Today is May 5 2018 and it is exactly 200 years since the birth of Karl Marx.
Date of birth: May 5, 1818
Place of birth: Trier, Germany
Full name: Karl Heinrich Marx
Marx addressing First International
Marx with daughter Jenny
Marx and socialist friend and colleague Friedrich Engels
(Marx is the man who predicted the Russian Revolution) That revolution did not mean that communism and socialism were enacted at the stroke of a pen. There was a furious reaction to the Russian Revolution from the world capitalist class and Stalin was a prisoner of the ideology of that capitalist ruling class. This is an ideology which became known and is known as Stalinism. It became a deformed workers state until now it is no more. Lenin was poisoned slowly by Stalin. Trotskyism was nearly wiped out by Stalin and a Stalinist trained killer murdered Trotsky in his home in Mexico in 1940
In remembering Karl Marx today we also must remember Friedrich Engels (born Nov. 28, 1820, Barmen, Rhine province, Prussia [Germany]—died Aug. 5, 1895, London, Eng.)
These are great thinkers and great men. The names of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky live on and will live on.
In the first place they were total fighters of the mind, spirit and body.
This was exemplified for me in some reading around the assassination of Trotsky in 1940. People tend to concentrate on the August murder but on May 24 there was the gun attack on the house of Trotsky. Trotsky came within a hair breadth of having himself, his wife Natalia and beloved grandson Seva murdered at the dead of night. But the next morning it was remarked by many Mexican journalists present that the coolest people around were Trotsky and Natalia. Within three weeks he drew up his report on this, in other words there was not a moment of delay between that morning after the attack and his literary examination, always literary with Trotsky. This is outstanding. I have published this report, yesterday, and in the midst of such a situation the report is something of a marvel in its penetration of reality. The report was in fact living Marxism in those weeks of Spring 1940.
Without lengthy words, without bombast such as “Workers of the world Unite!” it is that quality this morning I want to stress.
Fight for a new world.
Since Donald trump announced that he was running for President he has stirred up an amazing hatred. Like the British reaction to the death of the more or less nonentity Diana this hatred for Trump takes some explaining. the reaction to the death of the nonentity Diana still has not been explained by anyone!
The American capitalist system for some decades had been run by what was an oligarchy of crime. Reagan had been to some extent an outsider also but in a peculiar way also part of the American system. Trump really was quite different, so far anyway.
Trump was an outsider in American politics. He was that himself but he also ran as part of the ordinary man to challenge quite openly in his speeches and demos the American oligarchy of the Clintons, the Bushes, the McCains, the Paul Ryans.
Trump challenged also vested interests, international interests, based in culture such as the essential FemiNazi movement. This is the origin of the clearly Fascist “We Too” movement.
Put it like this. Trump did throw down a challenge and was quite courageous in doing that. But this Fascism is a different kettle of fish entirely.
With the growth of Fascism is needed a new kind of leadership, one above all which can understand how the capitalist system will always morph into Fascism, which latter state of affairs can take many different forms (that is different to forms of Hitler, Franco or Mussolini)
It is not to hammer Trump in any way to suggest that he has great difficulty in understanding this new form of Fascism around “Me Too” and other such abnoxious sentiments (Black Lives Matter comes to mind…in fact all lives do matter)
The fact is that to understand something it is necesary to understand the “categories” of that subject. That is what Jordan Peterson perceptively understands.
Marx did not live under Fascism, nor did Engels, but Marxism is not static. Marx did though warn about the dangers FROM the lumpen proletariat.
It was the Marxist of the time when Fascism arrived on the scene who made his mark. Fascism is a category, a concept of thought which describes a living reality, and of course it was Leon Trotsky who did this in his writings of the 1930s, especially in relation to the role of Stalinism and the Popular Front politics of Stalinism, pure revisionism of Marx.
And in the massive writings on the rise of Mussolini, Hitler and Franco.
In that situation Trump is lost. I doubt he could put together a single sentence in that light. But the fact is do we have the right to turn our back on those writings of that category, of Fascism, of Trotsky in the 1930s.
I cannot do that here. I can only mention the NEED to do that for us to advance on any front and create a better world.
So the anniversory of 200 years today since the birth of Karl Marx raises those historical issues, above all an understanding of Fascism, and the need to understand what Leon Trotsky did actually write. On this special day of May 5, 2018 this is no longer a luxury, or to impress with how much we know, it is a life and death issue for billions and all living things, no less.