Johann Karl Rodbertus

Karl Rodbertus ( born August 12, 1805 in Greifswald, † December 6, 1875 in Jagetzow; Complete name: Johann Karl Rodbertus ) was a German national economist. He is considered the founder of state socialism.


Rodbertus came from a family of the Duchy of Schleswig, whose master series with Peter Rodbertus (around 1545-1609 ), pastor Boren, begins. His father Johann Christoph Rodbertus was a professor of law at the University of Greifswald, assessors and legal adviser of the faculty of law and royal Swedish Judicial Council. His mother Ernestine Friederike Eleonore Schlettwein (1784-1849) was the daughter of Johann August physiocratic economists Schlettwein ( 1731-1802 ). The mother inherited the estate Beseritz at Friedland in Mecklenburg -Strelitz. 1808 was the father to his professorship and moved the family to the estate.

After attending high school in Friedland Karl Rodbertus studied from 1823 in Göttingen and in 1825 in Berlin law. In 1824 he co-founded the fraternity Teutonia Göttingen. He then went as a lawyer in the Prussian civil service. From 1830, he traveled for two years Western Europe. After his return to Germany he studied economics. In 1835 he bought the estate in Jagetzow Völschow. Agriculture enabled him largely independent existence as a private scholar. In 1839 he presented his work " The demands of the working classes " finished. He developed an underconsumption theory and advocated intervention in wage setting.

In 1847 he took over as knightly Member of Parliament for the district of Pomerania in the Provincial Parliament of the Province of Pomerania part in the second United Diet. After the March Revolution of 1848, he was for about a week minister of culture and education, but then resigned. 1849 Rodbertus was designated as a " stranger " from Berlin. For years he was then on his estate Jagetzow under police supervision. From here, he published more writings. 1871 awarded him an honorary doctorate by the University of Jena.

Rodbertus turned capitalism into question, however, supported rather than revolutionary programs interventionism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels dealt critically with his works. Also Rosa Luxembourg and August Bebel engaged intensively in his writings. For Franz Oppenheimer, he was theoretically very significant.

Johann Karl Rodbertus was married to Minette, born Prittwitz ( 1803-1879 ). His sister Johanna Mathilde (1804-1886) was married to Franz Heinrich Erich II of Lepel on Wieck at Gützkow.


  • A Göttingen memorial plaque was attached to his house in the Jüdenstrasse 24 in Göttingen.
  • His tomb in Jagetzow was included in the list of monuments ( Demmin, Vorpommern - Greifswald now ).
  • The Karl Rodbertus - way in Bremen- Vahr was named after him.


  • Thilo Ramm (ed.): The Collected Works and Letters. Compiled on the basis of earlier editions, with introduction and bibliography, 6 vols, Osnabrück 1971/72. ISBN 3-535-01253-8 and ISBN 3-7648-2780-7
  • Carl Rodbertus - Jagetzow: German state and Socialism. Series: German writings, 4th Selection & Foreword Horst Wagenführ. Protte, Potsdam 1935