David Friedman exposes Engels as an apologist for capitalism and the industrial revolution

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. doug1943
    Aug 03, 2019 @ 09:08:54

    The title is in contrast to the Engels quote, which would make Engels appear to be in the camp of Romantics who opposed the developing capitalist order. Completely false. Whatever about the suffering imposed by the Industrial Revolution, Marx and Engels were all for it. Nowhere has capitalism been praised more than in the Communist Manifesto. They had no time for the Romantic notion of an unspoiled peasantry. Here is Engels:
    “In short, the English industrial workers of those days lived and thought after the fashion still to be found here and there in Germany, in retirement and seclusion, without mental activity and without violent fluctuations in their position in life. They could rarely read and far more rarely write; went regularly to church, never talked politics, never conspired, never thought, delighted in physical exercises, listened with inherited reverence when the Bible was read, and were, in their unquestioning humility, exceedingly well-disposed towards the “superior” classes. But intellectually, they were dead; lived only for their petty, private interest, for their looms and gardens, and knew nothing of the mighty movement which, beyond their horizon, was sweeping through mankind. They were comfortable in their silent vegetation, and but for the industrial revolution they would never have emerged from this existence, which, cosily romantic as it was, was nevertheless not worthy of human beings. In truth, they were not human beings; they were merely toiling machines in the service of the few aristocrats who had guided history down to that time. The industrial revolution has simply carried this out to its logical end by making the workers machines pure and simple, taking from them the last trace of independent activity, and so forcing them to think and demand a position worthy of men.”
    [Source:https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/condition-working-class/ch02.htm%5D

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