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The Revolutions of 1848: Political Writings

Volume 1 of Marx’s political writings, including The Communist Manifesto.
Karl Marx was not only the great theorist of capitalism; he was above all else a revolutionary. In Paris in 1844 he made the connection between radical philosophy and the proletariat that would guide his future work, first with the Communist League and later with the International Workingmen’s Association. Marx’s Political Writings display a profound understanding of history and politics that is still relevant to the very different conditions of today.

Volume 1: The Revolutions of 1848: Marx and Engels had already sketched out the principles of scientific communism by 1846. Yet it was from his intense involvement in the abortive German revolution of 1848 that Marx developed a profound practical understanding he would draw on throughout his later career. This volume includes his great call to arms—The Communist Manifesto—and also demonstrates Marx’s unsuccessful attempt to spur the German bourgeoisie to decisive action against absolutism. His articles offer trenchant analyses of events in France, Poland, Prague, Berlin and Vienna, while speeches set out changing communist tactics.

Blog

  • The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Exploitation

    The Value Controversy, published by Verso in 1981, followed a series of debates over Marx's labor theory of value that began with the publication of neo-Ricardian economist Piero Sraffa's The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (1960), and which took particular salience in socialist economic theory with the 1977 publication of Ian Steedman's Marx After Sraffa. Including contributions by Pradeep Bandyopadhyay, G.A. Cohen, Michel De Vroey, Sue Himmelweit, Geoff Hodgson, Makoto Itoh, Anwar Shaikh, Ian Steedman, Paul Sweezy, and Erik Olin Wright, the collection was designed — according to its editors — "to present a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the discussion to date." 

    G.A. Cohen's essay, reproduced below, was initially published in the Summer 1979 issue of Philosophy and Public Affairs; one year after the appearance of his Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence, a foundational document of Analytical Marxism  



    It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the
      cities where they trade,
    Dug the mines and built the workshops,
      endless miles of railroad laid,
    Now we stand outcast and starving, 'mid
      the wonders we have made . . .

    Solidarity
    , by Ralph Chaplin (to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

    This essay shows that the relationship between the labour theory of value and the concept of exploitation is one of mutual irrelevance. The labour theory of value is not a suitable basis for the charge of exploitation laid against capitalism by Marxists, and the real foundation of that charge is something much simpler which, for reasons to be stated, is widely confused with the labour theory of value.

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  • Philosophy and Revolution: from Kant to Marx — an interview with Stathis Kouvelakis

    To mark the publication of La Fabrique's new edition of Philosophy and Revolution: from Kant to MarxRévolution Permanente spoke with Stathis Kouvelakis about his 2003 book. Translated by David Broder.  


    Stathis Kouvelakis, 2015. via Youtube.

    Stathis, could you introduce yourself to those who do not know you already? What is your experience as a militant?

    Stathis Kouvelakis: Since 2002 I have taught political philosophy at King’s College London, but my own university education was in France. In terms of my militant record, since my high school days I was active in the anti-capitalist radical Left in Greece and then in France. In 1981 I joined the youth organisation of what was called the Greek Communist Party "Interior," a current that subsequently participated as one of the components that founded Syriza. I also took part in Syriza’s leadership bodies between 2012 and 2015, and then left that party, together with thousands of other militants and cadres, when Alexis Tsipras shamefully capitulated to the diktat from the lenders’ Troika. Subsequently I participated in the foundation of Popular Unity — a formation I am still part of — which rallies the forces that came out of the left wing of Syriza and part of the far-Left coalition Antarsya.

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  • Why Blanqui?

    Before Marx, there was Blanqui; born 212 years ago today. Below, historian Doug Enaa Greene — author of the forthcoming Specters of Communism: Blanqui and Marx — surveys the life and thought of the French radical. In Spring 2018, Verso will publish a collection of Blanqui's writings. 



    Karl Marx claimed that Louis-Auguste Blanqui was the “man whom I have always regarded as the brains and inspiration of the proletarian party in France.” Although largely forgotten today, there was a time when revolutionaries throughout the world viewed this nineteenth century French political prisoner as a central figure and hero of revolutionary socialism. In this time of so much political backsliding and compromise, it is worth looking at the life of Blanqui.

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Other books by Karl Marx Edited by David Fernbach Foreword by Tariq Ali