Marx and Engels, Works of
Marx and Engels, Works of
The collection, publication, dissemination, and study of the literary legacy of the founders of scientific communism are essential to the ideological consolidation of the international workers’ movement.
During their lifetimes, Marx and Engels published—often anonymously—several of their joint works individually, such as The Holy Family: A Critique of Critical Criticism (1845), Communist Manifesto (1848, 1872, 1883, 1890, 1891, and 1894), and The Alleged Splits in the International (1872). Marx published several works individually, such as The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), Speech on Free Trade (1848), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852 and 1869), Revelations on the Cologne Communist Trial (1853), A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (first publication, 1859), Herr Vogt (1860), Address and Provisional Rules of the International Working Men’s Association (1864), Das Kapital (vol. 1, 1867), The Civil War in France (1871, three editions), and Wage Labor and Capital (1880 and 1881). Engels likewise published several works individually, such as The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845, 1848, and 1892), The Peasant War in Germany (1870 and 1875), The Housing Question (1872, 1873, and 1887), Anti-Dühring (1878, 1886, and 1894), Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880), The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884, 1886,1889,1891,1892, and 1894), and Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy (1888).
Hundreds of Marx’ and Engels’ articles were printed in progressive, democratic, and proletarian periodicals in Germany, Great Britain, France, the USA, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere, including periodicals Marx and Engels themselves founded or managed. German-language periodicals included Rheinische Zeitung, Vorwarts!, Deutsche-Brüsseler-Zeitung, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Neue Rheinische Zeitung: Politisch-ökonomische Revue, Das Volk, Der Volksstaat, and Der Sozialdemokrat. English-language periodicals included The Northern Star, The New Moral World, Notes to the People, New York Daily Tribune, The Beehive Newspaper, The Commonwealth, The Eastern Post, The International Herald, and The Labour Standard. French-language periodicals included La Réforme, L’Egalité, La Liberté, and La Revue Socialiste. Italian-language periodicals included Gazzettino Rosa, La Plebe, and Critica Sociale. Portuguese-language periodicals included O Pensamento Social, La Emancipación, and El Socialista. Russian-language periodicals included Narodnoe delo (The People’s Cause), Vestnik Narodnoi Voli (Journal of the People’s Will), and Sotsial’-demokrat (Social Democrat).
Several works by Marx and Engels were published only posthumously, owing primarily to lack of means, censorship, and persecution by various European governments. They include Marx and Engels’ The German Ideology, Marx’ Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right” and Theories of Surplus Value, and Engels’ Dialectics of Nature.
In 1850 and 1851, with the help of J. Becker, a member of the Communist League, Marx made an initial attempt to publish his Works in two volumes. In 1852, Becker was arrested and convicted at the Cologne Communist trial, and Marx’ attempt came to naught. Only the first part of Gesammelte Aufsätze von Karl Marx (Cologne, 1851), which ran to five printer’s sheets, was published, and nearly the entire printing of 15,000 copies was confiscated. Marx’ subsequent attempts to find a publisher for his Works were unsuccessful.
When Marx died in 1883, many of his and Engels’ works were already difficult to find. Most of their articles, having been published, often anonymously, in various periodicals in several different countries, were for all practical purposes inaccessible.
After Marx’ death, Engels felt that the preparation of a complete edition of Marx’ works was “his duty that must take precedence before all else” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 36, p. 413). He negotiated for several years with A. Bebel, K. Kautsky, L. Kugelmann, R. Fischer, F. Mehring, and other socialists. However, he was able to have only some of Marx’ individual works reprinted, such as Revelations on the Cologne Communist Trial (1885), Wage Labor and Capital (1891), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1885), and The Class Struggles in France (1895). He also published his own earlier works, the second and third volumes of Das Kapital (1885 and 1894), and one of Marx’ major theoretical works, Critique of the Gotha Program (1891). Engels also prepared translations of several of the fundamental works of scientific communism, including a German translation of The Poverty of Philosophy (1885), English translations of The Condition of the Working Class in England (1887), Speech on Free Trade (1888), and Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1892), Italian (1885), Danish (1888), and French (1893) translations of The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, a German translation of The Civil War in France (1891), an Italian translation of Wage Labor and Capital (1893), a French translation of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1891), and French (1886 and 1894) and English (1888) translations of the Communist Manifesto.
After Engels’ death in 1895, Eleanor Marx Aveling, Marx’ daughter, reprinted several of Marx’ and Engels’ works originally written in English. On the whole, however, the literary legacy of the founders of Marxism remained in the hands of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Mehring did considerable work in collecting and publishing Marx’ and Engels’ works, publishing a four-volume series entitled Aus dem literarischen Nachlass von Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels und Ferdinand Lassalle in Stuttgart in 1902, which brought together many of Marx’ and Engels’ writings from the period 1841–50. Marx’ letters to Kugelmann, Marx’ and Engels’ letters to F. A. Sorge and N. F. Daniel’son, and a four-volume edition of the Marx-Engels correspondence (in German, 1913) were also published. Individual works by Marx and Engels were published in Neue Zeit, the theoretical journal of the German Social Democratic Party.
The opportunist decay that set in among German Social Democratic leaders made itself felt in these leaders’ attitude toward Marx’ and Engels’ literary legacy. Marx’ and Engels’ letters and works were published with tendentious abridgements and commentaries. The manuscripts of several major theoretical works, such as The German Ideology, Dialectics of Nature, and the circular letter of Sept. 17–18,1879, were consigned to obscurity. Many articles, documents, and other materials of Marx and Engels were still uncollected, as Lenin noted in 1914 in his article “Karl Marx” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, pp. 43–93).
The first Russian translations of Marx and Engels date from the late 1860’s. The Russian section of the First International and revolutionary and progressive figures such as G. A. Lopatin, P. L. Lavrov, and N. F. Daniel’son made it possible to publish several of Marx’ and Engels’ works outside Russia, including the Communist Manifesto, Address of the International Working Men’s Association, The Civil War in France, and A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right.” The Liberation of Labor group, which Engels authorized to publish his own and Marx’ works in Russian, did a great deal to make Marx’ and En-gels’ works available in Russian. By 1905, Russian-language translations of Marx and Engels included the Communist Manifesto (1882, translated by G. V. Plekhanov), Wage Labor and Capital, The Poverty of Philosophy, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, On Social Relations in Russia, and The Peasant Question in France and Germany.
Within Russia itself, Marx’ and Engels’ works were published—illegally, for the most part—from the early 1880’s. Before it was broken up in 1884, the Society of Translators and Publishers in Moscow published The Civil War in France, Wage Labor and Capital, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, The Housing Question, Wages, Price, and Profit, The Condition of the Working Class in England, and an incomplete edition of Anti-Dühring. Marxist circles in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kazan, Kiev, Kharkov, and other cities published the Communist Manifesto and other works. By 1905 several works had been published legally, such as Das Kapital (vol. I, 1872; vol. 2, 1885; vol. 3, 1896), The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, The Poverty of Philosophy, and Anti-Dühring.
V. I. Lenin played a major role in publishing and disseminating the Marx-Engels literary legacy in Russia. He was the editor of several works, such as The Civil War in France (1905), The Baku-ninists at Work (1905 and 1906), Marx’ letters to Kugelmann (1907), and Marx’ and Engels’ letters to Sorge (1907). During the Revolution of 1905–07, the Bolshevik publishing house Vpered (Forward) and other progressive publishers put out various works by the founders of Marxism. During the reaction that followed, the publication of Marxist literature came to a halt, and many extant copies of Marx’ and Engels’ printed works were destroyed.
The Great October Socialist Revolution ushered in a new stage in the publication of Marx’ and Engels’ works. As early as the period 1918–22, Soviet Russia attempted to bring out a 28-volume edition of Marx and Engels. However, only four volumes were issued; the lack of an adequate scholarly basis made it necessary to suspend publication.
Marx’ and Engels’ preparatory materials were at the same time being published in the Archive of Marx and Engels. More than 20 volumes have appeared thus far. Five volumes were published in the first series (1924–30); the smallest pressrun for a single volume was 4,000, and the largest, 7,500. Fifteen volumes were published in the second series (vols. 1–15; Moscow, 1933–73); the smallest pressrun for a single volume was 5,000, and the largest, 30,000. Publication is still under way.
In the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s, the Selected Works of K. Marx and F. Engels, a two-volume collection, was reprinted many times, with pressruns ranging between 50,270 and 250,000. Also published in this period were several editions of Marx’ and Engels’ Selected Letters, with pressruns between 50,000 and 75,000, Letters of K. Marx and F. Engels on “Das Kapital,” and The Correspondence of K. Marx and F. Engels With Russian Political Figures, with pressruns between 75,000 and 100,000.
As the Russian edition of Marx and Engels moved forward, an international edition of Marx’ and Engels’ works, in the languages in which they were originally written, was undertaken—an edition known as the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe, or MEGA. Between 1927 and 1935, eight volumes of various works made their appearance, including a special volume containing Engels’ Anti-Dühring and Dialectics of Nature, and four volumes of correspondence. In 1939 a separate volume containing Marx’ economic manuscripts of 1857–58 was published, with a pressrun of 3,500–5,000 copies.
The first Russian edition of Marx’ and Engels’ works was the result of an enormous amount of preliminary work devoted to gathering the requisite materials. Nevertheless, it suffered from several shortcomings. The translations and prefaces were inaccurate. The scholarly apparatus was inadequate—for example, there was no annotation. Moreover, after the first edition had come out, many previously unknown works of Marx and Engels were discovered, and in the postwar years the Institute of Marxism-Leninism acquired a large quantity of new letters and manuscripts. Thus, a second edition became necessary.
Between 1955 and 1966, pursuant to a decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism brought out a second edition of Marx and Engels. The second edition has 39 volumes (42 separate books in all), with pressruns between 103,000 and 200,000. It includes approximately 4,000 letters and 1,600 other works; more than 600 letters and approximately 400 works—including the fourth volume of Das Kapital: Theories of Surplus Value—had not been published in the first edition. The second edition, which runs to approximately 1,500 printer’s sheets, is the most complete edition of the literary and epistolary legacy of Marx and Engels. In 1956 the collection From the Early Works, with a pressrun of 60,000, was published as a supplement to the second edition.
The chronological order of presentation in the second edition bears witness to the emergence of scientific communism. Volumes 1 through 22 contain the historical, philosophical, economic, and other works. Volumes 23 through 26-seven separate books in all—contain Das Kapital, published here for the first time as a four-volume work. Volumes 27 through 39 contain Marx’ and Engels’ correspondence. Most volumes have appendixes, with, for example, documents that reflect the practical revolutionary activity of Marx and Engels as well as biographical materials.
The second edition has been the source for various collections on particular topics. In 1955, On Religion, containing works by Marx and Engels, was published in an edition of 100,000 copies. In 1957 and 1968, On Proletarian Internationalism, with works by Marx, Engels, and Lenin, was published in editions of 75,000 copies. In 1957–58 and 1967, K. Marx and F. Engels on Art, a two-volume collection, was published in editions of 75,000 and 25,000 copies, respectively. In 1959, On the Colonial System of Capitalism, with selections from Marx and Engels, was published in an edition of 10,000 copies. In 1966 a three-volume edition of Marx’ and Engels’ Selected Works was published in an edition of 100,000 copies. In 1967 a collection entitled K. Marx, F. Engels, and Revolutionary Russia was published in an edition of 55,000 copies. Marx’ and Engels’ collected works have been published in Ukrainian-language (1958–68) and German-language (German Democratic Republic, 1956–68) editions identical to the second Russian edition. Editions based on the second Russian edition are being published in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan, Poland, and Rumania.
In the capitalist countries, attempts have been made to counter the scholarly editions of Marx’ and Engels’ works with editions geared to the purposes of anticommunist propaganda. In the 1960’s, for example, an eight-volume edition of Marx’ works, tendentiously compiled and annotated, was published in Stuttgart in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Since the publication of the second Russian edition of Marx’ and Engels’ collected works, several supplementary volumes have been issued—Volumes 40 through 42,45,46 (parts 1–2), 47, and 49, all in editions of 45,000 copies. Several volumes of the new international edition of Marx and Engels (MEGA), published in the original language, have already appeared. This edition is being prepared jointly by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Likewise, the first volumes of a 50-volume English-language edition of Marx’ and Engels’ works have appeared. The English-language edition is being prepared in collaboration with the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU by the joint efforts of Progress Publishers in Moscow, Lawrence and Wishart in London, and International Publishers in New York. A 50-volume Italian-language edition is being published by Editori Riuniti in Rome according to the same format as the English-language edition. In the USSR and the other countries of the socialist system, and in many nonsocialist countries, the individual works of the founders of scientific communism are widely published.
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 36, pp. 39, 88, 325, 413; vol. 39, pp. 287,297, 328, 385–86, 388–93.
Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, pp. 82–93; vol. 52, p. 64.
Levin, L. A. Bibliografiia proizvedenii K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa. Moscow, 1948.
Kandel’, E. P. O publikatsii literaturnogo nasledstva K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa. [Moscow] 1947.
Stepanova, E. A. “O sobiranii i nauchnoi publikatsii v SSSR literaturnogo nasledstva osnovopolozhnikov marksizma.” In the collection Iz istorii marksizma. Moscow, 1961.
Malysh, A. I. “Izdanie Sochinenii K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa v SSSR v 20-e gody i v nachale 30-kh godov.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1965, no. 8.
Malysh, A. I. “Velikaia sokrovishchnitsa revoliutsionnoi mysli.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1966, no. 3.
Gol’man, L. I. “O novykh materialakh Marksa i Engel’sa vo vtorom izdanii ikh Sochinenii.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1966, no. 6.
Literaturnoe nasledstvo K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa: Istoriia publikatsii i izucheniia v SSSR. Moscow, 1969.
Velikoe nasledie: O vtorom izdanii Sochinenii K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa. Moscow, 1968.
Prizhiznennye izdaniia i publikatsii proizvedenii K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa: Bibliograficheskie ukazatel’. Chast’ 1. 1837–1864, avgust. Moscow, 1974.
V. A. MOROZOVA