It isinteresting how many take the name of Marx in vain, so to speak. Wellington had it right. I just want to add that Marx didn’t really advocate a revolution by the working class, he thought it would be inevitable. And in certain aspects he was right (as he was about many other things). The voting franchise was extended, though not in the way he predicted. However, the working class an influence many times greater on politics today than they did a century and a half ago. I don’t think the rulers of the era wanted the working class to have that impact, but, as Marx predicted, the force of society brought it about.
Marx had a rather idealized cview of the working class. He never had to work for a living himself, but spent his entire life leeching off others, mainly the family of his aristocratic wife (something he took pride in) and Engels (who embezzled from the family company to keep Marx working on his theories). Marx was thouroughly over class himself with strong ideas about his station in life and what would be needed to maintain that lifestyle, e.g. servants.
His ideas about the commune where evertyone would live happily is quite naive: Go to work in the factory in the morning, work on your own speciality, as a cabinet maker maybe, in the afternoon. I think he would’ve been appalled by the USSR and PRC.
Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro, to name a few, used Marx’ writings and twisted everything to suit their needs. Marx didn’t see a capitalist class replaced with a political class.
The fall of the Wall has made many people dismiss Marx and the ideas of communism as something quaint: “On paper a Utopia, in reality a failure, due to human nature”. I’m not sure that’s valid, since there have been very few tries at the type of society Marx thought would come. Also - to dismiss Marx is to deny what’s happened in most parts of the world in the last 150 years. I can’t think of a single person with greater influence on the world during that time - be it from twisting his philosophy to suit the needs of power hungry dictators or as a boogey man used by the rulers on the other end of the political scale, Marx brought about modern democracy, foresaw a lot of the political and economical happenings 50 or a 100 years after his own life.