Marx - 1 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844...

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Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. Karl Marx 1 Estranged Labour 2 ||XXII| We have proceeded from the premises of political economy. We have 3 accepted its language and its laws. We presupposed private property, the 4 separation of labor, capital and land, and of wages, profit of capital and rent of 5 land – likewise division of labor, competition, the concept of exchange value, etc. 6 On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shown that the 7 worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched 8 of commodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to 9 the power and magnitude of his production; that the necessary result of 10 competition is the accumulation of capital in a few hands, and thus the restoration 11 of monopoly in a more terrible form; and that finally the distinction between 12 capitalist and land rentier, like that between the tiller of the soil and the factory 13 worker, disappears and that the whole of society must fall apart into the two 14 classes – property owners and propertyless workers . 15 Political economy starts with the fact of private property; it does not explain it 16 to us. It expresses in general, abstract formulas the material process through 17 which private property actually passes, and these formulas it then takes for laws . 18 It does not comprehend these laws – i.e., it does not demonstrate how they arise 19 from the very nature of private property. Political economy throws no light on the 20 cause of the division between labor and capital, and between capital and land. 21 When, for example, it defines the relationship of wages to profit, it takes the 22 interest of the capitalists to be the ultimate cause, i.e., it takes for granted what it 23 is supposed to explain. Similarly, competition comes in everywhere. It is 24 explained from external circumstances. As to how far these external and 25 apparently accidental circumstances are but the expression of a necessary course 26 of development, political economy teaches us nothing. We have seen how 27 exchange itself appears to it as an accidental fact. The only wheels which political 28 economy sets in motion are greed , and the war amongst the greedy competition . 29 Precisely because political economy does not grasp the way the movement is 30 connected, it was possible to oppose, for instance, the doctrine of competition to 31 the doctrine of monopoly, the doctrine of craft freedom to the doctrine of the 32 guild, the doctrine of the division of landed property to the doctrine of the big 33 estate – for competition, freedom of the crafts and the division of landed property 34 were explained and comprehended only as accidental, premeditated and violent 35 consequences of monopoly, of the guild system, and of feudal property, not as 36 their necessary, inevitable and natural consequences. 37 Now, therefore, we have to grasp the intrinsic connection between private
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Marx - 1 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844...

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