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  • 264 pages
  • Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte
  • Karl Marx
  • Persian
  • 19 October 2019

About the Author: Karl Marx

Engels founded the Communist League in 1847 and published the Communist Manifesto After the failed revolution of 1848 in Germany, in which Marx participated, he eventually wound up in London Marx worked as foreign correspondent for several U.S publications His Das Kapital came out in three volumes 1867, 1885 and 1894 Marx organized the International and helped found the Social Democratic Party of Germany Although Marx was not religious,


10 thoughts on “Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte

  1. says:

    ORIGINAL REVIEW Early WorkThe EPM is an early work by Marx.It is where he develops his version of alienation and the relationship of the self to others, but also the relationship to work and the means of production.By the time of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels had got involved in History and were not content just to describe it They became theorists and publicists for a revolutionary cause They created a theoretical justification for violence as a methodology for achieving a political goal.Justifying the Use of ViolenceDespite how democratic nations claim to be, many still use violence to achieve a goal or maintain the status quo.Because they can t be seen to endorse revolution, they create and embrace the term regime change.They are both types of violence The only difference is the justification.They both use the same means, the difference is the end.However, the EPM precedes all of this.Reassessing Their RelevanceMarx and Engels have received a lot of bad publicity Few dare to defend them.But in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, it s worth opening their works and having a dispassionate squiz.Not so that we can all get on a revolutionary anti capitalism bandwagon again, but so that we can understand the plight of people in contemporary society FULL REVIEW July 20, 2012At 25In October, 1843, Karl and Jenny Marx left Cologne and arrived in Paris, where they lived and worked for two years.Marx intention was to write for a radical magazine At the time of their arrival, Marx was 25 and Jenny was pregnant with their first child, Jenny.While in Paris, Marx wrote the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts , which were effectively the first draft of the ideas that would become the foundation of Das Kapital Capital , the first volume of which he published in 1867.The manuscripts are a critique of political economy , the term used then for what we now call economics.They were never published during his lifetime and only became available in Russia in 1932, fifteen years after the Russian Revolution that brought the Communists to power.Thus, a key work that explained the origin of his ideas remained unknown and of no influence for almost 90 years.Communism as it manifested itself in the Soviet Union owed to later works like The Communist Manifesto 1848 and Capital.Just as importantly, the works weren t translated into English until 1959, from which point they caused a radical reassessment of Marx ideas.The Wealth of NationsThe manuscripts total about 120 pages.The first 40 to 50 pages largely describe the operation of the economy.If you were to read these pages for the first time today, you would think they encapsulated the principal communist analysis of the capitalist economy.They describe private property the separation of labour, capital and land the separation of wages, profit of capital and rent of land the division of labour, competition and the concept of exchange value.Yet, ironically, most of this analysis is quoted from Adam Smith s The Wealth of Nations , a work sympathetic to capitalism published in 1776.Marx highlights that The worker does not necessarily gain when the capitalist gains, but he necessarily loses with him Where worker and capitalist both suffer, the worker suffers in his very existence, while the capitalist suffers primarily in the profit on his capital The worker must not only struggle for his physical means of subsistence, he must also struggle for work in order to obtain the possibility and means of realizing his activity The accumulation of capital increases the division of labour As a consequence of the division of labour and the accumulation of capital, the worker becomes and dependent on labour, in particular a very one dimensional and machine like labour, which depresses him both intellectually and physically to the level of a machine Even when the economy is growing, the consequence for workers is overwork and early death The mechanical nature of his work makes him vulnerable to competition from both other workers and machines Wages are designed to be just enough to enable him to continue to work Even if the average income of all classes has increased, the relative incomes have grown further apart and the differences between wealth and poverty have become sharper Relative poverty has grown, even though absolute poverty has diminished Political economy knows the worker only as a beast of burden, as an animal reduced to the minimum bodily needs It is foolish to conclude, as Smith does, that the interest of the landlord or capitalist is always identical with that of the tenant or society.So far then, from political economy itself, using its own words, Marx shows that The worker sinks to the level of a commodity The misery of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and volume of his production The necessary consequence of competition is the accumulation of capital in a few hands and hence the restoration of monopoly in a terrible form The distinction between capitalist and landlord, between agricultural worker and industrial worker, disappears and the whole of society must split into the two classes of property owners and propertyless workers.Marx concludes that Political economy proceeds from the fact of private property It does not explain itPolitical economy fails to explain the reason for the division between labour and capital, between capital and land Marx therefore sets out to grasp the essential connection between private property, greed, the separation of labour, capital and landed property, exchange and competition, value and the devaluation of man, monopoly and competition, etc the connection between this entire system of estrangement alienation and the money system Putting the Political Back Into Political Economy I have quoted so much of Marx, partly to show how much he relied on Smith and Ricardo for his underlying analysis of the economy, partly to illustrate how little things have changed, partly to identify the moment at which Marx became political, and partly so that we can consider the political and economic options that might have been available to him to address the problems he perceived.It was common ground that the economy was effectively a joint venture between labour, capital and landed property.The problem was how to regulate and manage the relationship between them.If they are all prerequisites of economic activity, are they equally vital and therefore should they be given an equal or at least equitable status Is any one ingredient or less fundamental than the others The Relative Significance of CapitalSmith would have said that capital was the foundation of capitalism and the one true determinant of the relationship.Capital is money, and money has a purchasing power that can buy labour, just as it can buy property.Capital therefore doesn t acknowledge a joint venture relationship.It buys what it needs to make money and effectively replicate itself.Capital, in its own eyes, is in control.Over the course of 1844, this viewpoint became a red rag to Marx bull.The OptionsOne option would have been to remunerate workers adequately.Another would have been to grant them a share of the joint venture profit.These options might have remedied some of the inequities.However, they weren t adequate from Marx perspective.His preferred option was to abolish private property, in effect, to abolish private capital.Why did he suggest this Entitlement to the Surplus ValueAgain, there was common ground that the joint venture could create a profit or surplus value.However, because capital has bought the labour and the property, capitalism gives the profit not to the joint venture, but to the capital that funds it.Following on from Smith s description of the economy, Marx argues that ultimately it is labour that creates surplus value.There would be no profit or capital without the labour that originally created the product or commodity.If the worker whose labour created the original product had received the whole of the profit, the capitalist would have obtained no capital.In the absence of capital, the capitalist would have had no money with which to purchase labour or property.Instead, labour contributes to the capitalist s wealth, which then, like a snake, turns around and consumes itself, starting with the tail or labour.Marx believed that, only by chopping the snake in half and giving labour the benefit of surplus value, could real equity be achieved.Since labour is the foundation of all surplus value, it should own the surplus value.To achieve this, Marx believed we had to abolish private property.A Chinese DiversionIncidentally, in the Communist China of today, the replacement of private capital is not the worker, but public capital in the form of the State the representative of the workers and other people.By employing or exploiting Chinese workers, the Chinese State now makes so much surplus value, that, like a snake, it can turn around and start consuming or buying the capitalist economies of the world.These economies are totally dependent on China for their continued existence.What s So Wrong with Private Property By rejecting the other available options, Marx rejected any suggestion that the inequity was purely about remuneration Even if the poor subsequently got richer under capitalism, the rich would get disproportionately richer, therefore relative poverty would increase It s precisely at this point that Marx becomes most philosophical in his approach to political economy.He had to solve the problem of political economy in a way that satisfied the political philosophy that had begun to emerge in his mind.The issue was so fundamental to Marx, because in his eyes it was the cause of the estrangement or alienation of mankind.AlienationFor me, what follows is the essence of Marx, even if most Marxists or Communists before 1932 or 1959 would have been relatively unaware of its significance except to the extent that some of these ideas emerged, possibly slightly changed in detail or emphasis, in the later works of Marx like Capital.In contrast to Hegel, Marx did not see the correct subject matter of philosophy as contemplation or idealism, but practice or human sensuous activity.Man doesn t just think, he acts, he does things, he interacts with objects in the material world, he makes things, he produces things For this reason, Hannah Arendt calls man homo faber These objects and the products of his interaction have a material existence outside the mind.During the process of labour, a worker creates a product or commodity that stands opposed to him as something alien, as a power independent of the worker or producer The product of labour is labour embodied and made material in an object, it is the objectification of the labour The realization of labour is its objectification In the sphere of political economy this realization of labour appears as a loss of reality for the worker, objectification as loss of and bondage to the object, and appropriation by capital and the capitalist as estrangement, as alienation In return for his labour, the worker receives work and remuneration, the means of subsistence.This turns him into a slave The activity of the worker is not his own spontaneous activity It belongs to another, it is a loss of self The result is that man the worker feels that he is acting freely only in his animal functions eating, drinking and procreating, or at most in his dwelling and adornment while in his human functions he is nothing than an animal Man becomes alienated, not just from his labour and the product of his labour, but from the human race his species as a whole and from other individual humans.And private property is at the root of this alienation it is the product, result and necessary consequence of alienated labour, of the external relation of the worker to nature and to himself Private property thus derives from an analysis of the concept of alienated labour, i.e., alienated man, estranged labour, estranged life, estranged man Private property is both the product of alienation and the means of realizing alienation.Marx CommunismMarx describes as crude communism the initial abolition of private property in favour of universal private property.At this stage, crude communism now usually called socialism still preserves some form of alienation and is a political state, whether democratic or despotic.Stage 2 is true Communism, which he describes as follows Communism is the positive supersession of private property as human self estrangement, and hence the true appropriation of the human essence through and for man it is the complete restoration of man to himself as a social, i.e., human, being This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature, and between man and man, the true resolution of the conflict between existence and being, between objectification and self affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species It is the solution of the riddle of history and knows itself to be the solution So there It s significant that, while Marx was in Paris, he first met Engels who had just published The Condition of the Working Class in England and this was his first statement that he now supported Communism.Universal ConsciousnessBut what does it mean How can this happen This is where it starts to become frustrating and unclear Some of the manuscripts have never been found.We have outcomes, but not the methodology.The new relationship of man to man, and individual to society is crucial, but difficult to piece together and understand.For Marx, activity and consumption, both in their content and in their mode of existence, are social activity and social consumption He doesn t mean that we solely act, produce and consume communally as opposed to individually.He means that what man creates for himself, he creates for society, conscious of himself as a social being.The individual and society are two sides of the one coin My universal consciousness is only a theoretical form of that whose living form is the real community, societythe activity of my universal consciousness as activity is my theoretical existence as a social being It is above all necessary to avoid once establishing society as an abstraction over against the individual The individual is the social being His vital expression even when it does not appear in the direct form of a communal expression, conceived in association with other men is therefore an expression and confirmation of social life Man s individual and species life are not two distinct things In a way, a fully realised man is good for society, and society is good for the fully realised man, but they are one and the same thing Man, however much he may therefore be a particular individual and it is just this particularity which makes him an individual and a real individual communal being is just as much the totality, the ideal totality, the subjective existence of thought and experienced society for itself he also exists in reality as the contemplation and true enjoyment of social existence and as a totality of vital human expression HumanisationOnly when this happens, whatever it is, whatever it takes, can man humanize nature and the objects around him.Only then do all objects become for man the objectification of himself, objects that confirm and realise his individuality Only through the objectively unfolded wealth of human nature can the wealth of subjective human sensitivity a musical ear, an eye for the beauty of form, in short senses capable of human gratification be either cultivated or created For not only the five senses, but also the so called spiritual senses, the practical senses will, love, etc , in a word, the human senses, the humanity of the senses all these come into being only through the existence of their objects, through humanized nature Marx sees history as the inevitable progress of man towards the realization of his true, complete and unalienated humanity It can now be seen how the history of industry and the objective existence of industry as it has developed is the open book of the essential powers of man, man s psychology present in tangible form Instead of the objectified powers of the human essence manifesting themselves in sensuous, useful objects to which we relate, capitalism confronts us with the alien nature of our objects and we are alienated In contrast, communism represents a fresh confirmation of human powers and a fresh enrichment of human nature My Own Private PropertyThere is some question as to whether private property will cease altogether under Communism.However, Marx suggests that the meaning of private property, freed from its estrangement, is the existence of essential objects for man, both as objects of enjoyment and of activity It s possible that money might also continue to exist, as a vehicle to acquire objects of enjoyment and activity.However, his analysis of money is very derogatory, and this interpretation might be wrong.The Road AheadI hesitate to call Marx an idealist or a romantic, because he was determined to integrate theory and practice, and extend philosophy into the politics of action.After all, just a few years later, he wrote, The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways the point is to change it However, it seems to me that he had a clear definition of the nature and potential of humanity, and he shaped his political philosophy to achieve that potential.He saw private property in the form of capital as the chief obstacle to the achievement of this potential.He considered that it had to be abolished, and that the only means was a revolution of the working class.He opposed other options that might have ameliorated the misery of the working class, in the hope that the severity of their condition would lead inevitably to revolution.Many people joined the revolutionary cause, because for whatever reason they wanted to negate the negative that they felt capitalism embodied.Few have ever been able to define the positive that they were trying to achieve.Few who actually participated in the Russian Revolution even knew the true positive nature of what Marx hoped to achieve.It is very easy to get caught in the enthusiasm of the 25 year old Marx, even easier to believe that many of the problems still exist, particularly in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis.However, the physical description of the diagnosis is something as old as Adam Smith Marx might well have been right in identifying the causes However, it s the treatment that needs to be worked on We need to do something that doesn t end up killing the patient.

  2. says:

    I single this out but I like most of Marx s writings because it still gives me shivers It isn t dry and tedious or in the realm of pure philosophy It is what it isan emotional maybe dumbed down , political tract that has no fear I don t care where in the political spectrum circle you areit s a good read.

  3. says:

    Early WorkThe EPM is an early work by Marx.It is where he develops his version of alienation and the relationship of the self to others, but also the relationship to work and the means of production.By the time of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels had got involved in History and were not content just to describe it They became theorists and publicists for a revolutionary cause They created a theoretical justification for violence as a methodology for achieving a political goal.Justifying the Use of Violence Despite how democratic nations claim to be, many still use violence to achieve a goal or maintain the status quo.Because they can t be seen to endorse revolution, they create and embrace the term regime change.They are both types of violence.The only difference is the justification.They both use the same means, the difference is the end.However, the EPM precedes all of this.Reassessing Their RelevanceMarx and Engels have received a lot of bad publicity Few dare to defend them.But in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, it s worth opening their works and having a dispassionate squiz.Not so that we can all get on a revolutionary anti capitalism bandwagon again, but so that we can understand the plight of people in contemporary society Other ReviewI have put a extended review of this book here

  4. says:

    This is kind of a mixed bag It s seems like a peek into Marx s private notebook than a fully formed treatiste per se, he s just starting here to pin down things like capital, labor, money, and the individual, and to give some basic analysis with regards to how they interact But by the end, I was surprised at just how humanistic it turned out to be This isn t the often cold, polemical materialism that he would develop later on, but something which is deep down concerned with the problems that capital et al has for basic human dignity and value Maybe I m telgraphing too much of Heidegger into it, but it seems that what this gets at is the ways in which capitalism alienates us not just in our day to day lives, but on a metaphysical level, from our sense of Being itself It s a very sensitive, musing piece of writing which, for it being Marx, I found refreshing

  5. says:

    Difficult to really assess due to its incompletion and what reads to me as a mediocre translation like much late discovered Marx, this reaches us in roundabout, allusive ways, both historically and theoretically, but it s worth sinking your teeth into him at his most philosophically impassioned In reference to the 1844 manuscripts the Manifesto, also included here, it should go without saying is obviously great.

  6. says:

    good shit, skipped the really hegelian sections though

  7. says:

    I really do need to read the Communist Manifesto tbh.

  8. says:

    This is one of Marx s difficult works Unlike Capital, which is a slog because of its dry technicality, this is the Young Marx, writing sometimes disjointed notes on alienation, political economy, and Hegel, still using the prose of a grad student.The ideas explored in the first and second manuscript will be nothing new to anyone reading this work Marx explores all of these ideas in Value, Price, and Profit, and Wage Labour and Capital, and he does so much coherently there Nevertheless, it is interesting to see the young Marx first grappling with questions of political economy in a rough, less developed way.The meat of this text is the third manuscript, which has perhaps caused the biggest paradigm shift in my thought out of all the Marx and Engels I ve read Here, he sets forth the theory of alienation, and at times does he ends a long, dry digression with paragraphs of lively prose and lucid beauty I quote one here This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man the true resolution of strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution As well, Marx really hit close to home when describing the self denial of capitalism, the way the worker is conditioned to not live but only to survive, to save what little money he has in the bank and not to enjoy himself.The work ends with ten pages against Hegel This part was incomprehensible to me, as Hegel himself is frankly incomprehensible.Truly, this is one of Marx s best works romantic, sincere, angry, humanistic Young Marx is my favorite Marx.

  9. says:

    Do not purchase this book from a store Either steal it or pirate it Enlightening and inspiring Everybody needs to read this book at one point or another, and be able argue for and against its claims Marx sums up the basics of his philosophy and critiques past leftist movements such as religious socialists and anarchists and explains why they have and will continue to fail He gives us his scientific socialism which explores the economic side of communism and why it is destined to eventually succeed Highlights class warfare and how the bourgeois have abused, and continue to abuse, the working class Also explains how petty emotional movements ie animal rights are used to distract the workers from their own personal abuse and prevent them from rebelling Remains relevant to this day.The only complaint I had was that I needed to keep a dictionary handy while reading it, apart from that it was great read and a life changing experience.

  10. says:

    So this is the much vaunted humanist Marx he s definitely a different Marx than the strict economic thinker of Capital Rather, this is a guy who thinks that capitalism destroys the soul of the worker, alienating him from his labors and alienating humanity from history.And given that a lot of Marx s specific economic theories are now pretty suspect while his social theories remain strong, this seems to be the Marx we should be paying attention to Check it out

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