What Is the Theory Karl Marx Is Best Known For?

Karl Marx is best known for his posthumously titled theory of Marxism. It views economics as the primary motivating and guiding factor for people and governments. The focus on private property creates a class system between wealthy and poor groups, always generating conflict.

At the end of the 19th century, Marxism was thought to have three components: dialectical materialism, equal economic exchange and socialist institutions. Dialectical materialism asserted that all phenomena and nature are caused by and made up of matter, leading Marx to advocate atheism. He also thought that the value of goods should be determined solely on the amount of work needed to produce them.

This concept regarded capitalist motivations for ever-higher profit margins as detrimental to a society and its people. Marx believed the conflict capitalism causes between classes leads to inevitable self-destruction of the society. Society could then rebuild itself as a socialist state governed by the people until a classless, stateless society arises, which he termed pure communism.