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Materialist Conception of History

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.

The Importance of Marxism

Even the most cursory of observers will have noticed of late a growing interest on the part of the workers in political and economic problems. This increase of interest has reflected itself in an enthusiastic response to our propaganda. Our speakers meet with attentive and appreciative audiences, and the influence of our Party is now greater than ever. There is an obvious reason for all this. The average worker can no longer find his bearings in the modern world, which he sees ravaged by wars and strife, persecution, bestiality, poverty and unemployment. As a consequence his outlook has become gloomy, for his hopes and aspirations have been destroyed by the march of events. A restatement of the essentials of Marxism is therefore timely, for Marxism demonstrates the transitory character of our present system. Not only doe sit explain the world in which we live, but it also points the way to a better and brighter future.

What we owe to Marx

Marx: According to Humpty-Dumpty

'What Marx Really Meant'. By G. D. H. Cole. (Gollancz, 5s. net.)

    “It's a stupid name enough!” Humpty-Dumpty interrupted impatiently, “ What does it mean?" “Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully. . . . "When I use a word," Humpty-Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “ it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

Atheism, Religion and Socialism

ECONOMICS AND ATHEISM

Mr. Chapman Cohen, the Editor of the Freethinker, is an 'advanced' thinker who described Communism as the religion of Russia. He builds up his argument on the insistence on certain kinds of teaching in Russia, to the exclusion of any other ideas whatever.

Mr. Chapman Cohen, however, has no ground for calling this Communism, and uses this term as loosely as any Christian could do.

The limited point of view of Freethought was indicated by him in the Freethinker (November 1st, 1931).

He says that Conservatism, Liberalism, and Capitalism are equally atheistic with Socialism.

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