Marx, Karl (1818–83)

A WESTERN EUROPEAN social theorist and political activist, Karl Marx wrote voluminously, and his works rank among the most recognized contributions to social analysis. Best known for Das Kapital (1867), and for coauthoring The Communist Manifesto (1848) with his long-time collaborator Friedrich Engels, Marx's examination of the contradictions and crises entailed in social relations under capitalism has played a critical role in most “radical” political economic theory and politics since his death.

There are many ways in which Marx, and the various Marxisms that have followed, speak to the relation between society and environment. It is only since the last decades of the 20th century that the relevance of Marx's work to environmental politics has been widely recognized. Prior to the 1980s, many argued that Marx ...

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