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In his introduction James Ledbetter discusses the development of Marx's political thought. Each section in this anthology has a separate introduction by Ledbetter, to set the selection of articles into the context of Marx's work. This volume also includes a foreword by Marxbiographer and journalist Francis Wheen.
Posted February 27, 2008
These articles, on a huge range of subjects, were written and published between 1852 and 1861. The Tribune¿s circulation at the time was 200,000, the world¿s largest. There are nine articles on China, covering the British state¿s Opium Wars and its atrocities there. The British state produced opium in India, forced it on China by unprovoked attacks, and then turned round and accused the Chinese of attacking Britain, with ¿the flimsy pretence that English life and property are endangered by the aggressive acts of the Chinese.¿ Marx also produced nine articles on wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions in Europe, particularly Greece, Italy, Prussia and Spain. Nine articles examined events in India, mainly the 1857 revolt in India and changes in imperial finances. Marx wrote that capitalist progress ¿will neither emancipate nor materially mend the social condition of the mass of the people, depending not only on the development of the productive powers, but on their appropriation by the people.¿ He showed how vicious imperial rule was, citing Lord Dalhousie, India¿s governor general from 1848 to 1856, ¿torture in one shape or other is practised by the lower subordinates in every British province.¿ In eight articles, Marx analysed the struggles in the USA, the British government¿s role in the slave trade, the mill owners¿ and The Times¿ support for the slaveholding South in the American civil war. The mill workers, by contrast, supported the North and abolition, at great cost to themselves. Marx showed how the slave trade was integral to capitalism. He also produced 14 articles on British politics and society, several elections, `a venal and reckless press¿, starvation and the Highland clearances, and 11 on poverty, riches and inequality, against global free trade and its promises of peace and prosperity, the financial panic of 1857 with its failing dodgy banks, and the condition of the working class.
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