Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society
By Michael HeinrichThe financial and economic crises of the past years showed – once again – very clearly that the Marxian Theory of Crisis is everything but outdated. For more than a hundred years, Marx’s critique of capitalism has been a reference for various social movements as well as the bone of contention for advocates of the status quo. Marx witnessed the emergence of those «modern» societal and economic structures – industrial capitalism, parliamentarism, mass media and mass organisations –, which still dominate our social lives, even though many of their appearances have changed. His analyses and criticism still adress all the sore points of today’s society.
This new Marx biography comprises three volumes. The first one will be released in 2018, the bicentenary of Karl Marx’s birth. It will address Marx’s youth in Trier and his studies in Bonn and Berlin more extensively than a foregoing publications did as well as elaborate on his work as an editor of «Rheinische Zeitung» and as a publisher of the «Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher» (German-French Annals). It is during this period when biographical crises and distortions in his intellectual development already emerged, which caused him to abandon initiated projects and to reconceptualise his critical enterprises.
There are «Theoretical ruptures» – and not just between «young» and «old» Marx. Developments are by far too complex to be squeezed into a two- or three-stage model, and the popular dichotomy of «continuity» or «rupture» for characterising the development of his works proves itself to be far too schematic. Furthermore, the development towards «The Capital» as his «magnum opus» is not imperative. Marx does not start with a critique of politics and end with a critique of economy. Although he never got to write his planned work about the state and although he concentrated on his critique of economy for the last 30 years of his life, the critique of politics is always present and evolves substantially, and so does his notion of communism. The second volume is scheduled for 2020, the third for 2022.
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