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Franz Mehring

Geburtstag: 27. Februar 1846
Todesdatum: 29. Januar 1919

Franz Erdmann Mehring war ein deutscher Publizist und Politiker. Er war einer der bedeutendsten marxistischen Historiker seiner Zeit und verfasste eine der bekanntesten frühen Biographien zu Karl Marx. Seine Äußerungen zum Judentum werden teilweise als antisemitisch bewertet.

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„Bei all seinen Fehlern und Schwächen wird ihm die Geschichte einen Ehrenplatz unter den Vorkämpfern des internationalen Proletariats sichern, mag dieser Platz auch immer bestritten werden, solange es Philister auf diesem Erdenball gibt, gleichviel ob sie die polizeiliche Nachtmütze über die langen Ohren ziehen oder ihr schlotterndes Gebein unter dem Löwenfell eines Marx zu bergen suchen.“ über Michail Bakunin. In: Karl Marx - Geschichte seines Lebens, 14. Kapitel: Der Niedergang der Internationalen: 9. Nachwehen. Gesammelte Schriften, Band 3. Berlin/DDR, 1960, S. 508. mlwerke. de

„Hegel did not deceive himself about the revolutionary character of his dialectic, and was even afraid that his Philosophy of Right would be banned. Nor was the Prussian state entirely easy in its mind for all its idealization. Proudly leaning on its police truncheon, it did not want to have its reality justified merely by its reason. Even the dull-witted King saw the serpent lurking beneath the rose: when a distant rumor of his state philosopher's teachings reached him he asked suspiciously: but what if I don't dot the I's or cross the T's? The Prussian bureaucracy meanwhile was grateful for the laurel wreath that had been so generously plaited for it, especially since the strict Hegelians clarified their master's obscure words for the understanding of the common subjects, and one of them wrote a history of Prussian law and the Prussian state, where the Prussian state was proved to be a gigantic harp strung in God's garden to lead the universal anthem. Despite its sinister secrets Hegel's philosophy was declared to be the Prussian state philosophy, surely one of the wittiest ironies of world history. Hegel had brought together the rich culture of German Idealism in one mighty system, he had led all the springs and streams of our classical age into one bed, where they now froze in the icy air of reaction. but the rash fools who imagined they were safely hidden behind this mass of ice, who presumptuously rejoiced who bold attackers fell from its steep and slippery slopes, little suspected that with the storms of spring the frozen waters would melt and engulf them.

Hegel himself experienced the first breath of these storms. He rejected the July revolution of 1830, he railed at the first draft of the English Reform Bill as a stab in the 'noble vitals' of the British Constitution. Thereupon his audience left him in hordes and turned to his pupil Eduard Gans, who lectured on his master's Philosophy of Right but emphasized its revolutionary side and polemicized sharply against the Historical School of Law. At the time it was said in Berlin that the great thinker died from this painful experience, and not of the cholera.“
Absolutism And Revolution In Germany, 1525 1848

„As the biggest property owners of the middle ages the Church underwent the same process as the rest of the landed proprietors. In order to use agricultural production as a source of money they ruined the peasant class, seized their common woods and meadows for themselves, and either drove the peasants from the land or squeezed them in the most pitiless manner. Life was no longer easy under the crozier. The growing lust for property led the Church to limit their alms to the poor. Their income in kind, the surplus of which they had earlier gladly given away as they could not consume it themselves, had now become saleable commodities, and the greed for profits that this aroused seized the Church too.

If this made the Church more and more hated by the peasant class, it also failed to win the friendship of the rising bourgeoisie. However much it neglected the care of the poor, it could not give it up entirely without losing its last hold on the masses. To a certain extent it still formed a line of defense against the impoverishment of the masses, whose proletarianization could not be carried through quickly enough, as far as capital was concerned. The propertyless were still not delivered bound hand and foot to capitalist exploitation as long as they received alms, however miserable, from the Church. Moreover the religious holidays were a thorn in the flesh of the burgeoning towns. The more numerous they grew, the more they contradicted the capitalist wisdom according to which the worker does not work to live, but rather lives to work.“
Absolutism And Revolution In Germany, 1525 1848

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