|| JOBS | DRUGS | ANATOMY | DIAMONDS | HEALTH TOPICS | DISEASES | ENERGY | GEOLOGY | AIRPORTS | COUNTRIES | FLAGS ||
Heinrich Karl Marx
HEINRICH KARL MARX (1818-1883), German socialist, and head of the International Working Men's Association, was born on the 5th of May 1818 in Treves (Rhenish Prussia). His father, a Jewish lawyer, in 1824 went over to Christianity, and he and his whole family were baptized as Christian Protestants. The son went to the high grammar school at Treves, and from 1835 to the universities of Bonn and Berlin. He studied first law, then history and philosophy, and in 1841 took the degree of doctor of philosophy. In Berlin he had close intimacy with the most prominent representatives of the young Hegelians - the brothers Bruno and Edgar Bauer and their circle, the so-called "Freien." He at first intended to settle as a lecturer at Bonn University, but his Radical views made a university career out of the question, and he accepted work on a Radical paper, the Rheinische Zeitung, which expounded the ideas of the most advanced section of the Rhenish Radical bourgeoisie. In October 1842 he became one of the editors of this paper, which, however, after an incessant struggle with press censors, was suppressed in the beginning of 1843. In the summer of this year Marx married Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a high government official. Through her mother Jenny von Westphalen was a lineal descendant of the earl of Argyle, who was beheaded under James II. She was a most faithful companion to Marx during all the vicissitudes of his career, and died on the 2nd of December 1881; he outliving her only fifteen months.
Already in the Rheinische Zeitung some socialist voices had been audible, couched in a somewhat philosophical strain. Marx, though not accepting these views, refused to criticize them until he had studied the question thoroughly: For this purpose he went in the autumn of 1843 to Paris, where the socialist movement was then at its intellectual zenith, and where he, together with Arnold Ruge, the well-known literary leader of Radical Hegelianism, was to edit a review, the Deutsch franziisische Jahrbiicher, of which, however, only one number appeared. It contained two articles by Marx - a criticism of Bruno Bauer's treatment of the Jewish question, and an introduction to a criticism of Hegel's philosophy of the law. The first concluded that the social emancipation of the Jews could only be achieved together with the emancipation of society from Judaism, i.e. commercialism. The second declared that in Germany no partial political emancipation was possible; there was now only one class from which a real and reckless fight against authority was to be expected - namely, the proletariate. But the proletariate could not emancipate itself except by breaking all the chains, by dissolving the whole constituted society, by recreating man as a member of the human society in the place of established states and classes. "Then the day of German resurrection will be announced by the crowing of the Gallican cock." Both articles thus relegated the solution of the questions then prominent in Germany to the advent of socialism, and so far resembled in principle other socialist publications of the time. But the way of reasoning was different, and the final words of the last quoted sentence pointed to a political revolution, to begin in France as soon as the industrial evolution had created a sufficiently strong proletariate. In contradistinction to most of the socialists of the day, Marx laid stress upon the political struggle as the lever of social emancipation. In some letters which formed part of a correspondence between Marx, Ruge, Ludwig Feuerbach, and Mikhail Bakunin, published as an introduction to the review, this opposition of Marx to socialistic "dogmatism" was enunciated in a still more pronounced form: "Nothing prevents us," he said, "from combining our criticism with the criticism of politics, from participating in politics, and consequently in real struggles. We will not, then, oppose the world like doctrinarians with a new principle: here is truth, kneel down here! We expose new principles to the world out of the principles of the world itself. We don't tell it: ` Give up your struggles, they are rubbish, we will show you the true war-cry.' We explain to it only the real object for which it struggles, and consciousness is a thing it must acquire even if it objects to it." In Paris Marx met Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), from whom the Deutsch franzosische Jahrbiticher had two articles - a powerfully written outline of a criticism of political economy, and a letter on Carlyle's Past and Present. Engels, the son of a wealthy cotton-spinner, was born in 1820 at Barmen. Although destined by his father for a commercial career, he attended a classical school, and during his apprenticeship and whilst undergoing in Berlin his one year's military service, he had given up part of his free hours to philosophical studies. In Berlin he had frequented the society of the "Freien," and had written letters to the Rheinische Zeitung. In 1842 he had gone to England, his father's firm having a factory near Manchester, and had entered into connexion with the Owenite and Chartist movements, as well as with German communists. He contributed to Owen's New Moral World and to the Chartist Northern Star. , gave up much of his abstract speculative reasoning for a more positivist conception of things, and took to economic studies. Now, in September 1844, on a short stay in Paris, he visited Marx, and the two found that in regard to all theoretical points there was perfect agreement between them. From that visit dates the close friendship and uninterrupted collaboration and exchange of ideas which lasted during their lives, so that even some of Marx's subsequent works, which he published under his own name, are more or less also the work of Engels. The first result of their collaboration was the book Die heilige Familie oder Kritik der kritischen Kritik, gegen Bruno Bauer and Konsorten, a scathing exposition of the perverseness of the high-sounding speculative radicalism of Bauer and the other Berlin "Freie." By aid of an analysis, which, though not free from exaggeration and a certain diffuseness, bears testimony to. the great learning of Marx and the vigorous discerning faculty of both the authors, it is shown that the supposed superior criticism - the "critical criticism" of the Bauer school, based upon the doctrine of a "self-conscious" idea, represented by or incarnated in the critic - was in fact inferior to the older Hegelian idealism. The socialist and working-class movements in Great Britain, France and Germany are defended against the superior criticism of the "holy" Bauer family.
In Paris, where he had very intimate intercourse with Heinrich Heine, who always speaks of him with the greatest respect, and some of whose poems were suggested by Marx, the latter contributed to a Radical magazine, the Vorwarts; but in consequence of a request by the Prussian government, nearly the whole staff of the magazine soon got orders to leave France. Marx now went to Brussels, where he shortly afterwards was joined by Engels. In Brussels he published his second great work, La Misere de la philosophic, a sharp rejoinder to the Philosophic de la misere ou contradictions economiques of J. P. Proudhon. In this he deals with Proudhon, whom in the former work he had defended against the Bauers, not less severely than with the latter. It is shown that in many points Proudhon is inferior to both the middle-class economists and the socialists, that his somewhat noisily proclaimed discoveries in regard to political economy were made long before by English socialists, and that his main remedies, the "constitution of the labour-value" and the establishment of exchange bazaars, were but a repetition of what English socialists had already worked out much more thoroughly and more consistently. Altogether the book shows remarkable knowledge of political economy. In justice to Proudhon, it must be added that it is more often his mode of speaking than the thought underlying the attacked sentences that is hit by Marx's criticism. In Brussels Marx and Engels also wrote a number of essays, wherein they criticized the German literary representatives of that kind of socialism and philosophic radicalism which was mainly influenced by the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach, and deduced its theorems or postulates from speculations on the "nature of man." They mockingly nicknamed this kind of socialism "German or True Socialism," and ridiculed the idea that by disregarding historical and class distinctions a conception of society and socialism superior to that of the English and French workers and theorists could be obtained. Some of these essays were published at the time, two or three, curiously enough, by one of the attacked writers in his own magazine; one, a criticism of Feuerbach himself, was in a modified form published by Engels in 1885, but others have remained in manuscript. They were at first intended for publication in two volumes as a criticism of post-Hegelian German philosophy, but the Revolution of 1848 postponed for a time all interest in theoretical discussions.
In Brussels Marx and Engels came into still closer contact with the socialist working-class movement. They founded a German workers' society, acquired a local German weekly, the Briisseller deutsche Zeitung, and finally joined a communistic society of German workers, the "League of the Just," a secret society which had its main branches in London, Paris, Brussels and several Swiss towns. For this league, which till then had adhered to the rough-and-ready communism of the gifted German workman Wilhelm Weitling, but which now called itself "League of the Communists," and gave up its leanings towards conspiracy and became an educational and propagandistic body, Marx and Engels at the end of 1847 wrote their famous pamphlet, Manifest der Kommunisten. It was a concise exposition of the history of the working-class movement in modern society according to their views, to which was added a critical survey of the existing socialist and communist literature, and an explanation of the attitude of the Communists towards the advanced opposition parties in the different countries. Scarcely was the manifesto printed when, in February 1848, the Revolution broke out in France, and "the crowing of the Gallican cock" gave the signal for an upheaval in Germany such as Marx had prophesied. After a short stay in France, Marx and Engels went to Cologne in May 1848, and there with some friends they founded the Neue rheinische Zeitung, with the sub-title "An Organ of Democracy," a political daily paper on a large scale, of which Marx was the chief editor. They took a frankly revolutionary attitude, and directed their criticism to a great extent against the middle-class democratic parties, who, by evading all decisive issues, delayed the achievement of the upheaval. When in November 1848 the king of Prussia dissolved the National Assembly, Marx and his friends advocated the non-payment of taxes and the organization of armed resistance. Then the state of siege was declared in Cologne, the Neue rheinische Zeitung was suspended, and Marx was put on trial for high treason. He was unanimously acquitted by a middle-class jury, but in May 1849 he was expelled from Prussian territory. He went to Paris, but was soon given the option of either leaving France or settling at a small provincial place. He preferred the former, and went to England. He settled in London, and remained there for the rest of his life.
At first he tried to reorganize the Communist League; but soon a conflict broke out in its ranks, and after some of its members had been tried in Germany and condemned for high treason, Marx, who had done everything to save the accused, dissolved the Communist League altogether. Nor was a literary enterprise, a review, also called the Neue rheinische Zeitung, more successful; only six numbers of it were issued. It contained, however, some very remarkable contributions; and a series of articles on the career of the French Revolution of 1848, which first appeared there, was in 1895 published by Engels in book form under the title of Die Klassenkampfe in Frankreich von 1848 " by Karl Marx." Carlyle's Latter Day Pamphlets, published at that time, met with a very vehement criticism in the Neue rheinische Zeitung. The endeavours of Ernest Jones and others to revive the Chartist movement were heartily supported by Marx, who contributed to several of the Chartist journals of the period, mostly, if not wholly, without getting or asking payment. He lived at this time in great financial straits, occupied a few small rooms in Dean Street, Soho, and all his children then born died very young. At length he was invited to write letters for the New York Tribune, whose staff consisted of advanced democrats and socialists of the Fourierist school. For these letters he was paid at the rate of a guinea each. Part of them, dealing with the Eastern Question and the Crimean War, were republished in 1897 (London, Sonnenschein). Some were even at the time reprinted in pamphlet form. The co-operation of Marx, who was determinedly antiRussian, since Russia was the leading reactionary power in Europe, was obtained by David Urquhart and his followers. A number of Marx's articles were issued as pamphlets by the Urquhartite committees, and Marx wrote a series of articles on the diplomatic history of the 18th century for the Urquhartite Free Press (Sheffield and London, 1856-1857). When in 1859 the Franco-Austrian War about Italy broke out, Marx denounced it as a Franco-Russian intrigue, directed against Germany on the one hand and the revolutionary movement in France on the other. He opposed those democrats who supported a war which in their eyes aimed at the independence of the Italian nation and promised to weaken Austria, whose superiority in Germany was the hindrance to German unity. Violent derogatory remarks directed against him by the wellknown naturalist Karl Vogt gave occasion to a not less violent rejoinder, Herr Vogt, a book full of interesting material for the student of modern history. Marx's contention, that Vogt acted as an agent of the Bonapartist clique, seems to have been well founded, whilst it must be an open question how far Vogt acted from dishonourable motives. The discussions raised by the war also resulted in a great estrangement between Marx and Ferdinand Lassalle. Lassalle had taken a similar view of the war to that advocated by Vogt, and fought tooth and nail for it in letters to Marx. In the same year, 18J9, Marx published as a first result of his renewed economic studies the book Zur Kritik der politischen Okonomie. It was the first part of a much larger work planned to cover the whole ground of political economy. But Marx found that the arrangement of his materials did not fully answer his purpose, and that many details had still to be worked out. He consequently altered the whole plan and sat down to rewrite the book, of which in 1867 he published the first volume under the title Das Kapital. In the meantime, in 1864, the International Working Men's Association was founded in London, and Marx became in fact though not in name, the head of its general council. All its addresses and proclamations were penned by him and explained in lectures to the members of the council. The first years of the International went smoothly enough. Marx was then at his best. He displayed in the International a political sagacity and toleration which compare most favourably with the spirit of some of the publications of the Communist League. He was more of its teacher than an agitator, and his expositions of such subjects as education, trade unions, the working day, and cooperation were highly instructive. He did not hurry on extreme resolutions, but put his proposals in such a form that they could be adopted by even the more backward sections, and yet contained no concessions to reactionary tendencies. But this condition of things was not permitted to go on. The anarchist 17 agitation of Bakunin, the Franco-German War, and the Paris Commune created a state of things before which the International succumbed. Passions and prejudices ran so high that it proved impossible to maintain any sort of centralized federation. At the congress of the Hague, September 1872, the general council was removed from London to New York. But this was only a makeshift, and in July 1876 the rest of the old International was formally dissolved at a conference held in Philadelphia. That its spirit had not passed away was shown by subsequent international congresses, and by the growth and character of socialist labour parties in different countries. They have mostly founded their programmes on the basis of its principles, but are not always in their details quite in accordance with Marx's views. Thus the programme which the German socialist party accepted at its congress in 1875 was very severely criticized by Marx. This criticism, reprinted in 1891 in the review Die neue Zeit, is of great importance for the analysis of Marx's conception of socialism.
The dissolution of the International gave Marx an opportunity of returning to his scientific work. He did not, however, succeed in publishing further volumes of Das Kapital. In order to make it - and especially the part dealing with property in land - as complete as possible, he took up, as Engels tells us, a number of new studies, but repeated illness interrupted his researches, and on the 14th of March 1883 he passed quietly away.
From the manuscripts he left Engels compiled a second and a third volume of Das Kapital by judiciously and elaborately using complete and incomplete chapters, rough copies and excerpts, which Marx had at different times written down. Much of the copy used dates back to the 'sixties, i.e. represents the work as at first conceived by Marx, so that, e.g., the matter published as the third volume was in the main written much earlier than the matter which was used for compiling the second volume. The same applies to the fourth volume. Although the work thus comprises the four volumes promised in the preface to the book, it can only in a very restricted sense be regarded as complete. In substance and demonstration it must be regarded as a torso. And it is perhaps not quite: accidental that it should be so. Marx, if he had lived longer and had enjoyed better health, would have given the world a much greater amount of scientific work of high value than is now the case. But it seems doubtful whether he would have brought Das Kapital, his main work, to a satisfactory conclusion.
Das Kapital proposes to show up historically and critically the whole mechanism of capitalist economy. The first volume deals with the processes of producing capital, the second with the circulation of capital, the third with the movements of capital as a whole, whilst the fourth gives the history of the theories concerning capital. Capital is, according to Marx, the means of appropriating surplus-value as distinguished from ground rent (rent on every kind of terrestrial property, such as land, mines, rivers, &c., based upon the monopolist nature of such property). Surplus-value is created in the process of production only, it is this part of the value of the newly created product which is not given to the workman as a return - the wage - of the labour-force he expended in working. If at first taken by the employer, it is in the different phases of economic intercourse split up into the profit of industrial enterprise, commercial or merchants' profit, interest and ground rent. The value of every commodity consists in the labour expended on it, and is measured according to the time occupied by the labour employed on its production. Labour in itself has no value, being only the measure of value, but the labour-force of the workman has a value, the value of the means required to maintain the worker in normal conditions of social existence. Thus, in distinction to other commodities, in the determination of the value of labour-force, besides the purely economical, a moral and historical element enter. If to-day the worker receives a wage which covers the bare necessaries of life, he is underpaid - he does not receive the real value of his labour-force. For the value of any commodity is determined by its socially necessary costs of production (or in this case, maintenance). "Socially necessary" means, further, that no more labour is embodied in a commodity than is required by applying labour-force, tools, &c., of average or normal efficiency, and that the commodity is produced in such quantity as is required to meet the effective demand for it. As this generally cannot be known in advance, the market value of a commodity only gravitates round its (abstract) value. But in the long run an equalization takes place, and for his further deductions Marx assumes that commodities exchange according to their value.
That part of an industrial capital which is employed for installations, machines, raw and auxiliary materials, is called by Marx constant capital, for the value of it or of its wear and tear reappears in equal proportions in the value of the new product. It is otherwise with labour. The new value of the product must by necessity xv11.26 a be always higher than the value of the employed labour-force. Hence the capital employed in buying labour-force, i.e. in wages, is called variable capital. It is the tendency of capitalist production to reduce the amount spent in wages and to increase the amount invested in machines, &c. For with natural and social, legal and other limitations of the working day, and the opposition to unlimited reduction of wages, it is not possible otherwise to cheapen production and beat competition. According to the proportion of constant to variable capital, Marx distinguishes capitals of lowest average and highest composition, the highest composition being that where proportionately the least amount of variable (wages) capital is employed.
The ratio of the wages which workmen receive to the surplusvalue which they produce Marx calls the rate of surplus-value; that of the surplus-value produced to the whole capital employed is the rate of profit. It is evident, then, that at the same time the rate of surplus-value can increase and the rate of profit decrease, and this in fact is the case. There is a continuous tendency of the rates of profit to decrease, and only by some counteracting forces is their decrease temporarily interrupted, protracted, or even sometimes reversed. Besides, by competition and movement of capitals the rates of profit in the different branches of trade are pressed towards an equalization in the shape of an average rate of profits. This average rate or profits, added to the actual cost price of a given commodity, constitutes its price of production, and it is this price of production which appears to the empirical mind of the business man as the value of the commodity. The real law of value, on the contrary, disappears from the surface in a society where, as to-day, commodities are bought and sold against money and not exchanged against other commodities. Nevertheless, according to Marx, it is also to-day this law of value ("labour-value") which in the last resort rules the prices and profits.
The tendency to cheapen production by increasing the relative proportion of constant capital - the fixed capital of the classical economist plus that portion of the circulating capital which consists of raw and auxiliary materials, &c. - leads to a continuous increase in the size of private enterprises, to their growing concentration. It is the larger enterprise that beats and swallows the smaller. The number of dependent workmen - "proletarians" - is thus continually growing, whilst employment only periodically keeps pace with their number. Capital alternately attracts and repels workmen, and creates a constant surplus-population of workmen - a reserve-army for its requirements - which helps to lower wages and to keep the whole class in economic dependency. A decreasing number of capitalists usurp and monopolize all the benefits of industrial progress, whilst the mass of misery, of oppression, of servitude, of depravation, and of exploitation increases. But at the same time the working class continuously grows in numbers, and is disciplined, united and organized by the very mechanism of the capitalist mode of production. The centralization of the means of production and the socialization of the mode of production reach a point where they will become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Then the knell of capitalist private property will have been rung. Those who used to expropriate will be expropriated. Individual property will again be established based upon co-operation and common ownership of the earth and the means of production produced by labour.
These are the principal outlines of Das Kapital. Its purely economic deductions are dominated throughout by the theory of surplus-value. Its leading sociological principle is the materialist conception of history. This theory is in Das Kapital only laid down by implication, but it has been more connectedly explained in the preface of Zur Kritik and several works of Engels. According to it the material basis of life, the manner in which life and its requirements are produced, determines in the last instance the social ideas and institutions of the time or historical epoch, so that fundamental changes in the former produce in the long run also fundamental changes in the latter. A set of social institutions answer to a given mode of production, and periods where the institutions no longer answer to the mode of production are periods of social revolution, which go on until sufficient adjustment has taken place. The main subjective forces of the struggle between the old order and the new are the classes into which society is divided after the dissolution of the communistic or semi-communistic tribes and the creation of states. And as long as society is divided into classes a class war will persist, sometimes in a more latent or disguised, sometimes in a more open or acute form, according to circumstances. In advanced capitalist society the classes between whom the decisive war takes place are the capitalist owners of the means of production and the non-propertied or wage-earning workers, the "proletariate." But the proletariate cannot free itself without freeing all other oppressed classes, and thus its victory means the end of exploitation and political repression altogether. Consequently the state as a repressive power will die out, and a free association will take its place.
Almost from the first Das Kapital and the publications of Marx and Engels connected with it have been subjected to all kinds of criticisms. The originality of its leading ideas has been disputed, the ideas themselves have been declared to be false or only partially true, and consequently leading to wrong conclusions; and it has been said of many of Marx's statements that they are incorrect, and that many of the statistics upon which he bases his deductions do not prove what he wants them to prove. In regard to the first point, it must be conceded that the disjecta membra of Marx's value theory and of his materialist conception of history are already to be found in the writings of former socialists and sociologists. It may even be said that just those points of the Marxist doctrine which have become popular are in a very small degree the produce of Marx's genius, and that what really belongs to Marx, the methodical conjunction and elaboration of these points, as well as the finer deductions drawn from their application, are generally ignored. But this is an experience repeated over and over again in the history of deductive sciences, and is quite irrelevant for the question of Marx's place in the history of socialism and social science.
It must further be admitted that in several places the statistical evidence upon which Marx bases his deductions is insufficient or inconclusive. Moreover - and this is one of the most damaging admissions - it repeatedly happens that he points out all the phenomena connected with a certain question, but afterwards ignores some of them and proceeds as if they did not exist. Thus, e.g., he speaks at the end of the first volume, where he sketches the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation, of the decreasing number of magnates of capital as of an established fact. But all statistics show that the number of capitalists does not decrease, but increase; and in other places in Das Kapital this fact is indeed fully admitted, and even accentuated. Marx was, as the third volume shows, also quite aware that limited liability companies play an important part in the distribution of wealth. But he leaves this factor, too, quite out of sight, and confuses the concentration of private enterprises with the centralization of fortunes and capitals. By these and other omissions, quite apart from developments he could not well foresee, he announces a coming evolution which is very unlikely to take place in the way described.
In this and in other features of his work a dualism reveals itself which is also often observable in his actions in life - the alternating predominance of the spirit of the scholar and the spirit of the radical revolutionary. Marx originally entitled his great social work Criticism of Political Economy, and this is still the sub-title of Das Kapital. But the conception of critic or criticize has with Marx a very pronounced meaning. He uses them mostly as identical with fundamentally opposing. Much as he had mocked the "critical criticism" of the Bauers, he is in this respect yet of their breed and relapses into their habits. He retained in principle the Hegelian dialectical method, of which he said that in order to be rationally employed it must be "turned upside down," i.e. put upon a materialist basis. But as a matter of fact he has in many respects contravened against this prescription. Strict materialist dialectics cannot conclude much beyond actual facts. Dialectical materialism is revolutionary in the sense that it recognizes no finality, but otherwise it is necessarily positivist in the general meaning of that term. But Marx's opposition to modern society was fundamental and revolutionary, answering to that of the proletarian to the bourgeois. And here we come to the main and fatal contradiction of his work. He wanted to proceed, and to a very great extent did proceed, scientifically. Nothing was to be deduced from preconceived ideas; from the observed evolutionary laws and forces of modern society alone were conclusions to be drawn. And yet the final conclusion of the work, as already noted, is a preconceived idea; it is the announcement of a state of society logically opposed to the given one. Imperceptibly the dialectical movement of ideas is substituted for the dialectical movement of facts, and the real movement of facts is only considered so far as is compatible with the former. Science is violated in the service of speculation. The picture given at the end of the first volume answers to a conception arrived at by speculative socialism in the 'forties. True, Marx calls this chapter "the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation," and "tendency" does not necessarily mean realization in every detail. But on the whole the language used there is much too absolute to allow of the interpretation that Marx only wanted to give a speculative picture of the goal to which capitalist accumulation would lead if unhampered by socialist counteraction. The epithet "historical" indicates rather that the passage in question was meant to give in the main the true outline of the forthcoming social revolution. We are led to this conclusion also by the fact that, in language which is not in the least conditional, it is there said that the change of capitalist property into social property will mean "only the expropriation of a few usurpers by the mass of the people." In short, the principal reason for the undeniable contradictions in Das Kapital is to be found in the fact that where Marx has to do with details or subordinate subjects he mostly notices the important changes which actual evolution had brought about since the time of his first socialist writings, and thus himself states how far their presuppositions have been corrected by facts. But when he comes to general conclusions, he adheres in the main to the original propositions based upon the old uncorrected presuppositions. Besides, the complex character of modern society is greatly underestimated, so that, e.g., such important features as the influence of the changes of traffic and aggregation on modern life are scarcely considered at all; and industrial and political problems are viewed only from the aspect of class antagonism, and never under their administrative aspect. With regard to the theory of surplusvalue and its foundation, the theory of labour-value, so much may be safely said that, its premisses accepted, it is most ingeniously and most consistently worked out. And since its principal contention is in any case so far true that the wage-earning workers as a whole produce more than they receive, the theory has the great merit of demonstrating in an admirably lucid way the relations between wages and surplus-produce and the growth and movements of capital. But the theory of labour-value as the determining factor of the exchange or market value of commodities can with justification be disputed, and is surely not more true than those theories of value based on social demand or utility. Marx himself, in placing in the third volume what he calls the law of value in the background and setting out the formation of the "price of production" as the empirical determinator of prices in modern society, justifies those who look upon the conception of labour-value as an abstract formula which does not apply to individual exchanges of commodities at all, but which only serves to show an imagined typical example of what in reality to-day is only true with regard to the production of the whole of social wealth. Thus understood, the conception of labour-value is quite unobjectionable, but it loses much of the significance attributed to it by most of the disciples of Marx and occasionally by Marx himself. It is a means of analysing and exemplifying surplus labour, but quite inconclusive as to the proof of the surplus value, or as an indication of the degree of the exploitation of the workers. This becomes the more apparent the more the reader advances in the second and third volumes of Das Kapital, where commercial capital, money capital and ground rent are dealt with. Though full of fine observations and deductions, they form, from a revolutionary standpoint, an anti-climax to the first volume. It is difficult to see how, after all that is explained there on the functions of the classes that stand between industrial employers and workers, Marx could have returned to those sweeping conclusions with which the first volume ends.
The great scientific achievement of Marx lies, then, not in these conclusions, but in the details and yet more in the method and principles of his investigations in his philosophy of history. Here he has, as is now generally admitted, broken new ground and opened new ways and new outlooks. Nobody before him had so clearly shown the role of the productive agencies in historical evolution; nobody so masterfully exhibited their great determining influence on the forms and ideologies of social organisms. The passages and chapters dealing with this subject form, notwithstanding occasional exaggerations, the crowning parts of his works. If he has been justly compared with Darwin, it is in these respects that he ranks with that great genius, not through his value theory, ingenious though it be. With the great theorist of biological transformation he had also in common the indefatigable way in which he made painstaking studies of the minutest details connected with his researches. In the same year as Darwin's epoch-making work on the origin of species there appeared also Marx's work Zur Kritik der politischen Okonomie, where he explains in concise sentences in the preface that philosophy of history which has for the theory of the transformation or evolution of social organisms the same significance that the argument of Darwin had for the theory of the transformation of biological organisms.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. - The main writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are as follow (we give only the titles of the original works and of their English translations): (I) Of Karl Marx alone: La Misere de la philosophie, reponse a la philosophie de la misere de M. Proudhon (Paris, 1847; new ed., 1892; English ed., The Poverty of Philosophy, London, 1900); Lohnarbeit and Kapital, pamphlet, written 1848 (new ed., Berlin, 1891); English ed., Wage, Labour and Capital (London, 1900); Die Klassenkampfe Frankreich, 1848 to 1850 (Berlin, 1895) Der Achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte (New York, 1852; 3rd ed., Hamburg, 1889; Eng. ed., New York, 1889); Enthullungen fiber den Kiilner Kommunistenprozess (Basel, 1852; new ed., ZurichBerlin, 1885); "European Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions" (reprints from the New York Tribune, 1851-1852; London, 18 97); "The Eastern Question" (reprints from the New York Tribune, 18 531856; London, 1898); Zur Kritik der politischen Okonomie (Berlin, 1859; new ed., Stuttgart, 1897); Herr Vogt (London, 1860); Inaugural Address of the International Working Men's Association (London, 1864); Value, Price and Profit (written 1865, published London, 1898); Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen O konomie (3 vols., Hamburg, 1867, 1885 and 1895; Eng. ed. of 1st vol., 1886); The Civil War in France, 1871 (London, 1871; new ed., 1894); L' Alliance de la democratic socialiste (London, 1873); articles printed or reprinted in Rheinische Zeitung (1842-1843), Deutsch franzosische Jahrbiicher (Paris, 1844), Das westphalische Dampfboot (Bielefeld and Paderborn, 1845-1848), Der Gesellschaftsspiegel (Elberfeld, 1846), Deutsche briisseler Zeitung (Brussels, 1847), Neue rheinische Zeitung (daily, Cologne, 1848-1849; monthly, Hamburg, 1850), The People (London, 1852-1858), The New York Tribune (New York, 1853-1860), The Free Press (Sheffield and London, 1856-1857), Das Volk (London, 1859), Der Vorbote (Geneva, 1866-1875), Der Volkstaat (Leipzig, 1869-1876), Die Neue Zeit (Stuttgart, 1883, sqq.); Sozialistische Monatshefte (Berlin, 1895, sqq.). (2) Of Friedrich Engels alone: Die Lage der arbeitenden Klassen in England (Leipzig, 1845; new ed., Stuttgart, 1892; Eng. ed., London, 1892); Zur Wohnungsfrage (Leipzig, 1873-1874; new ed., Zurich-Berlin, 1887); Herrn Eugen Diihrings Umwdlzung der Wissenschaft (Leipzig, 1877; 3rd ed., Stuttgart, 1894). Three chapters of the first-named are published in English under the title Socialism, Utopian and Scientific (London, 1892). Der Ursprung des Eigenthums, der Familie and des Staales (Zurich and Stuttgart, 1885 and 1892); Ludwig Feuerbach and der Ausgang der klassischen deutschen Philosophic (Stuttgart, 1886). Introductions to most of the posthumous works of K. Marx and articles in the same periodicals as Marx. (3) Of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels together: Die heilige Familie oder Kritik der kritischen Kritik (Frankfurt, 1845); Manifest der kommunistischen Partei (London, 1848; Eng. ed., 1848 and 1888). (4) With regard to Marx generally, his theory and his school, see J. Stammhammer, Bibliographic des Sozialismus and Kommunismus (Jena, 1893); and Th. G. Masaryk, Die philosophischen and soziologischen Grundlagen des Marxismus (Vienna, 1899). Much biographical and bibliographical information on Marx and Engels is to be found in Dr Franz Mehring, Geschichte der deutschen Sozialdemokratie (Stuttgart, 1897-1898), and in the collection, edited also by Dr Fr. Mehring, Aus dem literarischen Nachlass von Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Ferdinand Lassalle (Stuttgart, 1902). Of the criticisms of Marx's economics, one of the most comprehensive is E. von Boehm-Bawerk's Karl Marx and the Close of his System (London, 1898). Marx's historic theory is, apart from Masaryk, very exhaustively analysed by R. Stammler in Wirthschaft and Recht (Leipzig, 1896). (E. BN.)
- Please bookmark this page (add it to your favorites).
- If you wish to link to this page, you can do so by referring to the URL address below this line.
Copyright © 1995-2011 ITA all rights reserved.
A * B * C * D * E * F * G *H * I * J * K * L * M * N * O * P * Q * R * S * T * U * V * W * X * Y * Z