Karl Marx and the 1853-56 Crimean War, meer.com

Hall Gardner, professor inter-state and inter-societal conflict

Not so ironically, Karl Marx wanted to enlarge the Crimean war into an all-European war. As Marx was a virulent opponent of Tsarist Russia—which he saw as the most reactionary and “absolutist” power in Europe—he urged the formation of an all-European coalition Germany and Austria, plus Britain, France and Sweden, not to overlook the Ottoman Empire—in the struggle against the Tsarist regime during the 1853-56 Crimean War.

In the New York Tribune of February 1854, the writer of the Communist Manifesto not only argued that French and British naval power should fight to liberate Odessa, Crimea and the Sea of Azov, but he also proposed that maritime Sweden, along with monarchist Prussia and Austria, should open a new flank in northern Europe. The goal would be to emancipate Finland and the Baltic states from the Tsarist oppression. If the struggle was victorious, this would make Russia:

A giant without arms, without eyes, with no other recourse than trying to crush her opponents under the weight of her clumsy torso, thrown here and there at random, wherever a hostile battle-cry was heard.

For many of the reasons outlined by Marx himself, the Crimean War did not, however, become an all-European war as Sweden, Prussia and Austria did not enter the conflict. And what Marx called the “sixth power” in Europe, the Socialist Revolution, did not, at least at that time, succeed in overthrowing the Tsarist regime as he had hoped. Läs artikel