07 May 2018
5TH MAY this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, arguably the person whose thinking has had the greatest impact on the history of humankind. Marx’s thought is vast and multi-faceted. He developed scientific socialism whose three main component parts are dialectical and historical materialism, political economy and the doctrine of the class struggle. In a nutshell, his analysis was a concrete analysis of concrete conditions.

It was such analyses that led Marx to uncover the intricacies of capitalism, the necessity of socialist and communist revolution and the correct interpretation of history. He was a universal genius and wrote extensively on politics, economics, history, culture, sociology and science, among other topics, laying the scientific basis for the proletarian women’s movement and environmental movement and foresaw, the anti-racist and anti-caste movements etc.

But his forte was not only his thought. He became active in the first Workingmen’s Association (earlier called the Communist League) formed by different trade unions from various countries. He founded the German Workers Association (while he was in Belgium). It was at the behest of the Communist League that Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto. Thus he put into practice the principle of proletarian internationalism which he had put forward in opposition to bourgeois nationalism.

All this activity called for great personal sacrifice from Karl Marx. He and his family suffered often from poverty and police repression. He was expelled from nations (twice from France and once from Belgium) and ended up as a stateless person in England, which denied him citizenship while Prussia refused to reinstate his citizenship. He was compelled to do his work in extremely difficult conditions. Such a life took a great toll upon his wife and his family and four of his seven children died at a very young age in infancy. Many have accepted the truth of the ideas put forward by Karl Marx in various fields, such as economics, sociology, history, etc. Still, they say that his idea of revolution is not correct and is not endemic to his other ideas. This is clearly false. The essence of Karl Marx’s ideas is his concept of revolution. It is the life breath of his work.

We remember Karl Marx on this day not only to pay our respects to his past achievements. We specifically assert that the thought of Karl Marx is the future – that scientific socialism is the only possible future in a world beset by various types of crises – economic, political, environmental, ethnic and cultural. It is in such a world that Karl Marx offers us a chance of a world without classes – without race, ethnic, gender, caste and other such biases. A world based on the abolition of private property of the means of production – the land and the factories – where the real history of mankind can be begun.

Let us all strive to commemorate Karl Marx in the only genuine manner. By renewing our resolve and our enthusiasm for the spirit of proletarian internationalism and the fight for democracy and freedom – for socialism and communism – for the world as Karl Marx had given us a vision of.

ICOR calls upon all revolutionaries to make use of the 200th anniversary to spread the ideas of Karl Marx to inspire the youth to act upon the revolutionary path shown by Marx, to change the world to socialism and communism – in the spirit of the slogan: Workers of the world, unite! 

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.