198th Anniversary of the Birth of Karl Marx
The Working Class Holds the Name of Karl Marx in the Highest Esteem
– Hardial Bains –
The name and work of Karl Marx continue to be among the most revered or despised during this entire period of the twentieth century. The bourgeoisie loathes his name and work with a passion, and even distorts it by presenting him as a liberal. The working class holds his name and work in the highest of esteem, while the labour aristocracy is extremely fearful of both.
Karl Marx was first and foremost a revolutionist. His discoveries of the general law of motion of society and nature, dialectical and historical materialism, and the specific law of the capitalist mode of production, the theory of surplus value, were worked out and presented to the world with the certain knowledge that without revolutionary theory there could be no revolutionary movement.
As a revolutionist, right from his earliest activities as a youth in the 1840s, Karl Marx was involved in the practical solution of the problems of revolution. He carried out the most energetic ideological and polemical struggles, and theoretical work to push forward the revolutionary movement. The Manifesto of the Communist Party, written in 1848 by Marx and his life-long friend and follower Frederick Engels, was to soon become the most-read pamphlet in the entire history of mankind.
Being revolutionists, Marx and Engels broke with bourgeois ideology right from the beginning. As their revolutionary work developed, along with it developed their ideology and theory. They paid first-rate attention to the practical movement of the working class bringing forth ideology and theory to serve the revolutionary movement according to the concrete conditions. They did not derive ideas out of ideas. On the contrary, they pushed forward revolutionary practice and brought forth ideas to serve it.
At this moment, as was the case during the time of Marx, it is crucial to pay close attention to practice. Revolutionary practice is the starting point of ideas and not the other way around. Just as it was at the time of Karl Marx, so is it necessary at the present to develop revolutionary practice by starting from the present, by starting from life as it is. It must be fully appreciated that ideas for accelerating the revolutionary movement can be found only in the revolutionary practice of the contemporary world.
There are all sorts of followers of Marx these days. The worst are those who have learned some Marxism by rote and go around presenting themselves as Marxists. There are those, their closest allies, who put together a program by taking up things from books and demand that the working class follow them. The world of Marx and the world as it is today are not the same. Even though there are the same laws of development as discovered by Marx, they appear differently in real life and have to be discovered and rediscovered from that real life.
Even though the bourgeoisie and world reaction have declared the end of communism, they still grudgingly concede that communism is theoretically sound. But their aim is to tell the working class that there is no system which it can establish in practice that will be the condition for its complete emancipation. However, the very logic of development disproves this view. CPC(M-L), basing itself on the discoveries of Karl Marx, has brought forth Contemporary Marxist-Leninist Thought from the present conditions, in the same manner that Marx did at his time within his conditions. We owe the contemporary achievements in theory to the pioneering work of Marx, for without his previous theoretical developments the contemporary work would not have been possible.
All the modern developments have proven Marx and Marxism right. All those who wish to be revolutionists have to follow Marxism as a guide in their practice. One of the greatest achievements of Marx was that he revolutionized the thinking of human beings. All great revolutionary changes leading to the final overthrow of class society will be attributed to the name and work of Karl Marx.
(Originally published in TML Daily, Vol. 26 No. 53, March 14, 1996.)