Presentation on theme: "Murderous Seeds Communist Manifesto and the Birth of Communism."— Presentation transcript:
Murderous Seeds Communist Manifesto and the Birth of Communism
The Cold War Polarized world in 2 camps – Free World – Communist bloc In 90 years Communism affects more people than Christianity in 2000 years Constitutional Republic vs Dictatorship of Proletariat
Communism Extreme humanism politics Revolution against capitalistic society Dictatorship of proletariat Dialectic materialism
Definitions Dialectic = an idea and its antithesis in conflict resulting in change Bourgeoisie = middle class property owners Proletariat = lower, working class Materialism = reality exists only in the realm of matter (denies the supernatural existence) Young Hegelians = atheistic 19 th century philosophy that believed in an ideal form of government yet to come that would arise through conflict
19 th Century Prussia
Our Story Begins Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German philosopher that brought Enlightenment to central Europe – Human reason as the ultimate moral authority Introduced new concept of thinking: – Speculative reason “what if?” – Dialectic Two opposing viewpoints hold “dialog” Advocated freedom of self- determination
Enlightenment “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” II Cor 11:14-15 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3: 4,5
Hegelian Dialectic Abstract-Negative-Concrete Abstact is initial thesis that starts in the mind H. dialectic suggests flaws in any initial thesis—it is too abstract and lacks the “negative” of trial, error and experience. The Negative (antithesis of the abstract) whittles away at the abstract preserving the useful portion of its thesis through conflict The resolution of conflict is Concrete or material result (reality)
Young Hegelians Hegel’s students split into two camps: – “right” = conservative: believe dialectic fulfilled in present Prussian government – “left” = Young Hegelians, believe there was a better form of government yet to come Had Hegel survived, he would have been dismayed that the Young Hegelians embraced atheism Ludwig Feuerbach emerged as leader of this camp – Inspired by revolutionary spirit sweeping Europe – Critical of traditional unity of Church, State, philosophy – Believed human progress required repudiation of state and religion and substitute materialistic humanism
Ludwig Feuerbach Wrote Essentails of Christianity God is merely an externalization of man because God is an object Accused God of being “selfish” Concept of materialism – reality is made of matter
Karl Marx Descendant of long line of Jewish Rabbis Father embraced Protestant Christianity out of fear Preoccupied with politics in college Disappointing to his family because of lack of interest in working Angry and hostile, he was constantly involved in disputes, arguments and fights. If he could not dominate an organization he would attempt to divide it. Identified early on as Young Hegelian
“Regular work bored him....throughout life he was hard up. He was ridiculously ineffectual in his endeavors to cope with the economic needs of his household and his family; and his incapacity in monetary matters involved him in an endless series of struggles and catastrophes.....The thousands upon thousands which Engels handed over to him, melted away in his fingers like snow.” Marx combined the dialectic of Hegel with the materialism of Feuerbach. He believed in the evolution of economics: as feudalism was replaced by capitalism, so socialism would replace capitalism, then communism will replace socialism
Dialectic Materialism Materialism is a radically empirical philosophy that is based in the conviction that all phenomena originate from a physical cause and can be understood and explained through natural science. According to materialism, matter is the total explanation for space, nature, man, society, history and every other aspect of existence. Materialism does not acknowledge any alleged phenomenon that cannot be perceived by the five senses such as the supernatural, God, etc.
Dialectic Materialism "All nature, from the smallest thing to the biggest, from a grain of sand to the sun, from the protista to man, is in a constant state of coming into being and going out of being, in a constant flux, in a ceaseless state of movement and change." -- Friedrich Engels, Dialectics of Nature. All things contain within themselves internal dialectical contradictions, which are the primary cause of motion, change, and development in the world.
Friedrich Engels More of a paradox than Marx Son of wealthy textile merchant, dropped out of high school to work. – Studied German philosophy – Dominated by Hegel as source of intellectual development Father sent him to textile mills in Manchester to change his radical ideas 1842 – After reading Feuerbach’s Essentials of Christianity, he renounce all religion – Met Mary Burns introduced him to plight of working class
“Lizzie” Burns mother died when she was 9, the child went to work – When she met Engels she knew the ins and outs of the Irish laborer – She became his common law wife 1842 until her death 20 years later – Engels was against marriage which he saw as unnatural and unjust When Engels first met Marx in 1844, the later rebuffed Engels for his bourgeoisie class. But as Marx read Engels essays on “grim future of capitalism and the industrial age”, the two became inseparable
Dangerous Seeds It was Engels who connected the family institution to capitalism, – “the concept of monogamous marriage came from the necessity within class society for men to control women to ensure their own children would inherit their property” – “a future communist society would allow people to make decisions about their relationships free from economic constraints” Engels’ work The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 led Marx to conceive the idea of the historical dialectic in terms of class conflict
Marx and Engels Together they wrote the Communist Manifesto Engels finished and edited Marx’s Das Kapital after Marx died While Engels made himself “second fiddle” to Marx It was Engels who financed the efforts (staying in the job he hated in order to keep the work going) Engels influence helped Marx’s work to be published
Communist League Created 1847 in London – Merger of League of Just & – Communist Correspondence Committee Considered ineffective during the brief Revolution of 1848 in Prussia Marx was editor of its paper “Neue Rheinische Zeitung” (new Renish Newspaper) Anti-government articles
Communist League Government cracked down on newspaper Marx deported 1849 Last print, Mark wrote this threat “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror” Not sufficiently united in policy and objectives, League disbanded in 1852
Communist Manifesto 1848 Marx and Engels jointly published Communist Manifesto “The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggles” Dialectic materialism It called for: 1. Abolition of property ownership and the application of rent to public funds 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax 3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels 5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly
Communist Manifesto 6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation by the state 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of wastelands and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan
Communist Manifesto 8. Equal liability of all labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
Marx defines the bourgeoisie as the social class that are “the owners of the means of social production and the employers of wage labor” in a capitalist society. The bourgeoisie is the villain.
The hero is the proletariat, the “class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.”
Communist League This first appeared in 2005 as web-only newspaper!
Revolutions of 1848 Focused on Prussia, Baden, Saxony – Wanted united Germany – Wanted parliament and free elections In March 1848, King Freidrich Wilhelm wore the Tricolor and promised to adopt reforms By late 1848, monarchy regained power and many of revolutionaries left country – Including August Willich who became decorated Union general in US Civil War! – As member of Communist League, Engels served as his aide de camp during 1848
First International Founded in London 1864 International Workingmen’s Association (IWA) was the first socialist organization Up to 8 million members Lead to a rash of revolutionary activity in Europe Heavily influenced under Marx’ leadership Disbanded 1876 from divisions
Second International Organization of leftist socialist and labor parties founded in Paris Founded by Engels and others (Marx was dead) Far more successful than the First International Most famous for international campaign for 8- hour working day Dissolved during World War I (1914) because factions were divided regarding the war
Summary By the end of the 19 th century, although Communist organizations had formed, they lacked sufficient strength or solidarity to achieve revolutions (mainly in central Europe) They lacked popular support The official language of Communists International was German