“The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”
Karl Marx was a critic of capitalism, which he saw as an economic system that exploits workers. His quote “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” is a satirical expression of his critique.
In a literal sense, this quote suggests a scenario where capitalists, driven by the profit motive, would sell the means for their own downfall – in this case the rope for their own hanging. Figuratively, it suggests that the inherent contradictions within capitalism, such as the exploitation and alienation of workers, the creation of wealth inequality, and the cyclical nature of economic crises, would eventually lead to its own collapse.
Marx believed that the workers, or proletariat, would rise against the capitalist class, leading to a revolution. The rope in this metaphor could be seen as representing the tools and resources produced under capitalism, which could be used by the proletariat to overthrow the system itself.
Remember, this quote is a piece of Marx’s broader critical philosophy about capitalism and should be understood in the context of his ideas about economics, class struggle, and societal development. It is not a literal call to violence.