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History of Economic Thought 101: Karl Marx


This series of articles aims to provide a brief overview of the evolution of Economic thought through the lens of some of the key contributors to the discipline. Using Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations as a jumping-off point, through John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory, Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, and the more recent contributions of Joseph Schumpeter and Milton Friedman. The series will conclude with an evaluation of modern-day Economic consensus.

The History of Economic Thought series consists of 6 main articles:

1. History of Economic Thought: Adam Smith

2. History of Economic Thought: John Maynard Keynes

3. History of Economic Thought: Karl Marx

4. History of Economic Thought: Joseph Schumpeter

5. History of Economic Thought: Milton Friedman

6. History of Economic Thought: Modern Day

History of Economic Thought: Karl Marx

An Introduction to Marx

This article is designed to serve as an introduction to the broader body of work produced by German Philosopher, Political Theorist, and Economist Karl Marx and specifically detail his overall contributions to the field of Economics. Before reading, please bear in mind that Marx is an incredibly dense, rich subject of intellectual discourse. The title of this series being “a brief history of economic thought”, it will be a very practical impossibility to condense all of Marx’s ideas into a circa 1000 word compendium. This article, therefore, will focus primarily on Volume I of Marx’s “Das Kapital”, with some reference to his much briefer treatise “The Communist Manifesto”.

Figure 1: Karl Marx, Philosopher, Economist, Political Theorist, Socialist Revolutionary, and one of the most influential figures in all of human history.