The present article aims at highlighting the connections that can be drawn between Wittgenstein and Marx(ism) from a historical point of view, through developing a synoptic account of the available relevant historical and biographical data. Starting with a discussion of Wittgenstein’s relation to the Italian Marxist economist Piero Sraffa, it then moves to a presentation of Wittgenstein’s broader circle of Marxist friends. Our account continues and concludes by examining and comparing Wittgenstein’s stance towards the Two World Wars and Stalin’s U.S.S.R. The approach developed in this article not only challenges the widespread image of Wittgenstein as a philosopher indifferent to issues of a political nature. It also traces Marxism as a significant aspect of the context in which Wittgenstein’s philosophy, and particularly its later phase, was developed.
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