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Marx, Engels' classics offer guidance on issues facing world today, says German scholar

(Xinhua)    13:03, November 26, 2020

BERLIN, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The classics of German thinkers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels still serve as references for people to address issues facing today's world, Gerald Hubmann, a German scholar, has said.

Hubmann is the chief of the editorial department of Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), a project aiming to publish a complete edition of the works, manuscripts and letters of Marx and Engels.

In a recent written interview with Xinhua, Hubmann said since the financial crisis in 2008, there has been a new wave of interest in the study of Marx's and Engels's classics, not only in the West but worldwide in many countries.

The reason for a "Renaissance of Marx's and Engels's thoughts" is probably that no other classical authors have analyzed the mechanisms and problems of capitalism in the way Marx and Engels did, said Hubmann.

Marxism was built on a wide range of knowledge about different subjects, which can be seen from a series of studies and notebooks of Marx on chemistry, geology and other sciences, according to Hubmann.

"Marx understands capitalism as an economic form that operates most efficiently on the one hand, but on the other hand creates structural inequality," said Hubmann.

They revealed the basic social problems of capitalism, noted the scholar, adding that a lot of their work is still new and unknown to the public.

Along with Hubmann, a team of international scholars have for decades been editing the original and precious archives of Marx and Engels.

Once complete, the whole collection will include 114 volumes. In total, 70 volumes have been published since the 1970s.

As long as these problems like social gaps persist, Marx and Engels will remain topical as classical theorists and critics of capitalism, he said.

Citing Engels's own assessment of himself as just playing "second fiddle" in the formulation of Marxism, Hubmann said it was too modest in comparison with Engels's contributions.

Some letters showed that Marx often turned to Engels on questions of economic practice when working on Das Kapital, the masterpiece of Marx, and Engels organized and published the second and third volumes of Das Kapital after Marx's death, he said.

"I would call it a successful cooperation between the two classical musicians," said Hubmann. "Because of this close collaboration, the works of Marx and Engels are published together all over the world."

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