Karl Marx’s final years of life are often overlooked as a period of intellectual and physical decline. But his thought remained vibrant to the end, as he addressed political questions that are still relevant to us today.
Marcello Musto is the author of Another Marx: Early Manuscripts to the International (2018) and The Last Years of Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography (2020). Among his edited books is The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Interpretations (2020). His writings are available here.
On this day in 1871, the working class of Paris seized control of the capital and established the Commune. Though it ruled for just two months, the world’s first workers’ government still stands as a vivid example of the kind of society workers themselves can create, according to their own vision of freedom and equality.
One hundred and fifty years ago today, the Polish Marxist thinker and organizer Rosa Luxemburg was born. She is, without question, one of the towering figures in the entire history of the socialist movement.
Friedrich Engels once wrote that he played “second fiddle” to Marx. On the 200th anniversary of his birth, we should remember the profound influence that Engels had on his friend and comrade, as well as his own theoretical contributions.
The International Working Men’s Association was launched in London on this day in 1864. As the “First International,” it cemented class solidarity across countries as a shared ideal and inspired large numbers to organize against capitalist exploitation.