Hess, Moses,1812–75, German socialist. He was responsible for converting Engels to Communism, and he early introduced Marx to social and economic problems. Hess played a prominent role in transforming Hegelian theory by conceiving of man as the initiator of history rather than as a mere observer. He was reluctant to base all human destiny on economic causes and class struggle, and he came to see the struggle of races, or nationalities, as the prime factor of past history. In Rom und Jerusalem (1862, tr. 1958) he declared that the freeing and uniting of humanity was the mission of the Jewish people and urged the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
See biography by S. Avineri (1987).
Born June 21, 1812, in Bonn; died Apr. 6, 1875, in Paris. German socialist and representative of “true socialism” of the 1840’s.
Hess’ socialist views were a synthesis of German idealism, Feuerbachian ethics, and French Utopian socialism. Marx and Engels felt that some of Hess’ ideas deserved “some recognition,” but that they had quickly been outdated and become reactionary (see Marx and Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, p. 494). For a while, Hess joined the petit bourgeois faction of Willich and Schapper, and in the late 1850’s and early 1860’s he argued from the standpoint of bourgeois nationalism. He was one of the forerunners of Zionism, and in 1863 became a Lassallean. In the First International he presented a critique of Bakuninism.
WORKSSozialistische Aufsätze, 1841-1847. Berlin, 1921.
Philosophische und sozialistische Schriften, 1837-1850. Berlin, 1961.
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 27, 28, 31, 32, 34, 37. (See index of proper names.)
Iz istorii formirovaniia i razvitiia marksizma. Moscow, 1959. Pages 61-65, 114-78.
Korniu, O. Karl Marks i Fridrikh Engel’s, vols. 1, 3. Moscow, 1959-68. (Translated from German.)
A. M. PANFILOVA