lecture_7_Marx_Capital_post

lecture_7_Marx_Capital_post - Lecture 7: Marx on Capital 1....

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Lecture 7: Marx on Capital 1. The Tendency of History, and a Role for Intellectuals 2. A Humanistic and Scientific Marx? 3. Quest for the Lost Revolution 4. Empirical and Theoretical Economy 5. Labor, Price, and Surplus Value 6. Machinery 7. The Denouement: Why Capitalism Must Collapse
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1 The tendency of history, and a role for intellectuals The historical tendency, for Marx in 1848, was right on the surface, naked and obvious. The proletariat is swelling, the bourgeois are defecting; revolution is in the air…. which did not keep him from exposing, with vehement sarcasm, the hypocrisies of the bourgeoisie. He condemned bourgeois doctrines on family, the rewards of labor, and individuality.
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Politics and class struggle (1) Marx’s sense of the inevitability still left some room for intellectual engagement with politics. This would involve subtle guidance by pointing out the true nature of things. For example, if the bourgeois revolution he expected very soon in backward Germany was to move directly to a proletarian one, this would require a rapid development of political consciousness.
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Politics and class struggle (II) But in the Manifesto , politics is mostly superficial. Bourgeois politics reflected and supported an order of capitalistic production, commerce, and labor exploitation. The coming revolution would dissolve conflict in perfect unity, leaving no need for political working out of differences. Perhaps it is in this sense, Marx and Engels bear some responsibility for what was done in the name of Communism.
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2 Two Marxes? The Communist Manifesto and Capital are very different works, one emphasizing class and consciousness, the other an impersonal economic logic. The contrast to Capital is more direct in his Economic and Political Manuscripts (1845), first published in 1927 (Russian) and 1932 (German). These seemed to reveal a humanistic Hegelian, concerned especially with alienation of labor. “The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases…” “…the object which labor produces—labor’s product— confronts it as something alien , as a power independent of the producer .”
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The alienation of labor “What, then, constitutes the alienation of labour? First, the fact that labour is external to the worker; … that in his work he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel content but unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind…. His labour is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labour …. Lastly… it is not his own, but someone else’s.” ( Econ & Political Manuscripts, 1845 ) “The universality of man appears in practice precisely in the universality that makes all nature his inorganic body …. In estranging from man (1) nature, and (2) himself, his own active functions, his life activity, estranged labour estranges the species from man.” ( ibid. )
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prophet. But can we
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lecture_7_Marx_Capital_post - Lecture 7: Marx on Capital 1....

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