175 years ago, a wave of revolutions swept across the European continent, in which the working class played a key role in challenging the might of the feudal order. From France to Germany to Italy, the masses led a struggle for democratic and economic demands, winning significant concessions from the decrepit ruling classes of Europe. Marx and Engels were not just passive witnesses to these events, but active participants.
As well as being an immensely important chapter in the history of the working class, this period was crucial for the political development of Marxism. Thanks to the revolutions of 1848, Marx and Engels advanced their understanding of the struggle for socialism, producing many of the fundamental ideas that would come to play a central role in the revolutionary movements of the 20th century.
This week on International Marxist Radio, Josh Holroyd, writer and editor for marxist.com, joins us once again to discuss the events of 1848 and their impact on the lives and works of Marx and Engels. Most importantly, Josh traces the significance of these lessons to the current class struggle, and explains why Marx and Engels’ insights from 1848 are every bit as relevant today.
This episode follows on from a previous discussion with Josh on the podcast (‘How Marx Became a Marxist’), in which he covered Marx and Engels’ early political career up to and including the publication of the Communist Manifesto. That episode is available here: https://www.marxist.com/podcast-how-marx-became-a-marxist.htm
For an invaluable example of Marx and Engels’ insight during this period, we recommend reading the Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League from 1850, a balance sheet of the revolutionary wave, which is discussed in the podcast: https://www.marxist.com/address-of-the-central-committee-to-the-communist-league.htm
This episode also pays tribute to Sieva Volkov, also known as Esteban, who recently passed away at the age of 97. Esteban was the grandson of Leon Trotsky and dedicated his life to defending the legacy and ideas of this great revolutionary. A tribute to Esteban’s life and work, written by Alan Woods, can be found here: http://www.marxist.com/the-death-of-sieva-volkov-trotsky-s-grandson-a-tribute-to-a-great-fighter-by-alan-woods.htm
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