Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Karl Marx

Language: English

Pages: 148

ISBN: 1617202916

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 Marx explains how, under capitalism, people rely on labor to live. In the past people could rely on Nature itself for their natural needs; in modern society, if one wants to eat, one must work: it is only through money that one may survive. Thus, man becomes a slave to his wages. It is only through his work that he can find enough money to continue to live; but he doesn't simply live, he actually only survives, as a worker. Labor is only used to create more wealth, instead of achieving the fulfillment of human nature. Wilder Publications is a green publisher. All of our books are printed to order. This reduces waste and helps us keep prices low while greatly reducing our impact on the environment.


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amount of manufactured goods for which 16 shillings was still paid in 1814 is now supplied at 1 shilling and 10 pence. The greater cheapness of industrial products expands both consumption at home and the market abroad, and because of this the number of workers in cotton has not only not fallen in Great Britain after the introduction of machines but has risen from forty thousand to one and a half million. As to the earnings of industrial entrepreneurs and workers: the growing competition between

(Ibid., p. 146.) (2) We have already learnt from Say how the rent of land increases with railways, etc., with the improvement, safety, and multiplication of the means of communication. (3) “Every improvement in the circumstances of the society tends either directly or indirectly to raise the real rent of land, to increase the real wealth of the landlord, his power of purchasing the labour, or the produce of the labour of other people.... The extension of improvement and cultivation tends to

connection between private property, avarice, and the separation of labour, capital and landed property; between exchange and competition, value and the devaluation of men, monopoly and competition, etc.; the connection between this whole estrangement and the money-system. Do not let us go back to a fictitious primordial condition as the political economist does, when he tries to explain. Such a primordial condition explains nothing. He merely pushes the question away into a grey nebulous

(Proudhon). Or a particular forrn of labour—labour levelled down, parcelled, and therefore unfree—is conceived as the source of private property’s perniciousness and of its existence in estrangement from men; for instance, Fourier, who, like the physiocrats, also conceived agricultural labour to be at least the exemplary type, whilst Saint-Simon declares in contrast that industrial labour as such is the essence, and now also aspires to the exclusive rule of the industrialists and the improvement

philosophy and particularly in Feuerbach’s philosophic criticism of religion. However, Hegel spoke of the alienation of self-consciousness and Feuerbach of the alienation of the abstract, non-historical and non-class man. Marx speaks of the “estrangement,” or “alienation,” of the labourer. He imparts an entirely new economic, class and historical content to the conception of “estrangement.” By “estrangement,” or “alienation,” Marx means the forced labour of the labourer for the capitalist, the

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