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1848 Revolutions

Engels: The Man and His Work - Part One

(The first of a two part tribute to Marx’s co-worker Friedrich Engels)

Seventy six years have passed since the death of Friedrich Engels, the friend and co-worker of Karl Marx. Much of the interest that has been shown over the years in the Socialist movement has tended to obscure the reputation of Engels by an exclusive pre-occupation with that of Marx — a process which Engels himself encouraged — so it seems more than fitting that we should pay tribute, in recognition of the debt present-day Socialists owe to Friedrich Engels.

Marx’s pre-eminence in their partnership was stressed by no one more emphatically than by Engels himself:

Frederick Engels - A Tribute

The early days of August are eventful ones for the international proletariat. This terrible war was ushered in on the fateful 4th and it was on the 5th of August, 1895, that Marx's great co-worker passed away. Unfortunately no adequate biography of Engels has been written and the short sketch of his life by Karl Kautsky has long been out of print. A brief resumé of his life story is therefore timely, especially when the so-called “leaders of Socialism” in England are busy reviling the memory of every Socialist of German birth.

Marx and Engels paid the debt they owed to society with compound interest, and it is for us who still hold fast to the principles they laid down to make their writings known.

Communist Measures?

In the Guardian (10 May), Ellie Mae O'Hagan wrote of Marx, 'plenty of his proposals – just as radical when he wrote them – are common sense today. These include free education, abolition of child labour, a progressive income tax, a national bank, and closing the gap between town and countryside.' This is true but these, taken from the Communist Manifesto weren't what he meant by 'communism', as we explain here.

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