Karl Marx After a Century and a Half
Karl Marx’s writings have exerted a substantial influence on politics and on the way that philosophers have engaged in public matters since the nineteenth century. In this chapter, Wood makes a plea, on grounds of intellectual honesty and for the sake of the long-term interests of humanity, to read Marx’s writings for what they say, rather than interpreting them in the light of deeds done by others in their name over a generation after Marx’s death. Wood notes that Marx, in fact, wrote almost exclusively about capitalism, saying very little about the socialist or communist society he hoped would eventually replace it. In addition, capitalism is still with us, and Marx’s thoughts about it have more relevance to current social reality than we have any right to expect from writings that are 150 years old.
KeywordsCapitalist Society Wealthy Individual Soviet System Precise Mathematical Model Communist Manifesto
- Blanc, L. (2012 ). Plus de Girondins. Boston: General Books.Google Scholar
- Cohen, G. A. (2000). Karl Marx’s theory of history: A defence (expanded ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Collins, C. (2012). 99 to 1: How wealth inequality is wrecking the world. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Google Scholar
- Fichte, J. G. (1971a ). Some lectures concerning the scholar’s vocation. In I. H. Fichte (Ed.), Johann Gottlieb Fichtes sämmtliche Werke, Band VI (pp. 291–346). Berlin: W. De Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Fichte, J. G. (1971b ). Characteristics of the present age. In I. H. Fichte (Ed.), Johann Gottlieb Fichtes sämmtliche Werke, Band VII (pp. 4–256). Berlin: W. De Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Inequality.org—Institute for Policy Studies. (2012). Facts and figures in 99 to 1. http://inequality.org/99to1/facts-figures/. Accessed 20 July 2015.
- Kant, I. (1902 ). Idea for a universal history with a cosmopolitan aim. In H. Maier (Ed.) Kants gesammelte Schriften, Akademie Ausgabe, Band VIII (pp. 17–31). Berlin: W. De Gruyter.Google Scholar
- Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1975). Marx Engels collected works. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
- Marx, K. (1977–1981). Capital: A critique of political economy (Vol. I–III, B. Fowkes & D. Fernbach, Trans.). New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
- McIntyre, R., Gardner, M., & Philips, R. (2014). The sorry state of corporate taxes: What fortune 500 firms pay (or don’t pay) in the USA and what they pay abroad—2008 to 2012, citizens for tax justice. http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/sorrystateofcorptaxes.php. Accessed 20 July 2015.
- Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the twenty-first century (A. Goldhammer, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Pogge, T. (2002). World poverty and human rights. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, M. E. G. (2014). Marxist phoenix: Studies in historical materialism and Marxist socialism. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.Google Scholar
- Sperber, J. (2013). Karl Marx: A nineteenth-century life. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Stiglitz, J. (2012). The price of inequality: How today’s divided society endangers our future. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Stirner, M. (1995 ). The ego and its own. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Wood, A. W. (2004). Karl Marx (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Wood, A. W. (2014). The free development of each: Studies on freedom, right, and ethics in classical German philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar