Economic and Philosophic

Manuscripts of 1844


I have already given notice in the Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher of the critique ofjurisprudence and political science in the form of a critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right. In the course of elaboration for publication, the intermingling of criticism directed only againstspeculation with criticism of the various subjects themselves proved utterly unsuitable,hampering the development of the argument and rendering comprehension difficult. Moreoverthe wealth and diversity of the subjects to be treated, could have been compressed into one workonly in a purely aphoristic style; whilst an aphoristic presentation of this kind, for its part, wouldhave given the impression of arbitrary systematizing. I shall therefore issue the critique of law,ethics, politics, etc., in a series of distinct, independent pamphlets, and at the end try in a specialwork to present them again as a connected whole showing the interrelationship of the separateparts, and finally, shall make a critique of the speculative elaboration of that material. For thisreason it will be found that the interconnection between political economy and the state, law,ethics, civil life, etc., is touched on in the present work only to the extent to which politicaleconomy itself ex professo [1] touches on these subjects.

It is hardly necessary to assure the reader conversant with political economy that my results havebeen won by means of a wholly empirical analysis based on a conscientious critical study ofpolitical economy.

[Whereas the uninformed reviewer who tries to hide his complete ignorance and intellectualpoverty by hurling the "utopian phrase" at the positive critic's head, or again such phrases as"pure, resolute, utterly critical criticism," the "not merely legal but Social--utterly social--society," the "compact, massy mass," the "oratorical orators of the masse mass," [2] this reviewerhas yet to furnish the first proof that besides his theological family-affairs he has anything tocontribute to a discussion of worldly matters.] [3]

It goes without saving that besides the French and English Socialists I have made use of Germansocialist works as well. The only original German works of substance in this science, however--other than Weitling's writings--are the essays by Hess published in Einundzwanzig Bogen, [4]and Engels' Umrisse zu einer Kritik der Nationalokonomie [5] in the Deutsch-FranzosischeJahrbucher where, likewise, I indicated in a very general way the basic elements of this work.

[Besides being indebted to these authors who have given critical attention to political economy,positive criticism as a whole--and therefore also German positive criticism of political economy--owes its true foundation to the discoveries of Feuerbach, against whose Philosophie der Zukunft[6] and Thesen zur Reform der Philosophie [7] in the Anecdotis, [8] despite the tacit use that ismade of them, the petty envy of some and the veritable wrath of others seem to have instigated aregular conspiracy of silence.]

It is only with Feuerbach that positive, humanistic and naturalistic criticism begins. The lessnoise they make, the more certain, profound, widespread and enduring is the effect ofFeuerbach's writings, the only writings since Hegel's Phanomenologie and Logik to contain areal theoretical revolution.

In contrast to the critical theologians [9] of our day, I have deemed the concluding chapter of thepresent work--the settling of accounts with Hegelian dialectic and Hegelian philosophy as awhole--to be absolutely necessary, a task not yet performed. This lack of thoroughness is notaccidental, since even the critical theologian remains a theologian. Hence, either he had to startfrom certain presuppositions of philosophy accepted as authoritative; or if in the process ofcriticism and as a result of other people's discoveries doubts about these philosophicalpresuppositions have arisen in him, he abandons them without vindication and in a cowardlyfashion, abstracts from them showing his servile dependence on these presuppositions and hisresentment at this dependence merely in a negative, unconscious and sophistical manner.

[In this connection the critical theologian is either forever repeating assurances about the purityof his own criticism, or tries to make it seem as though all that was left for criticism to deal withnow was some other immature form of criticism outside itself--say eighteenth-century criticism--and the backwardness of the masses, in order to divert the observer's attention as well as his ownfrom the necessary task of settling accounts between criticism and its point of origin--Hegeliandialectic and German philosophy as a whole--from this necessary raising of modern criticismabove its own limitation and crudity. Eventually, however, whenever discoveries (such asFeuerbach's) are made about the nature of his own philosophic presuppositions, the criticaltheologian partly makes it appear as if he were the one who had accomplished this, producingthat appearance by taking the results of these discoveries and, without being able to developthem, hurling them in the form of catch-phrases at writers still caught in the confines ofphilosophy; partly he even manages to acquire a sense of his own superiority to such discoveriesby covertly asserting in a veiled, malicious and sceptical fashion elements of the Hegeliandialectic which he still finds lacking in the criticism of that dialectic (which have not yet beencritically served up to him for his use) against such criticism--not having tried to bring suchelements into their proper relation or having been capable of doing so, asserting, say, the categoryof mediating proof against the category of positive, self-originating truth, etc., in a way peculiarto Hegelian dialectic. For to the theological critic it seems quite natural that everything has to bedone by philosophy, so that he can chatter away about purity, resoluteness, and utterly criticalcriticism; and he fancies himself the true conqueror of philosophy whenever he happens to feelsome "moment" in Hegel [10] to be lacking in Feuerbach--for however much he practises thespiritual idolatry of "self-consciousness" and "mind" the theological critic does not get beyondfeeling to consciousness.] [11]

On close inspection theological criticism--genuinely progressive though it was at the inception ofthe movement--is seen in the final analysis to be nothing but the culmination and consequence ofthe old philosophical, and especially the Hegelian, transcendentalism, twisted into a theologicalcaricature. This interesting example of the justice in history, which now assigns to theology,ever philosophy's spot of infection, the further role of portraying in itself the negative dissolutionof philosophy--i.e., the process of its decay--this historical nemesis I shall demonstrate onanother occasion.

[How far, on the other hand, Feuerbach's discoveries about the nature of philosophy requiredstill, for their proof at least, a critical settling of accounts with philosophical dialectic will be seenfrom my exposition itself.]

Estranged Labour [12]

We have proceeded from the premises of political economy. We have accepted its language andits laws. We presupposed private property, the separation of labour, capital and land, and ofwages, profit of capital and rent of land--likewise division of labour, competition, the concept ofexchange-value, etc. On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shownthat the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched ofcommodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power andmagnitude of his production; that the necessary result of competition is the accumulation ofcapital in a few hands, and thus the restoration of monopoly in a more terrible form; that finallythe distinction between capitalist and land-rentier, like that between the tiller of the soil and thefactory-worker, disappears and that the whole of society must fall apart into the two classes--theproperty-owners and the propertyless workers.

Political economy proceeds from the fact of private property, but it does not explain it to us. Itexpresses in general, abstract formulae the material process through which private propertyactually passes, and these formulae it then takes for laws. It does not comprehend these laws--i.e., it does not demonstrate how they arise from the very nature of private property. Politicaleconomy does not disclose the source of the division between labour and capital, and betweencapital and land. When, for example, it defines the relationship of wages to profit, it takes theinterest of the capitalists to be the ultimate cause; i.e., it takes for granted what it is supposed toevolve. Similarly, competition comes in everywhere. It is explained from externalcircumstances. As to how far these external and apparently fortuitous circumstances are but theexpression of a necessary course of development, political economy teaches us nothing. Wehave seen how, to it, exchange itself appears to be a fortuitous fact. The only wheels whichpolitical economy sets in motion are avarice and the war amongst the avaricious-- competition.

Precisely because political economy does not grasp the connections within the movement, it waspossible to counterpose, for instance, the doctrine of competition to the doctrine of monopoly,the doctrine of craft-liberty to the doctrine of the corporation, the doctrine of the division oflanded property to the doctrine of the big estate--for competition, craft-liberty and the division oflanded property were explained and comprehended only as fortuitous, premeditated and violentconsequences of monopoly, the corporation, and feudal property, not as their necessary,inevitable and natural consequences .

Now., therefore, we have to grasp the essential connection between private property, avarice, andthe separation of labour, capital and landed property; between exchange and competition, valueand the devaluation of men, monopoly and competition, etc.; the connection between this wholeestrangement and the money-system.

Do not let us go back to a fictitious primordial condition as the political economist does, when hetries to explain. Such a primordial condition explains nothing. He merely pushes the questionaway into a grey nebulous distance. He assumes in the form of fact, of an event, what he issupposed to deduce--namely, the necessary relationship between two things--between, forexample, division of labour and exchange. Theology in the same way explains the origin of evilby the fall of man: that is, it assumes as a fact, in historical form, what has to be explained.

We proceed from an actual economic fact.

The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his productionincreases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the morecommodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in directproportion the devaluation of the world of men. Labour produces not only commodities; itproduces itself and the worker as a commodity--and does so in the proportion in which itproduces commodities generally.

This fact expresses merely that the object which labour produces--labour's product--confronts itas something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labour is labourwhich has been congealed in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification oflabour. Labour's realization is its objectification. In the conditions dealt with by politicaleconomy this realization of labour appears as loss of reality for the workers; objectification asloss of the object and object-bondage; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation. [13]

So much does labour's realization appear as loss of reality that the worker loses reality to thepoint of starving to death. So much does objectification appear as loss of the object that theworker is robbed of the objects most necessary not only for his life but for his work. Indeed,labour itself becomes an object which he can get hold of only with the greatest effort and with themost irregular interruptions. So much does the appropriation of the object appear asestrangement that the more objects the worker produces the fewer can he possess and the more hefalls under the dominion of his product, capital.

All these consequences are contained in the definition that the worker is related to the product ofhis labour as to an alien object. For on this premise it is clear that the more the worker spendshimself, the more powerful the alien objective world becomes which he creates over-againsthimself, the poorer he himself--his inner world--becomes, the less belongs to him as his own. Itis the same in religion. The more man puts into God, the less he retains in himself. The workerputs his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object. Hence,the greater this activity the greater is the worker's lack of objects. Whatever the product of hislabour is, he is not. Therefore the greater this product, the less is he himself. The alienation ofthe worker in his product means not only that his labour becomes an object, an externalexistence, but that it exists outside him, independently, as something alien to him, and that itbecomes a power of its own confronting him; it means that the life which he has conferred on theobject confronts him as something hostile and alien.

Let us now look more closely at the objectification, at the production of the worker; and thereinat the estrangement, the loss of the object, his product.

The worker can create nothing without nature, without the sensuous external world. It is thematerial on which his labor is manifested, in which it is active, from which and by means ofwhich it produces.

But just as nature provides labor with the means of life in the sense that labour cannot livewithout objects on which to operate, on the other hand, it also provides the means of life in themore restricted sense--i.e., the means for the physical subsistence of the worker himself.

Thus the more the worker by his labour appropriates the external world, sensuous nature, themore he deprives himself of means of life in the double respect: first, that the sensuous externalworld more and more ceases to be an object belonging to his labour--to be his labour's means oflife; and secondly, that it more and more ceases to be means of life in the immediate sense, meansfor the physical subsistence of the worker.

Thus in this double respect the worker becomes a slave of his object, first, in that he receives anobject of labour, i.e., in that he receives work; and secondly, in that he receives means ofsubsistence. Therefore, it enables him to exist, first, as a worker; and, second, as a physicalsubject. The extremity of this bondage is that it is only as a worker that he continues to maintainhimself as a physical subject, and that it is only as a physical subject that he is a worker.

(The laws of political economy express the estrangement of the worker in his object thus: themore the worker produces, the less he has to consume; the more values he creates, the morevalueless, the more unworthy he becomes; the better formed his product, the more deformedbecomes the worker; the more civilized his object, the more barbarous becomes the worker; themightier labour becomes, the more powerless becomes the worker; the more ingenious labourbecomes, the duller becomes the worker and the more he becomes nature's bondsman.)

Political economy conceals the estrangement inherent in the nature of labour by not consideringthe direct relationship between the worker (labour) and production. It is true that labourproduces for the rich wonderful things--but for the worker it produces privation. It producespalaces--but for the worker, hovels. It produces beauty--but for the worker, deformity. Itreplaces labour by machines--but some of the workers it throws back to a barbarous type oflabour, and the other workers it turns into machines. It produces intelligence--but for the workeridiocy, cretinism.

The direct relationship of labour to its produce is the relationship of the worker to the objects ofhis production. The relationship of the man of means to the objects of production and toproduction itself is only a consequence of this first relationship--and confirms it. We shallconsider this other aspect later.

When we ask, then, what is the essential relationship of labour we are asking about therelationship of the worker to production.

Till now we have been considering the estrangement, the alienation of the worker only in one ofits aspects, i.e., the worker's relationship to the products of his labour. But the estrangement ismanifested not only in the result but in the act of production-- within the producing activityitself. How would the worker come to face the product of his activity as a stranger, were it notthat in the very act of production he was estranging himself from himself? The product is afterall but the summary of the activity of production. If then the product of labour is alienation,production itself must be active alienation, the alienation of activity, the activity of alienation. Inthe estrangement of the object of labour is merely summarized the estrangement, the alienation,in the activity of labour itself.

What, then, constitutes the alienation of labour?

First, the fact that labour is external to the worker, i.e., it does not belong to his essential being;that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel contentbut unhappy, does not develop freely his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body andruins his mind. The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feelsoutside himself. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not athome. His labour is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labour. It is therefore notthe satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it. Its alien characteremerges clearly in the fact that as soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, labour isshunned like the plague. External labour, labour in which man alienates himself, is a labour ofself-sacrifice, of mortification. Lastly, the external character of labour for the worker appears inthe fact that it is not his own, but someone else's, that it does not belong to him, that in it hebelongs, not to himself, but to another. Just as in religion the spontaneous activity of the humanimagination, of the human brain and the human heart, operates independently of the individual--that is, operates on him as an alien, divine or diabolical activity--in the same way the worker'sactivity is not his spontaneous activity. It belongs to another; it is the loss of his self.

As a result, therefore, man (the worker) no longer feels himself to be freely active in any but hisanimal functions--eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his dwelling and in dressing-up,etc.; and in his human functions he no longer feels himself to be anything but an animal. What isanimal becomes human and what is human becomes animal.

Certainly eating, drinking, procreating, etc., are also genuinely human functions. But in theabstraction which separates them from the sphere of all other human activity and turns them intosole and ultimate ends, they are animal.

We have considered the act of estranging practical human activity, labour, in two of its aspects. (1) The relation of the worker to the product of labour as an alien object exercising power overhim. This relation is at the same time the relation to the sensuous external world, to the objectsof nature as an alien world antagonistically opposed to him. (2) The relation of labour to the actof production within the labour process. This relation is the relation of the worker to his ownactivity as an alien activity not belonging to him; it is activity as suffering, strength as weakness,begetting as emasculating, the worker's own physical and mental energy, his personal life or whatis life other than activity--as an activity which is turned against him, neither depends on norbelongs to him. Here we have self-estrangement, as we had previously the estrangement of thething.

We have yet a third aspect of estranged labour to deduce from the two already considered.

Man is a species being, not only because in practice and in theory he adopts the species as hisobject (his own as well as those of other things), but--and this is only another way of expressingit--but also because he treats himself as the actual, living species; because he treats himself as auniversal and therefore a free being.

The life of the species, both in man and in animals, consists physically in the fact that man (likethe animal) lives on inorganic nature; and the more universal man is compared with an animal,the more universal is the sphere of inorganic nature on which he lives. Just as plants, animals,stones, the air, light, etc., constitute a part of human consciousness in the realm of theory, partlyas objects of natural science, partly as objects of art--his spiritual inorganic nature, spiritualnourishment which he must first prepare to make it palatable and digestible--so too in the realmof practice they constitute a part of human life and human activity. Physically man lives only onthese products of nature, whether they appear in the form of food, heating, clothes, a dwelling, orwhatever it may be. The universality of man is in practice manifested precisely in theuniversality which makes all nature his inorganic body--both inasmuch as nature is (1) his directmeans of life, and (2) the material, the object, and the instrument of his life-activity. Nature isman's inorganic body--nature, that is, in so far as it is not itself the human body. Man lives onnature--means that nature is his body, with which he must remain in continuous intercourse if heis not to die. That man's physical and spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature islinked to itself, for man is a part of nature.

In estranging from man (1) nature, and (2) himself, his own active functions, his life-activity,estranged labour estranges the species from man. It turns for him the life of the species into ameans of individual life. First it estranges the life of the species and individual life, and secondlyit makes individual life in its abstract form the purpose of the life of the species, likewise in itsabstract and estranged form.

For in the first place labour, life-activity, productive life itself, appears to man merely as a meansof satisfying a need--the need to maintain the physical existence. Yet the productive life is thelife of the species. It is life-engendering life. The whole character of a species--its speciescharacter--is contained in the character of its life-activity; and free, conscious activity is man'sspecies character. Life itself appears only as a means to life.

The animal is immediately identical with its life-activity. It does not distinguish itself from it. Itis its life-activity. Man makes his life-activity itself the object of his will and of hisconsciousness. He has conscious life-activity. It is not a determination with which he directlymerges. Conscious life-activity directly distinguishes man from animal life-activity. It is justbecause of this that he is a species being. Or it is only because he is a species being that he is aConscious Being, i.e., that his own life is an object for him. Only because of that is his activityfree activity. Estranged labour reverses this relationship, so that it is just because man is aconscious being that he makes his life-activity, his essential being, a mere means to his existence.

In creating an objective world by his practical activity, in working-up inorganic nature, manproves himself a conscious species being, i.e., as a being that treats the species as its ownessential being, or that treats itself as a species being. Admittedly animals also produce. Theybuild themselves nests, dwellings, like the bees, beavers, ants, etc. But an animal only produceswhat it immediately needs for itself or its young. It produces one-sidedly, whilst man producesuniversally. It produces only under the dominion of immediate physical need, whilst manproduces even when he is free from physical need and only truly produces in freedom therefrom.An animal produces only itself, whilst man reproduces the whole of nature. An animal's productbelongs immediately to its physical body, whilst man freely confronts his product. An animalforms things in accordance with the standard and the need of the species to which it belongs,whilst man knows how to produce in accordance with the standard of every species, and knowshow to apply everywhere the inherent standard to the object. Man therefore also forms things inaccordance with the laws of beauty.

It is just in the working-up of the objective world, therefore, that man first really proves himselfto be a species being. This production is his active species life. Through and because of thisproduction, nature appears as his work and his reality. The object of labour is, therefore, theobjectification of man's species life: for he duplicates himself not only, as in consciousness,intellectually but also actively, in reality, and therefore he contemplates himself in a world that hehas created. In tearing away from man the object of his production, therefore, estranged labourtears from him his species life, his real species objectivity, and transforms his advantage overanimals into the disadvantage that his inorganic body, nature, is taken from him.

Similarly, in degrading spontaneous activity, free activity, to a means, estranged labour makesman's species life a means to his physical existence.

The consciousness which man has of his species is thus transformed by estrangement in such away that the species life becomes for him a means.

Estranged labour turns thus:

(3) Man's species being, both nature and his spiritual species property, into a being alien to him,into a means to his individual existence. It estranges man's own body from him, as it doesexternal nature and his spiritual essence, his human being.

(4) An immediate consequence of the fact that man is estranged from the product of his labour,from his life-activity, from his species being is the estrangement of man from man. If a man isconfronted by himself, he is confronted by the other man. What applies to a man's relation to hiswork, to the product of his labour and to himself, also holds of a man's relation to the other man,and to the other man's labour and object of labour.

In fact, the proposition that man's species nature is estranged from him means that one man isestranged from the other, as each of them is from man's essential nature. [14]

The estrangement of man, and in fact every relationship in which man stands to himself, is firstrealized and expressed in the relationship in which a man stands to other men.

Hence within the relationship of estranged labour each man views the other in accordance withthe standard and the position in which he finds himself as a worker.

We took our departure from a fact of political economy--the estrangement of the worker and hisproduction. We have formulated the concept of this fact--estranged, alienated labour. We haveanalysed this concept--hence analysing merely a fact of political economy.

Let us now see, further, how in real life the concept of estranged, alienated labour must expressand present itself.

If the product of labour is alien to me, if it confronts me as an alien power, to whom, then, does itbelong?

If my own activity does not belong to me, if it is an alien, a coerced activity, to whom, then, doesit belong?

To a being other than me.

Who is this being?

The gods? To be sure, in the earliest times the principal production (for example, the building oftemples, etc., in Egypt, India and Mexico) appears to be in the service of the gods, and theproduct belongs to the gods. However, the gods on their own were never the lords of labour. Nomore was nature. And what a contradiction it would be if, the more man subjugated nature byhis labour and the more the miracles of the gods were rendered superfluous by the miracles ofindustry, the more man were to renounce the joy of production and the enjoyment of the producein favour of these powers.

The alien being, to whom labour and the produce of labour belongs, in whose service labour isdone and for whose benefit the produce of labour is provided, can only be man himself.

If the product of labour does not belong to the worker, if it confronts him as an alien power, thiscan only be because it belongs to some other man than the worker. If the worker's activity is atorment to him, to another it must be delight and his life's joy. Not the gods, not nature, but onlyman himself can be this alien power over man.

We must bear in mind the above-stated proposition that man's relation to himself only becomesobjective and real for him through his relation to the other man. Thus, if the product of hislabour, his labour objectified, is for him an alien, hostile, powerful object independent of him,then his position towards it is such that someone else is master of this object, someone who isalien, hostile, powerful, and independent of him. If his own activity is to him an unfree activity,then he is treating it as activity performed in the service, under the dominion, the coercion andthe yoke of another man.

Every self-estrangement of man from himself and from nature appears in the relation in which heplaces himself and nature to men other than and differentiated from himself. For this reasonreligious self-estrangement necessarily appears in the relationship of the layman to the priest, oragain to a mediator, etc., since we are here dealing with the intellectual world. In the realpractical world self-estrangement can only become manifest through the real practicalrelationship to other men. The medium through which estrangement takes place is itselfpractical. Thus through estranged labour man not only engenders his relationship to the objectand to the act of production as to powers that are alien and hostile to him; he also engenders therelationship in which other men stand to his production and to his product, and the relationship inwhich he stands to these other men. Just as he begets his own production as the loss of hisreality, as his punishment; just as he begets his own product as a loss, as a product not belongingto him; so he begets the dominion of the one who does not produce over production and over theproduct. Just as he estranges from himself his own activity, so he confers to the stranger activitywhich is not his own.

Till now we have only considered this relationship from the standpoint of the worker and laterwe shall be considering it also from the standpoint of the non-worker.

Through estranged, alienated labour, then, the worker produces the relationship to this labour ofa man alien to labour and standing outside it. The relationship of the worker to labour engendersthe relation to it of the capitalist, or whatever one chooses to call the master of labour. Privateproperty is thus the product, the result, the necessary consequence, of alienated labour, of theexternal relation of the worker to nature and to himself.

Private property thus results by analysis from the concept of alienated labour--i.e., of alienatedman, of estranged labour, of estranged life, of estranged man.

True, it is as a result of the movement of private property that we have obtained the concept ofalienated labour (of alienated life) from political economy. But on analysis of this concept itbecomes clear that though private property appears to be the source, the cause of alienatedlabour, it is really its consequence, just as the gods in the beginning are not the cause but theeffect of man's intellectual confusion. Later this relationship becomes reciprocal.

Only at the very culmination of the development of private property does this, its secret,re-emerge, namely, that on the one hand it is the product of alienated labour, and that secondly itis the means by which labour alienates itself, the realization of this alienation.

This exposition immediately sheds light on various hitherto unsolved conflicts.

(1) Political economy starts from labour as the real soul of production; yet to labour it givesnothing, and to private property everything. From this contradiction Proudhon has concluded infavour of labour and against private property. We understand, however, that this apparentcontradiction is the contradiction of estranged labour with itself, and that political economy hasmerely formulated the laws of estranged labour.

We also understand, therefore, that wages and private property are identical: where the product,the object of labour pays for labour itself, the wage is but a necessary consequence of labour'sestrangement, for after all in the wage of labour, labour does not appear as an end in itself but asthe servant of the wage. We shall develop this point later, and meanwhile will only deduce someconclusions.

A forcing-up of wages (disregarding all other difficulties, including the fact that it would only beby force, too, that the higher wages, being an anomaly, could be maintained) would therefore benothing but better payment for the slave, and would not conquer either for the worker or forlabour their human status and dignity.

Indeed, even the equality of wages demanded by Proudhon only transforms the relationship ofthe present-day worker to his labour into the relationship of all men to labour. Society is thenconceived as an abstract capitalist.

Wages are a direct consequence of estranged labour, and estranged labour is the direct cause ofprivate property. The downfall of the one aspect must therefore mean the downfall of the other.

(2) From the relationship of estranged labour to private property it further follows that theemancipation of society from private property, etc., from servitude, is expressed in the politicalform of the emancipation of the workers; not that their emancipation alone was at stake butbecause the emancipation of the workers contains universal human emancipation--and it containsthis, because the whole of human servitude is involved in the relation of the worker toproduction, and every relation of servitude is but a modification and consequence of this relation.

Just as we have found the concept of private property from the concept of estranged, alienatedlabour by analysis, in the same way every category of political economy can be evolved with thehelp of these two factors; and we shall find again in each category, e.g., trade, competition,capital, money, only a definite and developed expression of the first foundations.

Before considering this configuration, however, let us try to solve two problems.

(1) To define the general nature of private property, as it has arisen as a result of estrangedlabour, in its relation to truly human, social property.

(2) We have accepted the estrangement of labour, its alienation as a fact, and we have analysedthis fact. How, we now ask, does man come to alienate, to estrange, his labour? How is thisestrangement rooted in the nature of human development? We have already gone a long way tothe solution of this problem by transforming the question as to the origin of private property intothe question as to the relation of alienated labour to the course of humanity's development. Forwhen one speaks of private property one thinks of being concerned with something external toman. When one speaks of labour, one is directly concerned with man himself. This newformulation of the question already contains its solution .

As to (1): The general nature of private property and its relation to truly human property.

Alienated labour has resolved itself for us into two elements which mutually condition oneanother, or which are but different expressions of one and the same relationship. Appropriationappears as estrangement, as alienation; and alienation appears as appropriation, estrangement astrue enfranchisement.

We have considered the one side--alienated labour in relation to the worker himself, i.e., therelation of alienated labour to itself. The property-relation of the non-worker to the worker andto labour we have found as the product, the necessary outcome of this relation of alienatedlabour. Private property, as the material, summary expression of alienated labour, embraces bothrelations--the relation of the worker to work, to the product of his labour and to the non-worker,and the relation of the non-worker to the worker and to the product of his labour.

Having seen that in relation to the worker who appropriates nature by means of his labour, thisappropriation appears as estrangement, his own spontaneous activity as activity for another andas activity of another, vitality as a sacrifice of life, production of the object as loss of the object toan alien power, to an alien person--we shall now consider the relation to the worker, to labourand its object of this person who is alien to labour and the worker.

First it has to be noticed, that everything which appears in the worker as an activity of alienation,of estrangement, appears in the non-worker as a state of alienation, of estrangement.

Secondly, that the worker's real, practical attitude in production and to the product (as a state ofmind) appears in the non-worker confronting him as a theoretical attitude.

Thirdly, the non-worker does everything against the worker which the worker does againsthimself; but he does not do against himself what he does against the worker.

Let us look more closely at these three relations. [15]


1. Particularly.

2. Marx refers here to the Young Hegelian Bruno Bauer, who had published in AllgemeineLiteratur-Zeitung two long reviews dealing with books, articles and pamphlets on the Jewishquestion. Most of the quoted phrases are taken from these reviews in AllgemeineLiteratur-Zeitung, vol. 1, December, 1843; vol. 4, March, 1844. The expressions "utopianphrase" and "compact mass" can be found in Bauer's article "Was ist jetzt der Gegenstand derKritik?" published in Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, vol. 8, July, 1844.

Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (General Literary Gazette), a German monthly, was published byBauer in Charlottenburg from December, 1843, to October, 1844.

3. Passages enclosed in brackets were crossed out by Marx in his manuscript.

4. The full title of this collection of articles is Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz(Twenty-One Sheets from Switzerland), Erster Teil, Zurich and Winterthur, 1843.

5. Engels' "Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy."

6. Ludwig Feuerbach, Grundsatze der Philosophie der Zukunft (Principles of the Philosophy ofthe Future), Zurich and Winterthur, 1843.

7. Ludwig Feuerbach, Vorlaufige Thesen zur Reformation der Philosophie (Preliminary Theseson the Reformatlon of Philosophy) published in Anekdota, vol. II.

8. Marx's abbreviation for Anekdota zur neuesten deutschen Philosophie und Publicistik(Unpublished Materials Related to Modern German Philosophy and Writing), a two-volumecollection published by Arnold Ruge in Switzerland. It included Marx's Notes on the LatestPrussian Instruction to Censors and Luther--the Arbiter Between Strauss and Feuerbach, andarticles by Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Koppen, Arnold Ruge, etc.

9. Marx has in mind Bauer and his followers, who were associated with the AllgemeineLiteratur-Zeitung.

10. "Moment" is a technical term in Hegelian philosophy meaning a vital element of thought. The term is used to stress that thought is a process, and thus that elements in a system of thoughtare also phases in a movement.

11. In Hegel, "feeling" (Empfindung) denotes a relatively low form of mental life in which thesubjective and the objective are still confused together.

" Consciousness" (Bewusstein)--the name given by Hegel to the first major section of hisPhenomenology of Mind--denotes those forms of mental activity where a subject first seeks tocomprehend an object. "Self-consciousness" and "mind" denote subsequent higher phases in theevolution of "absolute knowledge" or "the absolute."

12. Die Entfremdete Arbeit. See the Note on Texts and Terminology, p. xli, above, for adiscussion of this term. [R. T.]

13. "Alienation"--Entausserung.

14. "Species nature" (and, earlier, "species being")--Gattungswesen: "man's essential nature"--menschlichen Wesen.

15. At this point the first manuscript breaks off unfinished.

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