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Materialist Conception of History

The Materialist Conception of History

 When Karl Marx formulated the Materialist Conception of History he gave us a key to unlock the door to a chamber of horrors—the sordid basis of high-flown sentiments. He showed that, since the passing of tribal society, history had been a record of the struggles of different classes to control the social wealth; that the grouping into classes originated out of the way wealth was produced and distributed in each period; that the shape of the main ideas of a period can only be explained by the economic conditions of the time. Further, that class struggles will only disappear when clashing interests have been reduced to one interest; that is when all forms of private ownership in the means of production have been replaced by the common ownership of the means of production.

"A Word on Marxism"

 It is not an exaggeration to state that to-day "Marxism” is becoming almost a household word. Unfortunately this does not mean that over the wide world millions of people have become thoroughly acquainted with the fundamentals of Marxian doctrines. Rather does it signify that the word “Marxist” has become the modern equivalent of “heretic” or “turk.” In other words, when a man is to-day called a “Marxist” people are usually expressing strong disapproval, although they may have little or no idea of the real meaning of the word they are using. As members of the working class concerned with the crying social evils of the modem world we cannot afford such loose thinking. We do not brand or abuse our political opponents; but are concerned rather with a thorough examination of their point of view. We do not reject or accept their statements out of hand.

Socialism and Psychology: An Open Letter to a Critic

Dear X,
You ask me what I am doing for the community, and whether I have not underestimated the important differences of type or character in human beings which you consider such a formidable obstacle to the establishment of Socialism. I will try and answer your questions.
In the first place, let me direct your attention to the fact that the “community,” for which you expect me to do something, is sharply divided into two distinct classes, one of which owns the means of living of the other. Do not take my word for this! Professor Clay (I know you are impressed by Professors), a most respectable person, told us, on February 19th, 1925, in the sober columns of the Manchester Guardian, that less than 6 per cent. of the population held four-fifths of the national capital and received nearly half the national income.

Karl Marx — An Appreciation

 Fifty years ago, on March 14th, 1883, Karl Marx died in London, after a lifetime devoted to the workers' cause. The persecutions and privations he had endured in that cause hastened his death. When he died, much of the work he had planned still remained to be done, but, nevertheless, he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had given the working class movement all over the world an impulse and direction. His significance as a thinker and as a revolutionary grows more important each year, and although critics succeed one another in an unending line with “refutations" of his theories, those theories still stand awaiting disproof. History as it unfolds brings new illustrations of the truth of Marx*s discoveries and of the inadequacy of opposing doctrines.

But, before we consider the body of Marxian thought, let us take a brief glance at the man himself.

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