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Lecture 30

HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 30: Friedrich Engels, Wilhelm Liebknecht, August Bebel

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Kenneth Bartlett

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Lecture: Marxism — February 24th
Important Terms
Georg Hegel
Karl Marx
Friedrich Engels
Wilhelm Liebknecht
August Bebel
Lecture Material
Socialism spoke directly to the working class as they were looking for an alternative to
They wanted direct change
People at the time did not call it “Socialism” or “Socialists” however
All professed Socalists believe that within capitalist societies is the exploitation of other
human beings
Social Democrats all believe that the solution is a mixed economy where certain kinds of
property should be owned by the state like transportation and others owned by private
individuals but regulated by laws
Karl Marx rejected all of this and wanted the abolition of all private property
Marx, originally from Prussia, went to France and Belgium (which was filled with all kinds of
radical ideas)
It was there in Paris and Brussels that he changed to a committed Socialists through the
intervention of Moses Hess, who was his Socialist mentor
He taught Marx that all that matter was your economic status and that if there was to be a just
society at any point, it would only come when all people could become one through the
abolition of private property
He was beginning to believe this as well
In Paris 1844, Marx met Friedrich Engels and become collaborator despite the fact they were
very different and came from very different backgrounds
Marx pretty much pushed Engels around and even blamed Engels for getting someone
pregnant when it was actually Marx had
Marx was later exiled from France and then went to Brussels where he was a part of the
Communist League
The other members hated him but they still commissioned him to write the Communist
Manifesto of 1948 with Engels’ help
It is self-consciously revolutionary because it was a call for universal revolution on the part of
all the workers of Europe
It proclaimed the inevitable overthrow of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat
Gave revolutions a fixed vocabulary
“Workers of Europe unite, you only have your chains to lose”
Despite the burning rhetoric and call to revolution in the book, Marx was a philosopher and
not a man of action
He would never be in the frontline, he would be the one explaining why it had to happen and
why it did
His greatest work was “Capital” and where his theory was the most fully developed,
published in 1867
It is an enormous book and is the closest Marx ever came to a fully developed theory of
scientific Socialism
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