the student wants to succeed in life, he will make extra efforts of studying hard so that he succeeds in his educational life. Marx also stated that the need for sexual relations in human beings motivated people to be in love and seek for the companionship. Since human beings want to live a healthy life, they try to practice healthy lifestyles by having the enough rest, engaging into exercising activities, keeping a healthy balanced diet and quitting bad practices that are injurious to the human health such as smoking and overconsumption of alcohol. Philosophers have used Karl Marx’s understanding of human beings as people being only driven by their needs and desires to explain why countries go to war. If the country wants to have the greatest military power, it will do anything to stop countries that threaten their political superiority. This motivates countries to experiment on new harmful technologies that they can use to express their military superiority power.
Why people form families
Marx helped us to understand human beings as social beings, and, thus, they always depend on others for their own survival. The man cannot live alone. This is the main reason that forces people to form families. In addition to this, people obtain the education at schools since they cannot learn appropriately while studying on their own. As human beings interact with the society, they learn diverse cultures from different people. This helps in fostering their mutual relationships. People go to places of worship so that they may interact with other people sharing the same religious beliefs. A person may be confident that he or she can live alone because he or she has a successful product that will be sold in the market. However, the person needs other people since they will be the consumers of this product. Karl Marx also explained that there were inseparable signs of cooperation that always tried to bind men together (Fromm 2004). This is why people form a common government that helps in the leadership of the country. Furthermore, it was common for people to form committees since human beings think only the best when they are in one company with other people. The man also pursues his dreams by looking at what the society wants from him. A student may want to pursue the career of being a doctor since their community might be lacking some professional healthcare practitioners. Furthermore, the student may be motivated to become an engineer since it may be the best paid job in the industry. This shows that the career dreams of this student were shaped by the society, thus, proving that human beings were social beings. Also, they would always depend on other people for the survival.
Human always want to produce something in their lives even though they may not physically require
Karl Marx contrasted the human desire to generate with that of other animals. He argued that birds and bees build their nests for dwelling just as human beings do not. However, these animals produce nests only to meet their individual needs and that of their own families. He also added that these animals do something when there are some sudden physical needs which force them to act in such way. In contrast, it was common for human beings to engage into production processes when they were free from the physical needs. Furthermore, the man produces better if he does not have any physical need. The rich people overwork despite the fact that they may have many funds. They might not even exhaust. In addition to this, the countries with strong economies that provide adequately all their citizens always look for the ways of improving their overall economic growth. Karl Marx also added that animals produce according to their needs and standards of species which they belong to (Smith 2005). In contrast, human beings produce according to the standards of every species and in accordance with the laws of beauty. Most companies are adopting the concept of green marketing. This is because they have taken an initiative of the environment protection so that they can ensure that the ecological balance has been achieved. In addition to this, several environmentalists have taken an initiative of protecting endangered species. The examples of these species include a white rhino and the certain types of owls. This shows that human beings do something in accordance with the laws of nature and beauty, since they also consider the welfare of other species, while carrying out their production processes.
Karl Marx helped us to understand that human beings are toolmakers, and, thus, they always work to meet their needs. He argued that human beings are judged by considering how productive they are. However, he criticized the labor productivity in capitalism. This is because of capitalism that people used the human labor to satisfy their own selfish gains. It was common for the man in the capitalist economy to underpay his labor force despite the fact that these laborers could be working in some poor and inhumane conditions. However, Marx tried to discourage labor in the communist economy. So he claimed that it was the unsocial activity and very inhuman (Marx and Engels 2007). This is because of the ownership of private property being one of the factors that motivated the labor. From our understanding of human beings as toolmakers, it is clear why the man always make the inventions to ease his normal activities. The man invents machines so that they can assist him in his industrial processes. In addition to this, the man has continued to advance the latest technological forms of communication, since they help him to communicate with other people. Karl Marx also added that the productive activities are very necessary for human activities, and, thus, they are mostly rewarding when human beings pursue them freely. This is because the human being is likely to think of new ideas to solve his social needs if he is not forced to work at the certain project.
Human are alienated in their processes of work
Karl Marx argued that the capitalist modes of production that most people have adopted cause people to live in the socially stratified society. As a result, they are alienated from their own humanity. He gave four forms of alienation that may occur to a worker. These types of alienation include the alienation of the worker from work, the alienation of the worker from himself, and the alienation of the worker from other employees. According to Marx, in the capitalist economy, the capitalist people determine how the product should look like, and how laborers should do their duties (Marx and Kamenka 1983). In the end, the capitalist earns all profits despite the hard contribution from workers. This makes workers feel depressed, since the owners of products obtain all the credits despite a hard contribution of workers. The cases of the human alienation in their processes of work are common in the today’s environment. It is common for workers to conduct mass demonstrations, since they feel that management does not involve them in a decision making process. In some instances, the management of companies introduces some new forms of production without the first training of employees in these forms of production. Due to this, workers may not have skills and expertise to implement this form of technology, and, thus, they become alienated. Moreover, there some workers producing products that they cannot afford to purchase depending on the income they have earned after the production process. This makes them feel alienated, since they view themselves as the foreign people considering the products of their own labor.
Karl Marx helped us to understand the nature of human beings
He stated that it was driven by the historical materialism. In this concept, he stated that the development in the society of human beings was contributed by how human beings producing their necessities of life. Marx argued that for human beings to survive, they needed to produce and reproduce material contents that would help satisfying their life necessities. He also argued that human beings entered into the production relations in the attempt of forming some definite social relations. One form of this social relation is the division of labor (Marx and Engels 2007). In this form of relation, the worker does the work in such a way that he is best suited. If the employee is good in marketing and sales, he will prefer to work in the marketing department. If the employee is good in mathematics, he will prefer to work in the accounting department. There he will keep a track of the important financial company records. Marx also claimed that productive forces during the certain period in the history helped in determining the production relations. He classified the productive forces to include raw materials, the human knowledge, tools and land. He also stated that the historical materialism depended on the modes of production that the society adopted. These modes of production include capitalism, an ancient society, primitive communism and a tribal society. If the society adopted the ancient society’s mode of production, then any surplus from the production process would not be given to the society. This is the form of production concentrated on benefiting few ruling classes. If the society adopted a capitalist mode of production, then it was common that the working class had received their wages from selling their labor to the privately owned means of production. From the contribution of Marx in the historical materialism, it was clear how some people had become rich by exploiting the labor of other people. Corporations earn some supernormal profits, since they underpay their workers in addition to denying them their employment benefits.
Karl Marx also helped to understand the nature of human beings by showing how human beings had made the life with their objects. Marx believed that every human being desired to control his or her life. This motivated people to work hard so that they would have the bright future. It is common that every person wants to live in the free society where he or she is able to raise the own opinions. The freedom of speech would enable the person to express his own opinion about a bad leadership and governance. This would help people to control their own life. Marx believed that every human being had a desire of reaching his or her self-actualization (Brudney 1998). The self-actualization refers to the desire of every human being to reach the maximum potential and to achieve the self-fulfillment. This enables the person to become what he is capable of becoming. People that have reached their self-actualization may portray several characteristics. They show the acceptance and realism. This is because they have some realistic perceptions about themselves and the other people in the society. Moreover, most of them are spontaneous considering their behaviors and thoughts. Marx also claimed that people that had reached the self-actualization always had the desire of living alone. However, Marx also stated that the self-actualization would only be possible if capitalism was replaced by communism. This is because communism would allow people to have the common ownership of property. Due to this, they would control the means of production, and, thus, people would engage into business that they want. This would prevent few people in the society controlling all vital resources. Human beings would, thus, make the life of their objects.
The nature of human beings as the creatures that used their creativity to plan any process of production
He chose human beings from other animals and concluded that what made the man unique; and this was his ability to plan before he had engaged in any production activity. According to Karl Marx, a spider conducted operations that resembled the operations of the weaver. This shows that spiders are not creative. He also stated that bees had ashamed architects, since they constructed the magnificent cells (Smith 2005). However, he argued that the most significant thing that had separated the construction work of the worst architect to the construction work of the bee was that the architect had planned his building before he actually started building it. After the architect had seen the results from his construction work, he compared them with what he had planned in order to identify if there were the weaknesses in his plan. It is common for human beings to plan before undertaking major projects. Big corporations formulate some strategic plans before investing their finances into major company projects. This helps in creating the accountability during the implementation of these projects. In addition to this, some countries plan their budgets in the attempt of avoiding deficits.
To conclude, Karl Marx contributed to our understanding of the human nature through his works of literature. He helped us to understand that human beings were driven by the fact that they wanted to satisfy their needs. People work so that they can earn money. He also helped to show the nature of human beings as social beings, and, thus, nobody could live on his own. Furthermore, his work portrayed the nature of human beings as the people that always wanted to produce in their lives even though they did not require the things that they were producing. Human beings also produced according to the standards of each species and in accordance to laws of beauty. This motivates people to look for the ways to protect the environment from depletion. Karl Marx also made it clear to us that human beings had become alienated if they felt that they were not the part of their own labor.