Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society
By Michael Heinrich
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.
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 2022.
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