Karl Marx was an economic theorist who wrote during the 19th Century.
His ideas deal with social and economic power relationships and have been influential in economics, politics and sociology.
Certain concepts are key to an understanding of Marxism, a political theory that has shaped world politics for over 150 years. Key Marxist concepts are diametrically the opposite to capitalism and some believe have created a mentality of a society that is very much a ‘them and us’ one.
Marxism believes that capitalism can only thrive on the exploitation of the working class.
Marxism believes that there was a real contradiction between human nature and the way that we must work in a capitalist society.
Marxism believes that capitalism is not only an economic system but is also a political system.
Neo-Marxism is based on ideas initially projected by Karl Marx. Marx believed that economic power led to political power and that this is the key to understanding societies. Neo-Marxists believe the economic system creates a wealthy class of owners and a poor class of workers. They also believe that certain social institutions such as churches, prisons and schools have been created to maintain the division between the powerful and the powerless.