Karl Marx

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Marx, Karl

Marx, Karl, 1818–83, German social philosopher, the chief theorist of modern socialism and communism.

Early Life

Marx's father, a lawyer, converted from Judaism to Lutheranism in 1824. Marx studied law at Bonn and Berlin, but became interested in philosophy and took a Ph.D. degree at Jena (1841). He early rejected the idealism of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and turned toward materialism, partly through the influence of Ludwig Feuerbach and Moses Hess.

Early Work

In 1842 he became editor of the Rheinische Zeitung, but his demands for radical reforms led to its suppression in 1843. He then went to Paris, where he began his lifelong association with Friedrich Engels. At this time Marx became a socialist. He devoured the works of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, the comte de Saint-Simon, and many others. Antagonized by the individualistic radicalism of Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Marx attacked him in The Poverty of Philosophy (1847, tr. 1910), an early attempt to systematize his own thought. In this period also he wrote, with Engels, The German Ideology (tr. 1933), which provided an exposition of his dialectical materialism. Breaking with the tradition of justifying social reform by appeal to natural rights, he invoked “inevitable” laws of history to predict the eventual triumph of the working class.

Later Work and Life

In 1847 Marx joined the Communist League and with Engels wrote for it the famous Communist Manifesto (1848), which strikingly expressed his general view of the class struggle. The failure of the revolutions of 1848 convinced Marx of the need to stimulate the consciousness and solidarity of the working class through the founding of open revolutionary parties. Exiled from most continental centers, he settled permanently in London in 1849. He lived in poverty, made more bitter by his own chronic illness and the death of several of his children. At times he was able to earn funds as a correspondent for the New York Tribune, but he was continually dependent on Engels for financial aid. Nonetheless, he pursued research in the British Museum and continued to write steadily.

In 1864 Marx helped to found the International Workingmen's Association. Through this First International and through the work of Ferdinand Lassalle and others, Marx's ideas began to gain primacy in European socialist and radical thought. This primacy was greatly furthered with the publication of the first volume of Das Kapital (Vol. I, 1867, tr. 1886; Vol. II–III, ed. by Engels, 1885–94; tr. 1907–9). The manuscript for the fourth volume was edited by Karl Kautsky and published as Theorien über den Mehrwert (3 parts, 1905–10; tr. of 1st part, A History of Economic Theories, 1952). A monumental work, Das Kapital provided a thorough exposition of Marxism and became the foundation of international socialism.

As Marx's reputation spread, so too did public fear of him. He insisted on authoritarian sway within the International, and finally, after controversy with Mikhail Bakunin, virtually destroyed the International for fear of losing control over its direction. He remained the prophet of socialism and was often consulted by the various socialist party leaders. His role was frequently that of urging more hard-minded policies, further removed from bourgeois embellishments; The Gotha Program (1891, tr. 1922), a critique, illustrates this position. The complexity and vituperation of this polemic characterize much of Marx's prose. In his last years Marx's great intellectual vigor continued unabated. The importance of his dialectical method and of his theories goes far beyond their immense political influence; many scholars consider him a great economic theoretician and the founder of economic history and sociology.


There are many translations and editions of Marx's best-known works and of his and Engels's selected correspondence. See the Collected Works of Marx and Engels (40 vol., 1975–83). The standard biography of Marx is that by F. Mehring (tr. 1935); other notable works include those by O. Rühle (tr. 1929), E. H. Carr (1938), C. J. S. Sprigge (1938), K. Korsch (1939), and I. Berlin (4d ed. 1978). More recent biographies include those by R. Payne (1968), D. McLellan (1973), P. Singer (1980), A. Wood (1985), F. Wheen (2000), J. Sperber (2013), and G. Stedman Jones (2016). See also bibliography under Marxism.

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Marx, Karl

(1818-83) German philosopher, economist and revolutionary. Of Jewish descent, he was born in Trier in the Rhineland and educated at the universities of Bonn and Berlin where he studied philosophy and law. At Berlin he came under the influence of HEGEL's philosophy and associated with a group of radical democrats who were trying to fashion the critical side of that philosophy to attack the Prussian state. This association cost Marx a post in the state-dominated university system. Thus began a career as an independent scholar, journalist and political activist which he pursued in the Rhineland, in travels throughout Europe from 1843, and thereafter in London, where he settled from 1849. In 1864 he participated in the establishment of the International Working Men's Association (the First International). The main works by Marx (sometimes written in association with ENGELS) include: Poverty of Philosophy (1847), Communist Manifesto (1848), Grundrisse (written 1857-58, first published only in 1939-41), A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859), Capital (volume 1, published in 1867, with volumes 2 and 3 published only after Marx's death).

Conventionally Marx's thought is held to derive from three main sources:

  1. French socialist thought, not least that of SAINT-SIMON, with whose work Marx was familiar before he went to university;
  2. Hegel's philosophy, the principles of which Marx modified but never entirely disavowed;
  3. English POLITICAL ECONOMY, on which Marx built but also went beyond. Experience of social conditions gained on his travels, and contact with radical and communist groups and individuals, notably Engels, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship and intellectual partnership from 1846, also played a part in Marx's transformation from a radical democrat to a communist revolutionary.

Marx's overall intellectual project encompassed several objectives. Briefly, he sought:

  1. to understand and explain the human condition as he found it in capitalist society;
  2. to lay bare the dynamic of that society and to lift the veil on its inner working and impact on human relations;
  3. to obtain a theoretical grasp of the mechanisms at work in the overall process of historical change in which capitalism was but a phase.

These projects were realized, albeit imperfectly, in Marx's philosophical, economic and political writings. These were not in any strict sense sociological, and Marx did not claim that they were. Nevertheless his thought has had a profound impact on the development of sociology; it has provided the point of departure for a wide-ranging tradition of scholarship and research, and has stimulated productive critical reactions from non-Marxist scholars.

Marx's efforts were informed by the belief that it was necessary not only to study society, but to change it. He had no hesitation, therefore, in making social science subserve the ends of the social liberation which he sought. Essentially he saw the human condition under capitalism (see CAPITALISM AND CAPITALIST MODE OF PRODUCTION) as being characterized by ALIENATION, a condition in which human beings were estranged from their world, and from their work, products, fellow creatures and themselves.

Alienation was an early preoccupation of Marx; it did not figure much in his later work which was concerned to provide an analysis of the inner workings of the capitalist economy framed against the background of a theory of history known as the ‘materialist conception of history’ (see HISTORICAL MATERIALISM). The theory is so called because it rests on the view that the economy is a primary influence on the formation and development of social structures, and on the ideas which people hold about themselves and their societies. Before people can philosophize, play politics, create art, etc., they must produce economic necessities. To do this they must enter into social relations of production (see RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION). According to Marx, economic relations constitute the base of society on which is erected the superstructure of non-economic institutions, the nature and scope of which are substantially determined by the base (see BASE AND SUPERSTRUCTURE). It is on account of this argument that critics have sometimes regarded Marx as simply an economic determinist. However, while occasionally ambiguous, Marx and Engels usually insisted that non-economic institutions, i.e. the state, religion, etc., were capable of playing a relatively autonomous role in social development. Nevertheless, in ‘the last analysis’, it is the productive relationships into which people enter that exercise the decisive influence. This is because the relations of production become CLASS relations, and because class relations are the constitutive bases of both social structure and social change.

Class was thus fundamental to Marx's analysis, though strangely he never provided a definitive definition of the concept. Clearly it is an economic category; classes are formed by groups of people who share a common interest by virtue of the fact that they stand together in a common relationship to the means of production. Classes can only form when the productive activity of a society yields a surplus above the subsistence needs of its members. A dominant group can then wrest ownership of, and control over, the means of production, and constitute itself into a RULING CLASS OR DOMINANT CLASS. This class appropriates to its own use the surplus produced by the rest of society, the members of which are rendered a subordinate class, forced to put its labour at the disposal of the possessing group. Marx referred to the process of surplus extraction as EXPLOITATION. Exploitation is basic to all forms of class society, though it takes different forms.

Marx's theory speaks of different types of MODES OF PRODUCTION. These were conceived of as a developmental sequence, since each one marked an advance in humanity's productive capacity and hence its mastery over nature. Marx thus postulated a primitive communist (‘classless’) society which was replaced by a series of class societies resting successively on SLAVERY, FEUDALISM and capitalism. The motor of change was held to be CLASS CONFLICT generated by the constant development of the forces of production. In each mode of production the relations of production were maintained by the dominant class because they were best fitted to the forces of production at their level of development within that mode. Within each mode, however, the forces of production were developed in novel ways that gave rise to new class formations, class conflict and REVOLUTION. Conflict arose because the relations of production maintained by the dominant class tended to strangle novel developments, provoking the rising class associated with new development to overthrow the old system and replace it with a new one. Thus, concretely, the feudal relations of production (the lord-serf relationship) acted as a brake on the capitalism that was developing within the womb of feudal society. Capitalists, therefore, had to overthrow the feudal relationships and replace them with a new set of relations between themselves, as the dominant class, and the propertyless PROLETARIAT, as the subordinate class.

In his economic writings Marx sought to expose the inner workings of the capitalist system. His analysis (see LABOUR THEORY OF VALUE, SURPLUS VALUE) convinced him that the system was riven with contradictions which were bound to bring it down; for technical economic reasons, he held that capitalists would suffer from a declining rate of profit, and that the system would be subject to periodic crises of overproduction (see CRISES OF CAPITALISM, ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF CAPITAL, TENDENCY TO DECLINING RATE OF PROFIT). Its ultimate downfall, however, seemed guaranteed by the antagonism that resulted from the conflict of interests between the working-class proletariat and the capitalist BOURGEOISIE.

Although Marx was aware of the existence of INTERMEDIATE CLASSES in capitalist society, his analysis convinced him that society was increasingly polarizing into two great hostile classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This antagonism resulted from an objective conflict of interest between the two groups; the bourgeoisie exploited the proletariat by paying less than the value of their labour, and through their private ownership of the means of production, frustrated the collective, social interest in the rational development of the productive forces at the disposal of society. Once the working class became conscious of these facts, Marx predicted that it would act to overthrow capitalist society and establish a new form of classless society.

The importance of ‘human consciousness’ needs to be emphasized within Marx's analysis. Revolutions did not happen automatically, and classes must become conscious of their interests before they could play their historic roles in the process of moving society forward. Marx held that consciousness developed as a reflection of the material conditions of existence to which classes were subject, though he recognized that ruling classes were capable of obstructing the development of consciousness in subordinate classes. The class which dominated economically also dominated in other spheres of life such as the state, politics, religion, etc. Thus it could also generate an IDEOLOGY, inducing a FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS which blinded the subordinate class to the true nature of the social relationships in which they were involved. Nevertheless Marx predicted the eventual victory of the proletariat in a revolution which would usher in a new era of human freedom.

That Marx's ideas should have been such a major factor in the Russian Revolution of 1917, in conditions he had not predicted, is a commentary on the power his ideas have exerted but is equally an indication of their weaknesses (see also COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM, LENIN, STALIN, STALINISM, STATE SOCIALISM).

Marx's social and economic analysis inspired generations of political activists, social critics and social scientists. Like Marx, they have emphasized that ‘bourgeois’ social science and social thought are often confined to ‘appearances’ and neither penetrate nor illuminate the true reality underpinning capitalist economic and social relationships. After Marx's death, especially in Soviet Marxism, aspects of Marx's ideas were taken to reveal the ‘laws of motion of capitalist societies’ (see DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM). Within Western Europe, the failure of the working class to combat FASCISM led politically committed Marxists (e.g. the FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF CRITICAL THEORY) to reappraise the working-class role in politics. More recently, Marxists have continued to differ fundamentally in their interpretations of Marx's thought. Some, such as ALTHUSSER, reject the philosophical, Hegel-influenced humanistic concerns of the early writings and insist that only the later writings with their scientific analyses of capitalist society are important. Others, for example E. P. THOMPSON (1978), dispute this, stressing both Marx's ‘humanism’ and the continuities in Marx's work.

Marx's output has also attracted much opposition and trenchant criticism. His economic writings and his evaluation of capitalist society have been widely challenged. His class analysis has been attacked on the grounds that it did not take sufficiently into account the rise of new ‘middle class’ groups, or affluence (see Parkin, 1979). This also suggests that his theory of social change and revolution is wrong. Marxists have responded by pointing out that Marx never set a time-scale for revolution, that the real worth of his analysis is in revealing the underlying mechanisms which sustain capitalism, but make its future uncertain. The resultant body of analysis shows that, notwithstanding criticism, the Marxist tradition remains an important and powerful influence within sociology, and within social science generally. See also MARXISM, MARXIST SOCIOLOGY, MARXIAN ECONOMICS.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Marx, Karl


Born May 5, 1818, in Trier; died Mar. 14, 1883, in London. Founder of scientific communism and the teacher and leader of the international proletariat. His teachings revealed the laws of social development and showed mankind the way to the communist renewal of the world. Marx combined the qualities of a thinker of genius who revolutionized the social sciences and those of a staunch revolutionary fighter who helped transform the workers’ movement into a mighty force for social progress.

Influenced by his father, the Trier lawyer Heinrich Marx, and by a family friend, L. von Westphalen, Marx as a schoolboy absorbed the ideas of the French and German Enlightenment. In the fall of 1835 he entered the University of Bonn and in October 1836 he enrolled in the University of Berlin, where he studied law, history, philosophy, and art theory. In 1837 he became an adherent of Hegel’s philosophy, primarily his dialectics, and established close ties with the Young Hegelians, who drew radical atheistic and political conclusions from Hegel’s teachings. In April 1841, Marx was awarded the degree of doctor of philosophy for his dissertation “The Difference Between the Natural Philosophies of Democritus and Epicurus.” In this work Marx, although still an idealist and a Hegelian, already evinced a certain independence of Hegel in his recognition of the classical materialist philosophers, his militant atheism, and his avowal that philosophy must take an active part in life. Feuerbach’s writings greatly influenced him, contributing to his subsequent acceptance of the materialist position. However, Marx soon became aware of certain weaknesses in Feuerbach’s system, particularly its contemplative attitude and its underestimation of the importance of political struggle.

Marx regarded active political and journalistic work as the means for realizing the ideals of progressive philosophy. In his article “Comments on the Latest Prussian Censorship Instructions,” which he wrote in February 1842, Marx sharply criticized not only police measures against the opposition press but the entire Prussian system of government. Even more radical were his articles in the Rheinische Zeitung, a newspaper published in Cologne by Prussian bourgeois opposition circles. His first contribution to the newspaper appeared in May 1842, and on October 15 he became one of its editors. His organizational talent, energy, and literary gifts made the newspaper a mouth-piece for revolutionary-democratic ideas, heralding the struggle against the autocracy of social estates and political and ideological reaction. In the articles “Proceedings of the Sixth Rhine Landtag” and “Vindication of the Moselle Correspondent,” Marx defended the interests of the politically and socially downtrodden masses. In “Communism and the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung” he called attention to the link between the proletariat’s struggle in Great Britain and France and the spread of communist ideas.

A desire to understand better the condition of the toiling masses prompted Marx to study material relations. He criticized liberal indecisiveness and also condemned the pseudorevolutionary phrasemongering of the anarchistic, ultraradical group of Young Hegelians who called themselves The Free. The revolutionary line of the Rheinische Zeitung brought upon the paper stricter censorship, and eventually the government decreed that it cease publication on Apr. 1, 1843. On March 17, Marx resigned as editor.

From May to October 1843, Marx lived in Kreuznach, where on June 19 he married Jenny von Westphalen, who became the loyal comrade of his struggles and labors. In his manuscript “Toward a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” (published for the first time in the USSR in 1927), Marx not only counterposed democracy to Hegel’s apology for the Prussian monarchy and bureaucracy and his moderate constitutionalism but also reexamined the idealist principles of Hegel’s philosophy. Marx concluded that the state does not determine civil society—that is, material interests—but rather that civil society conditions the nature of the political structure. The study of world history (Kreuznach notebooks) played an important role in the formation of Marx’ materialist views on society.

In October 1843, Marx moved to Paris, intending to publish a sociopolitical journal. His experience was enriched by direct contact with the revolutionary traditions of the French proletariat and with workers’ organizations and democratic and socialist circles, including Russian emigre groups. An analysis of the socialist and communist Utopian doctrines of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Babeuf, T. Dezamy, E. Cabet, and, later, R. Owen enabled Marx to identify the rational elements in these doctrines and to reject everything that was immature and fanciful. In February 1844 the first and only issue (a double number) of the Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher appeared. In his articles “On the Jewish Question” and “Toward a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction,” Marx, using as yet imprecise terminology that reflected Feuerbach’s influence, sought to show that the communist transformation of society was the only way to overcome the limitations of the bourgeois revolution and to emancipate man from his social, national, and other fetters. A great milestone in socialism’s transition from a Utopia to a science was Marx’ assertions that the proletariat is the social force capable of accomplishing such a tranformation and his belief that progressive theory is the proletariat’s intellectual weapon. The articles in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbucher marked the final stage of his turn from idealism to materialism and from revolutionary democratism to communism. From this time he was a proletarian revolutionary, the ideologist of the working class, who “appealed to the masses and to the proletariat” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, p. 48).

In Paris, Marx undertook his first critical examination of the economic foundations of bourgeois society in the light of his materialist and communist views. Having become convinced as early as 1843 that “the anatomy of civil society must be sought in political economy,” Marx began to study economics. He also continued his historical research, particularly on the Great French Revolution. In his conception of the role of class struggle, Marx went far beyond the French historians A. Thierry, F. Guizot, and F. Mignet, who failed to see the economic roots of the origin of classes and the true nature of class antagonism under capitalism. Marx’ attitude toward the British classical economists A. Smith and D. Ricardo also took shape at this time. Although he had a great respect for their doctrine, Marx showed its inherent limitation—its assumption that historically transitory bourgeois relations are eternal.

Marx set forth the results of his research in Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, part of which was published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism in Russian in 1927; the full German text was published by the institute in 1932 and a complete Russian translation in 1956. Here Marx revealed the antagonistic nature of the economic structure of capitalist society. In embryonic form, he showed how the bourgeoisie appropriates the product of the wage earners’ labor. He introduced the concept of “alienated labor” to describe the position of the toilers in an exploitative society, showing that under private ownership the conditions, instruments, and fruits of labor are for the worker an alien, enslaving force. The abolition of private ownership and the creation of a society in which the alienation of labor will be eradicated and truly humanistic principles prevail require, Marx emphasized, “real communist action” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Iz rannikh proizvedenii, 1956, p. 606)—that is, proletarian revolution.

Marx continued his work as a publicist in Vorwarts!, the newspaper of the German exiles in Paris. He regarded the revolt of the Silesian weavers in June 1844 as a sign of the workers’ awakening to consciousness of their class opposition to the capitalists. Marx also persuaded F. Engels (passing through Paris in late August 1844 en route from Great Britain to Germany) to contribute to Vorwarts! Earlier they had begun to correspond, and the meeting in Paris revealed the complete unanimity of their views and laid the foundation for a relationship which surpassed, in Lenin’s words, “the most moving stories of the ancients about human friendship” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 2, p. 12).

The first fruit of the collaboration of Marx and Engels was The Holy Family, or A Critique of Critical Criticism (the greater part of which was written by Marx), published in February 1845. Directed against B. and E. Bauer and other Young Hegelians, The Holy Family was a militant defense of the evolving scientific proletarian world outlook. In this work Marx and Engels revealed the groundlessness of idealist philosophy, particularly the Young Hegelians’ subjective idealism, showed the importance of materialism’s struggle against idealism in the development of philosophical thought, and demonstrated the necessity of combining materialism with dialectics. The materialist conception of social development was taken a step further—social production was singled out as the chief element in the totality of material relations determining social development. Unlike the Young Hegelians who opposed “critically thinking individuals” to the “inert mass,” Marx showed the decisive role of the masses in history and stressed the growing importance of this role in revolutionary epochs. Developing the idea of the historical role of the working class, Marx and Engels demonstrated that the proletariat brings about a revolutionary transformation of society on behalf of all toilers.

In January 1845 the French authorities, collaborating with the Prussian government, ordered the expulsion of the editors and contributors of Vorwarts! On February 3, Marx left for Brussels, where he spent the next three years. Engels followed him to Brussels in April 1845. In a projected new work, they intended to contrast their dialectical materialist views not only with such idealist tendencies as those of the Bauer brothers and Max Stirner but also with Feuerbach’s contemplative materialism, which interpreted social phenomena from an idealist standpoint. Marx set down some of the ideas for this work in his “Theses on Feuerbach,” emphasizing the crucial importance of practice (praxis) both in social life and in cognition (practice as a criterion of truth). Marx conveyed the general revolutionary character of the new world outlook in his concluding thesis: “Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; but the point is to change it” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2d ed., vol. 3, p. 4).

Without turning aside from their other scientific studies Marx and Engels undertook a work criticizing German ideologists in November 1845. Marx was unable to publish many of the articles he had begun, for example, his article criticizing the views of the German economist F. List, the rough draft of which was published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism in 1971. His efforts to find a publisher for the manuscript of the two-volume The German Ideology, which was essentially completed in April 1846, were also unsuccessful; the work was published in its entirety in the USSR in 1932. However, Marx and Engels achieved their primary goal—to clarify the issue for themselves.

The German Ideology was the first complete exposition of the materialist view of history as a fully formed and integral conception. Having revealed the dialectical interaction of the forces of production with the relations of production (here termed the “forms of relations”) and having shown the inevitability of conflict between obsolete relations of production and developed forces of production, Marx and Engels explained the laws governing the revolutionary replacement of one mode of production by another, more progressive, mode and the corresponding changes in the entire political structure of society and in the forms of social consciousness. Lenin described the historical materialism of Marx and Engels, which put an end to chaos and arbitrariness in examining history and politics as “a great achievement in scientific thinking” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th end., vol. 23, p. 44). Having shown the logical character of the transition from an obsolete social form (later replaced by the term “social formation”) to a more progressive one, Marx and Engels demonstrated the historical inevitability of the establishment of a communist system. They introduced, in an as yet underveloped form, the idea of the working class’ attainment of political power as the condition for achieving communism. This was the initial formulation of the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Marx sought to rally representatives of the advanced proletariat around the new ideological banner and to overcome the immature aspects of such existing workers’ organizations as the Chartists and the League of the Just, an association of German workers and artisans. To this end he founded in Brussels in early 1846 the Communist Correspondence Committee, which maintained ties with correspondence committees and other groups in Britain, France, and Germany. Marx had to wage a determined struggle against the exponents of various petit bourgeois socialist tendencies. In the “Circular Against Kriege” and other writings, including the second volume of The German Ideology, Marx and Engels exposed the philistine character of German “true socialism.” In May 1846, Marx broke with W. Weitling, the ideologist of a Utopian leveling communism. In the summer of 1847 Marx published The Poverty of Philosophy: A Reply to M. Proudhon’s “Philosophy of Poverty, “attacking Proudhon’s social reformism. Lenin considered this book to be one of the first works of mature Marxism. Demonstrating that Proudhon’s philosophical and economic views were untenable, Marx expounded the basic principles of the materialist conception of history and set forth a number of principles constituting the methodological and theoretical prerequisites for a proletarian system of political economy: the historically transitory nature of the capitalist mode of production, the exploitative nature of the relations between capital and labor, the intensification of capitalism’s contradictions, and the formation of the proletariat as the social consequence of the development of large-scale industry. Establishing the tactical principles of the proletarian movement, Marx showed the importance of trade unions and strikes and the necessity for working-class political action and the acquisition of class consciousness by the workers.

In early 1847 the leaders of the League of the Just proposed to Marx and Engels that the league be reorganized. In June 1847, Engels participated in the First Congress in London, which laid the foundations for the Communist League, the first international proletarian party. Marx headed the Brussels district committee of the Communist League and founded the legal German Workers’ Association for the open dissemination of communist ideas; his lectures to the association on wage labor and capital were published in 1849. Writing for the emigre newspaper Deutsche Briisseler Zeitung, Marx and Engels refuted the opponents of communism (for example, their polemic with the German radical Heinzen) and elaborated the proletariat’s tactics in the coming revolutionary events. Seeking to unite the proletarian and democratic forces, Marx participated in the Brussels Democratic Association.

In late November and early December 1847, at the Second Congress of the Communist League in London, Marx and Engels were instructed to draw up the league’s program. The resulting Communist Manifesto, published in February 1848, was the first programmatic document of scientific communism. “With the clarity and brilliance of genius, this work outlines a new world-conception, consistent materialism, which also embraces the realm of social life; dialectics, as the most comprehensive and profound doctrine of development; the theory of the class struggle and of the world-historic revolutionary role of the proletariat —the creator of a new, communist society” (ibid., vol. 26, p. 48). The Manifesto upheld the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the instrument of the communist transformation of society, although only later did Marx use the term “dictatorship of the proletariat,” and showed the necessity of forming a proletarian party, the militant vanguard of the working class. The idea of proletarian internationalism was expressed in the appeal: “Workers of the world, unite!”

The revolution of 1848-49 was Marxism’s first historical test. Expelled from Belgium on Mar. 4, 1848, Marx went to Paris, where he formed a new central committee of the Communist League and founded a German workers’ club that was to help German emigrants to return to their homeland. He resolutely opposed the adventuristic undertakings of petit bourgeois elements that were organizing a legion to invade Germany. The March revolutionary events in Central Europe inspired Marx and Engels to draft the program of the Communist League in the form of a document entitled “The Demands of the Communist Party in Germany.”

In early April Marx left for Germany, arriving in Cologne on May 11. Here, from June 1, 1848, to May 19, 1849, he edited the daily Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which became the militant organ of the proletarian wing of revolutionary democracy. As the editor of the newspaper, Marx displayed outstanding gifts as a revolutionary tribune, strategist, and tactician. The editorial board, headed by Marx and including Engels, W. Wolff, G. Weerth, F. Freiligrath, and E. Dronke, was a veritable general staff of the revolutionary mass movement. The newspaper followed Marx’ line of deepening the revolution, drawing the broad masses of the proletariat and the peasantry into the revolutionary struggle, and consistently defending the interests of the people as a whole and the particular class interests of the proletariat. Marx regarded the establishment of a revolutionary people’s dictatorship as a condition for victory. He relentlessly denounced the counterrevolutionary intrigues of the feudal and monarchist forces in Prussia and other states, and he saw a great threat to the revolution in the cowardly compromising policies of the liberal bourgeoisie. Although he advocated an alliance with the democrats, Marx criticized the inconsistency and vacillation of the representatives of petit bourgeois democracy. He called for support of the national liberation movements of oppressed peoples—Poles, Hungarians, and Italians. His article “The June Revolution” showed the worldwide historic significance of the June 1848 uprising of the Paris workers.

The editorial board of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung functioned as a political center, directing the work of the Communist League. Marx guided the league members toward active participation in mass democratic and workers’ organizations. He was one of the leaders of the Cologne Democratic Association and the Rhineland District Committee of Democrats, and from October 1848 to February 1849 he served as president of the Cologne Workers’ Association. He waged a determined struggle against such “left” sectarians as A. Gottschalk and condemned the reformist tendencies of S. Born. In the spring of 1849, Marx took steps to unite the workers’ associations into a mass proletarian party, but his plans were thwarted by the onset of reaction.

The Prussian authorities repeatedly tried to institute legal proceedings against Marx. In May 1849, at the height of the revolutionary struggle in the Prussian Rhineland and southwest Germany, the Prussian government was able to suppress Marx’ newspaper. After vainly attempting to persuade the leaders of the south German movement to act more decisively, Marx left for Paris in early June to establish contact with the French democrats. On Aug. 24, 1849, he was obliged to leave France for Great Britain.

In London, Marx reorganized the Communist League, reconstituted the Central Committee, and strengthened relations with G. Harney and other left-wing Chartists and with the Blanquists. In 1850, Marx and Engels published the journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung: Politisch-Okonomische Revue, for which they wrote articles, international surveys, and reviews analyzing the lessons of the revolution. In a series of articles later reprinted by Engels under the title The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850, Marx propounded his concepts of revolution as “the locomotive of history,” of the increasingly counterrevolutionary degeneration of the bourgeoisie and the transformation of the proletariat into the leading force in the revolutionary process, and of the alliance of the working class with the peasantry not only in the bourgeois-democratic revolution but also in the socialist revolution. Here the term “dictatorship of the proletariat” appears in print for the first time. In the “Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League” (March 1850), Marx and Engels drew another important conclusion from the lessons of 1848-49: the transition from bourgeois-democratic to socialist transformations can occur in the course of uninterrupted revolution.

In the summer of 1850, Marx became convinced of the impossibility of a new upsurge of the revolution. Disagreements with the adventuristic and sectarian Willich-Schapper faction caused a split in the Communist League in the fall of 1850. The pamphlet Great Men of the Emigration (written by Marx and Engels in 1852, published in 1930) attacked the harmful “playing at revolution” of petit bourgeois democrats. Marx’ Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte analyzed the Bonapartist coup of Dec. 2, 1851, in France, concluding that the bourgeoisie’s military and bureaucratic state apparatus must be crushed to ensure the victory of the proletarian revolution. With reaction intensifying everywhere, Marx considered it inexpedient for the Communist League to continue its activity, and on Nov. 17, 1852, it was dissolved. In his pamphlet Relevations About the Communist Trial in Cologne (December, 1852), Marx excoriated those who had led the judicial and police persecution of league members.

Life in exile brought Marx much suffering. Of his seven children, only three daughters survived, Jenny, Laura, and Eleanor. The self-sacrificing assistance of Engels, obliged to work in the office of a Manchester textile firm, often saved Marx’ family from dire need. During these years Marx maintained a steady correspondence with his friend, exchanging ideas on theoretical questions, politics, and the working-class movement. Although he concentrated on elaborating his economic theory, Marx also continued to investigate other fields. He contributed to the remaining organs of the proletarian press—the Chartist People’s Paper and the German-American newspaper Reform —and to progressive bourgeois newspapers. From August 1851 to March 1862, he was a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. Marx used the bourgeois press to denounce the evils of capitalist society, exposing the British bourgeois-aristocratic oligarchy, French Bonapartism, the noble-monarchical regimes of Prussia and Austria, and tsarist autocracy in Russia. He commented on all revolutionary events—the strike movement in Great Britain, demonstrations against the Second Empire in France, the Spanish revolution of 1854-56, the Indian national uprising of 1857-59, and the Taiping peasant war in China. In his articles on India, Ireland, Iran, and China he showed the link between the struggle against colonial enslavement and the liberation movement of the working class. He considered it especially important to expose the foreign policy of the ruling classes. In such pamphlets as Lord Palmerston and Secret Diplomatic History of the 18th Century, Marx exposed the perfidious diplomatic techniques and devices of the governments of the exploiting classes and showed the continuity between the diplomatic traditions of absolutism and those of bourgeois regimes.

Marx continued his struggle for the creation of a proletarian party, seeking to preserve and educate the cadres that had emerged from the Communist League and to maintain the league’s revolutionary heritage. In Britain he assisted E. Jones in his efforts to revive the Chartist movement on a socialist basis. He aided I. Weydemeyer and A. Cluss, former members of the Communist League, who sought to disseminate communist ideas in the USA, and he maintained contact with proletarian groups in Germany and other countries.

The revolutionary revival after the worldwide economic crisis of 1857 impelled Marx to still greater efforts to consolidate the nucleus of the evolving proletarian party. He transformed the emigre newspaper Volk, published from May to August 1859, into a militant party organ. In his denunciatory pamphlet Herr Vogt (1860), Marx defended the proletarian revolutionaries against the slanders of the vulgar democrat and Bonapartist K. Vogt. Marx’ faith in the revolutionary-democratic road to the unification of Italy and of Germany embittered his relations with F. Lassalle. Marx broke with Lassalle when the latter tried to orient the German workers’ movement in a reformist and sectarian direction.

Marx ascribed great importance to the peasant disturbances in Russia before and after the reform of 1861 and to the war against Negro slavery in the USA. In his articles for the Vienna liberal newspaper Die Presse in 1861-62, Marx discussed the American Civil War. In 1863 he worked on a pamphlet dealing with the Polish insurrection of 1863-64, but he only completed several drafts. In his appeal on behalf of the German workers living in London, Marx showed that the European proletariat and all revolutionary democrats were deeply concerned with the liberation of Poland.

The 1850’s and 1860’s saw the completion of Marx’ new economic theory, his greatest scientific achievement. Developing his ideas of the 1840’s, Marx undertook a new series of large-scale studies. He deepened his understanding of the limitations of bourgeois political economy not only with respect to general methodology, but also in its treatment of such important economic categories as labor, commodities, value, money, and ground rent.

In 1857-58, Marx completed several manuscripts first published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism in German in 1939-41 and in Russian translation in 1968-69. The principal manuscript, “A Critique of Political Economy,” was the first, as yet fragmentary, draft of Das Kapital. Here Marx expounded the essence of his most important discovery, the theory of surplus value. Marx revealed the preconditions for the production of surplus value (including an explication of his new theory of value and an explanation of the nature of commodities and the twofold character of the labor embodied in commodities) and the mechanism by which surplus value is derived from the sale and use of a special commodity, labor power. Marx revealed the economic contradictions of capitalism, characterizing it as the last antagonistic formation of class society. He showed that emancipation from exploitation cannot occur under capitalism and made important predictions about the changed nature of labor and leisure time under communism.

Marx began to prepare his work for publication in 1858. In the first edition, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, which appeared in 1859, he systematically expounded his theory of money and commodities, including the problem of the fetishism of commodities. The Preface contained a classic formulation of the fundamentals of historical materialism, which had been the methodological basis of Marx’ research.

Marx subsequently prepared the enormous “Economic Manuscript of 1861-63” (more than 200 quires), a rough but systematic draft of all three volumes of Das Kapital and the only version of its historical-critical section. Scientifically analyzing such categories as the cost of production and average profit, Marx revealed the process by which the overall quantity of surplus value is distributed among the various types of capitalists. Other important problems of political economy treated in the manuscript include productive and nonproductive labor, technological progress, the distinctive features of capitalist development in agriculture, and economic crises. The historical-critical section, “Theories of Surplus Value,” was published in the USSR between 1954 and 1961 as the fourth volume of Das Kapital; the shortcomings of Kautsky’s 1905-10 edition were eliminated. In this section Marx traced the history of bourgeois political economy and showed the social and epistemological causes of its vulgarization by the epigones of the classical school.

In the course of his work Marx decided not to publish his work in part but rather in three volumes dealing, respectively, with the production of capital, the circulation of capital, and the entire process of capitalist production as a whole. The section “Theories of Surplus Value” was to constitute a fourth volume. In 1863-65, Marx prepared a new version of the three theoretical volumes, which became the basis of the first volume of Das Kapital, published in September 1867. Marx worked on the other volumes for the rest of his life, repeatedly revising the second volume and expanding the part of the 1863-65 manuscript that dealt with the problems covered in the third volume. These two volumes were published by Engels only after Marx’ death; the second volume appeared in 1885 and the third in 1894. Marx devoted a great deal of attention to the translation of his first volume into other languages. Having learned Russian as early as 1869, he helped G. A. Lopatin and N. F. Daniel’son prepare the Russian edition that appeared in 1872. In 1872-75 the French translation, edited by Marx, was published in separate installments.

The appearance of the first volume of Das Kapital represented a milestone in Marx’ great work of creating a political economy for the working class. With unsurpassed mastery he set forth the principles of his new economic doctrine, including the theory of surplus value. Marx tore away the veil of secrecy shrouding capitalist exploitation and brought to light the deep-seated processes at work in capitalist society, its development toward intensified contradictions and toward the creation of the material prerequisites for “expropriation of the expropriators.” However, Das Kapital is not merely an economic treatise. Through an analysis of the economic structure and historical evolution of the capitalist formation, Marx proved the irrefutable, universal character of materialist dialectics. Having discovered the laws of motion of the capitalist mode of production and proved that they inevitably lead to conditions in which capitalism’s revolutionary replacement by the communist system becomes necessary, Marx extended and deepened the theoretical foundation of scientific communism and provided a fully developed economic basis for the theory of proletarian revolution. Marx’ work was of enormous importance for the workers’ movement, ideologically arming the working class and putting the struggle for its emancipation on a firm scientific basis.

Marx played the leading role in the creation of the International Workingmen’s Association, the First International, participating in its founding conference (Sept. 28, 1864) and becoming the de facto head of its directing body, later called the General Council. Marx succeeded in making the International a genuinely working-class organization, thwarting the attempts of petit bourgeois democrats, including the followers of G. Mazzini, to deprive it of its proletarian class character. He wrote the “Inaugural Address of the International Workingmen’s Association” and the organization’s “Provisional Rules,” which became permanent rules at the Geneva Congress of 1866. In these writings Marx presented in a form appropriate to the workers’ level of class consciousness at the time programmatic propositions giving a revolutionary orientation to the International: the principle of the proletarian movement’s class independence (“the emancipation of the working class must be achieved by the working class itself) and the ideas of proletarian internationalism. Consolidating within the General Council a proletarian revolutionary nucleus that included such former members of the Communist League as F. Lessner and J. G. Eccarius, as well as H. Jung, E. Dupont, P. Lafargue, and R. Shaw, Marx transformed the council into a militant guiding center for the proletarian struggle. The program and tactics of the workers’ economic struggle were outlined by Marx in his report “Wages, Price, and Profit” (1865) and in his instructions to the General Council’s delegates at the Geneva Congress, on which the Congress based its resolution. In these documents Marx also opposed underestimation of the political struggle and showed that the economic and political struggle of the proletariat was an integral whole.

Under Marx’ influence, the International conducted several political campaigns. It called for solidarity with the Polish insurgents of 1863-64; at the London conference of 1865, Marx rejected the Proudhonists’ assertion that the Polish and the national question in general were irrelevant to the interests of the working class. The International supported electoral reform in Britain and opposed the Bonapartist regime in France. The need for working-class support of the national liberation movement was also shown by Marx in his speeches on the Irish question exposing the chauvinist position of the English trade unionists. Marx worked out the International’s policies on questions of war and peace, orienting it toward active struggle against militarism but striving to protect the working class from the influence of bourgeois pacifism.

Throughout this period Marx was the corresponding secretary for Germany on the General Council, and he strongly encouraged the development of the German labor movement. He publicly broke with the Lassallean leaders of the General German Workers’ Association, who were fawning on Bismarck. Through the German sections of the International, Marx disseminated its ideas in Germany, and he supported the leaders of the revolutionary wing of the German workers’ movement, W. Liebknecht and A. Bebel, who were struggling to establish the Social Democratic Labor Party (Eisenachers) in 1869.

Striving to overcome the reformist and sectarian tendencies of the Proudhonists and Lassalleans, of the English liberal trade unionists, and later of the Bakuninists, Marx embarked on a struggle in 1868 to have socialist principles introduced directly into the program of the International. Despite the opposition of the Proudhonists, the Brussels and Basel congresses (1868 and 1869) adopted resolutions advocating nationalization of the land and mineral resources. The Brussels Congress urged the workers of all countries to study the first volume of Das Kapital. In 1870, at the request of the Russian section that had been formed in Geneva, Marx assumed the duties of corresponding secretary for Russia on the General Council. The members of the Russian section, including N. I. Utin and E. L. Dmitrieva, aided Marx in his struggle against the Bakuninists.

In July and September 1870, Marx wrote two appeals on the Franco-Prussian War on behalf of the General Council, countering chauvinist propaganda with the idea of an international alliance of the workers of France and Germany. Engels, who had moved from Manchester to London, was made a member of the General Council at Marx’ suggestion in October 1870.

Marx regarded the French proletarian revolution of Mar. 18, 1871, as an international historical achievement of the working class, initiating a new stage in its struggle for emancipation. This conviction was expressed most strongly in his letters to L. Kugelmann of Apr. 12 and 17, 1871. Marx made every effort to help the participants in the Paris Commune work out a correct policy. He led the movement for solidarity with the Commune and, after its fall, the campaign to aid exiled Communards. In the appeal of the General Council “The Civil War in France,” Marx gave “a profound, clear-cut, brilliant, and effective” analysis of the Commune (ibid., vol. 26. p. 49). Revealing the significance of the Paris events as the first attempt to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat and create a new, proletarian state system, Marx concluded that the smashed state machinery of the bourgeoisie must be replaced by a new type of state, the prototype of which was the Paris Commune. Another conclusion derived from the experience of the Commune was incorporated by Marx into the resolutions of the London Conference of the International in September 1871, emphasizing the importance of political struggle by the working class and the need to create a proletarian party.

Marx and Engels’ “The Alleged Divisions in the International,” written in March 1872, exposed the disruptive work of Bakunin and his supporters. Marx’ personal participation in the Hague Congress in September 1872 contributed to the triumph of scientific communism at the congress and to the inclusion in the International’s Rules of provisions stating that the working class must achieve political power, that a proletarian party be formed, and despite the obstructionism of the Bakuninists, that greater powers be granted to the General Council. In view of the unfavorable conditions for the work of the General Council in Europe, Marx and Engels proposed that it be transferred to New York. As its authorized representatives in Western Europe, Marx and Engels assisted the New York General Council in taking measures against the Bakuninist dissenters. They gave a definitive assessment of the struggle against the Bakuninists in their pamphlet The Alliance of Socialist Democracy and the International Workingmen’s Association, published in August 1873. In late 1873 the International ceased its activity, although it was not officially dissolved until 1876. Having laid “the foundation of the proletarian international struggle for socialism” (ibid., vol. 38, p. 303), the International gave way to new forms of organization of the working class more appropriate to the changed historical circumstances.

In the last years of his life Marx’ efforts were directed toward developing and perfecting revolutionary theory, forming proletarian parties in various countries, and strengthening the ties among them. In his work on the second and third volumes of Das Kapital he studied the latest economic writings, particularly those on the economic and social development of the United States and Russia. He criticized the vulgar doctrines of his day—Katheder-Socialism in his “Comments on A. Wagner’s Book A Textbook of Political Economy”;, Bakunin’s Utopian views in a summary of Bakunin’s book State and Anarchy; and the views of E. Diihring in a chapter for Engels’ Anti-Duhring. He devoted considerable attention to the natural sciences, including chemistry, agricultural chemistry, geology, and biology, and his “Mathematics Manuscripts” contained independent investigations in differential calculus.

Marx’ studies in world history were exceptionally broad in scope. In the draft of a letter to V. I. Zasulich in 1881 he summarized his study of the evolution of the Russian village commune (obshchina). Here and in other writings he drew the important conclusion that a noncapitalist path of development is possible for backward peoples, if supported by the victorious proletariat in the advanced countries. The achievements in archaeology, ethnology, and paleontology inspired Marx to study primitive society. In the course of making an abstract of L. H. Morgan’s Ancient Society, a work that confirmed his own conclusions concerning the communist nature of primitive society, Marx decided to write a treatise on the subject. His observations on Morgan’s work were later used by Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Marx’ attempt to summarize his historical knowledge in the form of an overall synchronistic depiction of the historical process was embodied in his four notebooks entitled “Chronological Extracts.” He praised Darwin’s work on the origin of species and the descent of man.

Marx combated opportunistic vacillation in the struggle to form a proletarian party, and he condemned the ideological concessions made by the leaders of the Social Democratic Labor Party to the Lassalleans at the time of the unification of the two groups at the Gotha congress in 1875. His Critique of the Gotha Program revealed his tremendous powers of scientific prediction in applying his theory both to the “forthcoming collapse of capitalism and to the future development of future communism” (ibid., vol. 33, p. 84). In this work Marx further developed his doctrine of the dictatorship of the proletariat and substantiated his thesis concerning the period of transition from capitalism to socialism and the two phases of communist society.

Marx and Engels indicated the dangers of right opportunism and of a conciliatory policy toward it in their circular letter to A. Bebel, W. Liebknecht, and W. Bracke of Sept. 17-18, 1879. At the same time Marx resolutely exposed the pseudorevolutionary phrasemongering of J. Most’s sectarian anarchist group. While striving to correct the line taken by German Social Democracy, he nevertheless wholeheartedly supported its heroic struggle against Bismarck’s antisocialist exceptional law. In 1880, Marx helped J. Guesde and P. Lafargue draw up the program of the French Workers’ Party and supported the Guesdists against the Possibilists, an opportunistic current. He also aided socialists in Great Britain, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the USA.

With every year Marx’ ties with the representatives of the Russian revolutionary movement grew stronger. He was deeply interested in Russian history and ascribed great international importance to the impending popular revolution against tsarism, holding that Russia could play a major role in the world revolutionary process. He had a high regard for Russian revolutionary literature, especially the works of N. G. Chernyshevskii, N. A. Dobroliubov, and V. V. Bervi-Flerovskii. He enthusiastically followed the revolutionary Narodniks’ self-sacrificing struggle against tsarism, although he also saw their many ideological errors. In their preface to the Russian edition of the Communist Manifesto in 1882, Marx and Engels referred to revolutionary Russia as the vanguard of the revolutionary movement in Europe.

From the beginning of the 1880’s Marx’ health worsened. He was dealt a severe blow by the death of his wife in December 1881, and in January 1883 his eldest daughter, Jenny, died. In January 1883 he fell ill with bronchitis, followed by serious complications. He died on Mar. 14, 1883, and his death evoked worldwide response. At his funeral in the Highgate Cemetery in London on Mar. 17, 1883, Engels declared prophetically that “his name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.” Marx’ ideas became ever more firmly established in the working-class movement, influencing its development.

Marx’ greatest contribution was his creation of an integral and harmonious revolutionary theory—a mighty intellectual weapon for knowing and transforming the world and the theoretical basis for the working-class struggle for emancipation. In Marx’ doctrine, the materialist interpretation of reality, which proceeds from the idea that matter is primary and consciousness secondary and that the objective laws of the material world are knowable, was for the first time organically linked with a genuinely scientific theory of development, with the view that all phenomena are expressions of the dialectical process of continual change in nature and society. Marx was the first thinker in history to extend materialism to the sphere of social life and to show the determining place of material production in social development and the decisive role of the masses—the producers of material wealth—in history. Marx demonstrated that the historical process is an orderly succession of socioeconomic formations, inevitably resulting in a transition from an antagonistic class society to a classless communist society. Marx’ philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism served as the methodological basis for the elaboration of the other components of Marxism—Marxist political economy and the theory of scientific communism. Marx was the first economist to reveal the economic laws of the development of social formations, primarily capitalism, to expose the exploitative essence of the capitalist system, to analyze profoundly the economic basis of its inherent antagonisms, and to prove the inevitability of its destruction. He also made brilliant scientific predictions with respect to the economic laws governing the formation and development of communist society.

Proceeding from his philosophical and economic theory, Marx laid the scientific foundation for the program, strategy, and tactics of the revolutionary proletarian movement. He provided the theoretical basis for the historic mission of the working class as the creator of the new, communist society, proving that the growing contradictions of capitalism and the intensification of the class struggle create the need for a socialist revolution to be carried out by the proletariat under the leadership of the proletarian party in alliance with other oppressed classes. Marx showed that a necessary condition for the transition from capitalism to socialism was the proletariat’s attainment of political power and the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship as the chief means for carrying out revolutionary changes.

Marx’ doctrine serves as the guiding principle for the worldwide workers’ and communist movement, permitting optimal use of the objective trends of social development in the interest of the toiling classes. On the basis of this doctrine, the communist and workers’ parties work out scientific revolutionary policies, and where the socialist revolution has been victorious, they use Marxist teachings in solving the complex problems of socialist and communist construction and of controlling social processes.

As the scientific expression of the ideology of the consistently revolutionary class, the proletariat, Marxism has been and continues to be constantly attacked by the ideological defenders of the bourgeois order. The bourgeois critics of Marx’ teachings, as well as the exponents of revisionism and reformism, have attempted to prove that Marxism is outdated and does not correspond to 20th-century conditions. Denying its wholeness, these critics depict it as an eclectic combination of scientific and non-scientific elements. They accuse Marx of utopianism, search for “contradictions” in the ideas of this thinker of genius, contrast the earlier and later stages of his work, and call for a blending, or convergence, of Marx’ ideas with those of various bourgeois philosophical and sociological schools. The aim of these falsifications and attacks on Marx’ teachings is to weaken their growing influence on the consciousness of millions and to vitiate their revolutionary content. However, historical experience increasingly confirms Marx’ correctness and the bankruptcy of those who “refute” him. The power and vitality of his doctrine—the reason for its ever growing impact on social life—consist in the fact that, as the continuation of earlier developments in human thought and its culmination, this creative, continually progressing doctrine expresses the objective laws of history and meets the needs of social progress. As Lenin observed, Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true (ibid., 5th ed., vol. 23, p. 43).

A new stage in the development and spread of Marx’ ideas and the beginning of the struggle to apply them in practice on a broad scale are linked with the name and activity of V. I. Lenin. Developed further under new historical conditions by Lenin and enriched by the revolutionary practice and theoretical activity of the CPSU and the world communist movement, Marx and Engels’ immortal doctrine exerts an ever growing impact on the historical destiny of humanity.

The richest collection of Marx’ manuscripts and printed works has been assembled at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU, which is engaged in the large-scale scientific study and publication of his literary heritage. Marx’ works are also studied and published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in the German Democratic Republic and by scientific institutions and publishing houses in other socialist countries and in a number of capitalist countries, notably by the Maurice Thorez Institute in France, the Gramsci Institute in Italy, the Lawrence and Wishart publishing company in Great Britain, International Publishers in the United States, Editions Sociales in France, and Riunita in Italy. A large number of Marx’ manuscripts are preserved at the Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, where they were transferred on the eve of World War II from the archives of the German Social Democratic Party. As of 1973, Marx’ works had been published in 101 languages. In the USSR, 2,693 editions of Marx and Engels’ works had been issued as of Jan. 1, 1973, totaling 99,-248,000 copies.


Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed. vols. 1-42, 46, 47, 49. Moscow, 1955-75.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Iz rannikh proizvedenii. Moscow, 1956.
Arkhiv Marksa i Engel’sa, vols. 1 (VI)-9, 11-15. Moscow, 1933-73.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Feierbakh: Protivopolozhnost’ material-isticheskogo i idealisticheskogo vozzrenii. Moscow, 1966.
Khronologischeskie vypiski po istorii Indil. Moscow, 1947.
Matematicheskie rukopisi. Moscow, 1968.
“Interv’iu korrespondentu amerikanskoi gazety Chicago Tribune v pervoi polovine dekabria 1878 g.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 10, 1966.
“O knige Lista Natsional’naia sistema politicheskoi ekonomii.” Ibid., no. 12, 1971.


Engels, F. “Karl Marks.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 16.
Engels, F. “Karl Marks.” Ibid., vol. 19.
Engels, F. “Razvitie sotsializma ot utopii k nauke.” Ibid., vol. 19.
Engels, F. “Nabrosok nadgrobnoi rechi na mogile Marksa.” Ibid., vol. 19.
Engels, F. “Marks i Neue Rheinische Zeitung.” Ibid., vol. 21.
Engels, F. “K istorii Soiuza kommunistov” Ibid. vol. 21.
Engels, F. “Marks, Genrikh Karl.” Ibid., vol. 22.
Lenin, V. I. “Chto takoe ’druz’ia naroda’ i kak oni voiuiut protiv sotsialdemokratov?” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1.
Lenin, V. I. “Predislovie k russkomu perevodu pisem K. Marksa k L. Kugel’manu.” Ibid., vol. 14.
Lenin, V. I. “Predislovie k russkomu perevodu knigi Pis’ma I. F. Bekkera, I. Ditsgena, F. Engel’sa, K. Marksa i dr. k F. A. Zorge i dr.” Ibid., vol. 15.
Lenin, V. I. “Marksizm i revizionizm.” Ibid., vol. 17.
Lenin, V. I. “Istoricheskie sud’by ucheniia Karla Marksa.” Ibid., vol. 23.
Lenin, V. I. “Tri istochnika i tri sostavnykh chasti marksizma.” Ibid., vol. 23.
Lenin, V. I. “Perepiska Marksa s Engel’som.” Ibid., vol. 24.
Lenin, V. I. “Karl Marks.” Ibid., vol. 26.
Lenin, V. I. “Gosudarstvo i revoliutsiia.” Ibid., vol. 33.
Lenin, V. I. Konspekt “Perepiski K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa 1844-1883, “2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Osnovopolozhnik nauchnogo kommunizma: Tezisy k 150-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia K. Marksa. Moscow, 1968.
Bessmertie velikikh idei. Moscow, 1968. (A collection of articles on the 150th anniversary of Marx’ birth.)
Karl Marks: Biografiia. Moscow, 1968; 2nd ed., Moscow, 1973.
Karl Marks: Biografiia. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from German.)
Vospominaniia o Markse i Engel’se. Moscow, 1956.
K. Marks i F. Engel’s i revoliutsionnaia Rossiia. Moscow, 1967.
Russkie sovremenniki o K. Markse i F. Engel’se. Moscow, 1969.
K. Marks: Daty zhizni i deiatel’nosti. Moscow, 1934.
Marks i Engel’s i pervye proletarskie revoliutsionery. Moscow, 1961.
Marks-istorik. Moscow, 1968.
“Kapital” Marksa, filosofiia i sovremennost’. Moscow, 1968.
Literaturnoe nasledstvo K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa: Istoriia publikatsii i izucheniia v SSSR. Moscow, 1969.
Marx i nekotorye voprosy mezhdunarodnogo rabochego dvizheniia XIX veka. Moscow, 1970.
Parizhskaia kommuna i marksizm. Moscow, 1973.
Mehring, F. Karl Marks: Istoriia ego zhizni. Moscow, 1957. (Translated from German.)
Riazanov, D. B. Ocherki po istorii marksizma, 2nd ed., vols 1-2. Moscow, 1928.
Adoratskii, V. V. “Marks—vozhd’ proletariata.” In Izbr. proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1961.
Stepanova, E. A. Karl Marksvelikii uchitel’i vozhd” mezhdunarodnogo proletariata. Moscow, 1958.
Korniu, O. Karl Marks i Fridrikh Engel’s: Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1959-68. (Translated from German.)
Rakhman, D. A. Velikii uchitel’ rabochego klassa: Zhizn’ i uchenie K. Marksa. Moscow, 1969.
Lapin, N. I. Molodoi Marks. Moscow, 1968.
Oizerman, T. I. Formirovanie filosofii marksizma. Moscow, 1962.
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Mikhailov, M. I. Istoriia Soiuza kommunistov. Moscow, 1968.
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Gol’man, L. I. Ot Soiuza kommunistov k Pervomu Internatsionalu ( Deiatel’nost’ K. Marksa v 1852-1864 gg. ) Moscow, 1970.
Malysh, A. I. Formirovanie marksistskoi politicheskoi ekonomii. Moscow, 1966.
Vygodskii, V. S. Istoriia odnogo velikogo otkrytiia Karla Marksa. Moscow, 1965.
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Rozental’, M. M. Dialektika “KapitalaK. Marksa [2nd ed.] Moscow, 1967.
Chagin, B. A. Sozdanie i razvitie K. Marksom i F. Engel’som teorii nauchnogo kommunizma. Leningrad, 1970.
Kunina, V. E. Karl Marks i angliiskoe rabochee dvizhenie. Moscow, 1968.
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Becker, G. Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels in Koln 1848-49. Berlin, 1963.
Strey, J., and G. Winkler. Marx und Engels, 1848-49. Berlin, 1972.
Bobinska, C. Marx und Engels uber polnische Probleme. Berlin, 1958.
Tuchscheerer, W. Bevor “Das Kapitar entstand. Berlin, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Marx, Karl (1818–1883)

chief theorist of modem socialism stimulated working class’s consciousness. [Ger. Hist.: NCE, 1708]
See: Labor
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.