Everyone knows about Karl Marx, but what about Friedrich Engels?
Marx married his childhood sweetheart, Jenny von Westphalen, and stayed Engels On the impact of the French Revolution on sexual relations in France. Engels had a long term lover, named Mary Burns. Marx was critical of Engels for not marrying Mary and legitimising their relationship. Gauging his writings, Marx. Engels the man has lately replaced Engels the Marxist, but there is more shockingly egalitarian reforms even to family and sexual relations.
When this failed, he settled permanently in London in Earning very little from his writing and dependent on the generosity of Engels, Marx pursued his studies in economic and social history in the library at the British Museum. During fourteen years of isolation from politics, he began to write a series of books on economic theory.
The culmination of these writings was his greatest work, Capital, for which Engels provided essential information about business practices and industrial operations. Until his death inhe was generally regarded as the foremost authority on the body of economic and social theory known as Marxism.
Why do Marx and Engels claim that the bourgeoisie inevitably produces its own gravediggers? What do Marx and Engels mean when they describe the proletariat as a revolutionary class? What do Marx and Engels mean when they say that capital has individuality but living persons do not?
Is this true of members of the bourgeoisie as well as the proletariat? Why does a manifesto of the Communist party place such strong emphasis on the remarkable achievements of bourgeois capitalism?
Why do Marx and Engels assume there is a strong affinity between the grievances of the workers and the aims of Communism? What gives Communists an advantage over the proletariat in understanding the conditions, direction, and general results of the proletarian movement? What evidence do Marx and Engels give for their claim that human consciousness—ideas, views, and conceptions—changes with every change in material existence? Why do Marx and Engels insist that the abolition of private property is central to revolutionary change?
If one of the early stages of the proletarian revolution is a despotism of the working class, as Marx and Engels assert, what assures that this order will give way to a free, classless society? Why do Marx and Engels reject the possibility that existing social and political systems can be reformed? In part 3 of the Manifesto, why do Marx and Engels advocate supporting the bourgeoisie in Germany when it acts in a revolutionary way, instead of advocating direct support of the proletariat in its class struggle?
And as often as not, the leaders of the socialist world would look first to Engels rather than Marx to explain their policies, justify their excesses, and shore up their regimes. Interpreted and misinterpreted, quoted and misquoted, Friedrich Engelsthe frock-coated Victorian cotton lord became one of the central architects of global communism.
Today, a journey to Engels begins at Moscow's Paveletsky rail station.
Friedrich Engels - Wikipedia
From this shabbily romantic tsarist-era terminal, the rusting sleeper train heaves off at midnight for the Volga plains hundreds of miles southeast of the capital.
A grinding, stop- start fourteen-hour journey, alleviated only by a gurgling samovar in the guard's carriage, eventually lands you in the city of Saratov with its wide, tree-lined streets and attractive air of lost grandeur. Bolted onto this prosperous provincial center is a crumbling six-lane highway that bridges the mighty Volga and connects Saratov to its unloved sister city, Engels. Lacking any of Saratov's sophistication, Engels is a seedy, forgotten site dominated by railway loading docks and the rusting detritus of light industry.
At its civic center squats Engels Square, a bleak parade ground encircled by housing projects, a shabby strip mall dotted with sports bars, casinos, and DVD stores, and a roundabout clogged with Ladas, Sputniks, and the odd Ford.
Here, in all its enervating grime, is the postcommunist Russia of hypercapitalism and bootleg Americana. He found that Manchester was the centre of something else. The more the factory system has taken possession of a branch of industry, the more the working men employed in it participate in the labour movement.
In the meantime, Marx was having a hard time in his first job. From to he was editor of a radical Rhineland newspaper called the Rheinische Zeitung. Another problem was socialism. Marx was editing articles about French socialism and communism but "had to admit at once It was from his study of French politics and socialism that Marx reached the conclusion that the bourgeois order was doomed.
Engels was to show him that he could reach the same conclusion from political economy and from what was happening to the English working class. In Paris Marx received an article from Engels that he described as a work of genius.
It was called Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy. Engels and Marx met again in Paris in September They talked for several days, and it is here that their life long friendship and collaboration dates from.
In Manchester Engels had gathered the materials for a book The Conditions of the Working Class in England, which he wrote after his return to Germany and published, in German, in The book begins with a description of the industrial revolution in Britain. Despite the title it discusses Ireland and Scotland as well as England. This revolution, he says, has brought into being a new class of people: This force, identified by Adam Smith as the root cause of economic growth, was creating wealth for the rich, but, Engels argued, it was making the lives of the working classes a misery.
Competition had destroyed the independent producers in the countryside and had driven them into the towns to seek work. Here they lived in insanitary conditions and were prey to appalling diseases. They worked long hours in factories using dangerous machinery.
Their children received no worthwhile education, and when they were unemployed, sick or too old to work their only recourse was the Malthusian Poor Law.
The workers came into contact with Owenite socialist and Chartist ideas and waves of revolutionary activity were sweeping the country. Engels pp Inthe year that Engels arrived, English workers, striking for the Charterroamed the Midlands and North of England setting light to rich men's houses and pulling out the plugs of factory boilers.
Capitalism, Engels argued, was subject to periodic crises, and one of these would be the occasion for the working class wresting power from the capitalists and establishing a communist society. The English workers had set up a network of institutes and established their own newspapers for their own education.
Marx had arrived independently at the same conclusion. Engels and Marx believed passionately that scientific theory could transform the world if it was linked to the struggles of the working class.
How Friedrich Engels, 'Marx's General,' Helped Lead The Revolution : NPR
This was part of their theory that according to Engels Marx was the first to develop. Marx, Marchpoint In The Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels described communism as a "spectre haunting Europe". They linked together the widespread popular disturbances of the late s with the idea that the seizure of political power by the workers would lead to the replacement of competitive capitalism by collective ownership and cooperation.
This revolutionary overthrow of capitalism did not take place in the middle of the 19th century as Marx and Engels had anticipated. In fact, in France, a dictator Napoleon 3rd was elected by the people in a popular election!
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Disappointed, but not defeated, Marx turned his attention to the economic analysis of the foundations of capitalism, and out of this developed his monumental work: Economics for Marx and Engels was not just economics: In the Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Marx explained how in the late s he reached a "general conclusion" which "once reached, continued to serve as the leading thread in my studies".
This is how he describes his conclusion: It is the economic base that determines what the superstructure will be.
So whatever you are studying: Economics, for Marx, is about human relations. In particular it is about class relations. Class relations, for Marx, are economic relations. So another way of saying that the economic base determines the superstructure is to say that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles" Which is what Marx and Engels said in The Communist Manifesto.
This was the Marx-Engels research programme: To reconstruct all past and existing ideas history, politics, religion, family and sexual codes and everything else as expressions of the material base of society. The prospect is mind-boggling. But not only did they set out to do it: Marx spent most of his academic effort trying to get the economics right writing Capitalwhilst Engels was busy earning the money to keep the Marx family alive.
In their different ways they both concentrated on the economic base.