who was karl marx


(40 min) from top documentary site:

who was karl marx (2018)


yanis: for marx.. the only thing that mattered was freedom

1:00 – werner: marx believed social liberation for the individual can only happen if that social liberation is available to everyone..t

karl marx

none of us if one of us

200 yrs after his birth his ideas are still relevant

hegel – 1770-1831 – Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that “all the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, phenomenology, German existentialism, and psychoanalysis—had their beginnings in Hegel.”

marx – 1818-1883

engels – 1820-1895

lenin – 1870-1924

assembly (2017) by hardt and negri– examination of marxist politics for a new century – publisher weekly

2 min – mathias: for change to happen we need social solidarity for everyone

3 min – industrial rev – occupation of 19th cent

5 min – focus was philosophy.. focus on hegel.. cornerstone of ideas.. said 19th cent industrialism gave rise to new econ system: capitalism and new class of people – the proletariat.. he believed proletariat would cast off yoke of capitalism.. and a new social order.. but didn’t happen till after his death.. and w lenin in russia

6 min – lenin and socialists believed if educated workers about true situation and would refuse to go to war against each other and strike a revolution.. that didn’t happen

7 min – ww1 – demanded mobilization of both army and civilians.. something our system couldn’t cope w.. ie: shortage of food..

8 min – using rising tide of anti war feeling.. lenin .. argues.. must cease power in name of soviets

marx thought socialism would come about fairly inevitably form contradictions of capitalism.. lenin believed in will power.. so conception of the party .. to lead the masses..

w/o lenin .. wouldn’t have been a bolshevik revolution

lenin’s hope was that the russian ie would be taken up by the german workers.. and that the two countries could make a revolution and overcome russia’s problem.. it’s intense poverty.. social/econ backwardness

failed.. not because of poor tactics.. but because up against a much much stronger opposition

10 min – as a student in berlin.. known among fellow students for his keen intellect.. a leftist.. which drew attention of oppression secret police..completed a doctorate but left wing views made it impossible to secure an academic post..

started working at daily newspaper critical of prussian govt in berlin.. used it to describe desperate conditions of working class..

work. . today.. revolt of caring class/labor.. bs jobs et al

many articles banned.. but helped change face of political journalism

fourth estate

11 min – mathias greffrath (journalist): he was forced to address the struggles faced by local farmers at dawn of capitalism.. he was a very abstract and idealist thinker

farmer suicide ness

mathias: early marx wanted to create a new society based on new principal always driven by an immensely poignant desire for freedom

total freedom et al

mathias: marx the prophet/icon never actually existed.. that image is the result of bad propaganda

that propaganda later used to glorify outcomes of communist revolutions.. never spoke of millions killed in soviet union under stalin and in china under mao tse tung

12 min – steven a smith (historian): propaganda depended very much on will of the communists

13 min -steven: often said that chinese revolution is a peasant revolution.. that is basically true.. mao saw ways of engaging peasants.. ie: thru opera

14 min – steven: the problem about socialism in backward countries was that although it aspired to give people decent conditions of life.. it effectively meant squeezing the population for the resources we needed to build a strong industrial and military state

beijing china – marx – every chinese citizen knows him.. marxism/leninism is the basis of our political system..  posters on walls in school et al.. many forgetting marx today.. and now trying to bring him back.. even w tv show

15 min – zhong jun (marxist scholar) – many wrote to me after the show saying it had given them an entirely diff pic of marx.. no longer just a poster hanging on wall.. could now relate to him in actual lives.. at the 19th national congress of communist party it was decided that china will be a modern socialist country by the middle of this century

17 min – wu weishan (sculptor): my central theme is .. the great seeker.. this is at the core of marxist thought.. his philosophical views.. and his life.. all great individuals have 2 important characteristics: 1\ made a meaningful contribution to society  2\ their spirit is marked by firm conviction.. a strong will.. and great determination.. marx – always looking forward to the future

18 min – andreas ludwig (trier germany dept of planning/building): wu helping to design architecture.. wu: marx is happy to be coming back home

in early 1843 prussian censors force the (newspaper?) in cologne to shut its doors.. marx decided to leave for paris..  same year married his childhood sweetheart

19 min – mid 19th cent paris was a haven for free thinkers of all stripes..  they debated socialist and communist ideas such as the evolution of private property

hardt/negri property law

in paris .. marx met fredrich engels..


Engels founded Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in Manchester. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx’s death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organised Marx’s notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which he later published as the “fourth volume” of Capital.

marx was deeply impressed by engels reports on the misery of the english working class.. marx decided to abandon journalism and focus on political and econ philosophy.. wrote of class struggle and the self emancipation of the proletariat

bs jobs et al

in bourgeoisie (in Marxist contexts the capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and means of production) society all members of society are formally equal and have equal *rights.. in reality the proletariat can only choose where to sell their labor and to choose where they will be chained (?).. although workers are **paid for their labor.. what they produce is ***not in service of their own needs.. but the needs of their employer

*rights ness

**earn a living.. ***work ing for others

20 min – worker trapped in a vicious cycle.. his labor directly increases wealth of the capitalists.. which only serves to intensify his own exploitation.. society as a whole is splitting up more and more into two hostile camps.. classes.. class struggle


grenoble, france – marx is amazingly relevant.. we’ve never had so many people in poverty or at risk of poverty.. so many homeless/refugees.. and extreme wealth is exploding

home less ness.. refugee ness.. wealth ineq ness

21 min – when jobs are at risk.. marxist ideas often come into play

graeber job less law

22 min – pierre laurent (leader, french communist party): i believe the demo we’ve witnessed here w employees is very typical of capitalism today.. a global one.. which pits workers of diff countries against one another.. it turns workers into the playthings of globalization.. so that they serve the interests of increasingly powerful groups.. to take a stand today.. the proletariat must be much more united at the international level.. what we’re seeing now is that the ecological crisis and the massive social/ethical issues the world is facing today are bringing us to rethink our society as a whole..

global systemic change.. has to be all of us..  not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake… ie: a nother way

that’s the genius of marx.. he understood that the contradictions w/in the system would become so extreme that we would eventually be forced to explore ways to overcome them..

deep enough to get at the energy of 7bn alive people

23 min – pierre: the french communist party was very strong after the 2nd ww because it had played an important role in the fight against fascism in europe in the 1930s.. many important social/econ advances are communist in origin.. esp social security.. intro’d by communist minister in 1945

security ness

pierre: i believe euro communism was a key moment during the 1970s.. came into being when euro communists understood that the soviet system was collapsing

euro communism emerged under the shadows of the cold war.. the new reborn socialist model was to cast off shackles of soviet doctrine and obtain democratic legitimacy.. found support in many countries .. esp italy and france..

24 min – communist west grows.. communist east holds onto soviet ness and authoritarian means to uphold marxist legacy in which the freedom of decent had no place

dissensus ness

25 min – statues.. on marx being the man who found the key to liberation.. workers unite

26 min – ‘i agree w him that co’s should not only belong to the bosses but to the workers as well

co-op ness.. not enough today

27 min – sahra wagenknecht (german left party): in e germany marx’ writings were readily available.. but if like me you interpreted marx in such a way that you then criticized the ruling ideology or the ruling political system.. things could get quite difficult for you.. i encountered him thru my study of goethe, hegel, and classical philosophy.. my interest in marx was an extension of that

sahra: i believe marx very aptly predicted this concentration of capital we see today.. not simply a market econ.. but a trend toward consolidation.. the formation of every larger corp’s.. he understood that this would ultimately destroy productivity.. exactly what’s happening today.. a few large corps.. making innovation not what we’re inclined to believe

productivity ness

28 min – in 1845 prussia demanded that france extradite marx.. he immigrated to brussels.. a few months later he was joined by engels.. the pair wanted to pave the way for a new proletarian party.. communist manifesto was published in 1848.. a year of republican revolts against european monarchies

let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic revolution.. the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains..  they have a world to win.. workers of the world unite..’

29 min – in 1959 – a young revolutionary led a faction that overthru the cuban dictatorship.. fidal castro then established a socialist republic.. just off the shores of that bastian of capitalism.. the us

less than a decade later.. young people in capitalist countries rose up to oppose their parent’s generation.. castro and che guevara became the idols of the 1968 student movement..


30 min – peter schneider (author):of course we invoked marx when we told ourselves that intellectuals were merely a super structure from which the revolution couldn’t emanate.. the revolution we thought.. would have to emerge from the factory floor.. many of us actually went to work in factories for months.. some for years.. what we learned from the workers was that they weren’t waiting for us to be their salvation .. that’s when the theory of false consciousness became popular.. macusa (?): the idea that the workers didn’t know what they truly needed.. that they’d been seduced by capitalism and that we had to explain to them their true needs.. that’s when we started to question marx.. we cobbled together a new idea.. that consciousness had an important role to play in shaping the revolution.. that was almost unmarxist in a way.. because in classical marxism.. being determines consciousness and your revolution can only be achieved when the conditions of reality force you to imagine it

maté basic needs

31 min – peter: and there was something else w/in marx that’s always bothered/repelled me.. w/in the marxist edifice.. there’s no single sentence that states simply.. thou shalt not kill.. there’s no principle that would forbid you to kill.. and kill in large numbers.. in the name of revolution.. this lack of ethics is of course a terrible flaw that’s inherent in the entire construction.. over and over again.. it’s what’s caused the edifice to collapse

32 min – andreas: yes.. some people prefer not to engage w it.. i was a mayor in the formal e germany.. and i saw how people suffered under marxism-leninism .. how their freedom was taken from them.. the constraints that were imposed on them.. that’s why we have such difficulties w this ideology

33 min – the year the communist manifesto was published.. marx was forced to flea brussels and ended up back in cologne.. brought on charges of inciting a rebellion and acquitted.. again he was expelled.. meanwhile had also lost his prussia citizenship and had become stateless..  marx’s family went into exile in london

at the time.. london harbored refugees from all over the world.. marx and his family lived in abject poverty.. 3 of his 6 children died from illness.. time and again .. engers came to their aid.. w help from an inheritance.. moved to a middle class apt.. marx then spent most of his time in museums reading room.. worked on his manuscript..  first volume appeared in 1867.. das kapital.. a critic of political econ..

34 min – marx presented to his publishes w the words: i don’t believe anyone has written so much about money who has so little of it

35 min – geraint anderson (former investment banker):when i wrote my book city boy.. which is a massive warning.. about not to do what i did.. become a banker.. many thousands of emails i’ve got are from people.. young men.. from germany .. saying.. i read your book.. could you get me a job in a bank please.. they think .. who cares if you’re cheating society if you’re earning that kind of mone

36 mi – geraint: everyone views marx as a discredited ideology.. capitalism won.. but he still had a lot of interesting things to say about the system we currently live in.. the alienation it causes.. how it has possibly the seeds of its own destruction..

geraint: but one possible mistake he made.. thinking that just because you’re a member of the working class.. you will automatically have solidarity w everyone else.. and you will soon realize that these capitalists are exploiting you and that there will be a global revolution.. whereas the reality is.. there are many other things that can divide people.. race, religion, your football team.. country

37 min – geraint: i can’t really see anything that is going to replace capitalism.. any time soon.. we’re all stuck w it

today many native londoners can no longer afford to live in their own city..  but london is still considered one of the winners of neoliberalism.. another capital has become a symbol of the dark side of capitalism – athens

after 2008 global finance crisis.. greece plunged into a econ depression.. it’s fate dependent on international donors.. since then.. been in a permanent state of emergency

38 min – yanis varoufakis (former greek finance minister)- capitalism brought excellent new joys/pleasures.. but a great deal of pain/poverty/despondency that we had never experienced in the  past.. the global proletariat has increased.. it is on track.. the problem is.. for the west.. that the jobs that migrated.. left behind part of europe that has become steeped in despondency/uncertainty/joblessness.. in lack of prospects


graeber job less law

yanis: it’s a distributional issue..  but that was always a problem w capitalism.. it generates simultaneously immense wealth and new forms of deprivation

yanis: growing up in greece during a dictatorship which banned marx.. gave me a great incentive to find out about marx

39 min – yanis: there’s a very interesting dichotomy in liberal capitalist societies according to which the political sphere is democratized and the economical sphere is completely hierarchical and feudal.. marx’s view was that you cannot have democracy w this split.. whenever a tech innovation creates economies of scale there’s a tendency that the owners of these techs are going to use it in order to monopolize power over the rest of us and to deny us the benefits of that knowledge.. it happened in the 2nd industrial revolution .. it’s happening a lot more now with google, fb, ai/internet-based techs..

it is crucial that instead of losing this fantastic opp.. thru mobilization.. humanity learns/finds ways of democratizing the tools that effectively we produce jointly.. t

as it could be.. yanis.. but you can’t hear me.. exactly why this is key

2 convers.. as infra

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

40 min – werner rätz (attac germany): hamburg – what we are experiencing today is a transformation in the conditions of production which are blurring the boundaries between production and ordinary everyday activities

revolution of everyday life.. let’s facil that

werner: we’re *productive.. we’re creating value.. when we carry out an online search on google.. our many clicks generate profits for google.. the socialization of production we have today has taken on a completely new form.. diff from anything marx could have imagined.. **we just don’t have a logical way of comprehending it yet

let’s redefine (or better yet.. let go of) the word/concept  – *productivity.. not about profit..

**maybe we let go of thinking we have to comprehend it/anything.. ie: short 

geraint: the people in power do whatever is necessary to maintain the status quo.. which they benefit from.. they’ll do what we call quantitive easening.. print money.. adapt interest rates.. taxis.. whatever is necessary to maintain the system

41 min – in 1881 marx’s wife died of cancer.. marx struggled to cope w the loss.. 2 yrs later he died in his armchair in his london apt

though marx is said to have remained convinced of his ideas.. he reportedly said: one thing is certain.. i’m not a so called marxist

mathias: at end of his life marx was convinced that in a functional democracy.. something akin to what we now call a social market econ.. founded on a cooperative basis.. would eventually emerge.. thru entirely peaceful means


next day tweet (via marina gorbis rt):

Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) tweeted at 5:11 AM – 6 Aug 2018 :
“It’s been uttered by some of history’s most vicious thugs – Robespierre, Goebbels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – to vilify their opponents… who were often murdered.” —NPR’s Scott Simon on that phrase, “enemy of the people.” https://t.co/hFbaTIB0fl via @mlcalderone (http://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu/status/1026425632819957761?s=17)


undisturbed ecosystem


gershenfeld law

why leap

in the city.. as the day