chapter  2
Karl Marx 1818–1883 61
ByChapter 3 Émile Durkheim
Pages 30

Karl Marx (1818-1883) is among the more controversial and well-discussed social thinkers of any era. At some colleges and universities, entire courses are offered to discuss Marxist thought. Political systems around the world are, or have been, created and established because of his ideas. Marx was not a sociologist per se; rather, sociology “claims” him because of his varied societal insights (e.g., on social conflict and class theory). In fact, many academic disciplines, including philosophy, economics, political science, and history, discuss the concepts and contributions of this controversial social theorist. Indeed, Karl Marx may be one of the most influential and well-known people not in a position of political power since Jesus Christ or the Prophet Mohammad. That Marx’s influence is only surpassed by prominent religious leaders is equally profound in light of his disdain for religion.