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The First International and After: Political Writings

Volume 3 of Marx’s political writings, including The Civil War In France.
Karl Marx was not only the great theorist of capitalism, he was also a superb journalist, politician and historian. In these brand-new editions of Marx’s Political Writings we are able to see the depth and range of his mature work from 1848 through to the end of his life, from The Communist Manifesto to The Class Struggles in France and The Critique of the Gotha Programme. Each book has a new introduction from a major contemporary thinker, to shed new light on these vital texts.

Volume 3: The First International and After: The crucial texts of Marx’s later years—notably The Civil War in France and Critique of the Gotha Programme—count among his most important work. These articles include a searching analysis of the tragic but inspiring failure of the Paris Commune, as well as essays on German unification, the Irish question, the Polish national movement and the possibility of revolution in Russia. The founding documents of the First international and polemical pieces attacking the disciples of Proudhon and Bakunin and the advocates of reformism, by contrast, reveal a tactical mastery that has influenced revolutionary movements ever since.

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  • Happy Birthday Karl!

    Karl Marx (1818-1883), the great philosopher, historian, political economist and father of Marxism, was born on this day in 1818. Although born in the early 19th century, the relevance of Karl Marx's ideas for analysing 20th and 21st century capitalism, as well as for understanding the political and economic struggles and changes of his own day, remain vital and essential.

    To celebrate, we're bringing you an extract from one of his most famous political worksThe Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte



    Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.

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