Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography
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Is the Grand Old Man re-emerging? More than twenty years after the collapse of Communism, and in the midst of the crisis of Capitalism, Karl Marx's ideas, at least in part, are back in vogue. He is often invoked, yet often misunderstood. In this award-winning biography Rolf Hosfeld offers a new, transparent, and critical view of Marx's turbulent life. Linking the contradictory politician and revolutionary to his work-his errors and misjudgments as well as his pioneering ideas-Hosfeld presents a vivid account of Marx's life between Trier and London. At the same time, he renders accessible Marx's complex work, one of the world's most important contributions to the history of ideas.
the rules that determine the development of society in ordinary times. Or rather, in revolution these rules assume a much more physical character, the material force of necessity makes itself more strongly felt. And as soon as one steps forward as the representative of a party, one is dragged into this whirlpool of irresistible natural necessity. By the mere fact of keeping oneself independent, being in the nature of things more revolutionary than the others, one is able at least for a time to
to the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. In contrast to the atheists of the French Enlightenment, however, he did not consider this to be a deliberate fraud or a clever invention but rather a myth that expressed a profound truth30—namely, the incarnation of God—in the form of an unconscious idea. This truth, however, could not be reduced to whether Jesus was actually born, lived, and was resurrected in the manner described by the Evangelists. The real message was rather that the person “in
against slavery. This even gripped Marx. As he noted at the end of November 1864, never has such a gigantic revolution occurred with such 106 • Karl Marx rapidity as in America. Only three and a half years earlier Lincoln had proclaimed that no further concessions would be made to slaveholders, and now, his declared, and in part already accomplished, goal was the complete abolition of slavery.204 In Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class,205 Marx saw a great revolutionary
MECW, vol. 10, 634f. 105. Marx and Engels, “Address to the Central Authority to the League, June 1850,” in MECW, vol. 10, 282. 106. Bédarida, “Der englische Sozialismus,” 136. 107. Engels, introduction to Karl Marx’s The Class Struggles in France 1848 to 1850, in MECW, vol. 27, 507. 108. Marx and Engels, “Review (May–October 1850),” in MECW, vol. 10, 490f., 510. 109. Marx and Engels, “Review (January–February 1850),” in MECW, vol. 10, 265f. 110. Ansprache der Zentralbehörde an den Bund,
Werke in einem Band. East Berlin, 1975. Herwegh, Georg, ed. Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz . Leipzig, 1989. Hess, Moses. The Holy History of Mankind and Other Writings. Translated and edited with an introduction by Shlomo Avineri. Cambridge, 2004. Bibliography • 183 Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Revolution 1789–1848. New York, 1996. Höppner, Joachim, and Waltraud Seidel-Höppner. Von Babeuf bis Blanqui: Französischer Sozialismus vor Marx. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1976. Hosfeld, Rolf.