Karl Marx voted the millenium's "greatest thinker" in online poll.
November/December 1999

This tidbit comes to us from the Reuters News Service:

Revolutionary writer Karl Marx has topped a BBC News Online poll to find the greatest thinker of the millennium.

The nineteenth century writer won September's vote with a clear margin, pushing Albert Einstein, who had led for most of the month, into second place.

The top 10 included philosophers Immanuel Kant and Rene Descartes as well as twentieth century scientist Stephen Hawking.

"We have done a fair amount recently on the 10th anniversary of the fall of communism," a spokesman for the Internet service said. "Perhaps that made some people a bit nostalgic."

In earlier online polls, William Shakespeare was picked as the greatest writer of the last 1,000 years and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was chosen as the greatest composer.

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883) was born into a middle-class family in Germany, but he became a revolutionary in Paris, Brussels and London.

He met the like-minded Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) in France. Together they wrote The Communist Manifesto, which outlined the theory of the class struggle. Marx was exiled from Paris and Brussels for his revolutionary activities and settled in London where he lived until his death.

Amongst Marx's other influential works are the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, which remained unpublished until the 1930s, and the monumental work Das Kapital [Capital.].

BBC News Online readers from across the world took part in the millennium poll.

Dag Thoresen from Norway, said: "Karl Marx has inspired thousands of liberation struggles. He was the father of modern political thinking."

And Jyotsna Kapur from the USA said: "Marx analysed best the working of capitalism. Given that that is the system that characterises the world at the end of the twentieth century his work is as relevant to understanding the world we live in as it was for understanding the nineteenth century."

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