Marx’s Centenary (1918) in the Light of the Media and Socialist Thought
This article takes a historical view on Marx’s anniversary: It analyses how Marx’s centenary (5 May 1918) was reflected in the media and socialist thought. 1918 not just marked Marx’s 100th anniversary but was also the year in which the First World War ended. It was the year that saw the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the start of the Russian Civil War, the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the formation of the Weimar Republic, Austria’s First Republic, the Czech Republic, the Hungarian Republic, the Second Polish Republic; the founding of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and the independence of Iceland from Denmark. The cultural forms, in which Marx’s centenary was reflected in 1918, included press articles, essays, speeches, rallies, demonstrations, music, and banners. The communists as well as left-wing socialists of the day saw themselves in the tradition of Marx, whereas revisionist social democrats based their politics on a criticism or revised reading of Marx. This difference resulted in different readings of Marx.
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