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The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces the more his productionincreases in power and range The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the morecommodities he creates With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds indirect proportion to the devaluation of the world of men Labour produces not onlycommodities it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in theproportion in which it produces commodities generallyMarx Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts 1844The philosopher social scientist historian and revolutionary Karl Marx is without adoubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century Although hewas largely ignored by scholars in his own lifetime his social economic and politicalideas gained rapid acceptance in the socialist movement after his death in 1883 Untilquite recently almost half the population of the world lived under regimes that claim to beMarxist This very success however has meant that the original ideas of Marx have oftenbeen modified and his meanings adapted to a great variety of political circumstances Inaddition the fact that Marx delayed publication of many of his writings meant that isbeen only recently that scholars had the opportunity to appreciate Marxs intellectualKarl Heinrich Marx was born into a comfortable middle-class home in Trier on the riverMoselle in Germany on May 5 1818 He came a long line of rabbis on both sides of hisfamily and his father a man who knew Voltaire and Lessing by heart had agreed tobaptism as a Protestant so that he would not lose his job as one of the most respectedlawyers in Trier At the age of seventeen Marx enrolled in the Faculty of Law at theUniversity of Bonn At Bonn he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen the daughterof Baron von Westphalen a prominent member of Trier society and man responsible forinteresting Marx in Romantic literature and Saint-Simonian politics The following yearMarxs father sent him to the more serious University of Berlin where
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