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【讲座】罗兰•博尔:Marxism and Religion Reconsidered in a Chinese Context

发布时间:2014/6/10
来源:黄大仙论坛精选六肖,黄大仙精选资料三天肖三码
来源网站:www.thewokevillager.com 讲座 视界人文讲座 文艺学 罗兰•博尔



Abstract: This lecture challenges and revises three key ideas on the topic of Marxism and religion. Each idea has relevance for a Chinese context. First, the well-known image of ‘opium of the people’ does not mean that religion is simply a drug that dulls the senses and makes one forget reality. Opium actually had a very ambivalent sense when Marx used it: it was both medicine and curse. This ambivalence also applies to religion. Second, Marx’s key idea relating to religion was actually the fetish. This religious idea is transformed (aufgehoben) in his thought to become part of the core of his analysis of capitalism. Third, Engels also brought about a transformation in the understanding of religion. In his case, it was to identify the revolutionary possibilities of religion, beginning with the emergence of Christianity. It is this revolutionary dimension of Christianity that appears in China with the Taiping Revolution.

I would like to address three issues relating to the question of Marxism and religion. In each case I challenge some commonly held positions, and I also seek to relate them to a Chinese context. The first concerns Marx’s famous observation that religion is the ‘opium’ of the people; the second concerns Marx’s transformation of the idea of the fetish so that it becomes the core of his analysis of capitalism; the third is Engels’s discovery of the revolutionary dimension of Christianity.

The Ambivalence of Opium

‘It is the opium of the people’ – this is the most famous statement by Marx concerning religion. It has been repeated countless times since, usually with a certain understanding of opium. Opium, we assume, is a drug that dulls the senses. It may make us feel good for a while, but it is really not so good for us: the person who uses opium becomes useless, a drop-out from society. Opium or heroin leads to addiction, crime, disease, and early death. In a Chinese context, opium has a whole series of other associations. It marks the incursions of European colonialism into China, the Opium Wars between 1839 and 1860, the humiliation of China, and beginning of the collapse of the imperial dynasties. In short, opium signals colonial oppression, trickery, invasion and the humiliation of imperial China. In this context, it is useful to reconsider Marx’s own use of the term ‘opium’.

However, it would be a mistake to read Marx’s observation concerning opium purely as a negative. Instead, he sees it as both a positive and negative term. Let us see why. To begin with, we need to read the text in its context:

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people .

The famous phrase – opium of the people – comes at the end of this text. To understand it, we need to consider the sentences that come before it. Marx points out that religious suffering may be an expression of real suffering; religion may be the sigh, heart and soul of a heartless and soulless world. But it is also a protest against that suffering. Religious suffering challenges real suffering. It question suffering, asks why we are suffering. In other words, Marx allows here a small positive role for religion – as protest. How can religion be a protest? Marx is aware that religions offer a better alternative to our current life. That alternative may be in a heaven or it may be in the future. But the imagination of a better alternative to our current life is at the same time a criticism of this life. Religion in its own says that this life is not as good as it could be, indeed that this life is one of suffering.

Second, now we can return to the word ‘opium’. For Marx, opium was very ambivalent: it had both positive and negative associations. In order to understand that ambivalence, we need to consider the context in nineteenth century Europe when Marx wrote . In that context, opium had a rather different meaning. On the one hand, opium was regarded as a beneficial, useful and cheap medicine, especially for the poor who could not afford a doctor.[1] It was also seen as a source for inspiring the imagination of artists and writers. On the other hand, opium was at the same time (and more so later in the nineteenth century) seen as a curse. Many began to see that opium did more harm than good, for it led to addiction, illness and early death. As a result, opium was the centre of debates and parliamentary enquiries in the United Kingdom, which had benefited so much from the opium trade.  Opium was both praised and condemned; it was seen as both a cheap medicine and a dangerous curse.

Third, it is worth noting that Marx himself regularly used opium. He took opium to deal with his liver illness, skin problems (carbuncles), toothaches, eye pain, ear aches, coughs, and so on. These were the many illnesses that were the result of overwork, lack of sleep, bad diet, chain smoking, and endless pots of coffee. On one occasion, Marx’s wife, Jenny, wrote to Engels concerning one of Marx’s bad toothaches:

Chaley’s head hurts him almost everywhere, terrible tooth-ache, pains in the ears, head, eyes, throat and God knows what else. Neither opium pills nor creosote do any good. The tooth has got to come out and he jibs at the idea .

Clearly, Marx’s personal use of opium influenced his use of the metaphor for describing religion. It helped stop pain, perhaps even assisted him recover from his illness, but it was ultimately not of much use in dealing with his deeper problems.

To sum up, for Marx opium was a very ambivalent metaphor. This is precisely why he chose it as a metaphor for religion. Like opium, religion may be source of hope, a way of curing an illness, a sigh for a better world; but it is also a result of world that is not right. It may even be a source of harm in its own right. What are the implications for understanding religion as opium in a Chinese situation? I suggest that opium may function in a dialectical fashion. The opium trade and wars were initially a negative for China, with colonial imperialism and the first (and late) incursions of capitalism. Yet they also produced resistance, at first futile resistance by the Qing emperors, and then the outburst of revolutionary resistance with the Taiping Revolution. The banning of opium by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and then by the communist movement may be seen as a symbol of this resistance and rejection of colonialism.

Marx and the Fetish

However, the core of Marx’s engagement with religion lies deeper that opium. This core may be found with the German term, Aufhebung. It is a difficult word to translate, for it has two meanings at the same time. To begin with, it means to end something, to bring it to completion. However, it also means that you raise something to a new level. At this level, the idea looks very different from before, with new meanings. These meanings are related to what the term meant before, but they are also very different. So Aufhebung means both end and transformation, both completion and conversion. Indeed, the other term that has a similar sense is revolution, which ends the old order and at the same time transforms that old order into something completely different.

In the work of both Marx and Engels, religion undergoes this process of Aufhebung or revolution into a completely new understanding. In fact, many Marxists since then have tried to develop their own transformations of religion into a very new form in socialism, but I restrict myself to Marx and Engels for now.

For Marx, the Aufhebung of religion – that is, the end and transformation of religion – takes place with an unexpected idea. This is the fetish (and not opium). In Marx’s hands, the core meaning of the fetish is a transferral of properties and power. Human beings transfer properties to an object, which then seems to gain life, power and the ability to affect those human beings. Meanwhile, human beings lose their powers in the process. This is the core meaning of the fetish, although Marx gives this fruitful idea many new twists.

But how is this an Aufhebung of religion? In order to understand that, we need to consider some of the different forms the fetish takes in Marx’s thought. He studied the fetish for over forty years (from the early 1840s to the early 1880s), but its origins lie in the study of religion. In religion, the fetish is an object that is given or seen to have magical or extra powers. A good luck charm is one example. It may be a simple object, like a stone or a tooth or a small gift from a loved one. But we believe that it has extra powers. It brings us good luck when sitting for exams, or when we are in danger, or when playing a game of sport. It may even make us successful with mean or women.

Marx first encountered the fetish when he read a book in his early twenties called The Cult of Divine Fetishes by Charles de Brosses.[2] In this book, de Brosses attempted to study ancient religion – especially that of Egypt – in terms of the fetish. The word ‘fetish’ was by this time well-established, although it had been invented in the fifteenth century by the Portuguese when they encountered African societies as they sailed down the African coast in search of a new way to ‘the East’. Here they encountered people who used small objects that they believed had extra powers, especially in any social interaction. They usually wore them on their bodies, like an amulet. They felt you could not meet people, particularly important people and foreigners, without the fetish present. The Portuguese also had to use these objects when they met the Africans – for trade, for food, for anything they needed for their ships. But how should they describe these objects? They coined the new word, fetish.[3]

From this specific religious origin, the word ‘fetish’ became a general category to describe so-called ‘primitive’ religion. Marx took up this idea began to develop it for his own thought, giving it many dialectical twists. Throughout this process, he never forgot the religious dimension of the term, although that too was transformed in his thought. Let me give a few examples before dealing with the important use of the fetish in his theory of capitalism.

To begin with, Marx saw the potential of the fetish for his lost treatise On Christian Art.[4] From what we can glean from his other writings at the time, Marx sought to show how the religious and fetishistic art of Asia and Greece led to Christian art. He was particularly interested in the Romantics, attempting to show how Christian art was still deeply influenced by the fetish. He had also begun at this point to disagree with Ludwig Feuerbach’s idea that religion is the projection of the best of human beings onto the gods they create. Instead, religious projection is a response to alienated social conditions.[5]

Yet these arguments were only the first stage of Marx’s development of the fetish. He would also use the idea for polemical purposes, but above all for his economic arguments. These include the categories of money, labour, commodities and capitalism itself. Thus, money may be seen as a mediator between two or more unlike things, just as Jesus Christ becomes the ideal mediator between God and human beings. As human beings do before Christ, so also must we bow before money, its pursuit becomes out goal in life, and it mediates between objects and us. Marx observes: ‘Hence man becomes the poorer as man, i.e., separated from this mediator, the richer this mediator becomes’.[6] Once again, the fetish undergoes transformation, now in terms of labour. Here, the more the worker puts into the product he or she is making, the less the worker becomes. The product becomes alien and independent at the expense of the worker.[7]

By now, we are drawing near to his arguments in the three volumes of Capital, where the fetish undergoes its most significant transformation. The most famous section concerning the fetish appears in the first volume: ‘The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof’.[8] Here Marx argues that the commodity-form functions like a fetish: ‘it is a definite social relationship between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of the relation between things’.[9] Notice carefully the shift that has taken place in his the development of the fetish. Now it is not the objects themselves that gain extra powers, but the relationships between them. Thus, the relations between objects, between the commodities produced, begin to look like relations between human beings. These commodities relate to one another in the same way as human social relations. However, in that process human social relations are also transformed, for they begin to look like relations between objects. The idea of the fetish has taken on yet another dimension, focusing on relations. In this discussion, Marx makes it quite clear that he draws the idea of the fetish from religion, but why does he do so? The secret lies in the tension between real and imaginary, or real and unreal. At one level, the fact that commodities relate to another like living beings is imaginary and unreal. They are not living creatures but objects produced by human hands. They only appear to relate to one another as though they were human beings. At another level, this transferal of powers is very real. Human beings do lose something in the process, becoming slaves to production and the market, slaves to the commodities they produce. And the commodities on the market do have a life of their own, with their own properties. Marx would come to call this property surplus value.

So Marx needs an idea that expresses this tension between real and unreal, and the fetish provides it for him. At one moment, he coins a new term to describe this dual nature of fetishes. They are ‘objective thought forms’ [objektive Gedankenformen].[10] That is, they are forms of thought that have concrete, real existence. For this reason, Marx can write that workers perceive their relations and those of commodities as ‘what they really are, material relations between persons and social relations between things’.[11] The mystical transference of the fetish, now applied to commodity relations, is very real indeed.

Most interpreters end their investigation of the fetish at this point, but this is a mistake. The fetishism of commodities is only the first step in Capital. In the later volumes and in the fascinating economic notes that provide the background to that work, Marx applies the fetish to more and more features of capitalism. These include labour power, use value, exchange value, social forms of labour, capitalist, land, interest, wages, circulation, profit – until they all face the labourer as alien realities that rule his life; they ‘stand on their hind legs vis-à-vis the worker and confront him as “capital”’.[12] Marx is moving ever closer to his full transformation of the idea of the fetish. The next step is to determine three key dimensions of that fetishism of capitalism. These are capital, land and labour, which he calls the ‘trinity formula’.[13] Yet within the three, one of them dominates – capital. Labour functions as part of capital, and land is dependent on capital, at the same time that it inhibits the full development of capital. So now we have one central location in which the fetish appears, in capital. But what is the true fetish of capital? It is the belief that money simply produces money. No longer are production, land, labour and commodities needed; all we need is money, since it produces more money all by itself. Marx has already described here what is now called the ‘financialisation of the market’, in which you can speculate on the stock exchange, or more simply gain interest from a bank. In order to describe this core feature of capital, Marx coins a new term, ‘capital-fetish’ [kapitalfetisch].[14]

At this moment, the full Aufhebung of religion has been realised in Marx’s work. At the heart of his analysis of capitalism is the idea of the fetish. It has been deeply and dialectically transformed, coming a long way from his initial discovery of the idea in the early 1840s. Yet he maintained an interest in the fetish almost to the moment of his death and even beyond the massive and unfinished project of Capital. So we find that in The Ethnological Notebooks of the early 1880s,[15] Marx returns once again to the religious meaning of fetishism in anthropological literature. It is as though he is returning to his first moment of discovery, reminding himself of the power of an idea that he was to transform, to perform such a thoroughgoing Aufhebung, in his study of capitalism.

I have not yet said anything about how Marx’s argument concerning the fetish relates to the Chinese context. In this case, I think of the dialectic of using – as Lenin first put it – capitalism to build socialism.[16] This is a delicate dialectic, full of potential and of dangers. It has never been done before on such a scale, for the closest example is the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union, which lasted for a little over a decade. The purpose is obvious, for it seeks to produce economic strength in a world that remains hostile to the socialist project. And it operates with the orthodox Marxist assumption that socialism and then communism are possible only with the full working out of capitalism. Indeed, socialism takes the best of capitalism and transforms it in the process. However, this effort at using capitalism to build socialism has never been undertaken under the political and social project of socialism in such a way before. So it is an experiment that many watch closely. Of course, the detractors are many: non-Chinese and even Chinese Marxists often regard it as a capitulation to capitalism, so that socialism becomes an empty ideology; others argue that one cannot contain capitalism, for once unleashed it takes over everything; others point out that it enables a socialist country to be incorporated within the global capitalist system (as other modes of production are also incorporated).

I prefer to argue that it contains both promise and danger. The promise is that it does indeed enable economic strength, which is vital for the success of socialism. However, it also brings potential dangers, some of which are obvious: environmental destruction that comes with capitalist expansion; the emergence of the objective conditions of capitalist class structures related to one’s relation to the modes of production; the disparities of wealth of poverty. However, at a deeper level, this process of using capitalism – a bridled or harnessed capitalism – also brings with it the fetish at the heart of the functions of capitalism. That is, the fetish – as simultaneously real and unreal – means the assumption that capital simply produces more capital all by itself. This assumption may operate at many levels (as I have argued), but its most significant presence is the idea that the market is an entity all to itself. The ‘market’ seems to exist as an autonomous reality. If we carry through the idea of the fetish, then this is both an unreal process that conceals the material labour that produces capital, and it is a very real process with real dangers, in which human beings lose their creative power.

Engels and Revolutionary Christianity

In contrast to Marx, Friedrich Engels developed a rather different approach to the Aufhebung of religion. However, putting it this way may suggest that they worked and thought on their own. By contrast, nearly every thought they developed was a joint project. They wrote letters to each other every day, and when Engels moved to London, they met every afternoon to talk. In Marx’s study (at Modena Villas), they paced up and down in an X-shape, crossing the middle. Engels would smoke his pipe and Marx his cigars, and they would discuss, debate, and joke for hours. So Marx was fully aware of Engel’s thoughts, no doubt making suggestions and criticisms in the process. So also was Engels a direct contributor to Marx’s thought.

With that in mind, how did Engels’s see the Aufhebung of religion? The answer both simple and surprising: religion (he has in mind Christianity) may become a revolutionary movement. Let us see how he constructs this position, which was really a lifelong project. Engels grew up as a devout, if critical Christian. His family was of the Reformed (Calvinist) part of Christianity. Indeed, his mother was of Dutch background, coming from a country – Holland – that was deeply Calvinist in its north. Engels may have been devout, but he was also critical. He saw the many hypocrisies of the people in his hometown (Elberfeld, part of the twin town of Wuppertal).[17] They were, in his eyes, deeply conservative and yet they did not hesitate to exploit people when they could. In other words, they may be pious on Sunday at church, but for the rest of the week they were not so at all.

Engels was an intelligent young man who read deeply in the newest philosophy and biblical criticism. This reading challenged his faith, so that eventually he lost that faith. In the process, he argued with his close but pious friends (especially Wilhelm and Friedrich Graeber). Their arguments concerned the Bible, theology and philosophy. But in the process of those arguments he gradually realised – painfully – that he was losing his faith.

At the same time, he began to notice an ambivalence in Christianity. It may be deeply conservative, opposed to new discoveries in science and philosophy, indeed opposed to new political directions and supportive of the status quo. At the same time, it could also challenge the very same powers in a revolutionary manner. This insight first appears in some of his comments on the minister of his local church, the Reverence F. W. Krummacher.[18] Krummacher may preach some of the more ridiculous theological positions, but at the same time he criticises earthly rulers and riches as undesirable in God’s sight. If Krummacher had been a little more specific, Engels suggests, and criticised the Prussian government directly, he may well have been seen as a religious revolutionary. Indeed, in his younger years, Krummacher was precisely such a firebrand.[19]

This insight into the political ambivalence of Christianity would grow over the years. On the one hand, it is not uncommon to find in Engels’s works statements concerning the negative and reactionary elements of religion. He writes that religion is a source of mystification and deception. Sometimes for Engels the struggle for communism is also the struggle against the evil effects of  religion.[20] At the same time, Engels argues again and again for the revolutionary potential of Christianity. Already in his early twenties, he notes what can only be called a revolutionary Christian tradition, with leaders such as Thomas Müntzer, Etienne Cabet and Wilhelm Weitling.[21] This is the first time he mentions such a revolutionary tradition, and it would become a key element of his later work, as well as the work of Karl Kautsky.[22] Over the following years, Engels would develop this argument further, beginning with a study of the Peasant Revolution in Germany in the sixteenth century.[23] Led by Thomas Müntzer, the direct inspiration of this revolution was Christian theology, or rather, the Bible.

Yet at this point, Engels was still warming up to his central argument. The final statement had to wait until just before his death in 1895, although he had been thinking about it for about 40 years.[24] This final statement was a bombshell: the origins of Christianity were revolutionary, religiously and politically.[25] Engels based his argument on three points: 1) early Christianity drew its followers from amongst the poor and exploited, the peasants, slaves and unemployed urban poor; 2) early Christianity shared many of the features of the communist revolutionary movement in which he was involved – such as sects, struggles, lack of finance, and false prophets; 3) eventually it took over the Roman Empire. We may disagree with some aspects of Engels’s argument. But my point is that he makes this argument at all. He sums up his position from a work of the same time:

It is now, almost to the year, sixteen centuries since a dangerous party of overthrow was likewise active in the Roman empire. It undermined religion and all the foundations of the state; it flatly denied that Caesar’s will was the supreme law; it was without a fatherland, was international; it spread over the whole empire, from Gaul to Asia, and beyond the frontiers of the empire. It had long carried on seditious activities underground in secret; for a considerable time, however, it had felt strong enough to come out into the open. This party of overthrow … was known by the name of Christians.[26]

This Aufhebung of religion may be more obvious than that of Marx, but it has been just as influential. Not only did it influence the work of subsequent Marxists, even becoming the policy of some socialist movements, but it also left a lasting impression among biblical critics and theologians. But did Marx know of Engels’s argument and even approve of it? It seems as though he did, as various comments indicate. One example will suffice: Marx compares the persecution of the International Working Men’s Association with the persecution of the early Christians by the Romans. These earlier assaults had not saved Rome, and so also the assaults on the workers’ movement would not save the capitalist system.[27]

I would like to close my discussion of Engels by asking how this argument concerning revolutionary Christianity is relevant for a Chinese context. To begin with, Engels is too neglected in Chinese approaches to Marxism. This neglect means that his original and brilliant proposals do not have the impact they should. Further, I suggest that the moment the revolutionary Christian tradition arrives in China is with the Taiping Revolution (1850-64) – which Samir Amin has described as the first modern revolution in China.[28] Much more may be said concerning this revolution, but I restrict myself to the important points. First, the movement under Hong Xiuquan reveals the other, revolutionary, dimension of Christianity in China – in contrast to the earlier forms of Roman Catholicism and Protestant missions. Second, it was based on a radically political reading of the Bible,[29] according to which the Qing emperors had broken God’s laws and were therefore blasphemous and idolatrous (the first three of the ten commandments). Third, it had a radical social and economic program of the abolition of classes, resistance to the first incursions of capitalist imperialism, and equality between the sexes. Fourth, it was thoroughly ‘indigenised’ or ‘contextualised’, producing a new form of religious expression in China that transformed both Chinese traditions (datong and taiping) and Christian interpretations of the Bible. Fifth, its appeal was to disaffected workers (miners) and mostly peasants. In all this, it challenged the age-old justification for imperial rule and set the scene for the demise not only of the Qing dynasty but of the imperial system as such. Significantly, many if not all of these features are characteristic of the revolutionary Christian tradition in Europe, of which Thomas Müntzer and Peasant Revolution of the sixteenth century is only the most well-known example.[30] With the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, this tradition arrived in China, only to undergo its own sinification.

Conclusion

To sum up, I have argued for three moments in the Marxist engagement with religion: a reassessment of the metaphor of opium; Marx and his use of the fetish; Engels through the revolutionary nature of a religion like Christianity. Much more can be said, but I have also tried to relate each issue to the Chinese context, in terms of the ambivalence of opium, of the fetish of capitalism, and of the revolutionary Christian tradition as it becomes transformed in light of Chinese traditions.

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"Wilhelm Weitling - An Inventor of Prominence - A Remarkable Career." The New York Times, Wednesday, January 27, 1871 1871, 4.

Notes

[1] Even in the early twentieth century, opium was used by doctors to treat melancholy and other ailments. As the left-leaning theologian, Metropolitan Vvedensky of Moscow, said in 1925, opium is not merely a drug that dulls the senses, but also a medicine that “reduces pain in life and, from this point of view, opium is for us a treasure that keeps on giving, drop by drop” Aleksandr Ivanovich Vvedensky, "Otvetnoe slovo A. I. Vvedensky," in Religia i prosveshchenie, ed. V. N. Kuznetsova, 214-223 (Moscow: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1985 [1925]), 223.. This comes from a very popular debate between Vvedensky and Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Commissar for Enlightenment in Soviet Russia, on September 20–21 in 1925. This observation is the first observation concerning the ambivalence of the opium image.

[2] Charles de Brosses, Du culte des dieux fétiches ou Parallèle de l'ancienne religion de l'égypte  (Paris1760). See Marx’s notes in Karl Marx, "Exzerpte aus Charles de Brosses: Ueber den Dienst der Fetischengötter," in Marx Engels Gesamtausgabe, vol. 4:1, 321-322 (Berlin: Dietz, 1842 [1976]). Marx read the book in German translation.

[3] The word comes from the English translation of the pidgin Fetisso, which comes from the Portuguese feitiço. In the late European Middle Ages, Fetisso designated ‘magical practices’ or ‘witchcraft’. However, efforts have been made to derive the word from Latin fatum, signifying both fate and charm (de Brosses), factitius, linking the magic arts and the work of art (Edward Tylor) or facere, designating the false representation of things sacred, beautiful, or enchanting. See William Pietz, "The Problem of the Fetish, I," Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics 9(1985): 5; William Pietz and Emily Apter, Fetishism as Cultural Discourse  (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), 3-4.

[4] For efforts to discern Marx’s argument in this lost work, see Mikhail Lifshitz, The Philosophy of Art of Karl Marx, trans. Ralph B. Winn (New York: Pluto, 1973 [1933]); Margaret A. Rose, Marx's Lost Aesthetic: Karl Marx and the Visual Arts  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 61-62; Roland Boer, Criticism of Earth: On Marx, Engels and Theology  (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 61-68, 179-181.

[5] We see this idea expressed in its succinct form in the fourth thesis on Feuerbach. Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach (original version)," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 5, 3-5 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1845 [1976]).

[6] Karl Marx, "Comments on James Mill, élémens d’économie politique," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 3, 211-228 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1844 [1975]), 212.

[7] Marx, "Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844," 272.

[8] Karl Marx, "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 35 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1867 [1996]), 81-94.

[9] Marx, "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I," 83.

[10] Karl Marx, "Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie. Erster Band Buch I: Der Produktionsprozeß des Kapitals," in Marx Engels Werke, vol. 23 (Berlin: Dietz, 1867 [1972]), 90. I am indebted to Jan Rehmann for this insight.

[11] Marx, "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I," 84.

[12] Karl Marx, "Economic Manuscripts of 1861-63 (Conclusion): A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 34 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1861-3 [1994]), 457-458.

[13] Karl Marx, "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. III," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 37 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1894 [1998]), 801-818.

[14] Karl Marx, "Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie. Dritter Band Buch III. Der Gesamtprozeß der kapitalistischen Produktion," in Marx Engels Werke, vol. 25 (Berlin: Dietz, 1894 [1973]), 412. In this light, he writes: ‘The relations of capital assume their most external and most fetish-like form [fetischartigste Form in interest-bearing capital’ Marx, "Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. III," 388.

[15] Karl Marx, The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx, ed. Lawrence Krader (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1880-82 [1972]).

[16] V.I. Lenin, "The State and Revolution," in Collected Works, vol. 25, 385-497 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1917 [1964]), 389.

[17] See especially Friedrich Engels, "Letters from Wuppertal," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 2, 7-25 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1839 [1975]).

[18] Engels speaks of the passages in Krummacher’s sermons where ‘he speaks of the contradiction between earthly riches and the humility of Christ, or between the arrogance of earthly rulers and the pride of God. A note of his former demagogy very often breaks through here as well, and if he did not speak in such general terms the government would not pass over his sermons in silence’. Engels, "Letters from Wuppertal," 15.

[19] ‘As a student he was involved in the demagogy of the gymnastic associations, composed freedom songs, carried a banner at the Wartburg festival, and delivered a speech which is said to have made a great impression. He still frequently recalls those dashing times from the pulpit, saying: when I was still among the Hittites and Canaanites’. Engels, "Letters from Wuppertal," 13.

[20] For example, ‘We too attack the hypocrisy of the present Christian state of the world; the struggle against it, our liberation from it and the liberation of the world from it are ultimately our sole occupation’. Friedrich Engels, "The Condition of England: Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle, London, 1843," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 3, 444-468 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1844 [1975]), 462. See also Engels, "The Condition of England. I. The Eighteenth Century," 469-476, 486; Engels, "The Condition of England II: The English Constitution," 501-504, 510, 512; Friedrich Engels, "Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 25, 3-309 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1877-8 [1987]), 16, 22, 26, 40-11, 62, 67-68, 79, 86, 93-99, 125-126, 130, 144, 232, 244, 300-124.

[21] Friedrich Engels, "Progress of Social Reform on the Continent," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 3, 392-408 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1843 [1975]).

[22] Karl Kautsky, Communism in Central Europe in the Time of the Reformation, trans. J. L. Mulliken and E. G. Mulliken (London: Fisher and Unwin, 1897); Karl Kautsky, Vorläufer des neueren Sozialismus I: Kommunistische Bewegungen im Mittelalter  (Berlin: Dietz, 1976 [1895-97]); Karl Kautsky, Vorläufer des neueren Sozialismus II: Der Kommunismus in der deutschen Reformation  (Berlin: Dietz, 1976 [1895-97]); Karl Kautsky and Paul Lafargue, Vorläufer des neueren Sozialismus III: Die beiden ersten grossen Utopisten  (Stuttgart: Dietz, 1977 [1922]); Roland Boer, "Karl Kautsky's Forerunners of Modern Socialism," Chiasma: A Site for Thought 1, no. 1 (2014).

[23] Friedrich Engels, "The Peasant War in Germany," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 10, 397-482 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1850 [1978]).

[24] Friedrich Engels, "Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 24, 427-435 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1882 [1989]); Friedrich Engels, "The Book of Revelation," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 26, 112-117 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1883 [1990]).

[25] Friedrich Engels, "On the History of Early Christianity," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 27, 445-469 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1894-5 [1990]).

[26] Engels, "Introduction to Karl Marx's The Class Struggles in France," 523. Engels also has some criticisms of the early Christians, especially the point that they tended to focus on other-worldly salvation, but he was fully aware that Christianity makes this-worldly claims as well.

[27] Karl Marx, "Record of Marx's Speech on the Seventh Anniversary of the International," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 22, 633-634 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1871 [1986]), 633; Karl Marx, "On the Hague Congress: A Correspondent's Report of a Speech Made at a Meeting in Amsterdam on September 8, 1872," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 23, 254-256 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1872 [1988]), 255. Also Karl Marx, "Marx to Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis in the Hague, London, 22 February 1881, 41 Maitland Park Road, N.W.," in Marx and Engels Collected Works, vol. 46, 65-67 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1881 [1992]), 67.

[28] Samir Amin, "Forerunners of the Contemporary World: The Paris Commune (1871) and the Taiping Revolution (1851–1864)," International Critical Thought 3, no. 2 (2013).

[29] "Wilhelm Weitling - An Inventor of Prominence - A Remarkable Career," The New York Times, Wednesday, January 27, 1871 1871.

[30] Indeed, Müntzer’s words could also apply to the Taipings: ‘It is an article of our creed, and one which we wish to realise, that all things are in common [omnia sunt communia], and should be distributed as occasion requires, according to the several necessities of all. Any prince, count, or baron who, after being earnestly reminded of this truth, shall be unwilling to accept it, is to be beheaded or hanged’. Kautsky, Communism in Central Europe in the Time of the Reformation, 130; Kautsky, Vorläufer des neueren Sozialismus II: Der Kommunismus in der deutschen Reformation, 67.

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