Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany in 1818. He came from a middle-class German-Jewish background. He attended first the University of Bonn, and later the University of Berlin. At the University of Berlin he was linked to the Young Hegelians. The Young Hegelians was a group that criticized German politics using Hegelian philosophy as their guide. (Farganis 2004, 23) Hegel's philosophy involved viewing "things as they are and as they have the potential to become in the future." (Farganis 2004, 23) Throughout Marx's works he looks at the relationships between wealth and power and the conflict that exists between the capitalist bourgeoisie who own the means of production and the proletariat that is the labor force behind production.
In Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, he begins to draw the line between the capitalist owner and the laborer class. As a result of the competition that is necessary for capitalist interests, society divides itself into two classes: the owners of property and the workers without property. (Marx 1964, 38) Marx argues that the worker becomes an object himself. The worker becomes alienated from the product he produces. Because of this separation of man and his product, the worker's "species-life" is also taken away from him. He later argues that private property is a result of the alienated labor. Compare and contrast Marx and Weber’s analyses of the development of capitalism
Capitalism is defined as ‘An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.’ It is based on the division between two classes, one of which owns the labour of the other. Not only do the upper classes, or the bourgeoisie, own the means of physical production but also the means of ‘mental production’. They control and manipulate society through the rule of education, religion and the media. Althusser distinguishes between repressive