Friedrich Engels Quotes

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The less you eat, drink and read books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save-the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor dust will devour-your capital. The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life-the greater is the store of your estranged being.
Karl Marx
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
Friedrich Engels
If there were no Frenchwomen, life wouldn't be worth living.
Friedrich Engels (Collected Works 38 1844-51)
The emancipation of woman will only be possible when woman can take part in production on a large, social scale, and domestic work no longer claims anything but an insignificant amount of her time.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Thus, as far as he is a scientific man, as far as he knows anything, he is a materialist; outside his science, in spheres about which he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism.
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
The middle classes have a truly extraordinary conception of society. They really believe that human beings . . . have real existence only if they make money or help to make it.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
All that is real in human history becomes irrational in the process of time.
Friedrich Engels
The free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
What is good for the ruling class, is alleged to be good for the whole of society with which the ruling class identifies itself.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
Darwin did not know what a bitter satire he wrote on mankind ... when he showed that free competition, the struggle for existence, which the economists celebrate as the highest historical achievement, is the normal state of the animal kingdom. Only conscious organization of social production, in which production and distribution are carried on in a planned way, can lift mankind above the rest of the animal.
Friedrich Engels
What each individual wills is obstructed by everyone else, and what emerges is something that no one willed.
Friedrich Engels
Monogamy was the first form of the family not founded on natural, but on economic conditions, viz.: the victory of private property over primitive and natural collectivism.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
A change in Quantity also entails a change in Quality
Friedrich Engels
The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The modern individual family is founded on the open or concealed slavery of the wife… Within the family he is the bourgeois and his wife represents the proletariat.
Friedrich Engels
Take it aisy
Friedrich Engels
To say that "the worker has an interest in the rapid growth of capital", means only this: that the more speedily the worker augments the wealth of the capitalist, the larger will be the crumbs which fall to him, the greater will be the number of workers than can be called into existence, the more can the mass of slaves dependent upon capital be increased.
Karl Marx (Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit)
In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
But the degradation of the women was avenged in the men and degraded them also, until they sank into the abomination of boy-love.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
The English bourgeoisie is charitable out of self-interest; it gives nothing outright, but regards its gifts as a business matter, makes a bargain with the poor, saying: "If I spend this much upon benevolent institutions, I thereby purchase the right not to be troubled any further, and you are bound thereby to stay in your dusky holes and not to irritate my tender nerves by exposing your misery.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
In the family, he is the bourgeois, the woman represents the proletariat.
Friedrich Engels (Der Ursprung Der Familie Des Privateigenthums Und Des Staats (German Edition))
رئيس الوزراء : إن ثورة الشعب لا يجب القضاء عليها و إنما يجب توجيهها إلي ناحية أخري تنفعنا في النهاية
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon)
And if strict monogamy is the height of all virtue, then the palm must go to the tapeworm, which has a complete set of male and female sexual organs in each of its 50-200 proglottides, or sections, and spends its whole life copulating in all its sections with itself.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The first class antagonism appearing in history coincides with the development of the antagonism of man and wife in monogamy, and the first class oppression with that of the female by the male sex.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
Actually, each mental image of the world system is and remains limited, objectively by the historical situation and subjectively by its author's physical and mental constitution.
Friedrich Engels (Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science)
In the Semitic patriarchal family, only the patriarch himself, or at best a few of his sons, practice polygamy, the others must be satisfied with one wife.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
John Hodgson can describe Richard Dawkins's atheism as vacuous only because 'atheist' is a term which non-believers use purely as a polemical convenience when we have to define concisely what we don't believe [...]. No atheist is principally that. What we'd want to call ourselves is humanist or materialist, or biologist or linguist, or for that matter socialist, because one or more of these, or something else again, is what we do and think and are. We have 'purely and simply finished with God', to adapt a phrase of Engels's.
David Craig
To get the most out of life you must be active, you must live and you must have the courage to taste the thrill of being young
Friedrich Engels
It is quite obvious that all legislation is calculated to protect those that possess property against those who do not.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
رجل البوليس : أنا كرجل رسمي علي أن أطيع فقط ، لا أن أفكر ! عاقي : كلما كانت الدولة منحلة ، احتاجت إلي مزيد من الرسميين المغفلين !
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon)
Friedrich Engels’ first draft of the Communist Manifesto included a deliberate undermining of family bonds as part of the Marxian political agenda,100 though Marx himself was politically astute enough to leave that out of the final version.
Thomas Sowell (The Vision Of The Annointed: Self-congratulation As A Basis For Social Policy)
The transformation of the community into an administrative state responsible for total social welfare leads to a paternal totality without a house-father when it fails to find any archy or cracy that is more than a mere nomos of distribution and production. I consider it to be a utopia when Friedrich Engels promises that one day all power of men over men will cease, that there will be only production and consumption with no problems, and that "things will govern themselves." This things-governing-themselves will make every archy and cracy super­fluous , and demonstrate that mankind at last has found its formula, just as, according to Dostoyevsky, the bees found their formula in the beehive, because animal s, too, have their nomos. Most of those who swarm around a nomos basileus fail to notice that, in reality, they propagate just such a formula.
Carl Schmitt (The Nomos of the Earth: In the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum)
The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production of the means to support human life and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or orders is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged.
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
What we can now conjecture about the way in which sexual relations will be ordered after the impending overthrow of capitalist production is mainly of a negative character, limited for the most part to what will disappear. But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up: a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power; a generation of women who have never known what it is to give themselves to a man from any other considerations than real love, or to refuse to give themselves to their lover from fear of the economic consequences. When these people are in the world, they will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual –and that will be the end of it.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The immediate aim of the Communist is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The "dangerous class," the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The 'Manifesto' being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus belongs to Marx. That proposition is: that in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and the oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without, at the same time, and once for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles. This proposition, which, in my opinion, is destined to do for history what Darwin's theory has done for biology, we, both of us, had been gradually approaching for some years before 1845.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
With the pairing family, therefore, the abduction and barter of women began—widespread symptoms, and nothing but that, of a new and much more profound change.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life.
Friedrich Engels
Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
It is the Darwinian struggle of the individual for existence transferred from Nature to society with intensified violence.
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels said, “The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.
Barry Asmus (The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution)
La femme ne peut être émancipée que lorsqu'elle prend part dans une grande mesure sociale à la production et n'est plus réclamée par le travail domestique que dans une mesure insignifiante.
Friedrich Engels
That the mutual affection of the people concerned should be the one paramount reason for marriage, outweighing everything else, was and always had been absolutely unheard of in the practice of the ruling classes; that sort of thing only happened in romance – or among the oppressed classes, which did not count.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
This police force consisted--of slaves. The free Athenian regarded this police duty as so degrading that he preferred being arrested by an armed slave rather than lending himself to such an ignominious service.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Whereas Buddhists believe that the law of nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama, Communists believed that the law of nature was discovered by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The similarity does not end there. Like other religions, Communism too has its holy scripts and prophetic books, such as Marx’s Das Kapital, which foretold that history would soon end with the inevitable victory of the proletariat.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The word Familia did not originally signify the ideal of our modern philistine, which is a compound of sentimentality and domestic discord. Among the Romans, in the beginning, it did not even refer to the married couple and their children, but to the slaves alone. Famulus means a household slave and familia signifies the totality of slaves belonging to one individual. The expression was invented by the romans to describe a new social organism, the head of which had under him wife and children and a number of slaves, under Roman paternal power, with power of life and death over them all.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
I wanted more than a mere abstract knowledge of my subject, I wanted to see you in your own homes, to observe you in your everyday life, to chat with you on your condition and grievances, to witness your struggles against the social and political power of your oppressors.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.
Karl Marx (Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei / Manifesto del Partito comunista)
In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, writing in The Communist Manifesto, declared: “In bourgeois society . . . the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”13 This view is shared by contemporary statists, including the current occupants of the White House. On May 14, 2008, the future First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, while campaigning for her husband, Barack Obama, proclaimed: “We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history. We’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”14 On October 30, 2008, when the polls showed him the likely winner of the upcoming presidential election, Barack Obama shouted during a campaign stop days before the vote: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”15
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
Competition permits the capitalist to deduct from the price of labour power that which the family earns from its own little garden or field; the workers are compelled to accept any piece wages offered to them, because otherwise they would get nothing at all, and they could not live from the products of their small-scale agriculture alone, and because, on the other hand, it is just this agriculture and landownership which chains them to the spot and prevents them from looking around for other employment.
Friedrich Engels (The Housing Question)
In fact, in England too, the working-people have begun to move again. They are, no doubt, shackled by traditions of various kinds. Bourgeois traditions, such as the widespread belief that there can be but two parties, Conservatives and Liberals, and that the working-class must work out its salvation by and through the great Liberal Party. […]
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
No party has renounced the right to armed resistance, in certain circumstances without lying
Friedrich Engels
The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
FREEDOM is the recognition of NECESSITY.
Friedrich Engels
Und Hochmut ist's, wodurch die Engel fielen,
Friedrich Schiller
the animal merely uses external nature and brings about changes in it simply by its presence; man by his changes makes nature serve his ends, masters it.
Friedrich Engels (The Part Played By Labour in the Transition From Ape to Man)
Q:What is Communism? A:Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.
Friedrich Engels (The Principles of Communism)
All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The next world war wil result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a progress.
Friedrich Engels
The wage-worker sells to the capitalist his labour-force for a certain daily sum. After a few hours’ work he has reproduced the value of that sum; but the substance of his contract is, that he has to work another series of hours to complete his working-day; and the value he produces during these additional hours of surplus labour is surplus value, which cost the capitalist nothing, but yet goes into his pocket.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
The state, then, is by no means a power forced on society from outside; neither is it the "realization of the ethical idea," "the image and the realization of reason," as Hegel maintains. It is simply a product of society at a certain stage of evolution. It is the confession that this society has become hopelessly divided against itself, has entangled itself in irreconcilable contradictions which it is powerless to banish. In
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured an looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
No sooner is the exploitation of the laborer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portion of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
MONCEAU: It was an absolutely idiotic accident. I was rooming with another actor, a gentile. And he kept warning me to get out. But naturally one doesn’t just give up a role like that. But one night I let myself be influenced by him. He pointed out that I had a number of books which were on the forbidden list—of Communist literature—I mean things like Sinclair Lewis, and Thomas Mann, and even a few things by Friedrich Engels, which everybody was reading at one time.
Arthur Miller (The Penguin Arthur Miller: Collected Plays)
Naked greed has been the moving spirit of civilization from the first day of its existence to the present time; wealth, more wealth, and wealth again; wealth not of society, but of this shabby individual was its sole and determining aim.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The problem with governments is that they will tend to support these fragile organisms “because they are large employers” and because they have lobbyists, the kind of phony but visible advertised contributions so decried by Bastiat. Large companies get government support and become progressively larger and more fragile, and, in a way, run government, another prophetic view of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Hairdressers and small businesses on the other hand, fail without anyone caring about them; they need to be efficient and to obey the laws of nature.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
Though not expressly stated in our recognised treatises, it is still a law of modern Political Economy that the larger the scale on which Capitalistic Production is carried on, the less can it support the petty devices of swindling and pilfering which characterise its early stages.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
And the first historical form of sexlove as a passion, as an attribute of every human being (at least of the ruling classes), the specific character of the highest form of the sexual impulse, this first form, the love of the knights in the middle ages, was by no means matrimonial love, but quite the contrary.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
the organization of a certain number of free and unfree persons into one family under the paternal authority of the head of the family. In the Semitic form this head of the family lives in polygamy, the unfree members have wife and children, and the purpose of the whole organization is the tending of herds in a limited territory.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The new facts made imperative a new examination of all past history. Then it was seen that all past history, with the exception of its primitive stages, was the history of class struggles; that these warring classes of society are always the products of the modes of production and of exchange — in a word, of the economic conditions of their time; that the economic structure of society always furnishes the real basis, starting from which we can alone work out the ultimate explanation of the whole superstructure of juridical and political institutions as well as of the religious, philosophical, and other ideas of a given historical period. Hegel has freed history from metaphysics — he made it dialectic; but his conception of history was essentially idealistic. But now idealism was driven from its last refuge, the philosophy of history; now a materialistic treatment of history was propounded, and a method found of explaining man's "knowing" by his "being", instead of, as heretofore, his "being" by his "knowing".
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
Q:Proletarians, then, have not always existed? A:No. There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today; in other words, there have not always been proletarians, any more than there has always been free unbridled competitions.
Friedrich Engels (The Principles of Communism)
But, the transformation — either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership — does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.
Friedrich Engels (Socialism: Utopian and Scientific)
The Shawnees, Miamis and Delawares follow the custom of placing their children into the male gens by giving them a gentile name belonging to the father's gens, so that they may be entitled to inherit. "Innate casuistry of man, to change the objects by changing their names, and to find loopholes for breaking tradition inside of tradition where a direct interest was a sufficient motive." (Marx.)
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels saw that the “mean whites” (as they called them) of the South were hopeless politically. They felt that nothing could be done with them but to render them powerless until they died out of old age. This was not a unique observation. Wendell Phillips, the great Radical abolitionist, bluntly pleaded in 1870: “Now is the time … to guarantee the South against the possible domination or the anger of the white race. We adhere to our opinion that nothing, or not much, except hostility, can be expected of two-thirds of the adult white men. They will go to their graves unchanged. No one of them should ever again be trusted with political rights. And all the elemental power of civilization should be combined and brought into play to counterwork the anger and plots of such foes.
J. Sakai (Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat from Mayflower to Modern)
Q:What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities? A:The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and thereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.
Friedrich Engels (The Principles of Communism)
Q:What is the proletariat? A:The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor – hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition. The proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century
Friedrich Engels (The Principles of Communism)
Why do the anti-authoritarians not confine themselves to crying out against political authority, the state? All Socialists are agreed that the political state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution, that is, that public functions will lose their political character and will be transformed into the simple administrative functions of watching over the true interests of society. But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social conditions that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon — authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?
Friedrich Engels
Freedom does not consist in any dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves — two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject. Therefore the freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development. The first men who separated themselves from the animal kingdom were in all essentials as unfree as the animals themselves, but each step forward in the field of culture was a step towards freedom.
Friedrich Engels (Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science)
If the world had ever been in a state in which no change whatever was taking place, how could it pass from this state to one of change? The absolutely unchanging, especially when it has been in this state from eternity, cannot possibly get out of such a state by itself and pass over into a state of motion and change. An initial impulse must have therefore come from outside [...] But as everyone knows, the "initial impulse" is only another expression for God.
Friedrich Engels (Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science)
bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
Just as Marx’s methodological method provides an objective analysis of capitalist development, the materialist concept of history developed by Marx and Friedrich Engels provides an objective analysis of how to reach communism. Therefore, by tracing the historical (as in necessary) development of the productive forces, we shall see that the ‘Leninist’ road – of revolution, proletarian dictatorship and centrally planned ‘state’ socialism – remains necessary. By drawing on the work of the Soviet Russian philosopher Genrikh Volkov, we shall see that the Leninist road opens up the path to a Single Automated Society – fully automated production in a de facto one-state world, the final stage of the socialist transition to global communism. We shall establish precisely why this road is the solution that must be pursued if humanity is to combat the climate crisis and survive to realise its full potential in what Marx called “the beginning of human history”.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations; modern industrial labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.
Friedrich Engels (The Collected Works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Complete Works PergamonMedia (Highlights of World Literature))
Here monogamy, there hetaerism and its most extreme form, prostitution. Hetaerism is as much a social institution as all others. It continues the old sexual freedom—for the benefit of the men. In reality not only permitted, but also assiduously practised by the ruling class, it is denounced only nominally. Still in practice this denunciation strikes by no means the men who indulge in it, but only the women. These are ostracised and cast out by society, in order to proclaim once more the fundamental law of unconditional male supremacy over the female sex. However,
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
The Athenians, then, provided for a police in their new state, a veritable "force" of bowmen on foot and horseback. This police force consisted—of slaves. The free Athenian regarded this police duty as so degrading that he preferred being arrested by an armed slave rather than lending himself to such an ignominious service. That was still a sign of the old gentile spirit. The state could not exist without a police, but as yet it was too young and did not command sufficient moral respect to give prestige to an occupation that necessarily appeared ignominious to the old gentiles. How
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Love affairs in a modern sense occurred in classical times only outside of official society. The shepherds whose happiness and woe in love is sung by Theocritos and Moschus, such as Daphnis and Chloë of Longos, all these were slaves who had no share in the state and in the daily sphere of the free citizen. Outside of slave circles we find love affairs only as products of disintegration of the sinking old world. Their objects are women who also are standing outside of official society, hetaerae that are either foreigners or liberated slaves: in Athens since the beginning of its decline, in Rome at the time of the emperors. If love affairs really occurred between free male and female citizens, it was only in the form of adultery.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
If the introduction and increase of machinery means the displacement of millions of manual by a few machine-workers, improvement in machinery means the displacement of more and more of the machine-workers themselves. It means, in the last instance, the production of a number of available wage-workers in excess of the average needs of capital, the formation of a complete industrial reserve army, as I called it in 1845, available at the times when industry is working at high pressure, to be cast out upon the street when the inevitable crash comes, a constant dead-weight upon the limbs of the working class in its struggle for existence with capital, a regulator for the keeping of wages down to the low level that suits the interests of capital. Thus it comes about, to quote Marx, that machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working class; that the instruments of labour constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the labourer; that the very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation. Thus it comes about that the evolutioni of the instruments of labour becomes at the same time, from the outset, the most reckless waste of labour-power, and robbery based upon the normal conditions under which labour functions; that machinery, the most powerful instrument for shortening labour-time, becomes the most unfailing means for placing every moment of the labourer’s time and that of his family at the disposal of the capitalist for the purpose of expanding the value of his capital.
Friedrich Engels (The Friedrich Engels Collection: 9 Classic Works)
Businesses call this “profit.” Marx called it “surplus value.” For Marx, the crucial question is: Who gets this surplus value? Who is entitled to the profit that businesses accumulate? Marx insisted that this profit belongs wholly to the workers. They earned it, so they deserve to share it. In reality, however, the entrepreneur or the capitalist gets it. If he has investors, they too share it. Marx regarded this as the most scandalous form of exploitation. He insisted that workers spend only part of their day working to benefit themselves; the rest of the time they spend working to benefit the capitalists. Basically the capitalists are stealing from the workers. Yet Marx recognized that this was the essence of capitalism. Only a workers’ revolution, Marx believed, would end this unjust arrangement. Notice that Marx isn’t condemning the capitalist for taking “excessive” profits; he is condemning the capitalist for taking any profits. Marx, I want to emphasize, was not a progressive con man. He passionately believed that capitalists were greedy, corrupt exploiters. The reason he felt that way was that he was a complete ignoramus about business. He simply had no idea how businesses actually operate. Marx never ran a business. He never even balanced his checkbook. He was a lifelong leech. He had all his expenses paid for by his partner, Friedrich Engels, who inherited his father’s textile companies. Progressives like to portray Engels as a businessman but in fact he too didn’t actually operate the family business. He had people to do that for him. Freed from the need to work, Engels was a man of leisure and a part-time intellectual. Ironically Marx and Engels were both dependent on the very capitalism they scorned.
Dinesh D'Souza (Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party)
True, t is only individuals who starve, but what security has the working-man that it may not be his turn tomorrow? Who assures him employment, who vouches for it that, if for any reason or no reason his lord and master discharges him tomorrow, he can struggle along with those dependant upon him, until he may find some one else 'to give him bread'? Who guarantees that willingness to work shall suffice to obtain work, that uprightness, industry, thrift, and the rest of the virtues recommended by the bourgeoisie, are really his road to happiness? No one. He knows that every breeze that blows, every whim of his employer, every bad turn of trade may hurl him back into the fierce whirlpool from which he has temporarily saved himself, and in which it is hard and often impossible to keep his head above water. He knows that, though he may have the means of living today, it is very uncertain whether he shall tomorrow.
Friedrich Engels
Malthus declares in plain English that the right to live, a right previously asserted in favour of every man in the world, is nonsense. He quotes the words of a poet, that the poor man comes to the feast of Nature and finds no cover laid for him, and adds that ‘she bids him begone’, for he did not before his birth ask of society whether or not he is welcome. This is now the pet theory of all genuine English bourgeois, and very naturally, since it is the most specious excuse for them, and has moreover, a good deal of truth in it under existing conditions. If, then, the problem is not to make the ‘surplus population’ useful, to transform it into available population, but merely to let it starve to death in the least objectionable way and to prevent its having too many children, this, of course, is simple enough, provided the surplus population perceives its own superfluousness and takes kindly to starvation. There is, however, in spite of the strenuous exertions of the humane bourgeoisie, no immediate prospect of its succeeding in bringing about such a disposition among the workers. The workers have taken it into their heads that they, with their busy hands, are the necessary, and the rich capitalists, who do nothing, the surplus population.
Friedrich Engels (The Condition of the Working Class in England)
Now, insurrection is an art quite as much as war or any other, and subject to certain rules of proceeding, which, when neglected, will produce the ruin of the party neglecting them. Those rules, logical deductions from the nature of the parties and the circumstances one has to deal with in such a case, are so plain and simple that the short experience of 1848 had made the Germans pretty well acquainted with them. Firstly, never play with insurrection unless you are fully prepared to face the consequences of your play. Insurrection is a calculus with very indefinite magnitudes, the value of which may change every day; the forces opposed to you have all the advantage of organization, discipline, and habitual authority: unless you bring strong odds against them you are defeated and ruined. Secondly, the insurrectionary career once entered upon, act with the greatest determination, and on the offensive. The defensive is the death of every armed rising; it is lost before it measures itself with its enemies. Surprise your antagonists while their forces are scattering, prepare new successes, however small, but daily; keep up the moral ascendancy which the first successful rising has given to you; rally those vacillating elements to your side which always follow the strongest impulse, and which always look out for the safer side; force your enemies to a retreat before they can collect their strength against you; in the words of Danton, the greatest master of revolutionary policy yet known, de l'audace, de l'audace, encore de l'audace!
Karl Marx