Friedrich Engels and Life of Workers in England
Friedrich Engels (Barmen, November 28, 1820 – London, August 5, 1895) was a German sociologist, philosopher and revolutionary. Engels and Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.
Education and private life
He was born on November 28, 1820 in Barmen, Germany, and was the oldest of six children in the family. His father was a textile manufacturer, and very religious. When he finished elementary school, Friedrich enrolled in a gymnasium in the nearby town of Elberfelde, but after three years he dropped out. Although he was one of the most prominent people of that time, a very intelligent, shrewd mind and infallible intuition, he never continued his education at a higher institution. However, he tried to improve his abilities and skills, so he was known to speak over 20 languages, and his English was flawless.
He never married, but spent a large part of his life living with two Irish sisters – first with Mary, and then with Lisa, who fascinated him with his Irish patriotism.
Under his father’s pressure, he became an apprentice in a store, but he always considered that job a “dog life”. At the age of 20, he left this job, leaving his unhappy life and the worthless world of trade. He remained an opponent of religion and capitalism for the rest of his life, although he was later forced several times to submit himself to the social system in order to earn a living.
During a one-year military service in Berlin, he was introduced to the philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach, and quickly accepted his ideas and ideas. At that time, he began publishing newspaper articles about his ideas. He moved to Manchester, where he was employed at a factory, and where he had the opportunity to examine the negative impact of capitalism on the workers’ lives. He remained in Manchester until August 1844.
Before returning to Germany, he spent some time in Paris, where he met the well-known philosopher Karl Marx. Realizing that they have the same opinion about almost everything, the two began a long-term cooperation.
He spent the next five years in Germany, Belgium and France, working on his work and participating in revolutionary activities. After the failure of the revolution, he fled to Switzerland and then, in October 1849, to England, which became his permanent home.
He did not do much writing in London, so he started working again at Erment and Engels in Manchester to earn a living. He became one of the owners of that company in 1864. Five years later, when he realized that he had enough money to sustain himself for the rest of his life, he sold his shares to his partner, and as he wrote to Marx, he finally became a free man.
Work and philosophy by Friedrich Engels
During his lifetime, Engels has published hundreds of newspaper articles, prefaces and books, in which he presented his ideas, and in which he displayed a realistic picture of a capitalist society. Some of his most famous works are: Life of Workers in England, Capital, Manifesto of Communism, Holy Family, German Ideology, Social Welfare in Germany, Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science, etc.
His ideas were an integral part of Marxism. He reworked the notion of dialectical materialism, adding matter and form. He stressed that the notion of materialism encompasses the entire cultural process – tradition, religion and ideology, and that this process is changing and improving in accordance with historical changes. Each stage of development is being upgraded to the entire previous development, so that each man actually determines his past and his present. Likewise, in his opinion, the state is nothing less than a machine by which one social class oppresses the other.
For the last 25 years of his life, he spent time in the vicinity of Marx’s house in London, enjoying food, drink, music and a good company. He continued to work, but now what he liked – he wrote, maintained contact with many radicals, and after Marx’s death, finished the second and third part of Capital which he wrote along with him. He died on August 5, 1895, of cancer. According to his wishes, his body was cremated, and the ashes thrown into the ocean by Eastbourne, his favorite place for rest.