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Communist Manifesto - Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts...

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Unformatted text preview: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 KARL MARX Soon after moving to Paris in November, 1843, Marx applied himself to the criticism of political economy—the new phase of his critical program foreshadowed in his two essays in the Deutsch-Franzosische Iahrbiicher. Be- tween April and August of 1844 he produced the rough draft of what, judging by his preface, was to have been a book. He did not finish it for publication, however, and it lay unpublished for more than eighty years. The surviving parts, comprising four manuscripts, were given the name shown above. An incomplete version in Russian translation was published in Moscow in 1927. The first full edition in German, prepared by D. Ria- zanov of the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, was published in Berlin in 1932, in Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe. The fundamentals of the Marxist interpretation of history are to be found in the 1844 manuscripts, including the notion of the proletarian revo- lution and future communism as the goal of the historical process. The theory is set forth, however, in terms of philosophical concepts drawn by Marx from Hegel and Feuerbach, most notably the concept of man’s “self-alienation” or “self-estrangement.” History, partiCularly under modern capitalism, is seen as a story of man's alienation in his life as producer, and communism is presented as the final transcendence of alienation via a revo- lution against private property. Because the 1844 manuscripts show us Marxism at the moment of its genesis in Marx’s mind and because they help to clarify both the relation of Marxism to earlier German philosophy and its ethical significance, their publication has profoundly affected schol- arship on Marx and Marxism in our time. A part of the manuscripts consists largely of excerpts from writings of the political economists on such topics as wages of labor, profit of capital, and rent of land. The material reprinted here, comprising the extant portions in which Marx expounds his own positibn, consists of the preface and the sec- tions entitled “Estranged Labour," “Private Property and Communism,” “The Meaning of Human Requirements,” “The Power of Money in Bour< geois Society,” and “Critique of the Hegelian Dialectic and Philosophy as a Whole.” A number of passages in the manuscripts have been crossed out, appar- ently by Marx. There is no reason to think that the passages crossed out had ceased to represent what Marx thought. He may well have been guided by editorial considerations in working over the draft of a manuscript origi- nally intended for publication“ The translation and notes are by Martin Milligan. * The cross-outs are indicated by Engels: 1843-44) (London: Lawrence pointed brackets in the complete text & Wishart, 1975), pp. 249—346. I am of the 1844 manuscripts as published indebted to Thomas Ferguson for bring- in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, ing the crossed-out material to my at- Collected Works, vol. 3 (Marx and tention. 66 Preface I have already given notice in the Deutsch—Franzo'sische Iahr— bilcher of the critique of jurisprudence and political science in the form of a critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right. In the course of elaboration for publication, the intermingling of criticism directed only against speculation with criticism of the various sub— jects themSelves proved utterly unsuitable, hampering the develop- ment of the argument and rendering comprehension difficult. Moreover the wealth and diversity of the subjects to be treated, could have been COmpressed into one work only in a purely aphoris- tic style; whilst an aphoristic presentation of this kind, for its part, would have given the impression of arbitrary systematizing. I shall therefore issue the critique of law, ethics, politics, etc., in a series of distinct, independent pamphlets, and at the end try in a special work to present them again as a connected whole showing the interrelationship of the separate parts, and finally, shall make a cri— tique of the speculative elaboration of that material. For this reason it will be found that the interconnection between political econ- omy and the state, law, ethics, civil life, etc., is touched on in the present work only to the extent to which political economy itself ex fbrofesso1 touches On these subjects. It is hardly necessary to assure the reader conversant with politi- cal economy that my results have been won by means of a wholly empirical analysis based on a conscientious critical study of political economy. [Whereas the uninformed reviewer who tries to hide his com— plete ignorance and intellectual. poverty by hurling the “utopian phrase” at the positive critic’s head, or again such phrases as “pure, resolute, utterly critical criticism,” the “not merely legal but social—utterly social—society,” the “compact, massy mass,” the “oratorical orators of the massy mass,”2 this reviewer has yet to fur- nish the first proof that besides his theological family-affairs he has anything to contribute to a discussion of worldly matters.]3 It goes without saying that besides the French and English Social- ists I have made use of German socialist works as well. The only original German works of substance in this science, however—other I. Particularly. 2. Marx refers here to the Young Hege- lian Bruno Bauer, who had published in Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung two long reviews dealing with books, arti- cles and pamphlets on the Jewish ques- tion. Most of the. quoted phrases are taken from these reviews in Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, vol. 1, December, 1843; vol. 4, March, 1844. The expres- sions “utopian phrase” and “compact mass” can be found in Bauer’s article “Was ist jetzt der Gegenstand der Kri— tik?” published in Allgemeine Litera- tur-Zeitung, vol. 8, July, 1844. Allgemeine Literatuf—Zeimng (Gen- eral Literary Gazette), a German monthly, was published by Bauer in Charlottenburg from December, 1843, to October, 1844. ~ 3. Passages enclosed in brackets Were crossed out by Marx in his manuscript. than Weitling’s writings—are the essays by Hess published in Einundzwanzig Bogen,4 and Engels’ Umrisse zu einer Kritik der Nationalokonomie5 in the Deutsch-Franzo‘sische'Iahrbilcher where, likewise, I indicated in a very general way the basic elements of this work. [Besides being indebted to these authors who have given critical attention to political economy, positive criticism as a whole—and therefore also German positive criticism of political economy—— owes its true foundation to the discoveries of Feuerbach, against whose Philosophie der Zukunft6 and Thesen zur Reform der Philosophie7 in the Anecdotis,8 desPite the tacit use that is made of them, the petty envy of some and the veritable wrath of others seem to have instigated a regular conspiracy of silence] It is only with Feuerbach that positive, humanistic and naturalis— tic criticism begins. The less noise they make, the more certain, profound, widespread and enduring is the effect of Feuerbach’s writings, the only writings since Hegel’s Phanomenologie and Logik to contain a real theoretical revolution. In contrast to the critical theologians9 of our day, I have deemed the concluding chapter of the present work—the settling of accounts with Hegelian dialectic and Hegelian philosophy as a whole—to be absolutely necessary, a task not yet performed. This lack of thoroughness is not accidental, since even the critical theo- logian remains a theologian. Hence, either he had to start from cer— tain presuppositions of philosophy accepted as authoritative; or if in the process of criticism and as a result of other people’s discover- ies doubts about these philosophical presuppositions have arisen in him, he abandons them without vindication and in a cowardly fash- ion, abstracts from them showing his servile dependence on these presuppositions and his resentment at this dependence merely in a negative, unconscious and sophistical manner. [In this connection the critical theologian is either forever repeat- ing assurances about the purity of his own criticism, or tries to 4. The full title of this collection of ar- ticles is Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz (Twenty-One Sheets from Switzerland), Erster Teil, Ziirich and Winterthur, 1843. 5. Engels’ “Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy.” 6.Ludwig Feuerbach, Grundsiz'tze der Philosophie der Zukunft (Principles 0/ the Philosophy 0/ the Future), Ziirich and Winterthur, 1843. 7.Ludwig Feuerbach, Vorliz'ufige The- sen zur Re/ormotion der Philosophie (Preliminary Theses on the Reforma- tion of Philosophy) published in Anelz- data, vol. II. 8. Marx’s abbreviation for Anekdata zur neuesten deutschen Philasophie und Publicistik (Unpublished Materials Re- lated to Modern German Philosophy and Writing), a two-volume collection published by Arnold Ruge in Switzer- land. It included Marx’s Notes on the Latest Prussian Instruction to Censors and Luther—the Arbiter Between Strauss and Feuerboch, and articles by Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Koppen, Arnold Ruge, etc. 9. Marx has in mind Bauer and his fol- lowers, who were associated with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. make it seem as though all that was left for criticism to deal with now was some other immature form of criticism outside itself—say eighteenth-century criticism—and the backwardness of the masses, in order to divert the observer’s attention as well as his own from the necessary task of settling accounts between criticism and its point of origin—Hegelian dialectic and German philosophy as a whole—from this necessary raising of modern criticism above its own limitation and crudity. Eventually, however, whenever dis— coveries (such as Feuerbach’s) are made about the nature of his own philosophic presuppositions, the critical theologian partly makes it appear as if he were the one who had accomplished this, producing that appearance by taking the results of these discoveries and, without being able to develop them, hurling them in the form of catch-phrases at writers still caught in the confines of philoso— phy; partly he even manages to acquire a sense of his own superior— ity to such discoveries by covertly asserting in a veiled, malicious and sceptical fashion elements of the Hegelian dialectic which he still finds lacking in the criticism of that dialectic (which have not yet been critically served up to him for his use) against such criti— cism—not having tried to bring such elements into their proper relation or having been capable of doing so, asserting, say, the cate— gory of mediating proof against the category of positive, self— originating truth, etc., in a way peculiar to Hegelian dialectic. For to the theological critic it seems quite natural that everything has to be done by philosophy, so that he can chatter away about purity, resoluteness, and utterly critical criticism; and he fancies himself the true conqueror of philosophy whenever he happens to feel some “moment” in Hegel1 to be lacking in Feuerbach—for however much he practises the spiritual idolatry of “self—consciousness" and “mind” the theological critic does not get beyond feeling to consciousness]2 ‘ On close inspection theological criticism—genuinely progressive though it was at the inception of the movement—is seen in the final analysis to be nothing but the culmination and consequence of the old philosophical, and especially the Hegelian, transcenden— talism, twisted into a theological caricature. This interesting exam— ple of the justice in history, which now assigns to theology, ever 1. “Moment” is a technical term in He- gelian philosophy meaning a vital ele- ment of thought. The term is used to stress that thought is a process, and thus that elements in a system of thought are also phases in a movement. 2.In Hegel, “feeling” (Empfindung) denotes a relatively low form of mental life in which the subjective and the ob- jective are still confused together. “Consciousness” (Bewusstein)—-—the name given by Hegel to the rst major section of his Phenomenology 0/ Mind—denotes those forms of mental activity where a subject first seeks to comprehend an object. “Self-conscious- ness” and “mind” denote subsequent, higher phases in the evolution of “ab- solute knowledge” or “the absolute.” 70 ' The Early Marx philosophy’s spot of infection, the further role of portraying in itself the negative dissolution of philosophy——i.e., the process of its decay—this historical nemesis I shall demonstrate on another occa- sion. [How far, on the other hand, Feuerbach’s discoveries about the nature of philosophy required still, for their proof at least, a critical settling of accounts with philosophical dialectic will be seen from my exposition itself] Estranged Labour3 We have proceeded from the premises of political economy. We have accepted its language and its laws. We presupposed private property, the separation of labour, capital and land, and of wages, profit of capital and rent of land—likewise division of labour, competition, the concept of exchange-value, etc. On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shown that the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his production; that the necessary result of competition is the accumu— lation of capital in a few hands, and thus the restoration of monop- oly in a more terrible form; that finally the distinction between cap- italist and land—rentier, like that between the tiller of the soil and the factory-worker, disappears and that the whole of society must fall apart into the two classes—the property-owners and the proper— tyless workers. Political economy proceeds from the fact of private prOperty, but it does not explain it to us. It expresses in general, abstract formu— lae the material process through which private pr0perty actually passes, and these formulae it then takes for laws. It does not com- prehend these laws—Le, it does not demonstrate how they arise from the very nature of private prOperty. Political economy does not disclose the source of the division between labour and capital, and between capital and land. When, for example, it defines the relationship of wages to profit, it takes the interest of the capitalists to be the ultimate cause; i.e., it takes for granted what it is sup— posed to evolve. Similarly, competition comes in everywhere. It is explained from extemal circumstances. As to how far these external and apparently fortuitous circumstances are but the expression of a necessary course of development, political economy teaches us nothing. We have seen how, to it, exchange itself appears to be a 3. Die Entiremdete Arbeit. See the xli. above, for a discussion of this Note on Texts and Terminology, 1). term. [R. T.] Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 ' 71 fortuitous fact. The only wheels which political economy'sets in motion are avarice and the war amongst the avancrous— competition. Precisely because political economy does not grasp the connec— tions within the movement, it was possible to counterpose, for instance, the doctrine of competition to the doctrine of monopoly, the doctrine of craft-liberty to the doctrine of the corporation, the doctrine of the division of landed property to the doctrine of the big estate—for competition, craft-liberty and the division 'of landed property were explained and comprehended only as fortuitous, pre- ineditated and violent consequences of monopoly, the corporation, and feudal property, not as their necessary, inevitable and natural consequences. ' Now, therefore, we have to grasp the essential connection between private property, avarice, and the separation of labour, cap- ital and landed, property; between exchange and competition, value and the devaluation of men, monOpoly and cempetition, etc.; the connectiOn between this whole estrangement and the money- svstem. ' Do not let us go back to a ctitious primordial condition as the political economist does, when he tries to explain. Such a primer- dial condition explains nothing. He merely pushes the question away into a grey nebulous distance. He assumes in the form of fact, of an event, what he is supposed to deduce—namely, the necessary relationship between two things—between, for example, diviSion of labour and exchange. Theology in the same way explains the origin of evil by the fall of man: that is, it assumes as a fact, in historical form, what has to be explained. We proceed from an actual economic fact. The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he cre- ates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion the devaluation of the world of men. Labour pro- duces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity—and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally. . This fact expresses merely that the object ’Wl'llCh' labour produces—Labour’s product-confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labour is labour which has been congealed in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labour. Labour’s realization is its objectification. In the conditions dealt with by political econ- omy this realization of labour appears as loss of reality for the work- j if i 72 ' The Early Marx ers; objectification as loss of the object and object-bondage; appro- priation as estrangement, as alienation.4 So much does labour’s realization appear as loss of reality that the worker loses reality to the point of starving to death. So much does objectification appear as loss of the object that the worker is robbed of the objects most necessary not only for his life but for his work. Indeed, labour itself becomes an object which he can get hold of only with the greatest effort and with the most irregular interruptions. So much does the appropriation of the object appear as estrangement that the more objects the worker produces the fewer can he possess and the more he falls under the dominion of his product, capital. All these consequences are contained in the definition that the worker is related to the product of his labour as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spends himself, the more powerful the alien objective world becomes which he creates over—against himself, the poorer he himself—his inner world—becomes, the less belongs to him as his own. It is the same in religion. The more man puts into God, the less he retains in himself. The worker puts his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object. Hence, the greater this activity, the greater is the worker’s lack of objects. Whatever the product of his labour is, he is not. Therefore the greater this product, the less is he himself. The alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labour becomes an object, an external existence, but that it exists outside him, independently, as something alien to him, and that it becomes a power of its own confronting him; it means that the life which he has conferred on the object confronts him as something hostile and alien. Let us now look more closely at the objectification, at the pro— duction of the worker; and therein at the estrangement, the loss of the object, his product. The worker can create nothing without nature, without the sen— suous external world. It is the material on which his labor is mani- fested, in which it is active, from which and by means of which it produces. But just as nature provides labor with the means of life in the sense that labour cannot live without objects on which to Operate, on the other hand, it also provides the means of life in the mo...
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