Marxist Theory Featured

Wage Labour and Capital is based on lectures delivered by Marx at the German Workingmen’s Club of Brussels in 1847, that is, before the Communist Manifesto and at a time when Marx had not yet fully developed his theories of political economy. Although it is an early work, Wage Labour and Capital contains the outline of the Labour Theory of Value and many important insights into the workings of the capitalist system and the way in which workers are exploited.

The Condition of the Working Class in England is a study of the industrial working class in Victorian England. Engels' first book, it was originally written in German as Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England; an English translation was published in 1885. It was written during Engels' 1842–44 stay in Manchester, the city at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, and compiled from Engels' own observations and detailed contemporary reports. After their first meeting in 1844, Karl Marx read and was profoundly impressed by the book.

With Marx philosophy finally emerges out of the dark and airless cellar to which it was confined for centuries by scholastic thought and dragged out, blinking, into the light of day. Here at last thought is united with activity – not the one-sided purely intellectual activity of the scholar but real, sensuous human activity. 

Karl Marx understood very well the role of religion. He is often quoted as saying that religion is the “opium of the people”. But he said a lot more than that, and it was in this work that he shows a deep understanding of why people are religious. He explains that, to ask them to give up on their religious illusions, this means removing the conditions that require that illusion.