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Private Property and Communism, p. The entire revolutionary movement necessarily finds both its empirical and its theoretical basis in the movement of private property — more precisely, in that of the economy. This material, immediately perceptible private property is the material perceptible expression of estranged human life.

Its movement — production and consumption — is the perceptible revelation of the movement of all production until now, i. Religion, family, state, law, morality, science, art, etc. The positive transcendence of private property as the appropriation of human life, is therefore the positive transcendence of all estrangement — that is to say, the return of man from religion, family, state, etc.

It is evident that the initial stage of the movement amongst the various peoples depends on whether the true recognised life of the people manifests itself more in consciousness or in the external world — is more ideal or real. Communism begins where atheism begins Owenbut atheism is at the outset still far from being communism; indeed it is still for the most part an abstraction. The philanthropy of atheism is therefore at first only philosophical, abstract philanthropy, and that of communism is at once real and directly bent on action.

Private Property and Communism Association, applied to land, shares the economic advantage of large-scale landed propertyand first brings to realization the original tendency inherent in land-division, namely, equality. In the same way association also re-establishes, now on a rational basis, no longer mediated by serfdom, overlordship and the silly mysticism of property, the intimate ties of man with the earth, since the earth ceases to be an object of huckstering, and through free labour and free enjoyment becomes once more a true personal property of man.

Rent of Land, p. As for large landed property, its defenders have always, sophisticallyidentified the economic advantages offered by large-scale agriculture with large-scale landed property, as if it were not precisely as a result of the abolition of property that this advantage, for one thing, would receive its greatest possible extension, and, for another, only then would be of social benefit.

Feuerbach is the only one who has a serious, critical attitude to the Hegelian dialectic and who has made genuine discoveries in this field. He is in fact the true conqueror of the old philosophy. The extent of his achievement, and the unpretentious simplicity with which he, Feuerbach, gives it to the world, stand in striking contrast to the opposite attitude of the others.

Critique of the Hegelian Dialectic and Philosophy as a Whole, p. The philosopher, who is himself an abstract form of alienated man, sets himself up as the measure of the alienated world.

The production of ideas, of conceptions, of consciousness, is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men, the language of real life. Die Deutsche Ideologie by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels — Full text online Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself.

We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence. For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist societywhere nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.

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. Volume I; Part 1; "Feuerbach. The fact is, therefore, that definite individuals who are productively active in a definite way enter into these definite social and political relations. Empirical observation must in each separate instance bring out empirically, and without any mystification and speculation, the connection of the social and political structure with production.

The social structure and the state are continually evolving out of the life-process of definite individuals, but of individuals, not as they appear in their own or other people's imagination, but as they really are; i. Conceiving, thinking, the mental intercourse of men, appear at this stage as the direct efflux of their material behaviour.

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The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of the politics, laws, morality, religion, metaphysics of a people. Men are the producers of their conception, ideas, etc.

Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence, and the existence of men is their actual life-process. If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process.

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Where speculation ends — in real life — there real, positive science begins: Empty talk about consciousness ceases, and real knowledge has to take place.

When reality is depicted, philosophy as an independent branch of activity loses its medium of existence. At the best its place can only be taken by a summing-up of the most general results, abstractions which arise from the observation of the historical development of men. Viewed apart from real history, these abstractions have in themselves no value whatsoever. They can only serve to facilitate the arrangement of historical material, to indicate the sequence of its separate strata.

But they by no means afford a recipe or schema, as does philosophy, for neatly trimming the epochs of history. On the contrary, our difficulties begin only when we set about the observation and the arrangement — the real depiction — of our historical material, whether of a past epoch or of the present. Communism differs from all previous movements in that it overturns the basis of all earlier relations of production and intercourse, and for the first time consciously treats all natural premises as the creatures of hitherto existing men, strips them of their natural character and subjugates them to the power of the united individuals.

Its organisation is, therefore, essentially economic, the material production of the conditions of this unity; it turns existing conditions into conditions of unity. The reality, which communism is creating, is precisely the true basis for rendering it impossible that anything should exist independently of individuals, insofar as reality is only a product of the preceding intercourse of individuals themselves.

It is in fact not the consciousness dominating life but the very life dominating consciousness. Language comes into being, like consciousness, from the basic need, from the scantiest intercourse with other human.

Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love. The German Ideology, International Publishers, ed. They have a world to win. A spectre is haunting Europe; the spectre of Communism.

Preamble, paragraph 1, line 1. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Section 1, paragraph 1, lines The bourgeoisiewherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley of ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment.

Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. Section 1, paragraph 18, lines All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

A class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increase capital.

These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market. Section 1, paragraph 30, lines He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him.

Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. Section 1, paragraph 31, lines No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc. Section 1, paragraph But every class struggle is a political struggle.

Section 1, paragraph 39, lines Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. Section 1, paragraph 44, lines Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. Section 1, paragraph 47, lines What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.

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Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. Section 1, paragraph 53, lines The theory of Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. Section 2, paragraph All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capitaland allowed to live only so far as the interest to the ruling class requires it.

Section 2, paragraph 20, lines Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. The working men have no country. We cannot take away from them what they have not got.

Section 2, paragraph 51, lines When people speak of ideas that revolutionize society, they do but express the fact that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

In place of the bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, shall we have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. Section 2, paragraph 72 last paragraph. In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class;and in ordinary life, despite the high-falutin phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples, and to barter truth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beet-root sugar, and potato spirits.

Economics Capital Volume 1 begins with an analysis of the idea of commodity production. A commodity is defined as a useful external object, produced for exchange on a market. Thus two necessary conditions for commodity production are the existence of a market, in which exchange can take place, and a social division of labour, in which different people produce different products, without which there would be no motivation for exchange. Marx suggests that commodities have both use-value — a use, in other words — and an exchange-value — initially to be understood as their price.

Use value can easily be understood, so Marx says, but he insists that exchange value is a puzzling phenomenon, and relative exchange values need to be explained. Why does a quantity of one commodity exchange for a given quantity of another commodity? His explanation is in terms of the labour input required to produce the commodity, or rather, the socially necessary labour, which is labour exerted at the average level of intensity and productivity for that branch of activity within the economy.

Thus the labour theory of value asserts that the value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Marx provides a two stage argument for the labour theory of value. As commodities can be exchanged against each other, there must, Marx argues, be a third thing that they have in common. Both steps of the argument are, of course, highly contestable. Capitalism is distinctive, Marx argues, in that it involves not merely the exchange of commodities, but the advancement of capital, in the form of money, with the purpose of generating profit through the purchase of commodities and their transformation into other commodities which can command a higher price, and thus yield a profit.

Marx claims that no previous theorist has been able adequately to explain how capitalism as a whole can make a profit. The cost of this commodity is determined in the same way as the cost of every other; i. Suppose that such commodities take four hours to produce. Thus the first four hours of the working day is spent on producing value equivalent to the value of the wages the worker will be paid. This is known as necessary labour.

Any work the worker does above this is known as surplus labour, producing surplus value for the capitalist. Surplus value, according to Marx, is the source of all profit. Other commodities simply pass their value on to the finished commodities, but do not create any extra value. They are known as constant capital. Profit, then, is the result of the labour performed by the worker beyond that necessary to create the value of his or her wages.

This is the surplus value theory of profit. It appears to follow from this analysis that as industry becomes more mechanised, using more constant capital and less variable capital, the rate of profit ought to fall.

For as a proportion less capital will be advanced on labour, and only labour can create value. In Capital Volume 3 Marx does indeed make the prediction that the rate of profit will fall over time, and this is one of the factors which leads to the downfall of capitalism.

A further consequence of this analysis is a difficulty for the theory that Marx did recognise, and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to meet also in Capital Volume 3. It follows from the analysis so far that labour intensive industries ought to have a higher rate of profit than those which use less labour.

Not only is this empirically false, it is theoretically unacceptable. Accordingly, Marx argued that in real economic life prices vary in a systematic way from values. Although there are known techniques for solving this problem now albeit with unwelcome side consequenceswe should recall that the labour theory of value was initially motivated as an intuitively plausible theory of price. But when the connection between price and value is rendered as indirect as it is in the final theory, the intuitive motivation of the theory drains away.

Any commodity can be picked to play a similar role. Consequently with equal justification one could set out a corn theory of value, arguing that corn has the unique power of creating more value than it costs. Formally this would be identical to the labour theory of value. Nevertheless, the claims that somehow labour is responsible for the creation of value, and that profit is the consequence of exploitation, remain intuitively powerful, even if they are difficult to establish in detail. However, even if the labour theory of value is considered discredited, there are elements of his theory that remain of worth.

Both provide a salutary corrective to aspects of orthodox economic theory. Theory of History Marx did not set out his theory of history in great detail. Accordingly, it has to be constructed from a variety of texts, both those where he attempts to apply a theoretical analysis to past and future historical events, and those of a more purely theoretical nature.

However, The German Ideology, co-written with Engels inis a vital early source in which Marx first sets out the basics of the outlook of historical materialism. Cohen, who builds on the interpretation of the early Russian Marxist Plekhanov.

However, some scholars believe that the interpretation that we shall focus on is faulty precisely for its lack of attention to the dialectic. Hence it does not follow that Marx himself thought that the concept of class struggle was relatively unimportant.

Furthermore, when A Critique of Political Economy was replaced by Capital, Marx made no attempt to keep the Preface in print, and its content is reproduced just as a very much abridged footnote in Capital. The satisfaction of needs engenders new needs of both a material and social kind, and forms of society arise corresponding to the state of development of human productive forces. This is the thesis that the productive forces tend to develop, in the sense of becoming more powerful, over time.

This states not that they always do develop, but that there is a tendency for them to do so. The productive forces are the means of production, together with productively applicable knowledge: The next thesis is the primacy thesis, which has two aspects. The first states that the nature of the economic structure is explained by the level of development of the productive forces, and the second that the nature of the superstructure — the political and legal institutions of society— is explained by the nature of the economic structure.

Indeed many activities may well combine aspects of both the superstructure and ideology: Revolution and epoch change is understood as the consequence of an economic structure no longer being able to continue to develop the forces of production. In outline, then, the theory has a pleasing simplicity and power. It seems plausible that human productive power develops over time, and plausible too that economic structures exist for as long as they develop the productive forces, but will be replaced when they are no longer capable of doing this.

Yet severe problems emerge when we attempt to put more flesh on these bones. The antipathy is well summed up with the closing words of H. One difficulty taken particularly seriously by Cohen is an alleged inconsistency between the explanatory primacy of the forces of production, and certain claims made elsewhere by Marx which appear to give the economic structure primacy in explaining the development of the productive forces.

For example, in The Communist Manifesto Marx states that: Cohen accepts that, on the surface at least, this generates a contradiction. Both the economic structure and the development of the productive forces seem to have explanatory priority over each other. The essential move is cheerfully to admit that the economic structure does indeed develop the productive forces, but to add that this, according to the theory, is precisely why we have capitalism when we do.

That is, if capitalism failed to develop the productive forces it would disappear. And, indeed, this fits beautifully with historical materialism. Essentially fettering is what happens when the economic structure becomes dysfunctional.

Now it is apparent that this renders historical materialism consistent. Yet there is a question as to whether it is at too high a price. For we must ask whether functional explanation is a coherent methodological device. The problem is that we can ask what it is that makes it the case that an economic structure will only persist for as long as it develops the productive forces.

Jon Elster has pressed this criticism against Cohen very hard. If we were to argue that there is an agent guiding history who has the purpose that the productive forces should be developed as much as possible then it would make sense that such an agent would intervene in history to carry out this purpose by selecting the economic structures which do the best job. However, it is clear that Marx makes no such metaphysical assumptions. Cohen is well aware of this difficulty, but defends the use of functional explanation by comparing its use in historical materialism with its use in evolutionary biology.

In contemporary biology it is commonplace to explain the existence of the stripes of a tiger, or the hollow bones of a bird, by pointing to the function of these features. Here we have apparent purposes which are not the purposes of anyone. The obvious counter, however, is that in evolutionary biology we can provide a causal story to underpin these functional explanations; a story involving chance variation and survival of the fittest.

Therefore these functional explanations are sustained by a complex causal feedback loop in which dysfunctional elements tend to be filtered out in competition with better functioning elements. But he points out that standard causal explanations are equally in need of elaborations. We might, for example, be satisfied with the explanation that the vase broke because it was dropped on the floor, but a great deal of further information is needed to explain why this explanation works.

Consequently, Cohen claims that we can be justified in offering a functional explanation even when we are in ignorance of its elaboration. Indeed, even in biology detailed causal elaborations of functional explanations have been available only relatively recently. Darwin outlined a very plausible mechanism, but having no genetic theory was not able to elaborate it into a detailed account. Our knowledge remains incomplete to this day. Nevertheless, it seems perfectly reasonable to say that birds have hollow bones in order to facilitate flight.

Hence one can be justified in offering a functional explanation even in absence of a candidate elaboration: At this point the issue, then, divides into a theoretical question and an empirical one.

The empirical question is whether or not there is evidence that forms of society exist only for as long as they advance productive power, and are replaced by revolution when they fail. Here, one must admit, the empirical record is patchy at best, and there appear to have been long periods of stagnation, even regression, when dysfunctional economic structures were not revolutionised.

The theoretical issue is whether a plausible elaborating explanation is available to underpin Marxist functional explanations. Here there is something of a dilemma. In the first instance it is tempting to try to mimic the elaboration given in the Darwinian story, and appeal to chance variations and survival of the fittest. Chance variation would be a matter of people trying out new types of economic relations. On this account new economic structures begin through experiment, but thrive and persist through their success in developing the productive forces.

Within Darwinian theory there is no warrant for long-term predictions, for everything depends on the contingencies of particular situations. A similar heavy element of contingency would be inherited by a form of historical materialism developed by analogy with evolutionary biology. The dilemma, then, is that the best model for developing the theory makes predictions based on the theory unsound, yet the whole point of the theory is predictive. Hence one must either look for an alternative means of producing elaborating explanation, or give up the predictive ambitions of the theory.

But what is it that drives such development? Human beings have the ingenuity to apply themselves to develop means to address the scarcity they find.

This on the face of it seems very reasonable. Yet there are difficulties. As Cohen himself acknowledges, societies do not always do what would be rational for an individual to do. Co-ordination problems may stand in our way, and there may be structural barriers. Furthermore, it is relatively rare for those who introduce new technologies to be motivated by the need to address scarcity.

Rather, under capitalism, the profit motive is the key. Of course it might be argued that this is the social form that the material need to address scarcity takes under capitalism.

But still one may raise the question whether the need to address scarcity always has the influence that it appears to have taken on in modern times. Alternatively, it might be thought that a society may put religion or the protection of traditional ways of life ahead of economic needs. Such a criticism chimes with a criticism from the previous section; that the historical record may not, in fact, display the tendency to growth in the productive forces assumed by the theory.

It is possible to argue, for example, that Marx did not have a general theory of history, but rather was a social scientist observing and encouraging the transformation of capitalism into communism as a singular event. On other views Marx did have a general theory of history but it is far more flexible and less determinate than Cohen insists Miller.