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German Men of Ideas: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."

Field of Study: Economist, philosopher, socialist, revolutionary.

Revolutionary Insight: In collaboration with Friedrich Engels, built on Hegel's dialectic framework (in which opposing forces clash to form a new paradigm) to advocate the working-class overthrow of capitalist governments and establishment of a classless society, where all people share ownership of property.

Controversy Quotient (0to 5): (3) Died in poverty & obscurity. Political & revolutionary views caught fire in the 20th century, co-opted unsuccessfully by totalitarians (Lenin, Stalin, Mao). His musings on the failures of capitalism still a rallying cry for pure socialist movements.

Little Known Fact: Marx, who hailed from Trier, was pictured on Germany's 100 Deutschmark bill from 1964 until 1990.

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