Karl Marx (Fifth Edition)

Karl Marx (Fifth Edition)

Edited by Henry Hardy
With a foreword by Alan Ryan
Afterword and Guide to Further Reading by Terrell Carver
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Karl Marx (Fifth Edition)
    Book Description:

    Isaiah Berlin's intellectual biography of Karl Marx has long been recognized as one of the best concise accounts of the life and thought of the man who had, in Berlin's words, a more "direct, deliberate, and powerful" influence on mankind than any other nineteenth-century thinker. A brilliantly lucid work of synthesis and exposition, the book introduces Marx's ideas and sets them in their context, explains why they were revolutionary in political and intellectual terms, and paints a memorable portrait of Marx's dramatic life and outsized personality. Berlin takes readers through Marx's years of adolescent rebellion and post-university communist agitation, the personal high point of the 1848 revolutions, and his later years of exile, political frustration, and intellectual effort. Critical yet sympathetic, Berlin's account illuminates a life without reproducing a legend.

    New features of this thoroughly revised edition include references for Berlin's quotations and allusions, Terrell Carver's assessment of the distinctiveness of Berlin's book, and a revised guide to further reading.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4811-9
    Subjects: Philosophy, History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xxviii)
    Alan Ryan

    Karl Marx was Isaiah Berlin’s first book. He was just thirty years old when it appeared. In Oxford and London he was already known as a dazzling conversationalist and a strikingly gifted young philosopher; but it was in Karl Marx that he first revealed his special talent as a historian of ideas – the discipline in which he enthralled his readers for the rest of his writing life. That talent is, as such gifts often are, a talent that is easier to admire and enjoy than it is to describe; but it emerges as an astonishing ability to do justice both...

    (pp. xxix-xxxii)
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxiv)
    (pp. xxxv-xxxviii)
  8. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-21)

    No thinker in the nineteenth century has had so direct, deliberate and powerful an influence upon mankind as Karl Marx. Both during his lifetime and after it he exercised an intellectual and moral ascendancy over his followers, the strength of which was unique even in that golden age of democratic nationalism, an age which saw the rise of great popular heroes and martyrs, romantic, almost legendary figures, whose lives and words dominated the imagination of the masses and created a new revolutionary tradition in Europe. Yet Marx could not, at any time, be called a popular figure in the ordinary...

  9. 2 Childhood and Adolescence
    (pp. 22-32)

    Karl Heinrich Marx, eldest son of Heinrich and Henrietta Marx, was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier, in the German Rhineland, where his father practised as a lawyer. Once the seat of a Prince-Archbishop, it had, some fifteen years before, been occupied by the French and was incorporated by Napoleon in the Confederation of the Rhine. After Napoleon’s defeat ten years later it was assigned by the Congress of Vienna to the rapidly expanding Prussian kingdom.

    The kings and princes of the German states, whose personal authority had recently been all but destroyed by the successive French invasions of...

  10. 3 The Philosophy of ‘The Spirit’
    (pp. 33-56)

    The dominant intellectual influence in the University of Berlin, as indeed in every other German university at this time, was the Hegelian philosophy. The soil for this had been prepared by gradual revolt against the beliefs and idiom of the classical period, which had begun in the seventeenth century, and was consolidated and reduced to a system in the eighteenth. The greatest and most original figure in this movement among the Germans was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, whose ideas were developed by his followers and interpreters into a coherent and dogmatic metaphysical system which, so their popularisers claimed, was logically demonstrated...

  11. 4 The Young Hegelians
    (pp. 57-75)

    The years which Marx spent as a student in the University of Berlin were a period of profound depression among the radical intelligentsia of Germany. In 1840 a new king from whom much was expected, Frederick William IV, had ascended the throne of Prussia. Before his accession he had spoken more than once of a natural alliance of patriotism, democratic principles and the monarchy; he had spoken of granting a new constitution; ecstatic references began to appear in the liberal press to ‘Don Carlos’² and ‘the crowned Romantic’. These promises came to less than nothing. The new monarch was no...

  12. 5 Paris
    (pp. 76-111)

    The social, political and artistic ferment of Paris in the middle of the nineteenth century is a phenomenon without parallel in European history. A remarkable concourse of poets, painters, musicians, writers, reformers and theorists had gathered in the French capital, which, under the comparatively tolerant monarchy of Louis-Philippe, gave asylum to exiles and revolutionaries of many lands. Paris had long been notable for wide intellectual hospitality: the 1830s and 1840s were years of profound political reaction in the rest of Europe, and artists and thinkers in growing numbers flocked to the circle of light from the surrounding darkness, finding that...

  13. 6 Historical Materialism
    (pp. 112-148)

    No full or systematic exposition of historical materialism was ever published by Marx himself. It occurs in a fragmentary form in the early work that he wrote during the years 1843–8, it is briefly expounded in 1859, and it is taken for granted in his later thought. He did not regard it as a new philosophical system so much as a practical method of social and historical analysis, and a basis for political strategy. Later in life he complained of the use made of it by some of his followers, who appeared to think that it would save them...

  14. 7 1848
    (pp. 149-167)

    Marx was expelled from Paris at the beginning of 1845 by the Guizot government as a result of representations from Prussia, which had demanded the suppression of the socialist Vorwärts in which offensive comments had appeared concerning the character of the reigning Prussian king. The order of expulsion was originally intended to apply to the entire group, including Heine, Bakunin, Ruge and several other lesser foreign exiles. Ruge, being a Saxon citizen, was left unmolested; the French government itself did not venture to press the order against Heine, a figure of European fame, then at the height of his powers...

  15. 8 Exile in London: The First Phase
    (pp. 168-204)

    Marx arrived in London in 1849 expecting to stay in England for a few weeks, perhaps months: and in the event lived there uninterruptedly until his death in 1883. The isolation of England intellectually and socially from the main currents of Continental life had always been great, and the middle years of the nineteenth century offered no exception. The issues which shook the Continent took many years to cross the English Channel, and when they did, tended to do so in some new and peculiar shape, transformed and anglicised in the process of transition. Foreign revolutionaries were on the whole...

  16. 9 The International
    (pp. 205-219)

    The First International came into being in the most casual possible fashion. In spite of the efforts of various organisations and committees to co-ordinate the activities of the workers of various countries, no genuine ties between them had been established. This was due to several causes. Since the general character of such bodies was conspiratorial, only a small minority of radically minded, fearless and ‘advanced’ workers were attracted to them; moreover, it was generally the case that before anything concrete could be achieved, a foreign war, or repressive measures by governments, put an end to the existence of the secret...

  17. 10 ‘The Red Terror Doctor’
    (pp. 220-247)

    The first volume of Capital was finally published in 1867. The appearance of this book was an epoch-making event in the history of international socialism and in Marx’s own life. The complete work was conceived as a comprehensive treatise on the laws and morphology of the economic organisation of modern society, seeking to describe the processes of production, exchange and distribution as they actually occur, to explain their present state as a particular stage in the development constituted by the movement of the class struggle, in Marx’s own words, ‘to discover the economic law of motion of modern society’² by...

  18. 11 Last Years
    (pp. 248-266)

    The duel with Bakunin is the last public episode in Marx’s life. The revolution seemed dead everywhere, although its embers glowed faintly in Russia and Spain. The reaction was once more triumphant, in a milder form, indeed, than in the days of his youth, prepared to make definite concessions to its adversary, but appearing to possess all the more stability for that reason.

    The peaceful conquest of political and economic control seemed the workers’ best hope of emancipation. The prestige of Lassalle’s followers in Germany rose steadily, and Liebknecht, who represented the Marxist opposition, now that the International was dead,...

    (pp. 267-290)
    Terrell Carver

    Berlin’s relationship with Marx and Marxism was long and tortuous. It can never be said that he was a partisan of either. What people thought Marx and Marxism were, what the relationship between the two was or was supposed to be, and what the political implications were or might be of being for or against one or the other, changed a great deal during his lifetime. Marx and Marxism were thus both moving targets against a moving background. It can be readily discerned from my opening distinction that Marx’s works and politics have never been the same thing as the...

    (pp. 291-296)
    Terrell Carver
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 297-311)
    Douglas Matthews