9 The Depressed and Chastened 1870s and 1880s -- Part 1
The optimism of the 1850s and 1860s was replaced by a more pessimistic tone.
The rising "isms" of Marxism, Social Darwinism, racism, and antisemitism took on a harsher tone than had been the case in the previous two decades.
The belief in the beneficial aspects of conflict became starker after the 18th century.
The assassination of Alexander II in 1881 marked a sharp intensification of internal tensions in Russia and a move to the right-wing dictatorship of Alexander III.
Marx was known to left-wing activists for his role in the First International, but he was not well known to the general public.
Marx and Marxist theory gained a lot of attention in the 1870s and 1880s.
The stock-market crash and depression were seen as confirmations of Marx's predictions.
It was published by John Wiley & Sons.
A photograph of Karl Marx in his final years became famous.
Despite their defense of the Paris Commune, Marx and Engels welcomed Bismarck's victory over France as marking a period of enhanced respect for things German.
They were obliged to endure some dispiriting years.
The Social Democratic Party in Germany (SPD, from its German initials; the full German form of this acronym, as with others, can be found in the relevant index entry) grew rapidly until Bismarck introduced legislation that made it nearly impossible for the new party to function openly.
During the twelve years that the Anti-Socialist Laws were in effect, popular support for the SPD continued to grow.
After 1890, the party would regain legal status and become the largest, best-organized, and most rapidly growing in Germany.
The largest socialist party in the world is the SPD.
The International attracted many socialists who were not even nominally Marxist, including anticapitalists who were emphatically anti-Marxist.
The unification of socialist groups in Germany was represented by the SPD.
Marxism competed with a range of socialist tendencies in other countries.
Marx's fame grew, but it was less impressive than Darwin's after 1859.
There seemed to be less and less consensus about what Marx really meant when it came to his theory.
Thousands of publications were written about that issue, both by Marxists and their enemies.
In late 1917, revolutionaries called themselves Marxists took over Russia.
There are still debates about what Marx meant.
Marx was aware of the problem that others had in understanding him.
Marx was disturbed by the widespread promiscuous uses of his scientific theories, like what Darwin was disturbed by.
The issues in Marx's case were more complex because of his writing style.
There were some shifts in his theories over the years, but nothing of the sort.
"How Marx was understood" is more important than what "Marx really meant" Marxism attracted a wide, growing, and often admiring interest regardless of the problems with the theory.
Marx considered the language of the Gotha Program to be compromising.
He wanted a bolder stance.
Ferdinand Lassalle, the charismatic German socialist who died in a duel at the age of thirty-nine, had left behind a trail of troubling thoughts.
Marx was angry that Lassalle didn't mention how much his ideas were borrowed from Marx's writings.
Marx considered dangerous directions and Lassalle's attitude to the Prussian state seemed to follow them.
The state had to be smashed by a proletarian dictatorship since it was a tool of the bourgeoisie.
Lassalle thought that the state of Prussia could perform an ethical mission to resolve the conflicts within society by standing above class loyalties.
Marx and Engels were aware that some of the leaders in the new party were not in agreement with Marx's insistence that capitalism could not be reformed gradually.
The Anti-Socialist Laws were passed in the parliamentary life of the new German state and these leaders entered in a positive, hopeful spirit.
The German social democrats were driven away from hopes for peaceful reform by the persecution of the state.
"Marxist" insisted that class conflict could only be solved by violent revolution and not by parliamentary action.
The Depressed and Cowarded 1870s and 1880s were both revolutionary and anti-bourgeois.
The Frenchman's "mutualism" in being more collectivist and more accepting of Europe's industrialization differed from the version of anarchism that Bakunin had.
Marx rejected terrorist violence as counterproductive.
Marx integrated revolutionary intransigence into a "scientific" demonstration of the inevitable self-transformation of capitalism into socialism, with revolutionary violence being justified only when capitalism had reached its final stages.
They believed that the free-market economy was not a perfect, timeless ideal but rather a fleeting stage of human history.
Marx thought he exposed these selfsatisfied bourgeois gentlemen.
He took the idea of change in a more sophisticated direction than he did as a theorist.
Marxism was a synthesis of three intellec tual traditions: German philosophy, French socialism, and the British political economy.
The comment is simplistic in that the traditions have already influenced one another in many ways.
Marx built upon a range of theories, just as Darwin did, through the synthesis of three traditions.
The reception of Darwin's theory is similar to how people tend to understand new ideas in ways that reveal their own intellectual background or psychological agendas.