Karl Marx and Comte de Saint-Simon

Author: Comte de Saint-Simon

– Born October 17th, 1760 in France and died May 19th 1825 in Paris.

– Belonged to a poor aristocratic family, had a bumpy education, and joined the army at 17.

– Aided the Americans in the Revolutionary War.

– Gained wealth due to the Reign of Terror, but quickly became bankrupt and attempted to take his own life.

 

Context:

– Wrote during a very tumultuous time in France’s history, before industrialization.

– Witnessed the hight of the French Revolution, and the rise of Napoleon.

 

Language:

– He often uses a fairly sarcastic tone to mock society and its views.

– He uses casual speech, and attacks certain parties in his essay.

– He has a very jaded view and it is present in his work, most likely caused by the state of his life (see above).

 

Audience:

-He most likely seems to be speaking to his peers, since he does not speak in an explanatory tone, but a casual one.

 

Intent:

-He is trying to convince his peers that something is amiss in society.

-He is trying to show that the economy is broken.

 

Message:

Laissez-faire, laissez-passer! does not help the common people.

– “Will they bear their misery patiently because statistical calculations prove that in future years they will have food to appease their hunger?”

 

Author:  Karl Marx

– Born May 5th, 1818 in Trier, died March 14th 1883 in London.

– Born into a wealthy middle-class family, was educated at the universities of Bonn and Berlin.

– Moved to France, but was later exiled to England.

-Briefly wrote fiction, as well as nonfiction.

 

Context:

– His views and works were extremely liberal at the time, and he had issues publishing his works.

– Was active during the rise of Communism, and wrote in its favor.

-His works quickly started dramatic changes in Europe (especially after publishing the Communist Manifesto in 1848).

 

Language:

– Can be rather poetic at times, with repetition commonly seen in poems.

– Use of philosophical rhetoric commonly seen in Plato and Socrates’ work.

– Very explanatory, often repeating points.

 

Audience:

– Most likely geared towards a lower demographic (such as laborers), because of the repetition and explanatory tone.

 

Intent:

– To show that Capitalism cheapens the worth of the lower-class worker, by forcing them to produce more and better products with no regard for themselves.

 

Message:

-Laborers are being alienated by their work, and are becoming more barbaric because of this.

 

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