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New appraisals

In Marxism and America: New appraisals, an accomplished group of scholars reconsiders the relationship of the history, political culture, and political economy of the United States to the theoretical tradition derived from Karl Marx. A dozen essays (an introduction and eleven chapters) offer fresh considerations arcing from the nineteenth century, when Marx wrote for American newspapers, to the present, when a millennial socialism has emerged inspired by the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Contributors take up topics ranging from memory of the Civil War to feminist debates over sexuality and pornography. Along the way, they clarify the relationship of race and democracy, the promise and perils of the American political tradition, and the prospects for class politics in the twenty-first century. Marxism and America sheds new light on old questions, helping to explain why socialism has been so difficult to establish in the United States even as it has exerted a notable influence in American thought.

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The Marx–America dialectic
Christopher Phelps and Robin Vandome

Capital in the years following the 2008 financial crisis made it all the way through the book, stopped short by its notoriously turgid opening chapters, a new generation on the left has grown comfortable with Marx and Marxism. American interest in Marxism reciprocates the intense interest in the United States evinced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Despite residing for their whole lives in Germany, France, and England, Marx and Engels wrote for the New York Tribune , exchanged letters with Americans, and provided analyses of American events for European audiences

in Marxism and America
Bryan Fanning

class consciousness.29 Marx and Friedrich Engels gave some thought to how Irish nationalism might help to bring about socialism. In an 1882 letter to Karl Kautsky, reflecting on the revolutions of 1848, Engels wrote that it was ‘historically impossible for a great people’ to seriously address their internal circumstances ‘so long as national independence is lacking’. FANNING 9781784993221 PRINT.indd 20 19/01/2016 13:25 In defence of methodological nationalism 21 Engels had come to believe that socialism could only be realised through nation-states. He argued the

in Irish adventures in nation-building
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Grenfell and the return of ‘social murder’
Stuart Hodkinson

socialist Friedrich Engels called ‘social murder’.13 Engels used the term in his classic text The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, to capture the mass im­misera­ tion and premature deaths of the industrial working class from starvation, disease and injury at the hands of unsafe working con­ ditions and insanitary slum housing provided by private landlords. Social murder, he argued, was the result of unregulated private greed, in which a capitalist class knowingly forced people to work and live in deadly conditions and ignored all calls to improve those

in Safe as houses
Modern merchant princes and the origins of the Manchester Dante Society
Stephen J. Milner

caught within the same eternal cycle of damnation as Dante’s sinners: Wolff and Savage, Culture in Manchester.indd 66 14/08/2013 11:37:26 M a n u fa c t u r i n g t h e R e n a i s s a n c e 67 Inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and to-morrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next.21 The most famous chronicler of life amongst the city’s poor, however, was Friedrich Engels (1820

in Culture in Manchester
Paul Blackledge

War in Germany, p. 22. 134 Ibid., pp. 18, 155. 135 Ibid., p. 29. 136 Comninel Rethinking the French Revolution, pp. 46–7; Callinicos ‘Bourgeois Revolutions and Historical Materialism’. 137 F. Engels (1886) ‘Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy’ in K. Marx and F. Engels Selected Works in One Volume (London, 1968), pp. 563, 583, 587. 138 For a perceptive analysis of Engels’s Peasant War in Germany see E. R. Wolf ‘The Peasant War in Germany: Friedrich Engels as Social Historian’ Science & Society 51:1, spring 1987. Wolf (p. 85) points out that

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Ruth Livesey

book) from the point of view of a woman who – at some points at least – strongly aligned herself with the socialist movement. But the novel has also become part of a much wider debate about literary genres and the politics of modes of representation that flourished from the 1880s onwards. Throughout the twentieth century Harkness and her first novel have been kept in a broader critical perspective thanks to the letter Friedrich Engels wrote in response to receiving a copy of A City Girl from Harkness’s publisher, Vizetelly.3 In this much-quoted letter, Engels asserts

in Margaret Harkness
From the Second to the Third International
Paul Blackledge

The Second International of socialist parties was the undoubted custodian of Marxist 'orthodoxy' from its formation in 1889 until its de facto collapse at the outbreak of the First World War. For the interpretation of historical materialism associated with the sophisticated Second International thinkers in their best works, Karl Kautsky was much more powerful that either Perry Anderson or Steve Rigby. Like Lucio Colletti, Anderson had interpreted the shift from Second to Third International Marxism as including a 'voluntaristic' break with 'fatalistim'. Colletti suggested the evolutionary interpretation of Marxism, which he likened unfavourably to the 'voluntarist' Marxism of the Third International, was born out of Friedrich Engels's crude systemisation of Marx's thought and reached its zenith in Kautsky's theory of history. Kautsky was the dominant intellectual within the Second International, while the works of Georgi Plekhanov and Antonio Labriola informed the best historiography produced by the succeeding generation of Marxists.

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
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Jonathan Silver

… the entrance to hell realised’.6 By 1843, evidence was brought to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Smoke Prevention of over 500 industrial chimneys in Manchester attached to hundreds of cotton mills across the conurbation, along with row upon row of terraced housing and their attendant chimneys.7 The city was covered in soot on every one of its surfaces. There were many notable chimneys that may well have been worth retaining. The chimney at Victoria Mill, where a young Friedrich Engels worked for his family firm, stood in Weaste until around thirty-five years

in Manchester
Ginger S. Frost

Victorian courts upheld the bonds, agreeing that women should have compensation for years of faithful, if unmarried, companionship. Non-legal sources also reveal numerous cross-class relationships that lasted for years. Friedrich Engels lived with Mary Burns, ‘an illiterate Irish factory girl’ for almost twenty years, until her death in 1863; he then lived with her sister Lizzie for close to ten.34 Engels was unconcerned with his reputation, but some men with respectable ambitions also preferred not to marry. Benjamin Leigh Smith, a wealthy landowner and future radical MP

in Living in sin