( May 5, 2017, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the city of Trier on the Moselle, close to what was then the French frontier, born to a lawyer. He could have become a lawyer or a university professor, but he became active as a writer, championing the cause of the agricultural workers and small farmers in the Rhineland in their fight against the land-owners. He died an exile in London (on March 14th, 1883,) after he had been forced to flee from Cologne, Paris, and Brussels to escape the persecution of the ruling powers of the day. Karl Marx has been variously described as an economist, philosopher, historian, sociologist and revolutionary.
Unlike many other thinkers, Marx’s core fundamental theories remain valid. The endless stream of books to prove that Marx was wrong is a sign of respect to Marx in showing how his writings still demonstrate insight and continue to inspire. They have all claimed to prove Marxian theories incorrect and outdated, but events have been against them. Marx’s labour theory of value and his materialist conception of history have been vindicated again and again. Marx bore witness to the old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. He offered the working class the knowledge to establish a class-free society. The world socialist movement is indebted to Marx for two important discoveries—the materialist conception of history, and the source of surplus value. Because of this, his name will be remembered long after his revilers have perished. They have all claimed to prove Marxian theories incorrect and outdated, but events have been against them. Marx’s labour theory of value and his materialist conception of history have been vindicated again and again.
Marx continues to remain relevant after 199 years because his ideas appear in every form of struggle against exploitation, oppression, and injustice by the ruling classes in every part of the world. Yet, when praising Marx, we should not overlook the fact that he built upon the work of his predecessors. Marx had already obtained a storehouse of information from English economists, Utopian Socialists and German philosophers.
Marx held that, on every count, political action was the “first duty” of the working class. Marx thought that the working class should use the state to abolish capitalism, but this was to be a temporary affair leading fairly rapidly to the dismantling of the state and the establishment of a state-free socialist society. Marx adhered to the principle that “the emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself”. So do we (it is incorporated into our Declaration of Principles.) Marx’s studies led to the conclusion that capitalism had brought into being a class that would be able to free itself from exploitation without having to rely on leaders to do it for them. “We cannot therefore co-operate”, said Marx, in a criticism of Leninism before its time “with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must first be freed from above”
Karl Marx died and is sent to Hell.
Three days later, the Devil, desperate, telephones Saint Peter, begging for an exchange.
“This one here has already unionised all the demons, nobody is working. I can’t carry on like this!”
So they made the exchange and two days afterwards, the Devil telephones again to see how things were going.
“So then? How is God getting on with that Marx ?”
“God ??” answered Saint Peter. “He doesn’t exist!”