Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Friedrich Engels

1820 – 1895 CE

Businessman-philosopher, political theorist

Co-author of The Communist Manifesto, polyglot speaking 9 languages, businessman, poet, journalist, philosopher; Engels grew up in a wealthy family that owned and operated large factories. He saw the horrible, slave-like working conditions, long hours, environmental degradations, and child labor from a very clear, first-hand perspective. He financially supported Karl Marx, edited his writings, and wrote influential books of his own. Together they organized workers, envisioned egalitarian societies, and developed communist theory. In spite of his dedicated, political activism, in order to finance Marx’s work, he reengages in many successful business ventures. Risking imprisonment, hiding from police, and participating in armed rebellions; his efforts to create a more equitable world went far beyond theory and speculation. Although claimed as inspirational founder of Stalin’s Soviet Union, his emphasis on individuality and the appreciation of literature, music and culture set his true philosophy in direct odds against Stalin. While most of the credit for Marxist theory went to Marx, Engels—behind the scenes editing, filling in gaps, and amplifying—may have had a more important influence. He lived with the fierce, Irish radical Mary Burns for over 20 years until her death; but, because they both considered state and church-controlled marriage a form of oppression, never married.


Unlisted Sources

Anti-Dühring, 1878​

Communist Manifesto, 1848

Funeral oration for Marx, 1883​

Letter, 1851

Preface to Communist Manifesto, 1888

The Condition of the Working Class in England

Quotes by Friedrich Engels (15 quotes)

“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win ... Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”

from Communist Manifesto, 1848

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“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 ...”

Themes: Ambition

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“All history has been a history of class struggles between dominated classes at various stages of social development.”

Themes: History

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“The state is nothing but an instrument of oppression of one class by another - no less so in a democratic republic than in a monarchy.”

Themes: Government

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“Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-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.”

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“The same will be true of agriculture, which also suffers from the pressure of private property and is held back by the division of privately owned land into small parcels… In this way, such an abundance of goods will be able to satisfy the needs of all its members.”

Themes: Agriculture

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“From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization.”

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“Comedy is in act superior to tragedy and humorous reasoning superior to grandiloquent reasoning.”

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“All religion is nothing but the fantastic reflection in men’s minds of those external forces which control their daily life, a reflection in which the terrestrial forces assume the form of supernatural forces.”

from Anti-Dühring, 1878​

Themes: Religion Control

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“Wherever there is a revolutionary convulsion, there must be some social want in the background which is prevented by outworn institutions from satisfying itself.”

from Letter, 1851

Themes: Revolution

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“As soon as there is no longer any class of society to be held in subjection, there is nothing more to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a state, is no longer necessary.”

from Anti-Dühring, 1878​

Themes: Government

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“Competition is the most extreme expression of that war of all against all which dominates modern middle-class society.”

from The Condition of the Working Class in England

Themes: Competition

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“Just as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history. Because he was an active revolutionist, he was the best hated and most calumniated man of his time… yet he has gone down to his death honored, loved, and mourned by millions… His name and his works will live through the centuries.”

from Funeral oration for Marx, 1883​

Themes: Evolution

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“The whole history of mankind—since the dissolution of primitive tribal society that held land in common—has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes and has now reached a stage where emancipation cannot be achieved without once and for all emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles.”

from Preface to Communist Manifesto, 1888

Themes: Economics

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“I have learned more from Balzac than all the professional historians, economists, and statisticians put together.”

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Quotes about Friedrich Engels (0 quotes)

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