Karl Marx

‘Karl Marx was one of the intellectual giants of the modern epoch. While it is true that even without him we would still be arguing about capitalism and socialism, class struggle and revolution, it cannot be denied that in his work he established in large part the framework within which the discussion has been carried on. Furthermore, many of his own concepts have become common currency in the social sciences: ‘class consciousness’; ‘alienation’; ‘ideology’; ‘exploitation’; ‘mode of production’; ‘relations of production’; ‘commodity fetishism’; ‘materialist conception of history’. Above all, Marx challenged the rationality of capitalist society. His ‘critique of political economy’ argued that capitalism was exploitative, inherently contradictory and systematically prone to crisis. That we still speak of capital and wage labour, that we can trace the booms and slumps in the economy since his day, means that Marx may still have much to teach us.’                                                                                                                               - C.J. Arthur, Marx’s Capital: A Student Edition