Nineteenth-century England had a delightful social ritual called ‘Confessions’. It was a perfectly ‘secular’ practice, meant to relax rather than cleanse the mind. It was one of the common drawing-room diversions where participants answered a semi-jocular questionnaire about themselves – some kind of a Victorian equivalent of what modern-day management lingo would describe as an individual’s ‘vision and mission statement’. You had to answer questions about what and whom you liked or hated, your favourite books, authors, heroines, virtue and so on. As long-term residents of London, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were not immune to its charms. Marx’s daughters and their friends quite relished the idea of getting these two ‘serious’ gentlemen to make their confessions. Read More »
Eric Hobsbawm, the well-known historian, recalls how George Soros once asked him about what Hobsbawm thought of Karl Marx. This was at the turn of the 21st century.
Surprised, and also aware that there was hardly any meeting ground between the billionaire hedge-funds wizard and champion of the free market and a Marxist historian who refused to renounce his membership of the British Communist Party even when the party faced liquidation, Hobsbawm chose to give an ambiguous answer.
Karl Marx’s memorial was over the weekend vandalisedPhoto: Highgate Cemetery/Twitter
KARL MARX’S tomb was vandalised in a suspected “hammer attack” over the weekend and “will never be the same again.”
Marks appeared on the marble plaque situated under the bronze bust of the communist philosopher’s tomb, in Highgate Cemetery in north London, with the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust charity condemning the “deliberate attack on the memory of Karl Marx.”Read More »
On 23rd December, Laali Guraas, a bi-monthly newsletter in Nepali language that is being published from the Darjeeling hills for the last 5 years, together with the Phulbari Sahitya Samiti, conducted a cultural festival “Srijana Utsav” to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx. Several cultural, social and political organisations from the hills and Dooars, came together for the program that took place at the scenic Tribeni junction of Teesta and Rongit rivers, in the the Himalayan hills of Gorkhaland. The program that was centered mainly on the issues and struggles of tea garden workers in the region, was attended by workers from several tea gardens in the hills, including workers committees from the Peshok and Dhotre gardens. A GroundXero report.Read More »
As we mark Karl Marx’s 200th birth anniversary, it is clear that the emancipation of labour from capitalist alienation and exploitation is a task that still confronts us. Marx’s concept of the worker is not limited to European white males, but includes Irish and Black super-exploited and therefore doubly revolutionary workers, as well as women of all races and nations. But, his research and his concept of revolution go further, incorporating a wide range of agrarian non-capitalist societies of his time, from India to Russia and from Algeria to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, often emphasising their gender relations. In his last, still partially unpublished writings, he turns his gaze Eastward and Southward. In these regions outside Western Europe, he finds important revolutionary possibilities among peasants and their ancient communistic social structures, even as these are being undermined by their formal subsumption under the rule of capital. In his last published text, he envisions an alliance between these non-working-class strata and the Western European working class.
Karl Marx, a name to reckon with every person who is aware of the proceedings of political economy of a state or a group of states, was born at Trier on French-German border on the side of Germany on 5 May 1818 a two-hours journey by train from Boppard. As Martin Kampchen, the scholar-emeritus of Viswabharati University and a resident of Santiniketan for a long time, wrote recently in an editorial page of the Telegraph of Kolkata on 28 June, 2018 remembering his childhood days in the hometown of his birth and referring to Marx’s birthplace from a different perspective. I quote his comments, “In Trier, we experience Marx’s life and achievements as part of the German struggle for independence from regional sovereigns, in favour of liberal social system, and to gain justice for exploited workers and craftsmen.” It is a social outlook.Read More »
An international conference on Karl Marx, held in Patna between 16-20 June under the title “International Conference on Karl Marx—Life, Ideas, and Influence: A Critical Examination on the Bicentenary” had a reflex of what has been coined as ‘Marxian renaissance’. It was organised by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in memory of Pijushendu Gupta and Radha Krisna Chaudhury who had jointly organised a national seminar in 1967 on the 150th birth anniversary of Karl Marx and the centenary of Das Capital at Begusarai, a small town in Bihar.Read More »