Much of what we know of the world, much of what we are taught about the world, is what other people have first said. Recently, I have been tasked with looking at the work of one of the earliest Marxists, Friedrich Engels. Many people have heard his ideas, and his words, alongside those of Marx himself, have become a part of the mainstream concept of Marxism itself, an idea and school of thought that has continued to evolve past what they once made it. But what was Engels like in his life?
Born on the twenty-eighth of November,1820, Engels lived in Germany or what was Prussia at the time of his life. He grew up in a household that was nationalistic, mildly liberal and protestant. Engels’ father owned a textile mill and was also partnered with another in business. While Engels went against the loyal prussian views of his traditionalist family, they still found to support him financially. His devotion to his mother could have been what kept him tied to his family and the other way around too. While Engels’ showed skill in the art of poetry, his father pushed him away from such a course and into that of business. While this was forced upon him, Engels lived a somewhat double life. His business apprenticeship and his revolutionary actions both taking up his time.
There are many people that contributed to the progression of ideas and society in its whole. While we may not know there stories, they each have their own beginnings, perhaps similar to those who will eventually find inspiration in their works and follow in their footsteps.