Works of Karl Marx: England and Revolution

It's uncanny how some of Marx's text could almost be about our times... 

Just this:

Works of Karl Marx

England and Revolution

SourceLabour Monthly, July 1923, pp. 30-36, “Selection from the Literary Remains of Karl Marx,” III England and Revolution, Max Beer;

Original German: Aus dem literarischen Nachlass von Marx und Engels, Vol. III, p.230 sqq.;

Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

In a retrospect on the eventful year 1848, Marx deals with the meaning and effects of the European upheaval. He expresses the opinion that even a successful proletarian revolution in France could have for its result only the political emancipation of Europe, that is, freeing the oppressed nationalities and sweeping away the remnants of feudalism and absolutism, while a social revolution on the Continent depends on a victory of organised English Labour.

Cologne, December 31, 1848.
Marx writes: 

The country, however, which transforms whole nations into proletarians; which with its gigantic arms encompasses the whole globe; which has already once defrayed the cost of the European counter-revolution; and in which class antagonism has reached a high degree of development – England appears to be the rock on which the revolutionary waves split and disperse and which starves the coming society even in the womb. England dominates the world markets. A revolution of the economic conditions of any country of the European Continent or even of the whole Continent, is but a storm in a glass of water, unless England actively participates in it. The condition of trade and commerce of any nation depends upon its intercourse with other nations, depends upon its relations with the world markets. England controls the world markets, and the bourgeoisie controls England.

The [political] emancipation of Europe, either in the form of raising the oppressed nationalities to independence or of the final overthrow of feudal absolutism, is conditioned upon the victorious rising of the French working class. But any social revolutionary upheaval in Europe must necessarily miscarry, unless the English bourgeoisie or the industrial and commercial supremacy of Great Britain is shaken. Any aspiration for a lasting, though partial social transformation in France or any other part of the European Continent must remain an empty, pious wish. And old England will only be overthrown in a world war, which alone would give the Chartist Party, the organised English Labour Party, the possibility of a successful rising against its stupendous oppressor. The Chartists at the head of the English Government – only from this moment would the social revolution emerge from the realm of Utopia and enter the sphere of reality...


Come and listen to our talks at the British Library on Friday and Saturday if you want to know more:

The Communist Manifesto: Martin Rowson, Nina Power and Mark Steel

Comedian and broadcaster Mark Steel and political philosopher Nina Power join The Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, creator of a new graphic novel version of this seminal text.
The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, at a time of political upheaval in Europe. A powerful critique of capitalism and a radical call to arms, ot remains the most incisive introduction to the ideas of Communism and the most lucid explanation of its aims. Much of what Marx and Engels proposed continues to be at the heart of political debate in the 21st century. It is no surprise, perhaps, that it is thought to be the second bestselling book of all time, surpassed only by the Bible. 

Nina Power is a cultural critic, social theorist, philosopher and translator. She is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Roehampton University and the author of One-Dimensional Woman.
Martin Rowson is a multi-award-winning cartoonist and writer best known for his work in The Guardian. His books include graphic novel adaptations of The Waste Land, Tristram Shandy and Gulliver’s Travels. His The Communist Manifesto is published by SelfMadeHero.
Mark Steel is a comedian, broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He appears regularly television and radio recently presenting several seasons of Mark Steel’s in Town for BBC Radio 4. 

In association with SelfMadeHero
Original documents from the British Library’s collections relating to Karl and Eleanor Marx are on display in the Treasures Gallery from 1 May to 5 August. 
Image: detail from Martin Rowson's Communist Manifesto.


Karl Marx Imagined, and The Young Karl Marx screening

Karl Marx has had huge influence on world history, but who was the man behind the famous bearded image? Where did his inspiration and his relentless intellectual energy come from? Clive Coleman and Richard Bean, writers of West End hit Young Marx, film maker and writer Jason Barker and the team behind Raoul Peck’s film The Young Karl Marx get to grips with this enigmatic figure.

Jason Barker is author of the new bicentennial novel Marx Returns. He is writer-director of the 2011 German documentary Marx Reloaded, and editor of the Karl Marx bicentennial forum at the Los Angeles Review of Books. He teaches Marxism and literature at Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea.  
Richard Bean, co-writer of Young Marx is among our most acclaimed playwrights. In 2011 Richard became the first writer to win the Evening Standard Award for Best Play for two plays, The Heretic and One Man, Two Guvnors. For the latter he also received the Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy and the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

Clive Coleman is a writer, broadcaster and also the BBC’s Legal Correspondent, a role he arrived at via a career as a barrister and Principal Lecturer in Law. As well as co-writing Young Marx his writing credits include Spitting Image, and legal sitcom Chambers.
Followed at 16.00 by a rare UK screening of The Young Karl Marx (2016, 1 hr 58 mins)

The Young Karl Marx is released in UK Cinemas on 4 May. An ICA CINEMA distribution project.

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