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The first working class movement in the world

“NO THINKER in the nineteenth century has had so direct, deliberate and powerful an influence upon mankind as Karl Marx. Both during his lifetime and after it he has exercised an intellectual and moral ascendancy over his followers, the strength of which was unique even in that golden age of democratic nationalism, an age which saw the rise of revolutionaries and demagogues (A1), great popular heroes and martyrs, romantic, almost legendary figures, whose lives and words dominated the imagination of the masses and created a new revolutionary tradition in Europe.

Yet Marx could not, at any time, be called a popular figure in the ordinary sense: certainly he was in no sense a popular writer or orator. He wrote extensively, but his works were not, during his lifetime. Marx totally lacked the qualities of a great popular leader or agitator, was not a publicist. While towards the end of his life he became the undisputed, recognized, and admired leader of a powerful international movement, being treated by both his adherents and his opponents with a peculiar mixture of fear, respect and admiration.

He was by temperament a theorist and an intellectual, and instinctively avoided direct contact with the masses, to the study of whose interests his entire life was devoted. ” [1] Karl Marx and Chartism Chartism was an independent political movement of the British workers from 1837 to 1848. The People’s Charter for which it fought the political power of the exploiting capitalist class, and demanded among other things universal male suffrage and a secret ballot.

On May 1st, the country was struggling and rioters clashed with the Police in Bradford, the workers drilled on the Yorkshire Moors and 80,000 Londoners marched silently through the streets of the capital – the Chartists talked, vacillated, and got nowhere. Finally, the assembly dissolved itself, claiming it did not have enough mass support. The Chartism was dead. Even after its death, it taught people a lesson, that if they need their demands to be accomplished, they have to stand up. Many orators, theorists and writers saw it as the movement who finally spoke for the rights of working class.

Karl Marx in his speech he mentioned that its bourgeois who needs to seek consideration of the common man because all their capitalist production is dependent on the rising working class. “During all the time from 1846 to 1852, they exposed themselves to ridicule by their battle-cry—broad principles and practical (read small) measures. And why all this? Because in every violent movement they are obliged to appeal to the working class. And if the aristocracy is their vanishing opponent, the working class is their arising enemy.

They prefer to compromise with their vanishing opponent rather than to strengthen the arising enemy, to whom the future belongs, by concessions of more than apparent importance. Therefore, they strive to avoid every forcible collision with the aristocracy; On Chartism Karl Marx said: “We now come to the Chartists, the politically active portion of the British working class. The six points of the Charter which they contend for contain nothing but the demand of universal suffrage and of the conditions without which universal suffrage would be illusory for the working class: such as the ballot, payment of members, annual general elections.

But universal suffrage is the equivalent for political power for the working class of England, where the proletariat form the large majority of the population, where, in a long, though underground civil war, it has gained a clear consciousness of its position as a class, and where even the rural districts know no longer any peasants, but landlords, industrial capitalists (farmers) and hired labourers. The carrying of universal suffrage in England would, therefore, be a far more socialistic measure than anything, which has been honoured with that name on the Continent. Its inevitable result here is the political supremacy of the working class.

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