Marx Lectures


I.   A.  1.   Original Philosophical point of departure

- dialectic of estrangement and reunification on higher plane

- early: Estranged labor; JQ

- later: Wage Labor and Capital; German Ideology, Communist Manifesto, Capital

            2.   Wage Labor and Capital - "Scientific basis": labor power

            3.   Communist Manifesto - "Scientific" history


      B.  Philosophy of History/Empirical History -

Preface, Theses, German Ideology


II.        Capital

      A.  Scientific Economy

      B.  History


III.       Eighteenth Brumaire

      A.  Concrete History

      B.  Discussion -?

Karl Marx, Early Writings


      -    nature of man - creative labor

NB not speech, dialogue: man is not political man but homo faber, a kind of economic man, and justice becomes communal equality in labor

      -    alienation of labor, of product, of self, to others

      -    domination through property relations and its converse in communism

      -    needs and their creation; role of money

      -    critique of liberalism: political emancipation, civil society, state and rights

      -    critique of political economy

      -    economic emancipation and the proletariat


Entfremdete Arbeit -

Man is species-being (75); editor's FN, pp.33-4

labor - sustenance and life activity (75-6 paragraph)

Karl Marx, Early Writings

(Tucker, ed - Second edition)

On the Jewish Question - part 1

28        have to emancipate selves before others; abolish religion

30-1    North America - Jewish Question loses theological significance and becomes secular; religion as secular narrowness, even when full political emancipation

32        emancipation of state from religion

33        state suppression of private property and religion does not remove their influence from civil society

34-5    in fully developed political state, man leads double life - political and private

35        religion abolished from state becomes spirit of civil society, differentiation

36        state must destroy religion by permanent revolution

39        members of political state religion because of dualism between individual life and species life, civil society and political life - man in political democracy not yet educated, social, species-being

39-40  emancipation of state from religion is emancipation of real man from religion - human emancipation

40f      "so-called rights of man" and of citizen

42        liberty of man as monad, private property, self-interest, equality as equal liberty

43        security - assurance of egoism; none of these rights go beyond egoistic man - only bond is need and necessity [cf. Hegel] - reduce citizenship and political community to preserving rights of man - So/man as bourgeois not as citizen considered true

44-5    political emancipation/dissolution of old (feudal) society, revolution of civil society - old society (feudal) had directly political character; revolution abolished political character of civil society, dissolved it into basic elements: individuals and material and cultural elements - man not emancipated from religion, received religious liberty, same as with property and with egoism

46        man in civil society thus appears as natural man (egoistic) and political life built from this without revolutionizing these elements - political man becomes abstract; cf. Rousseau (cite) political emancipation versus human emancipation - species-being

On the Jewish Question - part 2

48-9    profane basis of Judaism - practical need, self-interest, huckstering [cf. fn 6, p.50] emancipation from huckstering and money, from Judaism, our age would emancipate itself

- "emancipation of the Jews is emancipation of mankind from Judaism" - to now emancipation of Jew has been that Christians have become Jews

50        Money dominates politics; money is alienated essence of man's work and existence

51-2    Judaism perfected in civil society, civil society perfected in the world; objectification and alienation. Essence of Judaism universally realized and secularized in civil society - could not convince Jew of his need for emancipation, unreality of his religious essence, practical need

Karl Marx, Zur Kritik of Hegel

(in Tucker)


54        religion opium

54ff     backwards Germany

59        abolish philosophy by realizing it

61        breeding grounds of radical revolution lacking

62        Germany: merely political revolution

62-3    class must claim general interests

64        proletariat is this class

64-5    proletariat is dissolution of other classes, of society

Karl Marx, Early Writings

Die entfremdete Arbeit

70        From premises of political economics - all society must fall into 2 classes, property owners and propertyless workers

71        Shouldn't start for primordial condition but from established economic fact: worker becomes ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates

71-3    I.   Object which labor produces, product, confronts worker as something alien, power independent of worker over him - congealed labor; objectification as loss of object, object-bondage; appropriation as estrangement, alienation.

Nature provides means of life as living and as subsistence: thus laborer becomes slave to object since (a) he receives object of labor or work and (b) he receives means of subsistence [wages]

73-5    II.  Estrangement in act of production, not just result - estrangement from self.

Labor external to worker, not part of his essential being; forced; becomes a means to satisfying a need external to need for labor (as activity); not his own activity but someone else's; does not feel free except in his animal functions

75-7    III. Man is a species being; labor, life activity, productive life, appears just as means of satisfying a need (physical existence)

Animal immediately identical to its life activity, but man's is conscious and he is therefore not identical, and he is therefore a species being (works on self), and his activity is therefore free - estranged labor reverses this, makes labor a means to life

Man proves himself conscious being by working up inorganic nature, creating objective world - creates in accordance with laws of beauty

Working up objective world proves him to be species being; object of labor is objectification of species life: duplicates self not only in thought but in reality and confronts world he has made and sees himself in it

77              Estranged labor thus also - estranges worker's external nature and his spiritual essence - and estranges man from man

78        Alien being to whom labor product belongs is man himself

79        Private property result of alienated labor, becomes reciprocal; wages and private property identical

80        Emancipation of workers contains universal human emancipation

81        Appropriation as alienation

Karl Marx, Early Writings

(Tucker, ed - Second edition)

Private Property and Communism

82        Communism as positive expression of annulled private property

(1) As universal private property - all become laborers

84        (2) Political or without state, Communism as transcendence of human self-estrangement

(3) Return of man to himself as social being - riddle of history solved

Activity and consumption both social

85        (4) Not expressed in sense of having - man appropriates his total essence in total manner, i.e. as whole, social man - develops new social senses

91f      (5) Independence through self-creation: (92) for socialist man history is begetting of man through human labor, coming-to-be of nature of man

93        Communism as phase (negation of negation) of development of human society

The Meaning of Human requirements


(Critique of political economy)

93        New needs created by private property (false ones)

94        Money a pimp

96        Less you are, more you have - stored in money

97        Ethics and religion provide social cement which political economy breaks down

98        Unity of wages and capital in political economy

99        Combination of workmen creates need for community

101      Society, to political economy, is civil society



102      Money is pimp

103      Money's properties are my properties

104      Transforms incapacities into opposite

105      Human relations - man can only do what he's capable of (eg. love) - specific expression

Karl Marx, "Preface" to Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy

in Tucker, Second Edition


p.4f     -    Historically, men find themselves in given material conditions (of production) independent of their will - corresponds to historical period

            -    Relations of production are real, economic base structure - all else (law, politics, consciousness) is superstructure

            -    Mode of material production determines consciousness, not other way around

            -    At certain stage of development, material production forces come into contradiction with relations of production (property relations) - latter becomes fetters

            -    Thus begins an epoch of social revolution - superstructure transformed

            -    No social order ever perishes before all the (new) production forces for which there are room in it have developed, and new relations of production never emerge before material conditions are present (womb image)

            -    Stages of development: Asiatic, ancient, feudal, modern bourgeois

            -    Latter is last antagonistic stage, and its overcoming signals the end of the prehistory of human society

Karl Marx, German Ideology, Part I

in Tucker, Second Edition


149      Begin with real premises [material] - individuals, social relations

150      Men distinct from animals - produce means of subsistence = produce their lives, intercourse of relations (Verkehr); level of development is development of division of labor

151      Division of labor = forms of property ownership: tribal (extended family, slaves); ancient communal and State (community of citizens, slaves) (NB town and country);

152-3  Conquest versus private property - feudal or estate (serfdom and lords) - counterpart in medieval towns (guilds: master and apprentice): NB feudal property, land and skill plus small capital - little division of labor; NB feudal kingdoms (154)

154-5  So/ material relations; ideas and consciousness produced by material conditions, not vice versa

155-7  First premises of human existence and therefore history: (1) production of means to satisfy needs of subsistence; (2) this leads to new needs - production of new needs as first historical fact; (3) propagation of species leads to social relations in the family

157      So/ production of life (subsistence and procreation) both natural and social: mode of production always connected to mode of cooperation - latter itself a productive force; thus history of humanity must be studied in relation to history of industry and exchange

157-8  Only on this (material) basis, possible to discuss consciousness, language based on social relations, consciousness a social product

159      Division of labor into material and mental - only basis for "independent" consciousness

159      Three moments (forces of production, state of society, consciousness) come into contradiction with division of labor

159f    Contradiction implicit in division of labor and difference of interest between individual and family

160-1  Also contradiction of interest between individuals or family and community (cf. pastoral view of communist society) - cf. the State as illusory resolution: in reality it is in control of dominant class - real contradiction and activity is class struggle

161-2  Estrangement (of control) can only be abolished: (1) when mass of men become propertyless and their conditions intolerable and revolutionary, (2) conditions become

161-2  World-historical and intercourse universal (by extension of capitalism) - NB communism only possible "all at once" and world-wide

162-3  Inevitability of communism and revolution

163      Civil society true source of all history - civil society only develops with bourgeoisie; state and idealistic superstructure illusory

164      Revolution, not criticism, driving force of history

165      Men make circumstances and vice versa

172      History - men acting on given materials through generations

172-3  Ideas of ruling class (material) are ruling ideas of each epoch - expression of dominant material relations

173-4  Revolutionary idea presupposes revolutionary class; each rising class must represent its ideas as universal, and each new class achieves hegemony on broader basis than previous ruling class


B.        Historical Sketch-

176      Greatest division of labor - material and mental, town and country

176f    Medieval towns - unorganized rabble, organized into guilds (patriarchal)

178      (revolts mainly in countryside)

178      - Capital "naturally derived" - house, tools, traditional customers

178f    First Extension - separation of commerce and rise of merchant class - extended beyond each town; rise of classes as towns banded together: class only insofar as battle another class

180      (NB against technological determinism)

180f    Second Extension - rise of manufacture, outgrown guilds - division of labor among towns

- accumulation of capital, concentration of population (NB machines)

181      NB - vagabondage: trade now political

182ff   Relations between worker and employer - no longer patriarchal; extension of markets; big bourgeoisie, the State, colonies, protection, finance

184ff   Third Extension - Big Industry - use of machinery, complex division of labor produced world history, etc.; industrial production; proletariat

186ff   On law

189ff   Instruments of production and focus of property - NB contradictions, proletariat

192f    Conclusions from this view of history - contradictions between production forces and form of intercourse - new class called fourth; why proletarian revolution is different


C.        Communism -

193      Communism materialistic, not idealistic

194f    Production forces and intercourse: fetters and development

195      Naturally occurring evolution - illusory community of State; consciousness of contradiction

196      NB - all collisions in history - from contradiction between production forces and forces of intercourse

197      - Used to take form of struggle of ideas

197f    Illusory community in State; real community among proletarians; freedom only possible in community

198f    Divided lives of individuals due to division of labor - product of bourgeois rule

199f    To overcome divided lives of proletarians - must overthrow present conditions (including present division of labor), and thus the State

Karl Marx, German Ideology


Methodology of historical development and analysis

1.   Relationship between men's free activity and conditions surrounding it

3.   Relationship of consciousness to practical activity

2.   Basic needs and development of social relations (Verkehr)

3a. Comparison to German Ideology (Young Hegelians)

Outline of historical development


-    Broad outline of stages based on property relations

-    Specific historical development of civil society and capitalism

-    Place of politics and the State

-    The transcendence of the proletariat in Communist Revolution: also method of revolution vs. criticism

      -    Question of contradiction in method and results - whether communist revolution follows form his concrete historical materialistic analysis, or whether it is result of "residual" Hegelian dialectical logic

      -    esp. problem of world society, pastoral view and technology, disappearance of private property and question of authority relations

Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto

(Tucker, ed - Second edition)


473      Class struggle

475      State - committee for bourgeoisie

476      Bourgeoisie revolutionized production

477      Centralization

478      Sorcerer - spun off proletariat, crisis of over-production

479      Proletariat - organization

479f    Petty bourgeoisie

480f    Stages of proletarian existence, organization, consciousness

481      Bourgeois ideologists

481f    Other classes - lower middle class, Lumpenproletariat

484      Communist Party - vanguard

490      New program

490f    - Proletarian rule will become apolitical, classes will disappear

Karl Marx, "Wage Labor and Capital"

(Marx-Engels Selected Works, 1970; Tucker, ed. 2nd ed. 1978)

[* = ellipses from Tucker, ed.]


65; *         (Intro by Engels) - NB essay appeared in Neue Rheinische Zeitung - remained unfinished

73; *         Work divided into 3 parts - (1) relation of wage labor to capital; (2) destruction of the middle classes; (3) subjugation of world by England

73; 204      Wages - sum of money paid for labor time or for output - worker actually sells labor power, not labor; labor power thus a commodity

74; *         Wages merely the price for the commodity called labor power - not workers' share in commodity produced by him, part of clearly existing commodities with which capitalist buys labor power

74; 204      Labor power a commodity which worker sells to capital to live from

75; 204      But labor power is life activity - which worker sells to live [alienation]

75; 205      Slave is owned, serf half owned - free labor sells labor power

76; 205      But free labor is not free to leave the class of purchasers (capitalists) without renouncing his existence

76; *         Competition among buyers, among sellers, between buyers and sellers

77; *         Measure of profit is cost of production

78; *         Level of prices draws in or drives out capital

Price determined by cost of production in long run

79; *         Anarchistic fluctuations contain order of this long run

Cost of production equivalent to labor time - indirect and direct

Same laws that regulate price of commodities regulate wages (price of labor)

79; 206      Wages will rise and fall according to supply and demand - competition of buyers and sellers

79f; 206    Cost of production of labor power - cost of manufacturing and developing worker: price of necessary means of subsistence

80; 206      So - depreciation of labor considered like depreciation of machinery

Cost of production of simple labor power - cost of existence and reproduction or worker

Wage minimum - defined for species not individual - for class

81; 207      Negro only becomes slave in certain circumstances; cotton-spinning jenny

...only becomes capital in certain circumstances

Social relations grow out of relations in production - latter not just action on nature

Social relations of production change with means or forces of production (Produktionsmittel, -kräfte) - totality thereof defines historical stage

Capital a bourgeois production relation

81; 208      Capital not just material goods - also exchange values, commodities

82; 208      Products which are exchangeable for others are commodities - exchange value, price

Existence of class with no property but its capacity to labor prerequisite for capital

Capital only exists by domination of accumulated, past, materialized labor over direct living labor

82-3; 209  Exchange of worker and capitalist - worker receives means of subsistence, but gives up value produced beyond that - gives to accumulated labor a greater value than it previously possessed (strengthens capital)

83; 209f    Wage labor and capital mutually presuppose each other: bourgeois economists thus assert that their interest are the same

84; 210      Tolerable situation for worker depends on growth of capital: i.e. growing power of that which enslaves him; as capital grows, so does number of workers

84-5; *      Rise in wages depends on growth of productive capital - this in turn brings rise in social wants: though enjoyment of worker has increased, that of capitalist more - therefore social enjoyment of former has fallen since "our desires and pleasures spring from society" and are therefore "of a relative nature"

85; *         Nominal, real wage

86; *         For capitalist, sale of commodities broken up into (1) cost of raw materials and depreciation of tools, machines, etc; (2) wages; (3) profit - parts 2 & 3 taken from new value created by worker

86-7; *      Thus wages and profits stand in inverse relation to each other (cf. even opening new markets - wages fall because profits rise)

88; 210f    Workers' interests same as capitals' only true in the sense that growth of latter produces richer crumbs for former

88; 211      Workers' interests and capitalists' interests remain opposed - profits and wages inverse.

Material position of worker may rise with growth of capital, but only at cost of his position

89; 211f    One capitalist can only compete successfully by selling more cheaply - i.e. by introducing greater division of labor and machinery to raise productive power of labor

89; 212      Improved productivity enables capitalist to sell more cheaply - also compels him to

90; 213      Privileged position of this capitalist of short duration, as others catch up - next round of prices not only lower than old, lower than new prices

Division of labor, machinery, scale all increase, mutually reinforcing law - price of commodities tends to their cost of production

91; 213f    Competition becomes sharper - matter of life and death for capitalists

91; 214      Competition brings prices to costs of production

Development of world market accelerates this process

91f; 214    Greater productivity reduces number of workers needed - raises competition among workers - and as division of labor and machines introduced, work becomes worse

92; 214f    Labor becomes less satisfying, competition increases, wages decrease - workers end by competing with themselves (as class); NB "driven by want" [socially defined]

Trend to replace skilled male workers with unskilled, women, children

92; 215      Unemployed individuals can't find other work, though employment in other branches of industry opens

93; 216      Sum - rise in productivity brings more division of labor, more machinery, more competition among workers, decline in wages

93f; 216    Also - class polarization: petty industrialists and small rentiers become workers

94; 217      Also - crises increase as competition and concentration increase and as markets become worldwide

Eighteenth Brumaire


15        Tragedy, comedy

21f      Periods

27f      Constituent Assembly

29f      Constitution

36        Bourgeois parties

42        May 28, `48 - December 2, `51 - bicyclist image

46f      Party of order - rule

49f      Mountain

57f      National Guard

61f      State interests

67        Bourgeois rule

70        Electoral law

75        Soc December 10 - Lumpenproletariat

91        "Parliamentary cretinism"

93        Commercial crisis

95        Split in Party of Order

102      Split in Party of Order in and out of Parliament

104-5  Contradiction between economic and political rule

106      Didn't want to rule - for order

112      Bonaparte redeclares universal suffrage

116      Calendar of events - periodization

121      Executive power - bureaucracy

122      State independent

123f    Peasants

124      Definition of class

126f    Small holding

128      For peasant - proletarian alliance; cf. Tocqueville: centralization, destruction of intermediate bodies

130      Army

(copyright Frederick Weil)