Skip to Content

August Bebel

Book Review: 'The Correspondence of Marx and Engels'

'The Correspondence of Marx and Engels'. pp. 534. (Martin Lawrence, Ltd., 12s. 6d.)

The above letters, dating from 1846 to 1895, and numbering over two hundred, cover a wide range of subjects, topical as well as theoretical.

Industrial developments in various countries, and political movements arising therefrom, coupled with conflicting economic theories and philosophical methods are all brought under review. It is, of course, out of the question that such a collection should make smooth, connected reading or that all parts should be of equal value. Some of the letters are of outstanding merit and well worthy of preservation. An almost equal number are of only historical interest as illustrating the development of their immature ideas and the points on which they erred even later in life.

Book Review: 'The Correspondence of Marx and Engels'

'The Correspondence of Marx and Engels'. pp. 534. (Martin Lawrence, Ltd., 12s. 6d.)

The above letters, dating from 1846 to 1895, and numbering over two hundred, cover a wide range of subjects, topical as well as theoretical.

Industrial developments in various countries, and political movements arising therefrom, coupled with conflicting economic theories and philosophical methods are all brought under review. It is, of course, out of the question that such a collection should make smooth, connected reading or that all parts should be of equal value. Some of the letters are of outstanding merit and well worthy of preservation. An almost equal number are of only historical interest as illustrating the development of their immature ideas and the points on which they erred even later in life.

What is Socialism?

Extract from a Socialist Party contribution to a panel on the subject organised by the Platypus Society on 23 March.

In 1893 in Britain William Morris took the initiative for the publication of a Manifesto of English Socialists which declared:

'Our aim, one and all, is to obtain for the whole community complete ownership and control of the means of transport, the means of manufacture, the mines and the land. Thus we look to put an end forever to the wage-system, to sweep away all distinctions of class, and eventually to establish national and international communism on a sound basis.'

That this was signed by such non-Marxists as GB Shaw and Sidney Webb shows that, at that time, the difference between reformists and revolutionaries, possibilists and impossibilists, was not so much over what the aim was as over how to get there.

Book Review: 'Women & Socialism'

August Bebel, the pioneer German socialist, is almost forgotten today. The reason for this is, perhaps, that the party he helped to found has long since degenerated into an instrument of German capitalism, indistinguishable from any other capitalist party. Despite this, however, Bebel’s life and work arc still worth recalling, not least because as a key figure in the workers’ movement as it developed in the 19th century he contributed personally to popularizing the idea of socialism and the theories of Marx and Engels, most notably in his major written work, Women and Socialism, first published in 1879.

Syndicate content