The Civil War in France

The Civil War in France

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"The Civil War in France" was a pamphlet written by Karl Marx as an official statement of the General Council of the International on the character and significance of the struggle of the Parisian Communards in the French Civil War of 1871. Between the middle of April and the end of May 1871, London resident Karl Marx collected and compiled English, French, and German newspaper clippings on the progress of the French civil war, which pitted the radical workers of Paris against conservative forces from outside the city. Marx had access to French publications supported by the Commune, as well as various bourgeois periodicals published in London in English and French. Marx also had access to personal interpretations of events passed along by several leading figures in the Commune and associates such as Paul Lafargue and Peter Lavrov. Marx originally intended to write an address to the workers of Paris and made such a motion to the meeting of the governing General Council of the International on March 28, 1871 - a proposal which was unanimously approved. Further developments in France led Marx to the opinion that the document should be instead directed to the working class of the world, and at the April 18 meeting of the General Council he passed along this suggestion, noting his desire to write on the "general tendency of the struggle." This proposal was approved and on this date Marx began the writing of the document. Main writing on the publication seems to have taken place between May 6 and May 30, 1871, with Marx writing the original document in English. Karl Marx (5 May 1818 - 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Marx's work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. He is one of the founders of sociology and social science. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Kapital (1867-1894). Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Trier in the Prussian Rhineland, Marx studied at the Universities of Bonn and Berlin where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians. After his studies he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne and began to work out the theory of the materialist conception of history. He moved to Paris in 1843, where he began writing for other radical newspapers and met Friedrich Engels, who would become his lifelong friend and collaborator. In 1849 he was exiled and moved to London together with his wife and children, where he continued writing and formulating his theories about social and economic activity. He also campaigned for socialism and became a significant figure in the International Workingmen's Association. Marx's theories about society, economics and politics - the collective understanding of which is known as Marxism - hold that human societies progress through class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class that controls production and a dispossessed labouring class that provides the labour for production. States, Marx believed, were run on behalf of the ruling class and in their interest while representing it as the common interest of all; and he predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. He argued that class antagonisms under capitalism between the bourgeoisie and proletariat would eventuate in the working class' conquest of political power and eventually establish a classless society, communism, a society governed by a free association of producers. Marx actively fought for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 110 pages
  • 128.52 x 198.37 x 6.35mm | 172.36g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507775369
  • 9781507775363

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927 ratings
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2 4% (33)
1 2% (15)
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