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kapital150

History in Capital and Capital in History

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1. London: Penguin and New Left Books, Translated by Ben Fowkes, with an introduction by Ernest Mandel.

‘Marx was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time’, Engels remarked in his graveside oration, because he discovered two things that struck at the heart of capitalism. Firstly, it was neither natural nor eternal. It rests on entirely unnatural historical processes forcibly or fraudulently separating the mass of humanity from its means of production, leaving it dependent on employment by the appropriators of those means. Such a contradictory and antagonistic social order had to end.

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marx200

MARX200: POLITICS – THEORY - SOCIALISM

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung will be hosting a large conference. A short week will be filled with the theories, the politics and the arts that are connected to Marx’s anniversary. Call for Papers. Congress in Berlin, 3-6 May 2018

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revolution100

From the Finland Station

Lenin arrived at Finland Station 100 years ago today, reshaping Bolshevik strategy and the course of the Russian Revolution.

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revolution100

The Story of the February Revolution

Russian workers went on strike on International Women’s Day 1917. They ended up toppling tsarism.

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revolution100

Before February

The depth of the social, economic, and military crisis in Russia and the political consciousness and organization of the working class (in addition to the escalating revolt among soldiers, peasants, students, and oppressed nationalities) raced far in advance of anywhere else in the world in the winter of 1916-1917.

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revolution100

A who’s who of Russia before the Revolution, February 1917

Political parties had it tough in Tsarist Russia. After the defeat of the revolution of 1905-1907, with the formation of the Duma, there was a parliament; however, it was determined according to a three-class franchise system, and placed poorer social strata and the cities at a disadvantage. Both active and passive suffrage were connected to the ownership of land. The fractions were more like tendencies than party fractions.

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revolution100

The ‘Rising Storm of 1911 to 1913’ in Russia

In the first chapter of her manuscript ‘The Russian Revolution’, Luxemburg describes the revolution(s) of the year 1917 as the ‘product of international developments plus the agrarian question’, and refers to the ‘rising storm of 1911 to 1913’ (see Luxemburg 2004 [1918] p 282-283) in Russia. What does she mean by that?

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revolution100

Zurich and Elsewhere, January 1917 – The Left in Exile

The revolution in February did not only come as a surprise to the bourgeois and ‘courtly’ opposition. Although the Bolsheviks were able to reorganise themselves (primarily in the factories and the army) and other left parties were able to consolidate themselves over the course of 1916, a revolution did not yet appear to be directly imminent.

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revolution100

Russia, January 1917 – An Attempt at a ‘Solution from Above’ …

At the turn of the year 1916/1917, the extent of the crisis in Russia became increasingly clear. The economic crisis worsened, making it more difficult to provide for the population and the army. Energy production declined, as did the production of goods important for the war within metallurgy and from metal-based industries. The transportation sector collapsed. Corruption became the only means of gaining access to goods crucial to production.

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revolution100

January 1917 – The German Left in Ferment

The development of German Social Democracy is inextricably linked to the pre-history of the revolutions in Russia. As the most important left party of the pre-war period, it still had great influence upon international social democracy.

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revolution100

Revolutions in Russia – the Year before …

2017 marks the hundredth anniversary of the revolutions in Russia. As much as interpretations may differ, there is agreement about the fact that these revolutions decisively shaped the 20th century.

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