German socialist philosopher Friedrich Engels.

Friedrich Engels

(1820 - 1895)

Born into a wealthy factory-owning family in 1820, Friedrich Engels began work as a clerk in an export firm in 1838, writing to his sister two years later, “We now have a complete stock of beer in the office; under the table, behind the stove, and behind the cupboard; everywhere are beer bottles.” He was an expert swimmer, sang in a choral group, practiced fencing and riding, worked as a journalist, and bragged that he knew twenty-four languages, all before he met Karl Marx in Cologne in 1842. The lifelong friendship between the two men directed Engels to the work of laying the foundations of modern communism.

All Writing

Voices In Time

c. 1844 | Manchester

Means of Destruction

Friedrich Engels on the conditions inflicted upon the working class.More

Voices In Time

1844 | London

Needle Work

Better for the bourgeoisie than for workers. More

Voices In Time

1848 | London

Common Property

Marx and Engels on the cosmopolitanism of the bourgeoisie.More


In 1863, four years before publishing the first volume of Das Kapital, Karl Marx wrote to Friedrich Engels that apart from “the discoveries of gunpowder, the compass, and the printing press—these necessary preconditions of bourgeois development—the two material bases on which the preparations for machine industry were organized within manufacture...were the clock and the mill.” He elaborated: “The clock is the first automatic machine applied to practical purposes, and the whole theory of production of regular motion was developed on it.”

Issues Contributed