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The Political Thought of Karl Marx

2. Class Struggle and Class Compromise

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About this Lecture


The Communist Manifesto is Marx’s most famous work, but least ‘Marxist’, saying nothing about Hegel, materialism or dialectics, or even ‘base and superstructure’. It outlines both class struggle and class compromise as political tactics crucial in the age of modern industry and mass democracy.


In this course, Professor Terrell Carver (University of Bristol) introduces the political thought of Karl Marx. In the first module, we think about the way in which Marx has been re-interpreted over the last century and make some attempt to get away from Marx the philosopher, and think about Marx the journalist and activist. After that, we explore several key concepts in Marxist philosophy through two of his major works. In the second and third modules, we explore the concepts of class struggle and historical progress in the Communist Manifesto (co-authored by Friedrich Engels), before turning to the concepts of revolution, alienation and exploitation in Das Kapital in the fifth and sixth modules.


Born in the US in 1946, Terrell has taught at Bristol University since 1980 where he is currently Professor of Political Theory and is a member of the Editorial Commission for the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe. As well as expertise in Marx and Marxism, Terrell has recently been studying feminist theory and theories of masculinity and the relation between European and Japanese political theory. One of Terrell's interests has been to understand the exact roles played by Karl Marx on one hand and Frederick Engels on the other in the formation of the Marxist canon.

Terrell has translated Marx and Engels, edited the Cambridge Companion to Marx and Palgrave's forthcoming Advances in Continental Political Thought, and authored A Short Introduction to Engels (2003), The Postmodern Marx (1999), Marx's Social Theory (1983) Gender is not a Synonym for Women (1996) and many others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Carver, T. (2018, August 15). The Political Thought of Karl Marx - Class Struggle and Class Compromise [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Carver, T. "The Political Thought of Karl Marx – Class Struggle and Class Compromise." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,