Tagged: Socialism

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels on free trade (1848/1888)

Introduction Marx’s speech on free trade was given before the Democratic Association of Brussels on January 9, 1848. It was published in French in Brussels, in early February 1848. The German translation appeared in the same year and was done by Joseph Weydemeyer – a friend of Marx and Engels. In compliance with a wish expressed by Engels, this speech was appended to the first German edition of The Poverty of Philosophy (1885). It is usually included in an appendix in the various editions of that book ever since. Below is the final part of the speech where Marx, after...

Oscar Wilde: The Soul of Man under Socialism.

“The Soul of Man under Socialism” is an essay by Oscar Wilde, written in 1891. He argues for a libertarian socialist worldview, and a critique of charity. He wrote this article after he converted to anarchist philosophy, and following his reading of the works of Peter Kropotkin. In this essay, Wilde argues that, under capitalism, “the majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism—are forced, indeed, so to spoil them“: instead of realising their true talents, they waste their time solving the social problems caused by capitalism. Thus, caring people “seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they...

Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph (1809-1865)

Proudhon was from humble origins but had become a well-known French social theorist during the 1840s. A printer by trade, he was an exponent of socialism, with a political preference for anarchism. His most famous book was his second one, Qu’est-ce que la propriété? (1840) (his brief answer it is theft). Before 1848 he also published De la célébration du Dimanche (1839), De la création de l’ordre dans l’humanité (1843) and Système des contradictions économiques, ou philosophie de la misère, (in 2 volumes, 1846). He criticized the French July Monarchy, but he was nonetheless surprised by the outbreak of hostilities in...