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The Political Writings of Marx and Engels: Part II, Surveys From Exile

Sun, February 12, 2023 @ 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Free – $90.00

Marx Political WritingsAt Karl Marx’s burial, his lifelong friend Frederick Engels said that he was “above all, a revolutionist.” Yet, after 150 years, his critique of political economy is arguably better understood and respected than his political theory of working-class revolution. This is ironic since Marx intended his critique of capitalist economies to be the intellectual buttress for his theory of revolution. Marx never wrote a work on political theory comparable to Capital. Perhaps because of this, his ideas about the state, governments, political struggles, and social revolutions have been propounded and interpreted in many ways by many different parties. This group is reading and discussing original texts by Marx and Engels about their theory of class struggles as the motive force of human social evolution and the modern working class as the political antagonist of the capitalist system. That class has the power, by abolishing itself, to usher in a society beyond class exploitation. The primary text is the anthology Karl Marx: The Political Writings, three volumes in one, recently published by Verso.

This group began in fall 2022 and completed part 1 of the text, covering the Communist Manifesto and Marx’s commentary on the 1848 revolutions in Europe as they unfolded. In this part 2, we will be reading the “Surveys From Exile” section, which begins with “The Class Struggles in France 1848-1850” and takes us through Marx’s articles on the Civil War in the United States.

Moderated by David Worley, a member of the executive committee of the Marxist Education Project and a longtime associate of The Brecht Forum, where he served a term as co-chair of the Board of Directors. David is a nonsectarian socialist, active since the 1960s in support of a wide range of peace and social justice causes.