Your millennium
BBC News Front Page >>

In September BBC News Online users voted for the greatest thinker of the last thousand years. We asked the views of Edward de Bono and Roger Scruton who chose William James and Thomas Aquinas respectively. But BBC News Online readers had other ideas and voted overwhelming for Karl Marx.

Below is your top ten - and some of your comments.

Return to the winners

Karl Marx
 
Karl Marx is probably the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the 19th century. He was a philosopher, a social scientist, a historian and a revolutionary, whose ideas still influence political regimes today.

His social, economic and political ideas became central to the socialist movement. Although dictatorships throughout the twentieth century have distorted his original ideas, he is greatly respected by academics.

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

It was in France, where he became a Communist and met fellow thinker Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Together they wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Amongst Marx's other influential works are the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, which remained unpublished until the 1930s, and Capital.

Your Top 10 Thinkers:
1. Karl Marx
2. Albert Einstein
3. Sir Isaac Newton
4. Charles Darwin
5. Thomas Aquinas
6. Stephen Hawking
7. Immanuel Kant
8. Rene Descartes
9. James Clerk Maxwell
10. Friedrich Nietzche
What you have said:
Karl Marx has inspired thousands of liberation struggles. He was the father of modern political thinking.
Dag Thoresen, Norway

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 19th century.
Jyotsna Kapur, USA

Karl Marx's ideas have had an immense meaning for people all over the world, both in thought and action.
Frode Mannsåker

Karl Marx developed a thorough critique of Capitalism. His ideas have had a major impact in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Mike Wunsch

Karl Marx's theories are so versatile that they can be used to understand and explain situations that confront us in today's world.
Becky Branford

Albert Einstein revolutionised science.
Lay Wah, Malaysia

Albert Einstein changed the way we think about our entire universe.
Greg Kimmelman

Sir Isaac Newton's work in the 17th Century was a truly great leap forward in scientific thinking and understanding.
Nathan Dimmock

Sir Isaac Newton's work on light, gravity and motion, his creation of the calculus and improved telescope changed the way we think and our capacity for discovery forever. And much of his best work was completed within a few years in his early twenties.
Kevin Curran

Charles Darwin changed 2,000 years of intellectual thought. Before Darwin the Bible was the word of God. After Darwin it was a metaphor. No other philosopher, teacher, scientist or thinker has had that amount of influence.
Louise Berry, Canada

Charles Darwin thought what at the time was unthinkable - that the Bible was wrong. It not only took brains, but courage to express his opinion - and to receive disbelief and ridicule in his time for one of the most inspiring theories of all time.
Simon Treleaven, UK

Thomas Aquinas demonstrated faith and reason are not opposed and used reason to prove it.
Joe Pettibon

Thomas Aquinas drew upon the earlier millennia and he will be looked to in all following millennia.
John J. Schrems

Ringing in the new millennium | Back to the future | Witness | Speaking for the century | Millennium diaries | What happened next? | Review of the year | Your millennium | Talking Point