London’s Soho has been a red-light district for hundreds of years. You don’t need to consult the history books to learn about its seedier side: Neon signs for strip shows, sex toys and “models” are openly on display.
In the spring before he and Friedrich Engels left for England, Karl Marx began sketching out ideas for a book they would write together that would get them past the “theoretical twaddle” and illustrate that to have meaning, ideas -- be they religious, political or economic -- must be rooted in the real world.
The League of the Just had been based in Paris, but by the fall of 1846 police harassment had intensified and most of its strongest members fled France. The organization moved its central committee to London, coalescing around the German communists and English Chartists with whom Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had met the year before.
Policy makers struggling to understand the barrage of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx. The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of it.