200° Engels - FILIPINAS: CPP Statement On The Bicentennial Of Friedrich Engels Birth
Communist Party of the Philippines, November 28: The
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the international
proletariat in marking today the 200th birth anniversary of the great
proletarian teacher and fighter Friedrich Engels. As lifelong friend and
comrade-in-arms of Karl Marx, Engels made indubitable and indelible
contributions to the development of Marxism as the ideology of the
working class. We treasure the wealth of theory and practice that Engels
bequeathed to the proletariat.
Engels’ birth anniversary at this time cannot be more significant and
relevant as the global capitalist system faces an unprecedented crisis.
This is giving rise to intolerable conditions and untold sufferings on
workers and toiling masses. Around the world, the exploited and
oppressed classes are rising up in numbers against low wages,
joblessness, social spending cuts, rising foreign debt and other
measures under the neoliberal policy regime.
us use this occasion to promote the work that Engels did for the
working class. Workers and class adherents of the proletariat must study
the works of Engels alongside those of Marx to arm themselves
ideologically in order to gain a profound understanding of the roots of
the current crisis and the class solution for ending the insufferable
conditions of the proletariat and toiling masses.
with Marx, Engels devoted a lifetime developing Marxism. As
intellectual brothers, Engels and Marx wrote volumes of history-making
books, essays and correspondence. The collection of their work, filling
at least 50 thick volumes, have served as a veritable encyclopedia for
the working class in their struggle across different continents to shape
history and transform society. Their work has helped guide all the
epochal struggles of the working class since the late 19th century.
proletariat owes Engels and Marx the standpoint and system of thought
which point them to the path towards their emancipation. For the first
time in history, it was shown that liberation from all forms of
oppression comes not as a result of the idealism of good-hearted people,
but rather as a conscious historical act of class struggle by the
proletariat. Tracing mankind’s history, they revealed how capitalism
gave birth to the class who will not only dig the grave of the
bourgeoisie, but will establish a society that will end the history of
classes and class exploitation.
was born in 1820 in Barmen, Rhine Province in the kingdom of Prussia
(Wuppertal, Germany). His father was a manufacturer who compelled him to
quit secondary school in order to work in the family corporation. This,
however, did not prevent him to pursue philosophical, scientific and
political studies, as well as participate in revolutionary struggles.
and Marx were brought together by their common adherence to the then
dominant philosophical teachings of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a
professor at Berlin University. Hegel asserted the then revolutionary
idea that everything in the universe is in a constant process of change
and development. He gained radical adherents who were seeking a change
in the situation under the autocracy. Hegel, however, was an idealist,
who spoke of the development of the mind and ideas from which one
deduces changes in nature and human society. Marx and Engels were
materialists who understood that human society, as nature, is
conditioned by the development of material forces.
and Marx collaborated in the writing of philosophical and political
treatises. They jointly wrote The German Ideology which developed the
kernel of the historical materialist philosophy and their commitment to
the working class. They also published The Holy Family, or Critique of
the Critical Critique. This laid the ground for materialist socialism as
distinct from the idealist or utopian socialism propounded by some
philosophers or well-intentioned quarters seeking a change to the
prevailing social conditions. Marx and Engels saw the proletariat as the
material force that will bring about a new social order through
to Manchester, England to work in a commercial firm, Engels deepened
his understanding of the working class. Besides working with the English
labor movement, he devoted time to studying the concrete conditions of
workers in the industrial cities. He produced the volume Conditions of
the Working Class in England where he described in detail the gross
state of living of workers, their sleeping quarters, dwellings and
crowded slums, their clothing, diet and their state of health. More
importantly, Engels elucidated how the miserable conditions of the
proletariat are pushing them forward to resist with the aim of ending
their situation and how their emancipation rests on their participation
in the political struggle for socialism.
deepened his involvement in the German workers movement upon his return
to Germany in 1845. It was during this time that he and Marx
strengthened their ideological and political collaboration. In 1848,
they were commissioned by the German Communist League to elucidate on
the main principles of socialism and communism. That year, they wrote
the Manifesto of the Communist Party the publication of which shook the
ramparts of the capitalist system. Since then, the Communist Manifesto
would serve as the general declaration of principles of all communist
parties. The exhortation “The proletarians have nothing to lose but
their chains. They have a world to win.” has inspired generations of
writings and participation in revolutionary struggles made Engels a
target of state suppression forcing him to flee Germany and escape
eventually to England, where he made his way back to Manchester. Marx,
stripped of his Prussian citizenship, was forced to go on exile. He
eventually resided in London with his family. In England, Engels and
Marx continued their theoretical and practical work. While Marx devoted
himself to the study of political economy and producing the
world-shattering work Das Kapital, Engels continued to elaborate Marxist
philosophy and its application in the study of natural sciences,
anthropology, history, political economy and socialism.
addition to the above, among the important works produced by Engels are
Dialectics of Nature, Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science or
Anti-Dühring), Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Origin of the Family,
Private Property and the State, and The Peasant War in Germany. He also
wrote Synopsis of Capital and scores of others essays and small books in
an effort to popularize Marxism to the working class. Lenin pointed out
that Engels is, like Marx, “one of those rarest of authors whose every
sentence in every one of their fundamental works contains a remarkably
also assisted Marx in getting the manuscripts prepared for publication
of the first volume of Das Kapital before Marx died in 1883. He
undertook the difficult task of organizing and publishing Das Kapital’s
Volume II in 1885 and Volume III in 1894.
played an active part in the International Workingmen’s Association
which Marx founded in 1864 and led for ten years in an effort to plant
the seeds of proletarian revolution in several countries. In his old
age, Engels continued to serve as counsel of proletarian revolutionaries
in their work.
body of work of Engels and Marx comprising Marxism is a treasure of the
international proletariat. More than a century hence, their writings
remain valid and crucial element in the struggle of the working class to
end capitalist exploitation and build the communist future.
the following decades, Marxism developed into a powerful material force
in the form of victorious democratic and socialist revolutions led by
the proletariat in Russia, China and scores of other countries. For some
period of time, a fourth of humanity were free from the oppressive
claws of imperialism.
proletarian dictatorship and inspired by the communist spirit, hundreds
of millions of peoples moved mountains and transformed the face of the
earth. They put an end to capitalist wage slavery. The proletariat took
control of the forces of production and carried out the revolutionary
transformation of the superstructure. There was full employment where
workers owned and controlled production and enjoyed the fruits of their
labor. Production developed with unprecedented speed. They ended misery
and poverty. Schools and public health were provided by the state for
everyone. Women were emancipated.For over seven decades, socialist
revolution and construction advanced across the entire globe, bringing
society from one level to a higher level of progress and emancipating
humanity from want.
developed into Marxism-Leninism-Maoism integrating historical
developments in theory and practice, including analysis of monopoly
capitalism or imperialism, waging proletarian revolution in backward
capitalist countries, waging people’s democratic revolutions in
semicolonial and semifeudal countries, carrying out socialist revolution
and construction, and waging continuing revolution under proletarian
dictatorship to fight modern revisionism, prevent the restoration of
capitalism and bring socialism to higher levels.
revisionism, however, gained the upper hand and eventually caused the
defeat and retreat of socialist forces in the Soviet Union (since 1956)
and China (since 1978). A new bourgeoisie emerged from within the
bureaucracy and the Party. They seized political power from the
proletariat and cast away the policies for socialist construction. To
pave the way for the restoration of capitalism, they promoted modern
revisionism by prematurely declaring the end of class struggle and
asserting that building socialism entails primarily technical innovation
or the development of productive forces. It brought down the militant
guard of the proletariat and paved the way for the dismantling of the
socialist superstructure. Power was taken from workers and petty
ownership and production was restored leading to accumulation of
privilege and wealth among managers and bureaucrats and accumulation of
land by rich peasants and landlords.
after the restoration of capitalism and dominance of neoliberal
policies, the proletariat and toiling masses of China and the former
Soviet Union now suffer from widespread economic dispossession,
joblessness, high levels of exploitation, low wages, corruption of state
bureaucrats, lack of access to health and education, homelessness,
poverty and overall misery. Proletarian revolutionaries are suppressed.
Fascism and ultra-right politics pervade to divide-and-rule the
oppressed people and prevent them from forging class unity.
grievous socio-economic conditions and political repression being
suffered by the toiling people after the restoration of capitalism in
the former socialist countries, as well as in the rest of the global
capitalist system, are in direct contrast to the progress and freedom
which the workers and broad masses enjoyed under the proletarian
dictatorship. It validates the correctness and necessity of carrying out
socialist revolution and construction.
the world, workers and toiling people are rising up in rebellion
against increasingly ruthless forms of oppression and exploitation and
against state repression. Suffering from the evils of restored
capitalism, millions of workers and toiling people in Russia and China
aspire to return to the path of socialist revolution and construction.
In the centers of world capitalism, people are seeking more radical
alternatives after decades upon decades of political rotation of
bourgeois parties. In semicolonial and semifeudal countries, workers,
peasants and toiling masses are waging all forms of resistance including
armed resistance through people’s war.
the face of widespread social restiveness and political unrest, there
is great urgency for the proletarian revolutionaries to take up the
cudgels of leadership to rouse the broad masses of toiling people and
mobilize them under the red banner of revolution. To do so, it is of
crucial importance for proletarian cadres in all countries to firmly
grasp Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as guide in forging their own specific
programs of action and in planning practical revolutionary activities.
we mark Engels’ 200th birth anniversary, proletarian revolutionaries
draw inspiration from his hard work and dedication to the working class
and oppressed peoples. They are ever determined to study Engels’ works
alongside those of Marx, Lenin, Mao and other great communist teachers
in order to more firmly grasp the ideology of the proletariat, deepen
their commitment to the workers and oppressed and exploited classes,
more determinedly lead the struggles against imperialism and all forms
of reaction and march along the road of democracy and socialist
Treasure the proletarian theory and revolutionary politics of Friedrich Engels!
Long live the proletariat and the proletarian revolution!
Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!
March forward along the path of new democratic and socialist revolutions!