Karl Marx, Alive or Dead? A Philosophical Investigation

Tuesday 16th January, 7.30 at the Rose & Crown Tintern


John Clarke on

NEXT MEETING 16th January 2018

 This talk will focus, not on the later Marx of Das Kapital, but on the early philosophical writings of Marx, influenced by Kant, Romanticism and Hegelian Idealism, and with close support from his wife Jenny and his friend Friedrich Engels. These writings, many of which were only rediscovered long after his death, were a powerful protest against humanity's sense of alienation and the loss of inner as well as external freedom, and against the systemic dehumanisation of the working conditions of his time. The talk will also speculate about the relevance of the early Marx to our own time where the question of our humanity and its future is once again a spectre haunting us.

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist. Born in Trier to a middle-class family, Marx later studied political economy and Hegelian philosophy. As an adult, Marx became stateless and spent much of his life in London, England, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and published various works.

Freiin Johanna Bertha Julie Jenny von Westphalen (1814 – 1881) was the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. Born in Salzwedel to a prominent family of the Prussian aristocracy. Engaged to Karl Marx in 1836 and married in 1843. They had seven children, only three of whom outlived their mother

Friedrich Engels (1820 -1895) was German philosopher, social scientist, journalist and businessman. Engels founded Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in Manchester. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which he later published as the "fourth volume" of Capital.

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