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The meaning and origin of the expression: Religion is the opium of the people

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Religion is the opium of the people

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Origin

This is probably the best-known quotation by Karl Marx, the German economist and Communist political philosopher. The origin German text, in Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843 is:

Die Religion... ist das Opium des Volkes

religion is the opium of the peopleThis has been translated variously as 'religion is the opiate of the masses', 'religion is the opium of the masses' and, in a version which German scholars prefer 'religion is the opium of the people'. The context the phrase appears is this:

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people."