KARL Marx is two hundred years young. He is still widely read, thoroughly discussed and critically analysed. It should be our endeavour to trace the path he had traversed and however difficult, to live true to it.
MARX’S contribution to the understanding of capitalism can be usefully seen through two profound insights that he had into this system. The first concerns the origin of surplus value. In a world of commodities where exchange between commodity-owners, among whom are also the workers, occurs voluntarily and at equivalence, without any swindle, how can surplus value arise?
THIS is the bicentenary year of the birth of Karl Marx; and the best way of observing it is to recall the teachings of that great man – and act according to them. A basic part of his thought was his conception of history; and for us in India, as for other people throughout the world, this is of living importance – a guide to how we should draw lessons from the entire past experience of mankind, and how, understanding the trend of movement of human societies, we should strive to shape our future.
Below we reproduce the text of the speech delivered by Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary at the ‘Marx 200: International Conference’, organised by Marx Memorial Library in London on May 5, on the bicentenary of Marx’s birth.