WHILE immersed in theoretical studies, Marx did not for a moment lose touch with current political affairs. As an active publicist, he closely followed economic development and the policy of the ruling classes in European countries and the United States, and took note of even the smallest success of the democratic and proletarian movement there.
MARX, in the Poverty of Philosophy, clearly set forth the principles of his theory of social history. “The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist,” he wrote, examining the dialectical interaction of the productive forces and production relations. Prospects were opened before the reader for the revolutionary struggle of the working class and all working people.
MARX and Engels then began, in The German Ideology, to apply the materialist approach, unlike Feuerbach and other materialist philosophers before him, not only to nature, but equally to human society and history. Thus they created historical materialism. They took the decisive step which Feuerbach had been unable to take.
MEANWHILE, the reactionary Prussian government which had kept Marx’s activities in Paris under close observation from the first day on, succeeded in January 1845 in getting the French authorities to expel him. He was ordered to leave Paris within 24 hours, and to be out of France in the shortest possible time. When the liberal press protested against this outrageous act, the French Government offered to let him stay on in Paris if he withdraw from all anti-Prussian agitation. Marx’s answer was to leave France.
UNDER Marx’s editorship, the Rheinische Zeitung soon began to flourish. The Prussian authorities imposed strict censorship on the paper and demanded that it change its tune. For a while the paper, before publication, had to be submitted daily to the Government President for his approval. The intellectual level of the Prussian censor in Cologne – very reminiscent of our own censors of the Emergency period – was such that he struck out a notice for Dante’s Divine Comedy saying that it was impermissible to mix comedy with divine things.
THE Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, as part of a high level dialogue it had initiated last year between November 30 and December 3, 2017 under the title, “CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting”, had decided that various thematic events would be organised subsequently.
In accordance with this, the CPC organised a high level thematic event commemorating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx on May 28, 2018 at Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.
THE possibilities for a secure career had worsened drastically. Friedrich Wilhelm IV had come to the throne in Prussia in 1840. The Prussian bourgeoisie reiterated its demands, particularly the one for a decisive share of political power, especially in the administration of the State in law-making. When the King rejected these demands, the economically leading section of the industrialists—the bankers and the merchants, with the Rhinelanders in the forefront—went over to the liberal opposition and put itself at the head of the popular movement.
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.