Smith+%2B+Marx+readings

Smith+%2B+Marx+readings - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations...

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Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations Reading Assignments Bk. I, ch. 1-5, 7, 8 Bk. II, ch. 3 Bk III, ch. 1 Bk. IV, ch. 2 Bk. V, ch. 1 pt. 2, ch. 3 Karl Marx. The German Ideology. 1845 First Premises of Materialist Method The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way. The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus the first fact to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature. Of course, we cannot here go either into the actual physical nature of man, or into the natural conditions in which man finds himself – geological, hydrographical, climatic and so on. The writing of history must always set out from these natural bases and their modification in the course of history through the action of men. Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life. The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and have to reproduce. This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions 1
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determining their production. This production only makes its appearance with the increase of population. In its turn this presupposes the intercourse [ Verkehr ] of individuals with one another. The form of this intercourse is again determined by production. Production and Intercourse. Division of Labour and Forms of Property – Tribal, Ancient, Feudal The relations of different nations among themselves depend upon the extent to which each has developed its productive forces, the division of labour and internal intercourse. This statement is generally recognised. But not only the relation of one nation to others, but also the whole internal structure of the nation itself depends on the stage of development reached by its production and its internal and external intercourse. How far the productive forces of a nation are developed is
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Smith+%2B+Marx+readings - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations...

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