The Poetry of The Communist Manifesto: a Combination of past and present
“Capitalism has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities. Capitalism has agglomerated population, centralised means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands.”
As many readers will know, Karl Marx wrote these words, but used ‘bourgeoisie’ instead of capitalism. The words were swapped in a 2012 lecture by John Lanchester (he of Whoops, and Capital) marking Marx’s 193rd birthday, to show how prescient he was in describing the structure of capitalism and the way in which it changes the landscape.
“… before all else a revolutionist”. Marx and the question of strategy
The multiple crisis of capitalism goes hand in hand with a multiple crisis of the left. And amidst this crisis, we find ourselves commemorating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Capital. But how are we to treat Marx and his works? How important is he for us today – for our capacity to transform the world in practice?
Read Karl Marx! A Conversation with Immanuel Wallerstein
Immanuel Wallerstein (www.iwallerstein.com), currently a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, New Haven – USA, is among the greatest living sociologists and one of the most appropriate scholars to discuss the current relevance of Marx. He has been a reader of Marx for long time and his work has been influenced by the theories of the revolutionary born in Trier, on 5 May 1818. Wallerstein has authored more than 30 books, which have been translated into several languages, including his very well known The Modern World-System, published in four volumes between 1974 and 2011.
For Moishe Postone
In 2011, I invited Postone to speak at the New School for Social Research in New York, as the keynote to a graduate student philosophy conference called "The Spirit of Capital: Hegel and Marx." Postone gave a sweeping lecture on the the role of Hegel's concept of Spirit in the works of Marx and Lukács. His critique of labor was disorienting for many, as was his view of capital as an "automatic subject", similar to Hegel's view of the self-mediating dynamic of Geist. After the conference, Postone mentioned that he was working on three books: one on Capital, one on the Holocaust, and one on Critical Theory. I hope they one day see the light. On the occasion of his death, I offer the following brief summary of some of his key ideas on Marx, capital and value.
Marx's Political Militancy at the Time of the International Working Men’s Association
The International Working Men’s Association - founded in London on September 28, 1864 - was an organization with several different political currents that were able to coexist with each other. Reformist trade unionists from England, French mutualists inspired by the theories of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, anticapitalists, and a variety of other groups, including those who were influenced by the ideas of 'utopian' socialists, participated for eight intense years to develop the first transnational political experience of the labour movement.
From Marx reloaded to Marx returns
Jason Barker is the writer, director and co-producer of the 2011 documentary Marx Reloaded. He is Professor of English at Kyung Hee University, South Korea. His new novel Marx Returns is published by Zero Books. Marx200 asked him about his new book and what has happened between Marx Reloaded and Marx Returns. More information about the novel at: www.marxreturns.com
LIBERATION, SELF-RELIANCE and MARXISM – the Tanzanian Way of Socialism
Marxism as the ideological core of a developmental strategy emerged in Tanzania in the late 1960s as a result of a particular constellation of forces – the intension of the newly liberated country to pursue an alternative development model. This led to the promulgation of the Arusha Declaration and the TANU Guidelines of 1972. Its concentrated expression found the surge for a Tanzanian way of Socialism in the ideological battles at the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Celebrating 150 Years of Karl Marx’s “Capital” in New York City
On September 14, 1867, the Börsenblatt des deutschen Buchhandels informed the public of the publication of “Capital, Volume I: The Process of Production of Capital” by Karl Marx. Exactly 150 years later, on September 14, 2017, the New York office of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung celebrated the anniversary of Marx’s magnum opus.
MARX200: POLITICS – THEORY - SOCIALISM
To celebrate the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung will be hosting a large conference. A short week will be filled with the theories, the politics and the arts that are connected to Marx’s anniversary. Call for Papers. Congress in Berlin, 3-6 May 2018
History in Capital and Capital in History
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1. London: Penguin and New Left Books, Translated by Ben Fowkes, with an introduction by Ernest Mandel.
‘Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time’, Engels remarked in his graveside oration, because he discovered two things that struck at the heart of capitalism. Firstly, it was neither natural nor eternal. It rests on entirely unnatural historical processes forcibly or fraudulently separating the mass of humanity from its means of production, leaving it dependent on employment by the appropriators of those means. Such a contradictory and antagonistic social order had to end.
From the Finland Station
Lenin arrived at Finland Station 100 years ago today, reshaping Bolshevik strategy and the course of the Russian Revolution.
The Story of the February Revolution
Russian workers went on strike on International Women’s Day 1917. They ended up toppling tsarism.
The depth of the social, economic, and military crisis in Russia and the political consciousness and organization of the working class (in addition to the escalating revolt among soldiers, peasants, students, and oppressed nationalities) raced far in advance of anywhere else in the world in the winter of 1916-1917.
A who’s who of Russia before the Revolution, February 1917
Political parties had it tough in Tsarist Russia. After the defeat of the revolution of 1905-1907, with the formation of the Duma, there was a parliament; however, it was determined according to a three-class franchise system, and placed poorer social strata and the cities at a disadvantage. Both active and passive suffrage were connected to the ownership of land. The fractions were more like tendencies than party fractions.
The ‘Rising Storm of 1911 to 1913’ in Russia
In the first chapter of her manuscript ‘The Russian Revolution’, Luxemburg describes the revolution(s) of the year 1917 as the ‘product of international developments plus the agrarian question’, and refers to the ‘rising storm of 1911 to 1913’ (see Luxemburg 2004  p 282-283) in Russia. What does she mean by that?
Zurich and Elsewhere, January 1917 – The Left in Exile
The revolution in February did not only come as a surprise to the bourgeois and ‘courtly’ opposition. Although the Bolsheviks were able to reorganise themselves (primarily in the factories and the army) and other left parties were able to consolidate themselves over the course of 1916, a revolution did not yet appear to be directly imminent.
Russia, January 1917 – An Attempt at a ‘Solution from Above’ …
At the turn of the year 1916/1917, the extent of the crisis in Russia became increasingly clear. The economic crisis worsened, making it more difficult to provide for the population and the army. Energy production declined, as did the production of goods important for the war within metallurgy and from metal-based industries. The transportation sector collapsed. Corruption became the only means of gaining access to goods crucial to production.
January 1917 – The German Left in Ferment
The development of German Social Democracy is inextricably linked to the pre-history of the revolutions in Russia. As the most important left party of the pre-war period, it still had great influence upon international social democracy.
Revolutions in Russia – the Year before …
2017 marks the hundredth anniversary of the revolutions in Russia. As much as interpretations may differ, there is agreement about the fact that these revolutions decisively shaped the 20th century.