Karl Marx: His Life and Works

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(1874 - 1943)
Otto Rühle (23 October 1874 – 24 June 1943) was a German Marxist active in opposition to both the First and Second World Wars as well as a student of Alfred Adler. (From : Wikipedia.org.)

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Karl Marx: His Life and Works

From : Marxists.org

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This document contains 10 sections, with 132,740 words or 819,715 characters.

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Written: 1928 First Published: 1929 by The Viking Press, New York. Source: 1943, The New Home Library Edition, New York Translated: Eden and Cedar Paul Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters Proofread: Micah Muer, 2017 Copyleft: Otto Rühle Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2004. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Preliminaries The Historical Setting At intervals of a century, the European revolution in Holland, England, and France blew up the gates and opened a way for capitalist development. The feudal system, based on a feudalist economy and on serfdom, stabilized by patriarchal despotism, hereditary dependence, and enslavement of the conscience, collapsed before the onslaught of the new economic power. Money conquered land. The postulates of freedom triumphed over the traditions of slavery. Day dawned over... (From : Marxists.org.)

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A New Platform The enthusiasm with which Marx had devoted himself to his work on the staff of the “Rheinische Zeitung” had speedily evaporated. A mood of depression and disillusionment had ensued. In the end, he had withdrawn from the editorship with a sigh of relief. Yet there was no obvious cause for his feelings. He had wielded a vigorous pen, had given his best energies to his task, had done yeoman’s service to the opposition of the day, using all his knowledge and all his talents in the cause. His period of activity had been brief, but it had been brilliant and fruitful. No doubt his wranglings with the censorship and with the publisher had been wearisome and dispiriting. But such occurrences were a necessary part of a journalist’s life in those days, and things were no worse in Cologne than elsewhere. Besides, what could these trifles matter to a born fighter? Marx had only been in harness for five months. Some champions h... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Clarification Part II German Ideology As the outcome of nearly a year’s work (the year extending from September 1845 to August 1846), Marx and Engels wrote two thick volumes which were to be published under the title Die deutsche Ideologie. A friend and admirer of Marx, the sometime Lieutenant Weydemeyer, working in Westphalia as a geometrician, hoped that his brother-in-law Lüning, the publisher of the “Westfälisches Dampfboot” in Bielefeld, would issue the new book. The manuscript was sent to him, but the book never appeared, the reason being, as the authors learned in due course, that “changed circumstances made it impossible to print it.” Nor could any other publisher be found. “We decided, therefore,” wrote Marx at a later date, “to leave our manuscript to the gnawing criticism of the mice—and did so all the more willingly since we had attained our chief pu... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Part I The Gallic Cock Marx’s Introduction to a Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right, published in the “Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher” in the year 1843, closed with the prophetic words: “When all the internal conditions have been fulfilled, the day of the German uprising will be heralded by the crowing of the Gallic cock.” Towards the end of the forties, the “internal conditions” had, in the case of France, been so far fulfilled that the Gallic cock could, by its crowing, give the signal for a revolution. From 1845 onwards, the economic difficulties in which the French workers and petty bourgeois were involved, had been continually increasing. The potato disease and a failure of other crops had led to scarcity and to a rise in the prices of the necessaries of life, ‘and the consequent hardships seemed to be intensified by the shameless way in which the upper te... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Karl Marx: His Life and Works The Trial Part II Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich Marx had been put to the test as revolutionary champion. He had withstood the test. Maybe in his zeal, in the heat of battle, he had erred on the side of passion rather than on that of moderation, had been too impetuous rather than unduly cautious. But he had never blenched in the decisive hour; had never lost sight of the goal or been wanting in impetus; had never for a moment been lacking in readiness to leap into the breach. As a man, he had been tried, and had not been found wanting. But what of the cause he had been fighting for? Could that resist the test of criticism? Marx now devoted himself to answering this question—not once, but again and again. He set to work with the relentlessness, the thoroughness, the incisiveness, that were his leading characteristics. With the scalpel of an anatomist, he dissect... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Achievement Part I Foundation of the International The international exhibition held in London during the year 1862 was a rendezvous at which worldwide capitalism was given an opportunity of publicly demonstrating its wealth and its achievements. Before the astonished eyes of the international bourgeoisie, the lords of commerce, the magnates of finance, and the kings of industry, puffed up with the pride of success, displayed the tremendous results of capitalist economic development. Not only did they exhibit their machines, raw materials, methods of production, technical discoveries, and statistical tables; but they also assembled at this center of progress their technicians, masters of works, and manual operatives, whose zeal was to be stimulated by the spectacle, that they might be spurred on to fit themselves for the tasks of the day and to make themselves more efficient for the purposes of capitalist production. In Prussia and other pa... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Achievement Part II The Alliance and the International At the Berne Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom, Bakunin had tried to induce the league to adopt a revolutionary program, and to affiliate to the International. When this attempt failed, he resigned from the league, and, in conjunction with J. P. Becker, founded the International Alliance of the Socialist Democracy, also known as the Alliance of Social Revolutionaries. His aim now was to get this Alliance accepted as part of the International; then, by degrees, to excavate and absorb the International; until, at last, the International would be replaced by the Alliance. For, as he had said at the Berne Congress, he hated communism because it implied the annihilation of freedom, and would concentrate all the powers of society (property included) in the hands of the State. His aim, he had said, was not communism but collectivism, the socialization of the individual by way of free... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Achievement Part III Das Kapital The Kritik der politischen Ökonomie was published in 1859, the year in which Darwin’s Origin of Species first appeared. It was only a prelude to the great work which Marx had had on the stocks for years, and whose final elaboration he was continually postponing. In the preface to the Kritik, he writes: “I regard the system of bourgeois economics in this succession: capital, landed property, wage labor; State, foreign trade, world market. Under the first three heads I study the economic vital conditions of the three great classes into which modern civil society is separated; the interconnexion of the three other heads is obvious. ... The whole material lies before me in the form of monographs which I penned at widely separated periods for the clarification of my own ideas, not for the press. Circumstances have prevented my elaborating them into a connected whole i... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Achievement Part IV Second and Third Volumes In the first volume of Capital, which ends with a prophetic glimpse through the gates of the coming social order, Marx disclosed the economic fundamentals of contemporary society. He solved the problem of the origin of profit. He had not solved that problem after the manner of the petty-bourgeois defenders of capitalism, who use science for the justification and safeguarding of selfish interests, and look upon profit as something which rightly accrues to the capitalist in return for services rendered. Nor did he answer it after the manner of the utopian socialists, to whom the capitalist system had seemed to be the outcome of human baseness, and who had denounced profit as being derived from theft and cheating. Marx dealt with the matter in a new way, one peculiar to himself. For him, the purchase of the commodity, labor power, by the capitalist was a legitimate exchange of values; t... (From : Marxists.org.)

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Appraisement The Man If the materialist interpretation of history be, in very truth, the best interpretation of the processes of history, it must hold good, not only with regard to the masses who are the executors of these processes, but also with regard to the individuals who embody this execution. The application of the materialist interpretation of history to the masses, as the executors of historical processes, is the task of sociology. Its application to individuals is the concern of psychology. The substance of the materialist conception or interpretation of history is as follows. Society (or, within a class society, the dominant class) forms the social order out of the natural forces of production and the extant relations of production. The structure of this material foundation is reflected in the ideological superstructure. The foundation and the superstructure have a dialectical reciprocal interaction. Decisive for the ch... (From : Marxists.org.)

Chronology

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