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Karl Marx

Those Who Struggle To Change The World Know It Well

In 1845, Karl Marx jotted down some notes for The German Ideology, a book that he wrote with his close friend Friedrich Engels. Engels found these notes in 1888, five years after Marx’s death, and published them under the title Theses on Feuerbach. The eleventh thesis is the most famous: ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it’. For the past five years, we, at Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, have considered this thesis with great care. The most widely accepted interpretation of this thesis is that, in it, Marx urges people not only to interpret the world, but also to try and change it. However, we do not believe that this captures the meaning of the sentence.

The Political Implications Of Contemporary Psychiatry

Simple logic tells us that those atop a societal hierarchy will provide rewards for professionals—be they clergy or psychiatrists—who promote an ideology that maintains the status quo, and that the ruling class will do everything possible to manipulate the public to believe that the social-economic-political status quo is natural. If a population believes that its financial and emotional suffering are caused not by social-economic-political variables but instead by individual defects—be it noncompliance with religious dogma or faulty biochemistry—this “individual-defect” belief system can be a more powerful and less expensive way of maintaining the status quo than a heavily armed police force. That organized religion has a great deal in common with organized psychiatry would be apparent to both Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), two of history’s most famous critics of the political implications of organized religion.

Marx Didn’t Invent Socialism, Nor Did He Discover It

There’s no debate that Marx didn’t invent socialism. As co-editor of a French-German radical newspaper by 1843, a young Marx would have read the term “socialism” used by French author Pierre Leroux (1797–1871)–generally credited with coining the term–or the German Lorenz von Stein (1815–1890). England’s Robert Owen (1771–1858) had bandied the word about as early as 1835. French philosopher Victor d’Hupay (1746–1818) called himself a communist author around 1785, thirty-three years before Marx’s birth, and his colleague Nicolas-Edme Rétif (1734–1806) even used the term to describe a form of government.

Marx And The Democratization Of Work

Marx himself said and wrote little about the future beyond capitalism. He didn’t believe in future-gazing; no one could know how the world would evolve. Marx gave us some ideas of what might have to happen if we were going to get beyond capitalism. But he offered no blueprints or road maps. Later Marxists did not always share these hesitations, especially after Marxists came to play leading roles in what they called “socialist” societies. Marx never suggested, contrary to what so many have said, that the state — the government — had to play some sort of ongoing, central role in what this future post-capitalist world would look like.

Karl Marx’s Legacy Continues 200 Years After His Birth

May 5 marks 200 years since the birth of philosopher turned economist and organizer Karl Marx. Today, the concepts he developed to explain how the capitalist production works are still useful tools for interpreting – and, as Marx would have wanted – transforming our world. His work is a living testament to how we understand the world around us, the social and economic arrangements that shape our lives and organizing to reverse oppression, inequality and – ultimately – human misery and unhappiness. The utopian idea embodied in Marx's criticism and proposals continues to inspire workers, intellectuals and social movements across the world. "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles," the manifesto declares. We see it today, from anti-austerity social organization and protest in Argentina and Puerto Rico to struggles for land redistribution in India. Urban and rural workers, feminists, environmentalists, students and Indigenous nations continue to nourish the 'movement against the existing social and political order of things,' which so motivated 1,800 communists in Europe.

For His 200th Birthday, Honoring Marx As An Activist

In 1848, Marx wrote, “philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.” On this 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx we focus on Marx as a political activist, rather than what he is best known for, an economist and philosopher who wrote some of the most important analyses explaining capitalism and putting forward an alternative economic model. In the "Communist Manifesto", Marx wrote, "The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles." He believed political change stems from the history of conflicts between people who are exploited against the people who are exploiting them.

Bicentenary Of Marx’s Birth, Socialism & Resurgence Of International Class Struggle

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the originator of the materialist conception of history, the author of Das Kapital and, with Friedrich Engels, the founder of the modern revolutionary socialist movement. Born on May 5, 1818 in the Prussian city of Trier, Marx was, to quote Lenin, “the genius who continued and consummated the three main ideological currents of the nineteenth century, as represented by the three most advanced countries of mankind: classical German philosophy, classical English political economy, and French socialism combined with French revolutionary doctrines in general.” [1]

How Do We Organize A Hundred Million. Part 4: Transformation And Reconstruction

By Richard Moser for Be Freedom - To organize millions, the revolution has to create, not destroy. Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one.

Ronnie Kasrils: The Life And Times Of Karl Marx

By Ronnie Kasrils for Daily Maverick - Karl Marx, who developed the philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism, scientific and political economy, the founder of scientific socialism and communism, and teacher and leader of the international working class for whom he created a new, purposeful world outlook, was born at Trier, in the Prussian Rhineland, on May 5, 1818. One must include Frederick Engels (1820-1895), his closest friend and collaborator, born in Germany two years later. It was some 50 years before Germany became a unified state.
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