Little Bits of History

Karl Marx

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 21, 2013
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

February 21, 1848: A new book is published in London by two Germans. The original print run was written in German and the 17,000 word treatise was finally translated into English in 1850. The authors were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and their work was entitled The Communist Manifesto. There were several revisions made between 1872 and 1890. The work was translated into Russian in 1882. Various English translations are used and some include modified text.

Engels was born in Prussia in what is now Germany in 1820. His father was a textile manufacturer and at age 22 young Engels was sent to England to work in a textile mill where his father was part owner. Already influenced by Georg Hegel, the move to England only enhanced his disregard for the ruling or wealthy classes. Engels met Karl Marx in Paris in 1844 and the two became friends. They co-authored The Holy Family, an attack on a group of German philosophers called the Young Hegelians.

Marx was in 1818 and also born in Prussia. His father abandoned his Jewish heritage and converted to Lutheranism in order to practice Law. Karl married against family wishes and lived in poverty. Both he and his wife eventually inherited money from their families. Even so, they and their 7 children lived hand-to-mouth. Marx received a doctorate in philosophy in 1841. His own philosophical thoughts have been misinterpreted by both Marxists and anti-Marxists.

The Communist Manifesto is divided into prologue, three sections and conclusion. The Preamble is where the authors state Communism is seen as a specter and only needs explanation to eliminate fears. The first section is “Bourgeois and Proletarians” and explains historical materialism and the history of class struggle. The second section is “Proletarians and Communists” and it defines and defends Communism and lists the ten principles of The Communist Manifesto. The third section is “Socialist and Communist Literature” and it distinguishes between the two ideologies. Lastly is the conclusion where communist struggles in specific areas are discussed.

“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”

“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”

“Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.”

“Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex.” – all from Karl Marx

This article first appeared at in 2010. Editor’s update: Georg Hegel was born in 1770 and was an influential German philosopher. He was a major figure in German Idealism and his accounts of an idealized history helped to shape European philosophy. His teachings included the method for which mind and nature integrated and worked to mitigate contradictions until one was ultimately integrated and united into an ideal. Life itself in full of contradictions and the goal is to be able to assimilate without reducing the extremes, but to realize an ethical life.

Also on this day: The Washington Monument – In 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated.
Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz – In 1931, Miles Laboratories introduced Alka-Seltzer to the world.
Incas – In 1918, the last Carolina Parakeet died.

One Response

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  1. Bobby Dias said, on February 21, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels seemingly condemned class struggle but in reality they increased it- they gave the world another excuse to fight for money-communism. As Barack Obama,Senior used communism as an fake reason to try to get the United Nations and then me to enrich himself, his son,Barack Obama,Junior uses the same communistic principles to attract tens of millions of dollars in donations so that he can have his ObamaCare and other programs he has proposed. Already his programs have been shot dead as being proved unworkable. Barack Obama,Junior got what he wanted- a vast fortune. The American people got shattered dreams from empty communistic words from Barack Obama,Junior.

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