karl Marx - A Biography by David McLellan, chapter name T W O



We are going to France, the threshold of a new world. May it live up to our dreams! At the end of our journey we will find the vast valley of Paris, the cradle of the new Europe, the great laboratory where world history is formed and has its ever fresh source. It is in Paris that we shall live our victories and our defeats. Even our philosophy, the field where we are in advance of our time, will only be able to triumph when proclaimed in Paris and impregnated with the French spirit.

A. Ruge,  Zwei Jahre in Paris (Leipzig, 1846) 1 4 ff.

I . M A R R I A G E   A N D   H E G E L

With the suppression of the  Rheinische Zeitung,  Marx found himself once again an unemployed intellectual. His immediate preoccupations were to lind a secure job and get married. As far as journalism was concerned, Marx's variety had become virtually impossible in Germany. The differences of opinion among the Young Hegelians, already manifest over their attitude to the  Rheinische Zeitung,  provoked a complete split following the decision of the Prussian Government to suppress the liberal Press. Those in Berlin, led by Bruno Bauer, tended more and more to dissociate themselves from political action. They had imagined their influence to be such that the suppression of their views would lead to a strong protest among the liberal bourgeoisie. When nothing of the sort happened, they confined themselves increasingly to purely theoretical criticism that deliberately renounced all hope of immediate political influence. The response of the group around Ruge was different: they wished to continue the political struggle - but in an even more effective manner. A review of their own still seemed to them the most promising means of political action, and their first ideas was to base themselves on Julius Froebel's publishing house in Zurich. Froebel was a Professor of Mineralogy at Zurich who had started his business at the end of 1841 in order to publish the radical poems of Georg Herwegh; he also published a review, edited by Herwegh, which looked for a moment like a successor to the  Deutsche Jahrbiicher.  With Herwegh's expulsion from Zurich in March 1843 an obvious gap was waiting to be filled, Ruge was all the more attracted to Zurich as it was (together with Paris) the main centre of German expatriates. Given that these exiles comprised both intellectuals and workers, it was sensible that any new review should combine the theory of the Deutsche Jahrbiicher with the more immediately political ideas of the  Rheinische Zeitung.  Ruge had a great admiration for Marx and wrote to his brother, Ludwig: 'Marx has great intelligence. He is very worried about his future and particularly his immediate future. So in continuing with the  Jahrbiicher it is quite natural to ask for his assistance." So when Ruge proposed in January 1843 that he and Marx be co-editors, Marx accepted with enthusiasm.

Naturally Marx's conception of the review was conditioned by his estimate of Germany's political future which he regarded as revolutionary.

In March 1843 he wrote: 'You could probably let a shipload of fools sail before the wind for a good while, but it would run into its fate just because the fools did not believe in it. This fate is the revolution which stands before us.' In a letter to Ruge, written two months later for publication in the forthcoming review, Marx took him to task for his pessimistic view of Germany's future. 'It is true', he wrote, 'that the old world is in the possession of the philistine; but we should not treat him as a scarecrow and turn back frightened. Let the dead bury and mourn their dead. In contrast, it is enviable to be the first to go alive into the new life; and this shall be our lot.'  After a lengthy analysis of the 'Philistine'

nature of contemporary Germany, Marx declared that 'it is only its own desperate situation that fills me with hope'. He was already beginning to envisage the possibility of revolution as consisting in an alliance of 'thinkers' and 'sufferers':

The system of profit and commerce, of property and human exploitation, leads much more quickly than an increase of population to a rift inside contemporary society that the old society is incapable of healing, because it never heals or creates, but only exists and enjoys. The existence of a suffering humanity which thinks and a thinking humanity which is oppressed must of necessity be disagreeable and unacceptable for the animal world of philistines who neither act nor think but merely enjoy.

On our side the old world must be brought right out into the light of day and the new one given a positive form. The longer that events allow thinking humanity time to recollect itself and suffering humanity time to assemble itself the more perfect will be the birth of the product that the present carries in its womb.

In view of his revolutionary optimism Marx was definitely against simply continuing the  Deutsche Jahrbiicher.  'Even if the  Jahrbiicher were once again permitted, all we could achieve would be a pale imitation of the extinct review and that is no longer sufficient.'5 Ruge had at first thought in terms of a series of pamphlets but Marx was strongly in favour of a monthly as a more effective means of propaganda. So he and Ruge decided to give practical expression to the idea of Franco-German co-operation that had been suggested by most of the Young Hegelians at some time or other during the previous two years. The influence of French thought had made the radicals very internationally-minded - in contrast to the liberals whom the crises of the 1840s forced into a narrow nationalism. Hess and Weitling had both learned their socialism in France and Feuerbach had forcefully expressed the idea that the 'new' philosophy, if it wished to be at all effective, would have to combine a German head with a French heart. Marx was extremely enthusiastic at the prospect: 'Franco-German annals - that would be a principle, an event of importance, an undertaking that fills one with enthusiasm.' Froebel agreed to publish a review of this character and preparations began. In May, Marx and Froebel went to visit Ruge in Dresden; Ruge agreed to put up 6000 thalers, Froebel 3000, and the three of them decided on Strasbourg as the place of publication. Marx's immediate future was now guaranteed: as co-editor of the review he had a salary of 550 thalers, and earned a further 250 or so from royalties.

The way was now at last open for marriage. He had written to Ruge in March:

As soon as we have signed the contract I will go to Kreuznach and get married.... Without romanticising, I can tell you that I am head-over-heels in love and it is as serious as can be. I have been engaged for more than seven years and my fiancee has been involved on my behalf in the toughest of struggles that have ruined her health. These have been in part against her pietist and aristocratic relations, for whom the Lord in Heaven and the Lord in Berlin are the objects of an equal veneration, and in part against my own family where certain radicals and other sworn enemies have insinuated themselves. For years, my fiancee and I have been fighting more useless and exhausting battles than many other persons three times our age - who are for ever talking of their 'experience', a word particularly dear to our partisans of the juste-milieuJ

The difficulties with Jenny's family had been increased by the arrival of her step-brother Ferdinand, a career civil servant and later Prussian Minister of the Interior, who in 1838 had been appointed to an important post in Trier. It was possibly to avoid his influence that Jenny moved with her mother, probably as early as July 1842, to the spa of Kreuznach about fifty miles east of Trier. Marx paid a visit to her there in March to make plans for the marriage.

As soon as he left, Jenny wrote to him:

I think that you have never been as dear, as sweet, as charming. Every time we parted before I was certainly enraptured with you, and would have had you back to tell you once more how dear, how completely dear you are to me. But this last time you left triumphant; I did not know how dear you were to me in my deepest heart until I no longer saw you in the flesh; I have only the one faithful portrait of you standing so full of life before my soul in all its angelic mildness and goodness, heightened love and spiritual lustre. If you were back here again, my dear little Karl, what a capacity for happiness you would find in your brave little girl; and even if you showed a still worse tendency and even nastier intentions, I would still not take reactionary measures;  I would patiently lay down my head, sacrificing it to my naughty boy. . . . Do you still remember our twilight conversation, our beckoning games, our hours of slumber. Dear heart, how good, how loving, how attentive, how joyful you were!

The letter also contained careful instructions as to what to buy and what not to buy for the wedding which took place in the Protestant Church and registry office in Kreuznach on 19 June 1843. The official registration described the couple as 'Herr Karl Marx, Doctor of Philosophy, residing in Cologne, and Fraulein Johanna Bertha Julie Jenny von Westphalen, no occupation, residing in Kreuznach'. From the two families, only Jenny's mother and brother Edgar were present, the witnesses being acquaintances from Kreuznach.

Marx and Jenny left immediately for a honeymoon of several weeks.

They first went to Switzerland to see the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen and then - travelling through the province of Baden  they took their time on the journey back to Kreuznach. Jenny later told a story that illustrated how extraordinarily irresponsible they both were (and continued to be) in their attitude to money. Jenny's mother had given them some money for the honeymoon and they took it with them, in a chest.

They had it with them in the coach during their journey and took it into the different hotels. When they had visits from needy friends they left it open on the table in their room and anyone could take as much as he pleased. Needless to say, it was soon empty.

On returning to Kreuznach, Marx and Jenny lived for three months in her mother's house - which enabled Marx to 'withdraw from the public stage into my study'" and get down to writing for the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher.  It was clear that the  Jahrbiicher would be a specifically political review. Although Marx had dealt with political subjects in his articles for the  Rheinische Zeitung, his approach - as was normal in polemical articles had been very eclectic with lines of argument drawn from Spinoza, Kant and Hegel. Now he felt the need for a more systematic framework of criticism and decided to try to come to terms with Hegel's political philosophy, particularly as expressed in  The Philosophy of Right.  All Hegel's disciples had sooner or later to do this when it became clear that the Prussian Government showed no possibility of becoming Hegel's 'rational state'. Marx had had the idea for at least a year. In March 1842 he had written to Ruge: 'Another article that I also intend for the  Deutsche Jahrbiicher is a critique of the part of Hegel's natural right where he talks of the constitution. The essential part of it is the critique of constitutional monarchy, a bastard, contradictory and unjustifiable institution.' He went on to say that the article was finished and only required rewriting. Six months later he was still talking about publishing it in the  Rheinische 'Zeitung.  The critique of Hegel's politics that Marx elaborated in the three months he spent at Kreuznach is much richer than the purely logical-political approach of the previous year.

Two factors shaped Marx's view of Hegel's politics. The first was his recent experience as editor of the  Rheinische Zeitung.  Many years later, in the preface to his  Critique of Political Economy,  Marx wrote: The first work which I undertook for the solution of the doubts which assailed me was a critical review of the Hegelian philosophy of law .. .

My investigation led to the conclusion, firstly, that legal relations as well as forms of state are to be understood neither in themselves nor from the so-called general development of the human mind, but rather have their roots in the material conditions of life (the sum total of which Hegel, following the example of the Englishmen and Frenchmen of the eighteenth century, combines under the name of 'civil society'); but secondly that the anatomy of civil society is to be sought in political economy.'s

Although this account is too simplified, his experience with the  Rheinische '/.citung and the rejection of liberal politics by Heine and the socialists (including Hess) enabled his critique of Hegel to take socio-economic factors into account to a much greater extent.

The second factor was the impression made on Marx by his reading of Feuerbach's  Preliminary Theses for the Reform of Philosophy.  Marx had already read Feuerbach when composing his doctoral thesis, but Feuerbach's  magnum opus. The Essence of Christianity,  which claimed that religious beliefs were merely projections of alienated human desires and capacities, had not made as great an impression on him as it had on Ruge.14 But the Theses had an immediate and important influence on Marx: they had been published in Switzerland in February 1843 in a collection of essays that had been censored from Ruge's  Deutsche Jahrbucher.  In them Feuerbach applied to speculative philosophy the approach he had already used with regard to religion: theology had still not been completely destroyed; it had a last rational bulwark in Hegel's philosophy, which was as great a mystification as any theology. Since Hegel's dialectic started and ended with the infinite, the finite - namely, man - was only a phase in the evolution of a superhuman spirit: 'The essence of theology is transcendent and exteriorised human thought.'1 s But philosophy should not start from God or the Absolute, nor even from being as predicate of the Absolute; philosophy had to begin with the finite, the particular, the real, and acknowledge the primacy of the senses. Since this approach had been pioneered by the French, the true philosopher would have to be of 'Gallo-Germanic blood'. Hegel's philosophy was the last refuge of theology and as such had to be abolished. This would come about from a realisation that 'the true relationship of thought to being is this: being is the subject, thought the predicate. Thought arises from being - being does not arise from thought.'

Marx read a copy of Feuerbach's  Theses immediately after publication and wrote an enthusiastic letter to Ruge, who had sent it to him: 'The only point in Feuerbach's aphorisms that does not satisfy me is that he gives too much importance to nature and too little to politics. Yet an alliance with politics affords the only means for contemporary philosophy to become a truth. But what happened in the sixteenth century, when the state had followers as enthusiastic as those of Nature, will no doubt be repeated.'17 For Marx, the way ahead lay through politics, but a politics which questioned current conceptions of the relationship of the state to society. It was Feuerbach's  Theses that enabled him to effect his particular reversal of Hegel's dialectic. As far as Marx was concerned in 1843 (and this was true of most of his radical democratic contemporaries also) Feuerbach was  the philosopher. Every page of the critique of Hegel's political philosophy that Marx elaborated during the summer of 1843 showed the influence of Feuerbach's method. True, Marx gave his criticism a social and historical dimension lacking in Feuerbach, but one point was central to both their approaches: the claim that Hegel had reversed the correct relation of subjects and predicates. Marx's fundamental idea was to take actual political institutions and demonstrate thereby that Hegel's conception of the relationship of ideas to reality was mistaken. Hegel had tried to reconcile the ideal and the real by showing that reality was the unfolding of an idea, and was thus rational. Marx, on the contrary, emphasised the opposition between ideals and reality in the secular world and categorised Hegel's whole enterprise as speculative, by which he meant that it was based on subjective conceptions that were at variance with empirical reality.

Inspired by Feuerbachian philosophy and historical analysis, this manuscript was the first of many works by Marx (up to and including  Capital) that were entitled 'Critique' - a term that had a great vogue among the Young Hegelians. The approach it represented - reflecting on and working over the ideas of others - was very congenial to Marx, who preferred to develop his own ideas by critically analysing those of other thinkers. Marx's method in his manuscript - which was obviously only a rough first draft - was to copy out a paragraph of Hegel's  The Philosophy of Right and then add a critical paragraph of his own. He dealt only with the final part of  The Philosophy of Right which was devoted to the state.

According to Hegel's political philosophy - which was part of his general effort to reconcile philosophy with reality - human consciousness manifested itself objectively in man's juridical, moral, social and political institutions. These institutions permitted Spirit to attain full liberty, and the attainment of this liberty was made possible by the social morality present in the successive groups of the family, civil society and the state. The family educated a man for moral autonomy, whereas civil society organised the economic, professional and cultural life. Only the highest level of social organisation - the state, which Hegel called 'the reality of concrete liberty' - was capable of synthesising particular rights and universal reason into the final stage of the evolution of objective spirit. Thus Hegel rejected the view that man was free by nature and that the state curtailed this natural freedom; and because he believed that no philosopher could move outside his own times and thus rejected theorising about abstract ideals, he considered that the state he described was to some extent already present in Prussia.

In his commentary Marx successively reviewed the monarchical, executive and legislative powers into which (according to Hegel) the state divided itself, and showed that the supposed harmony achieved in each case was in fact false.

With regard to monarchy, Marx's main criticism was that it viewed the people merely as an appendage to the political constitution; whereas in democracy (which was Marx's term at this time for his preferred form of government) the constitution was the self-expression of the people. To explain his view of the relationship of democracy to previous forms of constitution, he invoked a parallel with religion: Just as religion does not make man but man makes religion, so the constitution does not make the people but the people make the constitution. In a certain respect democracy has the same relation to all the other forms of state as Christianity has to all other forms of religion.

Christianity is the religion  par excellence,  the essence of religion, deified man as a particular religion. Similarly democracy is the essence of all constitutions of the state, socialized man as a particular constitution of the state.

In Greece and the Middle Ages the political aspects of life had been intimately linked with the social ones; it was only in modern times that the political state had become abstracted from the life of society. The solution to this problem in which 'the political constitution was formerly the religious sphere, the religion of the people's life, the heaven of its universality over against the earthly and real existence' was what Marx called 'true democracy'. This concept could be summed up as a humanist form of government in which free socialised man was the one and only subject of the political process in which the state as such would have disappeared.

Turning to Hegel's views on executive power, Marx produced several interesting passages on bureaucracy which represented his first attempt to give a sociological definition of state power and reflected in part his own difficulties with officialdom when editor of the  Rheinische Zeitung.

Hegel had said that the state mediated between conflicting elements within civil society by means of corporations and bureaucracy: the former grouped individual private interests in order to bring pressure to bear upon the state; the latter mediated between the state and private interests thus expressed. By bureaucracy Hegel meant a body of higher civil servants who were recruited by competition from the middle classes. To them were entrusted the formulation of common interests and the task of maintaining the unity of the state. Their decisions were prevented from being arbitrary by the monarch above them and the pressure of the corporations from below.

Marx began by denouncing this attempted mediation that did not resolve, and at best only masked, historically determined oppositions.

Hegel had well understood the process of the dissolution of medieval estates, the growth of industry and the economic war of all against all.

Indeed some of Marx's most striking characterisations of the capitalist ethic were taken almost directly from Hegel.' But in trying nevertheless to construct a formal state unity, Hegel only created a further alienation: man's being, which was already alienated in monarchy, was now even more alienated in the growing power of the executive, the bureaucracy.

All that he offered was an empirical description of bureaucracy, partly as it was, and partly as it pretended to be. Marx rejected Hegel's claim that the bureaucracy was an impartial and thus 'universal' class. He reversed the Hegelian dialectic by asserting that, though their function was in principle a universal one, the bureaucrats had in practice ended by turning it into their own private affair, by creating a group interest separate from society. Thus bureaucracy, being a particular, closed society within the state, appropriated the consciousness, will and power of the state. In the battle against the medieval corporations the bureaucracy was necessarily victorious as each corporation needed it to combat other corporations, whereas the bureaucracy was self-sufficient. Bureaucracy, which came into existence to solve problems and then engendered them in order to provide itself with a permanent  raison d'etre,  became an end rather than a means and thus achieved nothing. It was this process that accounted for all the characteristics of bureaucracy: the formalism, the hierarchy, the mystique, the identification of its own ends with those of the state.

Marx summed up these characteristics in a passage whose insight and incisiveness merit lengthy quotation:

Bureaucracy counts in its own eyes as the final aim of the state The aims of the state are transformed into the aims of the bureaux and the aims of the bureaux into the aims of the state. Bureaucracy is a circle from which no one can escape. Its hierarchy is a hierarchy of knowledge. The apex entrusts the lower echelon with insight into the individual while the lower echelon leaves insight into the universal to the apex, and so each deceives the other.

Bureaucracy constitutes an imaginary state alongside the real state and is the spiritualism of the state. Thus every object has a dual meaning a real one and a bureaucratic one, just as knowledge is dual - real and bureaucratic (and it is the same with the will). But the real thing is treated according to its bureaucratic essence, its other-worldly spiritual essence. Bureaucracy holds in its possession the essence of the state the spiritual essence of society; the state is its private property. The general ethos of bureaucracy is secrecy, mystery, safeguarded within by hierarchy and without by its nature as a closed corporation. Thus public political spirit and also political mentality appear to bureaucracy as a betrayal of its secret. The principle of its knowledge is therefore authority, and its mentality is the idolatry of authority. But within bureaucracy the spiritualism turns into a crass materialism, the materialism of passive obedience, faith in authority, the mechanism of fixed and formal behaviour, fixed principles, attitudes, traditions. As far as the individual bureaucrat is concerned, the aim of the state becomes his private aim, in the form of competition for higher posts - careerism. He considers the real life as a material one, for the spirit of this life has its own separate existence in bureaucracy.

Marx's fundamental criticism of Hegel was the same as that contained m the preceding sections: the attributes of humanity as a whole had been transferred to a particular individual or class, which thus represented the illusory universality of modern political life.

Finally Marx dealt with Hegel's discussion of legislative power and particularly the Prussian Estates which, according to Hegel, constituted a synthesis between the state and civil society. Marx objected that such a view in fact presupposed the separation of the state and civil society regarding them as entities to be reconciled, and therein lay the whole problem since 'the separation of the political state from civil society appears necessarily as a separation of political man - the citizen - from civil society, from his own actual empirical reality'. In order to give himself a historical perspective from which to criticise Hegel, during the summer of 1843 Marx had not only immersed himself in the political theories of Machiavelli, Montesquieu and Rousseau; he also took extensive notes on recent French, English, American and even Swedish history, and wrote a chronological table of the period A.D. 600-1589 that covered eighty pages. These readings led Marx to the conclusion that the French Revolution had completely destroyed any political significance that the Estates enjoyed in the Middle Ages: Hegel's idea of their being adequate representatives of civil society was archaic and indicative of German underdevelopment. Hegel's conceptual framework was based on the ideas of the French Revolution, but his solutions were still medieval; this was a mark of how far the political situation in Germany was retarded when compared with German philosophy. Indeed, the only Estate in the medieval sense of the word that still remained was the bureaucracy itself. The enormous increase in social mobility had rendered obsolete the Old Estates as originally differentiated in terms of need and work. 'The only general difference, superficial and formal, is merely that between country and town. But in society itself, differences developed in spheres that were constantly in movement with arbitrariness as their principle. Money and education are the main distinguishing characteristics.' Marx broke off here, noting that the proper place to discuss this would be in later sections (never written) on Hegel's conception of civil society. He did, however, go on to say, in a remark that foreshadowed the future importance of the proletariat in his thought, that the most characteristic thing about contemporary civil society was precisely that 'the property-less, the class that stands in immediate need of work, the class of physical labour, formed not so much a class of civil society as the basis on which society's components rest and move'. Marx summarised his objection to Hegel, as follows: 'As soon as civil estates as such become political estates, then there is no need of mediation, and as soon as mediation is necessary, they are no longer political... Hegel wishes to preserve the medieval system of estates but in the modern context of legislative power; and he wants legislative power, but in the framework of a medieval system of estates!

It is the worst sort of syncretism.'

Since the whole problem arose, in Hegel's view, from the separation of the state from civil society, Marx saw two possibilities: if the state and civil society continued to be separate, then all as individuals could not participate in the legislature except through deputies, the 'expression of the separation and merely a dualistic unity'.29 Secondly, if civil society became political society, then the significance of legislative power as representative disappeared, for it depended on a theological kind of separation of the state from civil society. Hence, what the people should aim for was not legislative power but governmental power. Marx ended his discussion with a passage which makes clear how, in the summer of 1843, he envisaged future political developments:

. . . It is not a question of whether civil society should exercise legislative power through deputies or through all as individuals. Rather it is the question of the extent and greatest possible extension of the franchise, of active as well as passive suffrage. This is the real bone of contention of political reform, in France as well as in England.. . .

Voting is the actual relationship of actual civil society to the civil society of the legislative power, to the representative element. Or, voting is the immediate, direct relationship of civil society to the political state, not only in appearance but in reality.. .. Only with universal suffrage, active as well as passive, does civil society actually rise to an abstraction of itself, to political existence as its true universal and essential existence. But the realisation of this abstraction is also the transcendence of the abstraction. By making its political existence actual as its true existence, civil society also makes its civil existence unessential in contrast to its political existence. And with the one thing separated, the other - its opposite - falls. Within the abstract political state the reform of voting is a dissolution of the state, but likewise the dissolution of civil society.

Thus Marx arrived here at the same conclusion as in his discussion of 'true democracy'. Democracy implied universal suffrage, and universal suffrage would lead to the dissolution of the state.

It is clear from this manuscript that Marx was adopting the fundamental humanism of Feuerbach and with it Feuerbach's reversal of subject and predicate in the Hegelian dialectic. Marx considered it evident that any future development was going to involve man's recovery of the social dimension that had been lost ever since the French Revolution leveled all citizens in the political state and thus accentuated the individualism of bourgeois society. Although he was convinced that social organisation had no longer to be based on private property, he was not here explicitly arguing for its abolition, nor did he make clear the various roles of classes in the social evolution. The imprecision of his positive ideas is not at all surprising since Marx's manuscript represented no more than a preliminary survey of Hegel's text; and it was written at a very transient stage in the intellectual evolution of both Marx and his colleagues. Moreover, the surviving manuscript is incomplete and there are references to projected elaborations either never undertaken or now lost.

A letter from Marx to Ruge, written in September 1843 and later published in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher,  gives a good impression of Marx's intellectual and political position immediately before leaving Germany, and of how much importance he attached to what he called the 'reform of consciousness'. The situation might not be very clear, he wrote, but 'that is just the advantage of the new line: that we do not dogmatically anticipate events but seek to discover the new world by criticism of the old'. What was clear was that all dogmatism was unacceptable, and that included the various communist systems: Communism in particular is a dogmatic abstraction, though by this I do not mean any imaginable and possible communism but the really existing communism taught by Cabet, Dezamy, etc. This communism is itself only a peculiar presentation of the humanist principle infected by its opposite: private individualism. The abolition of private property is therefore by no means identical to communism; and it is no accident that communism has seen other socialist doctrines like those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc., necessarily arise in opposition to it, since it is itself only a particular, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle. Moreover, the whole socialist principle is only one facet of the true reality of the human essence.

In Germany, the fulfiment of this human nature depended above all on a critique of religion and politics, for there it was these that were the focal points of interest; ready-made systems were no use; criticism had to take as its starting-point contemporary attitudes. In terms that recall Hegel's account of the progress of Reason in history, Marx asserted:

'Reason has always existed, but not always in rational form.' In any form of practical or theoretical consciousness rational goals were already inherent and awaited the critic who would reveal them.

Thus Marx saw no objection to starting from actual political struggles and explaining why they took place. The point was to demystify religious and political problems by instilling an awareness of their exclusively human dimensions. He ended his letter:

So our slogan must be: reform of consciousness not through dogmas, but through the analysis of mystical consciousness that is not clear to itself, whether it appears in a religious or political form. It will then be clear that the world has long dreamt of something of which it only needs a fully developed consciousness in order really to possess it.

Clearly, the problem does not lie in filling some great void between past ideas and those of the future but in the completion of ideas of the past. Finally, it will be clear that humanity is not beginning a new work, but consciously bringing its old work to completion.

So we can summarise the purpose of our journal in one word: self-understanding (meaning critical philosophy) by our age of its struggles and desires. This is a task for the world and for us. It can only be achieved by united forces. What is at stake is a confession, nothing more. To have its sins forgiven, humanity needs only to recognize them as they are.

1'his notion of salvation through a 'reform of consciousness' was, of course, very idealistic. But this was merely typical of German philosophy at this time. Marx himself was very mindful of the intellectual disarray among the radicals, and wrote to Ruge soon after finishing his critique of Hegel: 'even though the "whence" is not in doubt, yet all the more confusion reigns over the "whither". It is not only that a general anarchy has pervaded the reformers. Everyone will have to admit to himself that he has no exact view of what should happen'.36 It was the intellectual climate of Paris that finally led Marx to make the transition from the realm of pure theory to the world of immediate, practical politics.

II. T H E D E U T S C H - F R A N Z O S I S C H E J A H R B U C H E R

While Marx was in Kreuznach writing his commentary on Hegel's politics, Ruge had been busy organising the administration of the  Deutsch-Franz-tisische Jahrbiicher.  To finance it, he tried to float a large loan in Germany: when this failed completely he bore virtually the whole cost of publication himself. As a place of publication Strasbourg (which they had previously favoured) was rejected, and Froebel proposed that he and Ruge together go to Brussels and Paris to see which city would be more suitable. At the end of July Ruge travelled west, stopped at Kreuznach to see Marx, and then, joining forces with Hess and Froebel at Cologne, went on to Belgium. Brussels also proved unsatisfactory, for - though its Press enjoyed comparative freedom - the city was too small and not politically-minded. So in August (1843) Hess and Ruge moved on to Paris with a view to establishing the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher there.

It proved difficult to attract contributors - especially ones with a common viewpoint: both Ruge and Froebel were very active in trying to get German participation but the liberal writers refused, and of the Berlin Young Hegelians only Bruno Bauer agreed (and in the end even he contributed nothing). So the contributors were reduced to those already associated with Froebel through his Ziirich publications: Hess, Engels, Bakunin and Herwegh. Their views were diverse: Hess and Bakunin proclaimed their own brand of eclectic anarcho-communism, whereas Froebel, Herwegh and Ruge vaguely called themselves democrats and emphasised the importance of popular education. As French influence increased the political awareness of the Young Hegelians, the slogan 'radicalism' began to give way to the more specifically political term 'democracy'. But the unity of Ruge's group amounted to little more than a wish to further the political application of Feuerbach's philosophy; and their favourite term was 'humanism'. But Feuerbach himself was unwilling to co-operate. Marx considered that Schelling was enjoying a quite unjustified reputation among the French: just before leaving Kreuznach for Paris, he accordingly wrote to Feuerbach suggesting that he contribute a critique of him:

These sincere youthful ideas which, with Schelling, remained an imaginative dream of his youth, have with you become truth, reality, and virile earnestness. Schelling is therefore an anticipatory caricature of you, and as soon as the reality appears opposite the caricature it must dissolve into dust or fog. Thus I consider you the necessary and natural opponent of Schelling - summoned by their majesties, Nature and History. Your struggle with him is the struggle of an imaginary philosophy with philosophy itself...

Feuerbach, however, replied that in his opinion the time was not yet ripe for a transition from theory to practice, for the theory had still to be perfected; he told Marx and Ruge bluntly: they were too impatient for action.

All the contributors to the  Deutsch-FranzSsische Jahrbiicher were at least united in regarding Paris as both a haven and an inspiration. Their expectations were justified in so far as the revolutions of 1789 and 1830

had made Paris the undisputed centre of socialist thought. The 'bourgeois monarchy' of Louis-Philippe was drawing to its close and becoming more conservative; the censorship laws had been tightened in 1835, and from 1840 onwards the anti-liberal Guizot dominated the Government. But political activity was none the less lively for being semi-clandestine, and there was a bewildering variety of every conceivable kind of sect, salon and newspaper each proclaiming some form of socialism.'8 As soon as he had arrived in Paris Ruge set out to make contacts, guided by Hess who was familiar with the political scene from his days as French correspondent of the  Rheinische Zeitung.  Ruge's account of his tour of the salons is a catalogue of one misunderstanding after another.'9 Each group thought the other a century out of date. Amazed that he appeared so little versed in communism, the French were equally surprised by his being an advocate of atheism and materialism, watchwords of pre-1789

French thought. For his part, Ruge could not understand how the French could be so attached to religion, which German philosophy had spent such long and involved efforts in neutralising.

Lamartine at first described the conception of the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher as 'holy' and sublime, but later declined to contribute on learning of its revolutionary nature. Leroux was occupied with inventing a new printing machine. Cabet was shocked by Ruge's atheism and lack of commitment to communism. Considerant was also alienated, suspecting that the review would advocate violence. Proudhon was not in Paris.

Thus in spite of every effort the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiiche appeared without a single French contribution. By November, Ruge began to be anxious even about the number of his German contributors: Herwegh was honeymooning; and Bakunin was leading an errant life after expulsion from Zurich. Their absence was offset by Heine who (having been increasingly sympathetic to socialist ideas during his stay in Paris) agreed to contribute some poems, and also by Ferdinand Bernays (recently expelled from Bavaria after being the editor of the  Mannheimer Abend-Zeitung).

Marx himself arrived in Paris at the end of October 1843. Jenny, already four months pregnant, came with him. They first lodged at 23rue Vaneau, a quiet side-street in the St Germain area of the Left Bank where many other German immigrants were concentrated. The 'office' of the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher was on the ground floor of No. 22

and Ruge had rented two floors of No. 23 where Germain Maurer, a leading German socialist writer, was already living. Ruge had written to Marx outlining his project of a 'phalanstery' along Fourierist lines: he invited the Marxes, the Herweghs and the Maurers to join him and his wife in an experiment in community living. Each family would have separate living quarters, but there would be a shared kitchen and dining room; the women would take turns with the domestic duties.40 Emma I lerwegh summed up the situation at a glance and refused immediately:

'I low could Ruge's wife, a little Saxon woman, nice but characterless, hit it off with Mrs Marx who was very intelligent and still more ambitious and far more knowledgeable than she? How could Mrs Herwegh, the youngest of the three women and so recently married, take to this communal life?' Marx and Jenny did not stay long either: within two weeks they had moved to No. 31 and then in December finally settled at 38 rue Vaneau where they stayed for the rest of their time in Paris.

Marx had brought with him from Kreuznach an essay entitled 'On the Jewish Question', a distillation of his reading the previous summer on France and America. His central problem was still the contemporary separation of the state from civil society and the consequent failure of liberal politics to solve social questions. The question of Jewish emancipation was now of general interest in Prussia where, since 1816, the Jews had enjoyed rights far inferior to those of Christians. Marx himself had been thinking about this issue for some time. As early as August 1842 he had asked Oppenheim to send him all the anti-semitic articles of Hermes, editor of the  Kolnische Zeitung,  who favoured a sort of apartheid for Jews in Germany. Marx made little use of this material but in November 1842

Bauer published a series of articles on the problem in Ruge's  Deutsche Jahrhiicher.  Marx considered that Bauer's view were 'too abstract', and decided that a lengthy review would be a convenient peg on which to hang his criticism of the liberal state. In his articles Bauer had claimed that, in order to be able to live together, both Jews and Christians had to renounce what separated them. Neither Christians nor Jews as such could have human rights: so it was not only Jews but all men who needed emancipation. Civil rights were inconceivable under an absolute system.

Religious prejudice and religious separation would vanish when civil and political castes and privileges were done away with and all men enjoyed equal rights in a liberal, secular state.

Marx welcomed Bauer's critique of the Christian state, but attacked him for not calling into question the state as such - and thus failing to examine the relationship of political emancipation (that is, the granting of political rights) to human emancipation (the emancipation of man in all his faculties). Society could not be cured of its ills simply by emancipating the political sphere from religious influence. Marx quoted several authorities to show the extent of religious practice in North America and went on:

The fact that even in the land of complete political emancipation we find not only the existence of religion but its living existence full of freshness and strength, demonstrates that the continuance of religion does not conflict with or impede the perfection of the state. But since the existence of religion entails the existence of a defect, the source of this defect can only be sought in the nature of the state itself. On this view, religion no longer has the force of a basis for secular deficiencies but only a symptom. Therefore we explain the religious prejudice of free citizens by their secular prejudice. We do not insist that they abolish their religious constraint in order to abolish secular constraints: we insist that they abolish their religious constraints as soon as they have abolished their secular constraints. We do not change secular questions into theological ones: we change theological questions into secular ones. History has for long enough been resolved into superstition: we now resolve superstition into history. The question of the relationship of political emancipation to religion becomes for us a question of the relationship of political emancipation to human emancipation. We criticize the religious weakness of the political state by criticising the secular construction of the political state without regard to its religious weaknesses.

Thus political emancipation from religion did not free men from religious conceptions, for political emancipation was not the same as human emancipation. For example, citizens might still be constrained by a religion from which a state itself had broken free. What Bauer had not realised was that the political emancipation he advocated embodied an alienation similar to the religious alienation he had just criticised. Man's emancipation, because it passed through the intermediary of the state, was still abstract, indirect and partial. 'Even when man proclaims himself an atheist through the intermediary of the state - i.e. when he proclaims the state to be atheistic - he still retains his religious prejudice, just because he recognises himself only indirectly - through the medium of something else. Religion is precisely man's indirect recognition of himself through an intermediary. The state is the intermediary between man and his freedom.'

Similarly with private property: in America it had been abolished as far as the constitution was concerned by declaring that no property qualification was necessary for voting. But this, far from really abolishing private property, actually presupposed it. The result was that man's being was profoundly divided:

When the political state has achieved its true completion, man leads a double life, a heavenly one and an earthly one, not only in thought and consciousness but in reality, in life. He has a life both in the political community, where he is valued as a communal being, and in civil society where he is active as a private individual, treats other men as means, degrades himself to a means and becomes a tool of forces outside himself.

Political democracy was not, however, to be decried. For it was a great step forward and 'the final form of human emancipation inside the present world order'.46 Political democracy could be called Christian in that it had man as its principle and regarded him as sovereign and supreme. But unfortunately this meant

man as he appears uncultivated and unsocial, man in his accidental existence, man as he comes and goes, man as he is corrupted by the whole organization of our society, lost to himself, sold, subjected to domination by inhuman conditions and elements - in a word, man who is no longer a real species-being. The fantasy, dream and postulate of Christianity, the sovereignty of man - but of man as an alien being separate from actual man, is present in democracy as a tangible reality and is its secular motto.

Having shown that religion was more than compatible with  civil rights, Marx now contested Bauer's refusal to acknowledge the Jewish claim to human rights, the rights of man. Bauer had said that neither the Jew nor the Christian could claim universal human rights because their particular and exclusive religions necessarily invalidated any such claims. Marx refuted Bauer's view by referring to the French and American Constitutions. Firstly, he discussed the distinction between the rights of the citizen and the rights of  man.  The rights of the citizen were of a political order; they were expressed in man's participation in the universality of the state and, as had been shown, by no means presupposed the abolition of religion. These rights reflected the social essence of man - though in a totally abstract form - and the reclaiming of this essence would give rise to human emancipation. Not so the rights of man in general: being expressions of the division of bourgeois society they had nothing social about them. As exemplified in the French Constitutions of 1791 and 1793

and in the Constitutions of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the rights of man did not deny the right to practise religion; on the contrary, they expressly recognised it, and Marx quoted chapter and verse to prove it.

Marx then asked: Why are these rights called the rights of man}

Because they were the rights of man regarded as a member of civil society.

And why was the member of civil society identified with man? Because the rights of man were egoistic and anti-social. This was the case with all the constitutions in question, even the most radical; none succeeded in subordinating 'man' to the 'citizen'. All the rights of man that they proclaimed had the same character. Liberty, for example, 'the right to do and perform what does not harm others', was, according to Marx, 'not based on the union of man with man but on the separation of man from man. It is the right to this separation, the right of the limited individual who is limited to himself.'48 Property, the right to dispose of one's possessions as one wills without regard to others, was 'the right of selfishness... it leads man to see in other men not the realisation, but the limitation of his own freedom'.Equality was no more than the equal right to the liberty described above, and security was the guarantee of egoism.

Thus none of the so-called rights of man went beyond the egoistic man separated from the community as a member of civil society. Summarising some of the more detailed analyses of his  Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,  Marx showed that political emancipation involved the dissolution of the old feudal society. But the transition from feudal to bourgeois society had not brought  human emancipation: 'Man was not freed from religion; he was given religious freedom'. Marx finished his review by declaring:

The actual individual man must take back into himself the abstract citizen and, as an individual man in his empirical life, in his individual work and individual relationships become a species-being; man must recognise his own forces as social forces, organize them and thus no longer separate social forces from himself in the form of political forces. Only when this has been achieved will human emancipation be completed.

In the same article Marx included a much shorter review of an essay by Bauer entitled 'The Capacity of Present-Day Jews and Christians to Become Free' which was published in Herwegh's  Twenty-one Sheets from Switzerland.  Bauer's theme was that the Jew was further removed from emancipation than the Christian: whereas the Christian had only to break with his own religion, the Jew had also to break with the completion of his religion, that is, Christianity: the Christian had only one step to make, the Jew two. Taking issue again with Bauer's theological formulation of the problem, Marx developed a theme that he had already touched on in the first part of his article: religion as the spiritual facade of a sordid and egoistic world. For Marx, the question of Jewish emancipation had become the question of what specific  social element needs to be overcome in order to abolish Judaism. He defined the secular basis of Judaism as practical need and self-interest, the Jew's worldly cult as barter, and his worldly god as money. He stated in conclusion: An organisation of society that abolished the presupposition of haggling and thus its possibility, would have made the Jew impossible. His religious consciousness would dissolve like an insipid vapour into the real live air of society. On the other hand: if the Jew recognises this practical essence of his as void and works for its abolition, he is working for human emancipation with his previous development as a basis, and turning himself against the highest practical expression of human self-alienation.

The Jew had, however, already emancipated himself in a Jewish way. This had been possible because the Christian world had become impregnated with the practical Jewish spirit. Their deprivation of nominal political rights mattered little to Jews, who in practice wielded great financial power. 'The contradiction between the Jew's lack of political rights and his practical political power, is the general contradiction between politics and the power of money. Whereas the first ideally is superior to the second, in fact it is its bondsman.' The basis of civil society was practical need, and the god of this practical need was money - the secularised god of the Jews:

Money is the jealous god of Israel before whom no other god may stand. Money debases all the gods of man and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal, self-constituted value of all things. It has therefore robbed the whole world, human as well as natural, of its own values. Money is the alienated essence of man's work and being; this alien essence dominates him; and he adores it."

Judaism could not develop further as a religion, but had succeeded in installing itself in practice at the heart of civil society and the Christian world:

Judaism reaches its apogee with the completion of civil society; but civil society first reaches its completion in the Christian world. Only under the domination of Christianity which made all national, natural, moral and theoretical relationships exterior to man, could civil society separate itself completely from the life of the state, tear asunder all the species-bonds of man, put egoism and selfish need in the place of these species-bonds and dissolve man into a world of atomized individuals hostile to one another.

Thus Christianity, which arose out of Judaism, had now dissolved and reverted to Judaism.

Marx's conclusion outlined the idea of alienated labour that he would shortly develop at length:

As long as man is imprisoned within religion, he only knows how to objectify his essence by making it into an alien, imaginary being. Similarly, under the domination of egoistic need he can only become practical, only create practical objects by putting his products and his activity under the domination of an alien entity and lending them the significance of this alien entity: money.

It is largely this article that has given rise to the view that Marx was an anti-semite. It is true that a quick and unreflective reading of, particularly, the briefer second section leaves a nasty impression. It is also true that Marx indulged elsewhere in anti-Jewish remarks - though none as sustained as here. He was himself attacked as a Jew by many of his most prominent opponents - Ruge, Proudhon, Bakunin and Diihring; but there is virtually no trace of Jewish self-consciousness either in his published writings or in his private letters. An incident that occurred while Marx was in Cologne throws some light on his attitude:

Just now [he wrote to Ruge in March 1843], the president of the Israelites here has paid me a visit and asked me to help with a parliamentary petition on behalf of the Jews; and I agreed. However obnoxious I find the Israelite beliefs, Bauer's view seems to me nevertheless to be too abstract. The point is to punch as many holes as possible in the Christian state and smuggle in rational views as far as we can.

That must at least be our aim - and the bitterness grows with each rejected petition.

Marx's willingness to help the Jews of Cologne suggests that his article was aimed much more at the vulgar capitalism popularly associated with Jews than at Jewry as such - either as a religious body or (still less) as an ethnic group. Indeed, the German word for Jewry -  Judentum - has the secondary sense of commerce and, to some extent, Marx played on this double meaning. It is significant, moreover, that some of the main points in the second section of Marx's article - including the attack on Judaism as the embodiment of a money fetishism - were taken over almost  verbatim from an article by Hess - who was the very opposite of an anti-semite.

(Mess's article, entitled 'On the Essence of Money', had been submitted for publication in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher but the journal collapsed before it could appear).

The second of Marx's articles in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher was written after his arrival in Paris: it revealed the immense impact made on him by his discovery there of the class to whose emancipation he was to devote the rest of his life. Paris, the cultural capital of Europe, had a large population of German immigrant workers - almost 100,000. Some had come to perfect the techniques of their various trades; some had come simply because they could find no work in Germany. Marx was immediately impressed:

When communist artisans form associations, education and propaganda are their first aims. But the very act of associating creates a new need

- the need for society - and what appeared to be a means has become an end. The most striking results of this practical development are to be seen when French socialist workers meet together. Smoking, eating and drinking are no longer simply means of bringing people together.

Company, association, entertainment which also has society as its aim, are sufficient for them; the brotherhood of man is no empty phrase but a reality, and the nobility of man shines forth upon us from their toil-worn bodies.

Marx attended the meetings of most of the French workers' associations, but was naturally closer to the Germans - particularly to the League of ilie Just, the most radical of the German secret societies and composed of emigre artisans whose aim was to introduce a 'social republic' in Germany. He knew intimately both its leaders: Ewerbeck, a doctor, and Maurer who had been a member of Ruge's short-lived phalanstery. But he did not actually join any of the societies.60

Although Marx's second article ended with the forthright proclamation of the proletariat's destiny, the first part was a reworking of old themes.

It was written as an introduction to a proposed rewriting of his  Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right;  in fact, several of the arguments outlined in the  Critique had already been developed in  The Jewish Question.  Being only an introduction, it was in the nature of a summary, ordering its themes in a way that reflected the different phases of Marx's own development: religious, philosophical, political, revolutionary. Taken as a whole, it formed a manifesto whose incisiveness and dogmatism anticipated the Communist Manifesto of 1848.

All the elements of the article were already contained in the  Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,  but there was now a quite new emphasis on the proletariat as future emancipator of society. Although written in Paris, the whole article was orientated towards Germany and the possibility of a German revolution; accordingly it started with religion and went on to politics - the two most pressing subjects in Germany (according to his programmatic letter to Ruge of September 1843).

Marx began with a brilliant passage on religion summarising the whole work of the Young Hegelian school from Strauss to Feuerbach. 'So far as Germany is concerned,' he wrote, 'the criticism of religion is essentially complete, and criticism of religion is the presupposition of all criticism.'

This latter assertion doubtless depended on two main factors: in Germany, religion was one of the chief pillars of the Prussian state and had to be knocked away before any fundamental political change could be contemplated; more generally, Marx believed that religion was the most extreme form of alienation and the point where any process of secularisation had to start, and this supplied him with a model for criticism of other forms of alienation. But he differed from Feuerbach in this: it was not simply a question of reduction - of reducing religious elements to others that were more fundamental. Religion's false consciousness of man and the world existed as such because man and the world were radically vitiated: 'The foundation of irreligious criticism is this: man makes religion, religion does not make man. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, the state, society.

This state and this society produce religion's inverted attitude to the world because they are an inverted world themselves.' Religion was the necessary idealistic completion of a deficient material world and Marx heaped metaphor on metaphor: 'Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual  point d'honneur,  its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, its universal basis for consolation and justification.'

Marx continued with a series of brilliant metaphors to show that religion was at one and the same time both the symptom of a deep social malaise and a protest against it. Religion nevertheless stood in the way of any cure of social evil since it tended at the same time to justify them.

Thus, the struggle against religion is indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world and the soul of soulless circumstances. It is the opium of the people.. .. The criticism of religion is therefore the germ of the criticism of the valley of tears whose halo is religion.

Marx did not write much about religion (Engels wrote much more) and this is the most detailed passage in all his writings. What he said here that religion is a fantasy of alienated man - is thoroughly in keeping with his early thought. (Later, the element of class ideology was to be much more dominant.) He thought religion at once important and unimportant: important, because the purely spiritual compensation that it afforded men detracted from efforts at material betterment; unimportant, because its true nature had been fully exposed, in his view, by his colleagues -particularly by Feuerbach. It was only a secondary phenomenon and, being dependent on socio-economic circumstances, merited no independent criticism.

Attempts to characterise Marxism as a religion, although plausible within their own terms, confuse the issue, as also do attempts to claim that Marx was not really an atheist. This is the usual approach of writers who stress the parallel between Marxism and the Judaeo-Christian history of salvation65 - though some say that Marx took over this tradition when already secularised by Schelling or Hegel into an aesthetic or philosophical revelation.66 It is true that Marx had in mind the religion of contemporary Germany dominated by a dogmatic and over-spiritual Lutheranism, but he wrote about 'religion' in general and his rejection was absolute. Unlike so many early socialists (Weitling, Saint-Simon, Fourier), he would brook no compromise. Atheism was inseparable from humanism, he maintained; indeed, given the terms in which he posed the problem, this was undeniable. It is, of course, legitimate to change the meaning of 'atheism' in order to make Marx a believer  malgre lui, but this tends to make the question senseless by blurring too many distinctions.

Marx then turned from a summary of past criticism, and what it had achieved, to current developments:

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chains not so that man may bear chains without any imagination or comfort, but so that he may throw away the chains and pluck living flowers. The criticism of religion disillusions man so that he may think, act and fashion his own reality as a disillusioned man come to his senses; so that he may revolve around himself as his real sun. Religion is only the illusory sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.

Criticism had, consequently, to turn to a deeper alienation, that of politics: It is therefore the task of history, now the truth is no longer in the beyond, to establish the truth of the here and now. The first task of philosophy - which is in the service of history - once the holy form of human self-alienation has been discovered, is to discover self-alienation in its non-religious forms. The criticism of heaven is thus transformed into the criticism of earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.6'

Following this introduction, the body of Marx's article consisted of two parts: an analysis of the gap between the reactionary nature of German politics and the progressive state of German philosophy; and the possibilities of revolution arising from this contrast. Marx began by pointing out that even the necessary negation of Germany's present was anachron-istic and would still leave Germany fifty years behind France.

Indeed, German history can congratulate itself on following a path that no people in the historical firmament have taken before and none will take after it. For we have shared with modern peoples in restorations without sharing their revolutions. We have had restorations, firstly because other peoples dared to make a revolution, and then because they suffered a counter-revolution; because our masters were at the one moment afraid and at another not afraid. Without shepherds at our head, we always found ourselves in the company of freedom only once on the day of its burial.

But there was, Marx argued, one aspect in which Germany was actually in advance of other nations and which afforded her the opportunity for a radical revolution: her philosophy. This view, shared by all the contributors to the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher,  made them appear to the French as some sort of missionaries; it had been current in the Young I Iegelian movement since Heine (in his  History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany,  written in 1835) had drawn a parallel between German philosophy and French politics and prophesied a radical revolution for Germany as a consequence. To be at the heart of contemporary questions it was German philosophy that had to be criticised. In Germany it was only political philosophy that was abreast of modern conditions.

Marx then clarified his own position by pointing to two different attitudes both of which seemed to him to be inadequate. The first, which in some respects recalled the views of Feuerbach, Marx called the 'practical political party':

This party is justified in demanding the negation of philosophy. Their error consists not in their demand, but in being content with a demand that they do not and cannot really meet. They believe that they can complete that negation by turning their back on philosophy. You ask that we start from the real seeds of life, but forget that until now the real seed of the German people has only flourished inside its skull. In a word: you cannot transcend philosophy without giving it practical effect.

The second attitude, characteristic of the theoretical party - by which Marx meant Bruno Bauer and his followers - committed the same error but from the opposite direction:

It sees in the present struggle nothing but the critical struggle of philosophy with the German world and does not reflect that earlier philosophy itself has belonged to this world and is its completion, albeit in ideas. Its principal fault can be summed up thus: it thought it could give practical expression to philosophy without transcending it.

Bauer's philosophy, because it refused any mediation with the real, was undialectical and condemned to sterility. What Marx proposed was a synthesis of the two views he condemned: a mediation with the real that would abolish philosophy 'as philosophy' while giving it practical expression. This was akin to his later advocacy of the 'unity of theory and practice', and took up a theme that had been in his mind since his doctoral thesis (if not before): that of the secularisation of philosophy.

From Cieszkowski's  praxis in 1838 to Hess's 'Philosophy of Action' in 1843 this was a theme central to Hegel's disciples trying to break loose from their master's system so as to get to grips with contemporary events.

It was along these lines that Marx saw the only possible way of solving Germany's political problems.

In the second part of his article, Marx then turned to an exploration of the possibility of a revolution that would not only eliminate Germany's backwardness, but also thrust her into the forefront of European nations by making her the first to have achieved emancipation that was not merely political. Thus he put the question: 'Can Germany achieve a  praxis that will be equal to her principles, i.e. can she achieve a revolution that will not only raise her to the official level of modern peoples but to the human level that is the immediate future of these peoples?'75 By way of a preliminary answer, Marx recapitulated his previous conclusion: The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, supplant the criticism of weapons; material force must be overthrown by material force. But theory, too, will become material force as soon as it seizes the masses.

Theory is capable of seizing the masses as soon as its proofs are  ad htrminem and its proofs are  ad hominem as soon as it is radical. To be radical is to grasp the matter by the root. But for man the root is man himself. The manifest proof of the radicalism of German theory and its practical energy is that it starts from the decisive and positive abolition of religion. The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that man is for himself the highest being - that is, with the categorical imperative to overthrow all systems in which man is humiliated, enslaved, abandoned and despised.

The importance of the 'weapon of criticism' for Germany was shown by Luther's revolution of theory - the Reformation. Of course this revolution was an incomplete one: Luther had merely internalised man's religious consciousness; he had 'destroyed faith in authority by restoring the authority of faith'.75 But although Protestantism had not found the true solution, at least its formulation of the problem had been correct. The present situation of Germany was similar to that which preceded the Reformation; the only difference was that philosophy took the place of theology and the result would be a human emancipation instead of one that took place entirely within the sphere of religion.

In the final, pregnant pages of the article Marx drew from his sombre review of the German scene the optimistic conclusion that the revolution in Germany, as opposed to France, could not be partial and had to be radical; and only the proletariat, in alliance with philosophy, would be capable of carrying it out. Marx began with the difficulties that seemed to stand in the way of a radical German revolution. 'Revolutions need a passive element, a material basis. A theory will only be implemented among a people in so far as it is the implementation of what it needs.'

And 'a radical revolution can only be a revolution of radical needs whose presuppositions and breeding-ground seem precisely to be lacking'. But the very fact that Germany was so deficient politically indicated the sort of future that awaited her: 'Germany is the political deficiencies of the present constituted into a world of their own and as such will not be able to break down specifically German barriers without breaking down the general barriers of the political present.' What was Utopian for Germany was not a radical revolution that would achieve the complete emancipation of mankind but a partial revolution, a revolution that was merely political, a revolution 'that leaves the pillars of the house still standing'. Marx then characterised a purely political revolution, obviously taking the French Revolution as his paradigm:

A part of civil society emancipates itself and achieves universal domination, a particular class undertakes the general emancipation of society from its particular situation. This class frees the whole of society, but only on the supposition that the whole of society is in the same situation as this class - that it possesses, or can easily acquire (for example) money and education.

No class could occupy this 'special situation' in society without arousing an impulse of enthusiasm in itself and among the masses. It is a moment when the class fraternizes with society in general and merges with society; it is identified with society and is felt and recognized as society's general representative. Its claims and rights are truly the claims and rights of society itself of which it is the real social head and heart.

And for a class to be able to seize this emancipatory position, there had to be a polarisation of classes:

One particular class must be a class that rouses universal reprobation and incorporates all deficiencies: one particular social sphere must be regarded as the notorious crime of the whole society, so that the liberation of this sphere appears as universal self-liberation. So that one class  par excellence may appear as the class of liberation, another class must conversely be the manifest class of oppression.

This, according to Marx, was the situation in France before 1789 when

'the universally negative significance of the French nobility and clergy determined the universally positive significance of the class nearest to them and opposed to them: the bourgeoisie'.

In Germany, the situation was very different. For there every class lacked the cohesion and courage that could cast it in the role of the negative representative of society, and every class also lacked the imagination to identify itself with the people at large. Class-consciousness sprang from the oppression of a lower class rather than from defiant protest against oppression from above. Progress in Germany was thus impossible, for every class was engaged in a struggle on more than one front: Thus the princes are fighting against the king, the bureaucracy against the nobility, the bourgeoisie against all of them, while the proletariat is already beginning its fight against the bourgeoisie. The middle class scarcely dares to conceive of emancipation from its own point of view and already development in social circumstances and political theory make this point of view itself antiquated or at least problematical.

Marx then summarised the contrast he had been elaborating between France and Germany:

In France it is enough that one should be something in order to wish to be all. In Germany one must be nothing, if one is to avoid giving up everything. In France partial emancipation is the basis of universal emancipation, in Germany universal emancipation is a  sine qua non of every partial emancipation. In France it is the reality, in Germany the impossibility, of a gradual liberation that must give birth to total freedom. In France every class of the people is politically idealistic and is not primarily conscious of itself as a particular class but as a representative of general social needs. The role of emancipator thus passes in a dramatic movement to different classes of the French people until it comes to the class which no longer brings about social freedom by presupposing certain conditions that lie outside mankind and are yet created by human society, but which organizes the conditions of human existence by presupposing social freedom. In Germany, on the contrary, where practical life is as unintellectual as intellectual life is unpractical, no class of civil society has the need for, or capability of, achieving universal emancipation until it is compelled by its immediate situation, by material necessity and its own chains.

This passage shows the importance of Marx's study of the French Revolution in the formation of his views. The Rhineland - where he was born and spent his early life - had been French until 1814, and had enjoyed the benefits of the French Revolution where civil emancipation was a genuine experience and not a possession of foreigners only, to be envied from afar. To all German intellectuals the French Revolution was  the revolution, and Marx and his Young Hegelian friends constantly compared themselves to the heroes of 1789. It was his reading of the history of the French Revolution in the summer of 1843 that showed him the role of class struggle in social development.

Approaching the conclusion of his article, Marx introduced the  denouement with the question: 'So where is the real possibility of German emancipation?' His answer was:

. . . in the formation of a class with radical chains, a class in civil society that is not a class of civil society, the formation of a social group that is the dissolution of all social groups, the formation of a sphere that has a universal character because of its universal sufferings and lays claim to no particular right, because it is the object of no particular injustice but of injustice in general. This class can no longer lay claim to a historical status, but only to a human one. It is not in a one-sided opposition to the consequences of the German political regime; it is in total opposition to its presuppositions. It is, finally, a sphere that cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other spheres of society and thereby emancipating these other spheres themselves. In a word it is the complete loss of humanity and this can only recover itself by a complete redemption of humanity. This dissolution of society, as a particular class, is the proletariat.

This passage raises an obvious and crucial question as to the reasons for Marx's sudden adherence to the cause of the proletariat. Some have claimed that Marx's description of the proletariat is non-empirical and thus that its ultimate source is Hegel's philosophy. It has, for example, been maintained that 'The insight into the world-historical role of the proletariat is obtained in a purely speculative manner by a "reversal" of the connection that Hegel had established between different forms of objective spirit.' Others have claimed that Hegel's insights were fundamentally those of a German Protestant and thus that Marx's underlying schema here was the Christian conception of salvation - the proletariat played the role of Isaiah's suffering servant: Through Hegel, the young Marx links up, no doubt unconsciously, with the soteriological  schema underlying the Judaeo-Christian tradition: the idea of the collective salvation obtained by a particular group, the theme of salvic destitution, the opposition of injustice that enslaves and generosity that frees. The proletariat, bringing universal salvation, plays a role analogous to that of the messianic community or personal saviour in biblical revelation.

Or even more explicitly: 'That the universality of the proletariat echoes the claims of the  universal Christ is confirmed by Marx's insistence that the proletariat will exist, precisely at the point when it becomes universal, in a scourged and emptied condition - and this, of course, is Marx's variant of the divine  kenosis.' Others have claimed that, since Marx's views are not empirically based, this shows that they have their origin in a moral indignation at the condition of the proletariat.

All these interpretations are mistaken - at least as attempts at total explanation. Marx's proclamation of the key role of the proletariat was a contemporary application of the analysis of the French Revolution outlined earlier in his article, when he talked of a particular social sphere having 'to be regarded as the notorious crime of the whole society so that the liberation of this sphere appears as universal self-emancipation'.

The proletariat was now in the position the French bourgeoisie had occupied in 1789. It was now the proletariat which could echo the words of Sieyes, 'I am nothing and I should be everything'. The context thus shows that Marx's account of the role of the proletariat was drawn from his study of the French Revolution, however much his language may be that of Young Hegelian journalism.

To this historical base was added a distillation of contemporary French socialist ideas. For three months already Marx had lived and worked with prominent socialists in Paris. The view of the proletariat contained in his article was not unique even in Young Hegelian circles, but it was of course commonplace in Paris.

Marx's sudden espousal of the proletarian cause can be directly attributed (as can that of other early German communists such as Weitling and Hess) to his first-hand contacts with socialist intellectuals in France.

Instead of editing a paper for the Rhineland bourgeoisie or sitting in his study in Kreuznach, he was now at the heart of socialist thought and action. He was living in the same house as Germain Maurer, one of the leaders of the League of the Just whose meetings he frequented. From October 1843 Marx was breathing a socialist atmosphere. It is not surprising that his surroundings made a swift impact on him.

Marx admitted that the proletariat he described was only just beginning to exist in Germany - indeed, factory workers constituted no more than 4 per cent of the total male population over the age of fourteen. What characterised it was not natural poverty (though this had a part to play) but poverty that was artificially produced and resulted particularly in the disintegration of the middle class. The proletariat would achieve the dissolution of the old order of society by the negation of private property, a negation of which it was itself the embodiment. This was the class in which philosophy could finally give itself practical expression: 'As philosophy finds its material weapons in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its intellectual weapons in philosophy, and as soon as the lightning of thought has struck deep into the virgin soil of the people, the emancipation of the Germans into men will be completed.' The signal for this revolution would come from France: 'When all internal conditions are fulfilled, the day of German resurrection will be heralded by the crowing of the Gallic cock.'

The first double-number of the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher was also the last. Having clamped down on the Press inside Prussia, the Government there was particularly anxious to avoid the importation of seditious literature. The propagation of communist ideas was explicitly forbidden in Prussia and several of the articles in the  Jahrbiicher had a distinctly socialist flavour. The German authorities acted swiftly: the journal was banned in Prussia, several hundred copies being seized on entry.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of Marx, Heine and Ruge; and for the first time in his life Marx had become a political refugee. The  Jahr biicher met with little success in France; there were no French contributors and it attracted virtually no comment in the French Press. Froebel withdrew from the enterprise, both because he was unwilling to risk losing more money and because he disliked the revolutionary tone of the first number. But the fate of the  Jahrbiicher was finally sealed by the increasing divergence in the views of the two co-editors. Ruge had been ill during the weeks immediately preceding publication, and most of the crucial editorial work had fallen on Marx. Ruge was rather dismayed to see that the general impression left by the body of the  Jahrbiicher was considerably different from his own vaguely humanist Preface; he appreciated the articles by Marx but thought them too stylish and epigrammatic. There were also problems of finance: Ruge had paid Hess an advance for articles he in fact failed to write, and wanted it back immediately - which annoyed Hess who had no money (and knew anyway that Ruge had just made a considerable amount through lucky speculation in railway shares). Marx urged Ruge to continue publication: Ruge refused and by way of payment for Marx's contributions gave him copies of the single issue of the  Jahrbiicher.  Marx's finances were, however, re-established by the receipt in mid-March 1844 of 1000 thalers (about twice his annual salary as co-editor), sent on the initiative of Jung by the former shareholders of the Rheinische Zeitung.9''

During the spring of 1844 Marx and Ruge were still in close contact.

What led to the final break between them was Marx's overt adoption of communism and his rather bohemian life-style. He had not used the term 'communism' in the  Jahrbiicher but by the spring of 1844 Marx had definitely adopted the term as a brief description of his views.98 Ruge could not stand communists. 'They wish to liberate people', he wrote to his mother with the bitterness of one whose financial resources had been called on just once too often, 'by turning them into artisans and abolishing private property by a fair and communal repartition of goods; but for the moment they attach the utmost importance to property and in particular to money....'" Their ideas, he wrote further, 'lead to a police state and slavery. To free the proletariat intellectually and physically from the weight of its misery, they dream of an organisation that would generalise this misery and make all men bear its weight.'100 Ruge had a strong puritan streak and was also exasperated by the sybaritic company Marx was keeping. The poet Herwegh had recently married a rich banker's daughter and was leading the life of a playboy: according to Ruge, One evening our conversation turned to the relations of Herwegh with the Countess d'Agoult.101 I was just at that time occupied in trying to restart the  Jahrbiicher and was outraged by Herwegh's style of life and laziness. I referred to him several times as a wanton and said that when someone got married he ought to know what he was doing.. .. Marx said nothing and took friendly leave of me. But the next day he wrote to me that Herwegh was a genius with a great future in front of him and that he had been angry to hear me treat him as a wanton, adding that I had a narrow-minded outlook lacking in humanity.... He could no longer work with me as I was only interested in politics, whereas he was a communist.

Thereafter the break between the two men was complete. Marx publicised these disagreements later that summer by means of a sharp attack on an article Ruge had written concerning a weavers' revolt in Silesia. Several thousand weavers had smashed the newly introduced machinery that had driven down their wages, and had been repressed with great brutality.

Ruge's article criticising the paternalistic attitude of Frederick William IV to social problems appeared in  Vorwiirts,  a new twice-weekly publication that had become (largely owing to the flair of its editor, F. C. Bernays) the main forum for radical discussion among German emigres. Bernays, who had recently fled from Baden, was a journalist of some resource: in order to make the conservative Press in Germany appear ridiculous he had once wagered that in one week he could get them to print fifty items of manifest stupidity; he won his bet and republished the items in book-form. In his article Ruge rightly denied that the weavers' rebellion was of any immediate importance: no social revolt, he said, could succeed in Germany since political consciousness was extremely underdeveloped and social reform sprang from political revolution.

Marx published his reply in  Vorwiirts at the end of July 1844. Pie attached a quite unrealistic weight to the weavers' actions and favourably contrasted the scale of their revolt with workers' revolts in England. A political consciousness was not sufficient to deal with social poverty: England had a very developed political consciousness, yet it was the country with the most extensive pauperism. The British Government had an enormous amount of information at its disposal but, after two centuries of legislation on pauperism, could find nothing better than the workhouse.

In France, too, the Convention and Napoleon had unsuccessfully tried to suppress beggary. Thus the fault was not in this or that form of the state as Ruge believed - and the solution could not be found in this or that political programme. The fault lay in the very nature of political power: From the political point of view the state and any organisation of society are not two distinct things. The state is the organisation of society. In so far as the state admits the existence of social abuses, it seeks their origin either in natural laws that no human power can control or in the private sector which is independent of it or in the inadequacy of the administration that depends on the state. Thus, Britain sees misery as founded in the natural law according to which population must always outstrip the means of subsistence; on the other hand, it explains pauperism by the cussedness of the poor; whereas the King of Prussia explains it by the un-Christian spirit of the rich, and the Convention by the counter-revolutionary and suspicious attitude of the property-owners. Therefore, Britain punishes the poor, the King of Prussia exhorts the rich and the Convention beheads the property owners.'

Thus if the state wanted to transcend the impotence of its administration it would have to abolish itself, for the more powerful the state and the more developed the political consciousness of a nation, the less it was disposed to seek the cause of social ills in the state itself. Marx once again substantiated his point by reference to the French Revolution, whose heroes 'far from seeing the source of social defects in the state, see in social defects the source of political misfortunes'.

Thus for Marx it was not 'political consciousness' that was important.

The Silesian revolt was even more important than revolts in England and France because it showed a more developed class-consciousness. After favourably comparing Weitling's works with those of Proudhon and the German bourgeoisie, Marx repeated his prediction made in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher of the role of the proletariat and the chances of a radical revolution:

The German proletariat is the theoretician of the European proletariat, as the English proletariat is its economist and the French its politician.

It must be admitted that Germany has a vocation for social revolution that is all the more classic in that it is incapable of political revolution. It is only in socialism that a philosophical people can find a corresponding activity, and thus only in the proletariat that it finds the active element of its feedom.

Marx finished his article with a passage that gave a concise summary of his studies of social change:

A social revolution, even though it be limited to a single industrial district, affects the totality, because it is a human protest against a dehumanized life, because it starts from the standpoint of the single, real individual, because the collectivity against whose separation from himself the individual reacts is the true collectivity of man, the human essence. The political soul of revolution consists on the contrary in a tendency of the classes without political influence to end their isolation from the top positions in the state. Their standpoint is that of the state an abstract whole, that only exists through a separation from real life.

Thus a revolution with a political soul also organizes, in conformity with its limited and double nature, a ruling group in society to society's detriment.

Thus Ruge's idea that social revolution necessarily had a political soul was the opposite of the truth:

Every revolution is social insofar as it destroys the old society. Every revolution is political insofar as it destroys the old power.... Revolution in general - the overthrow of the existing power and dissolution of previous relationships - is a political act. Socialism cannot be realized without a revolution. But when its organizing activity begins, when its particular aims are formulated, when its soul comes forward, then socialism casts aside its political cloak.

This controversy marked the end of all contact with Ruge. Although Marx continued his friendship with Herwegh, this also did not last long, and Marx soon admitted that there was something after all in Ruge's strictures. Herwegh's sybaritic character and his sentimental version of communism could never harmonise with the temperament and ideas of Marx of whom Herwegh wrote at the time that 'he would have been the perfect incarnation of the last scholastic. A tireless worker and great savant, he knew the world more in theory than in practice. He was fully conscious of his own value.... The sarcasms with which he assailed his adversaries had the cold penetration of the executioner's axe.'Disillusioned with Herwegh, Marx spent more and more time with Heine, the only person he declared himself sorry to leave behind on his expulsion from Paris.

Heine had made Paris his base immediately after the 1830 revolution there. As well as flourishing as a poet in a city which could boast Musset, Vigny, Sainte-Beuve, Ingres and Chopin among many other famous cultural figures, Heine was much attracted to the doctrines of Saint-Simon and the later French socialists. Embittered by the banning of his books in Prussia, he regarded the success of communism as inevitable, but feared the triumph of the masses and 'the time when these sombre iconoclasts will destroy my laurel groves and plant potatoes'. His friendship with Marx coincided with much of his best satirical verse in which Marx is said to have encouraged him with the words: 'Leave your everlasting complaints of love and show the satiric poets the real way of going about it - with a whip!" According to Eleanor: There was a period when Heine came daily to see Marx and his wife to read them his verse and hear their opinion of it. Marx and Heine could endlessly revise a little ten-line poem - weighing every word, correcting and polishing it until everything was perfect and every trace of their working-over had disappeared. Much patience was necessary as Heine was extremely sensitive to any sort of criticism. Sometimes he arrived at the Marxes literally in tears because an obscure writer had attacked him in a journal. Marx's best tactic then was to address him to his wife whose kindness and wit soon brought the despairing poet to reason.

Heine also had the distinction of saving the life of the Marxes' first baby: he arrived one day to find the child having convulsions and both parents at their wits' end; he immediately prescribed a hot bath, prepared it himself, and bathed the baby, who at once recovered.

Marx also spent a lot of his time in the company of Russian aristocratic emigres who, he said later, 'feted' him throughout his stay. These included his later adversary Bakunin with whom Marx seems to have been on friendly terms. The same cannot be said of the Polish Count Cieszkowski, author of a seminal book at the beginning of the Young Hegelian movement, of whom Marx later recalled that 'he so bored me that I wouldn't and couldn't look at anything that he later perpetrated'. Marx naturally passed much of his time with French socialists - such as Louis Blanc, and particularly Proudhon (also a subsequent adversary) whose unique brand of anarcho-socialism had already made him the most prominent left-wing thinker in Paris. Marx later claimed that he was responsible for teaching Proudhon about German idealism: 'In long discussions that often last the whole night, I injected him with large doses of Hegelianism; this was, moreover, to his great disadvantage as he did not know German and could not study the matter in depth.' The most that can be said is that Marx shared this distinction with Bakunin.


Marx thrived in this perfervid intellectual atmosphere. However much Ruge might disapprove of what he considered Marx's disorderly life, cynicism and arrogance, he could not but admire his capacity for hard work.

He reads a lot. He works in an extrordinarily intense way. He has a critical talent that degenerates sometimes into something which is simply a dialectical game, but he never finishes anything - he interrupts every bit of research to plunge into a fresh ocean of books. . .. He is more excited and violent than ever, especially when his work has made him ill and he has not been to bed for three or even four nights on end.

Marx intended to continue his critique of Hegel's politics, then he intended to do a history of the Convention; 'he always wants to write on what he has read last, yet continues to read incessantly, making fresh excerpts'. If Marx wrote anything substantial on Hegel's politics or the Convention, it has not survived. During July and August, however, Marx had a period of peace and quiet that he put to good use. On i May their first child was born - a girl, called Jenny after her mother. The baby was very sickly and Jenny took her away to Trier for two months to show her to the family there and obtain the advice of her old doctor. While his wife and baby were away Marx made voluminous notes on classical economics, communism and Hegel. Known as the 'Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts' or '1844 Manuscripts', these documents (when fully published in 1932) were hailed by some as his most important single piece of work. Four of the manuscripts which were to form the basis of this critique of political economy have survived, though in an incomplete form. The first - twenty-seven pages long - consists largely of excerpts from classical economists on wages, profit and rent, followed by Marx's own reflections on alienated labour. The second is a four-page fragment on the relationship of capital to labour. The third is forty-five pages long and comprises a discussion on private property, labour and communism; a critique of Hegel's dialectic; a section on production and the division of labour; and a short section on money. The fourth manuscript, four pages long, is a summary of the final chapter of Hegel's  Phenomenology.

The manuscripts as a whole were the first of a series of drafts for a major work, part of which, much revised, appeared in 1867 as  Capital.  In a preface sketched out for this work Marx explained why he could not fulfil the promise (made in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jarhbiicher) to publish a critique of Hegel's philosophy of law:

While I was working on the manuscript for publication it became clear that it was quite inappropriate to mix criticism directed purely against speculation with that of other and different matters, and that this mixture was an obstacle to the development of my line of thought and to its intelligibility. Moreover, the condensation of such rich and varied subjects into a single work would have permitted only a very aphorisitic treatment; and furthermore such an aphorisitic presentation would have created the appearance of an arbitrary systematization.

He therefore proposed to deal with the various subjects - among them law, morals, politics - in separate 'booklets', beginning with political economy and ending with a general treatise showing the interrelationship between the subjects, and criticising the speculative treatment of the material. In this project for a lifetime's work, Marx never got beyond the first stage:  Capital and its predecessors.

Marx had been reading economics in a desultory manner since the autumn of 1843 and by the spring of 1844 he had read and excerpted all the main economists from Boisguillebert and Quesnay in the late seventeenth century to James Mill and Say. He also mentioned his debt to unspecified French and English socialists and, among his fellow country-men, to Weitling, Hess and Engels. Marx had been much impressed by Engels' essay in the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher entitled 'Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy' and excerpts from it headed Marx's Paris notebooks. Central to the article was an indictment of private property and of the spirit of competition that it engendered. The recurrent crises were the result of anarchy in production; the growth and accumulation of capital involving a lowering of salaries and accentuated the class struggle. Science and technology, which could afford immense possibilities under communism, only served, in a capitalist society, to increase the oppression of the workers.

Marx later called Engels' article a 'brilliant sketch' and quoted from it several times in  Capital.  His reading it marked the real beginning of his lifelong interest in economic questions. Engels (like Hess) would have described himself as a disciple of Feuerbach; and certainly in all of Marx's Paris notes Feuerbach's humanism is quite central. Positive criticism, and thus also German positive criticism of political economy, was founded, Marx claimed, on Feuerbach's discoveries in his 'Thesen' and  Grundsatze.

'The first positive humanist and naturalist criticism dates from Feuerbach. The less bombastic they are, the more sure, deep, comprehensive and lasting is the effect of Feuerbach's works, the only ones since Hegel's Phenomenology and  Logic to embody a real theoretical revolution.'

Marx's first manuscript was mainly economic and started with extracts or paraphrases from the books on economics that he was reading at that time. He divided these extracts into three sections on wages, capital and rent, each occupying one of the three vertical columns into which Marx had divided his pages. In the first, drawing on Adam Smith, Marx noted that the bitter struggle between capitalist and worker which determined wages also reduced the worker to the status of a commodity. The worker could not win: if the wealth of society was diminishing, it was he who suffered most; if it was increasing, then this meant that capital was being accumulated and the product of labour was increasingly alienated from the worker.

Political economy, said Marx, dealt with man much the same terms as it dealt with, say, a house. It did not deal with man 'in his free time, as a human being'; this aspect it left to other disciplines. And he continued: Let us now rise above the level of political economy and seek from the foregoing argument, which was presented almost in the words of the economists, answers to two questions:

1. What is the significance, in the development of mankind, of this reduction of the greater part of mankind to abstract labour?

2. What errors are committed by the advocates of piecemeal reform, who either want to raise wages and thereby improve the conditions of the working class, or (like Proudhon) regard equality of wages as the aim of social revolution?

To answer these two questions Marx amassed a series of quotations from three sources: firstly from the German writer Wilhelm Schulz on workers'

pauperisation, the dehumanising effect of machinery and the number of women and children working; secondly from Constantin Pecqueur on the dependence and degradation forced on workers under capitalism; thirdly from Eugene Buret on the wretchedness and exploitation of the proletariat.

In his second section Marx noted a number of passages under the heading 'Profit of Capital'. First, quoting Adam Smith, he defined capital as the power of command over labour and its products. He then described the means by which capitalists made a profit both from wages and from raw materials advanced; the motives that inspired the capitalist; and the accumulation of capital and competition among capitalists. Marx's third section was on rent and he outlined the similarities between landlord and capitalist: in the last analysis there was no distinction between them and society was divided into two classes only - workers and capitalists.

The character of landed property had been utterly transformed since feudal times and neither the preservation of large estates nor their division into small properties could avoid precipitating a crisis. Later in the manuscript Marx offered his own trenchant critique of the 'Protestant ethic' enshrined in the classical economists:

Thus, despite its worldly and pleasure-seeking appearance, it is a truly moral science and the most moral of all sciences. Its principal thesis is the renunciation of life and of human needs. The less you eat, drink, buy books, go to the theatre or to balls, or to the public house, and the less you think, love, theorise, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you will be able to save and the greater will become your treasure which neither moth nor rust will corrupt - your capital. The less you are, the less you express your life, the more you have, the greater is your alienated life and the greater is the saving of your alienated being.126

At this point in his manuscript Marx broke off writing in three parallel columns and began to write straight across the page. He also changed his style, writing now without recourse to quotation from other writers. This passage on alienated labour is the best-written part of the manuscripts.

In it Marx criticised the concept of labour found in the classical economists from whom he had just been quoting, on the general grounds that their conceptions were superficial and abstract whereas his own gave a coherent account of the essential nature of economics. Having started from their presuppositions Marx claimed to show that the more the worker produced the poorer he became. But this analysis remained superficial:

Political economy starts with the fact of private property, it does not explain it to us. It conceives of the material process that private property in fact goes through in general abstract formulae which then have for it the value of laws.. . . But political economy tells us nothing about how far these external, apparently fortuitous circumstances are merely the expression of a necessary development. We have seen how it regards exchange itself as something fortuitous. The only wheels that political economy sets in motion are greed and war among the greedy: competition.

But because the classical economists had failed to understand the necessary connection and development of different economic factors, they could give no coherent account of economics. He, on the contrary, aimed 'to understand the essential connection of private property, selfishness, the separation of labour, capital and landed property, of exchange and competition, of the value and degradation of man, of monopoly and competition, etc. - the connection of all this alienation with the money system'. The usual method of the economist was to suppose a fictitious primordial state and to proceed from there; but this simply accepted as a fact what it was supposed to be explaining: 'Similarly the theologian explains the origin of evil through the fall, i.e. he presupposes as a historical fact what he should be explaining.'

Before introducing his main point, Marx once more insisted on its empirical basis. 'We start', he says, 'with a contemporary fact of political economy.' This fact was the general impoverishment and dehumanisation of the worker. Marx developed the implications of this, thus introducing the theme of this section:

The object that labour produces, its product, confronts it as an alien being, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labour is labour that has solidified itself into an object, made itself into a thing, the objectification of labour. The realization of labour is its objectification. In political economy this realization of labour appears as a loss of reality for the worker, objectification as a loss of the object or slavery to it, and appropriation as alienation, as externalization.

Simply stated, what Marx meant when he talked of alienation was this: it is man's nature to be his own creator; he forms and develops himself by working on and transforming the world outside him in co-operation with his fellow men. In this progressive interchange between man and the world, it is man's nature to be in control of this process, to be the initiator, the subject in which the process originates. However, this nature has become alien to man; that is, it is no longer his and belongs to another person or thing. In religion, for example, it is God who is the subject of the historical process. It is God who holds the initiative and man is in a state of dependence. In economics, according to Marx, it is money or the cash-nexus that manoeuvres men around as though they were objects instead of the reverse. The central point is that man has lost control of his own destiny and has seen this control invested in other entities. What is proper to man has become alien to him, being the attribute of something else.

Having discussed this relationship of the worker to the objects of his production, Marx defined and analysed three further characteristics of alienated man. The second was his alienation in the act of production.

'How would the worker be able to confront the product of his work as an alien being if he did not alienate himself in the act of production itself?' Marx distinguished three aspects of this type of alienation: firstly, labour was external to the worker and no part of his nature; secondly, it was not voluntary, but forced labour; and thirdly, man's activity here belonged to another, with once more the religious parallel: 'As in religion the human imagination's own activity, the activity of man's head and his heart, reacts independently on the individual as an alien activity of gods or devils, so the activity of the worker is not his own spontaneous activity.

It belongs to another and is the loss of himself.' The result of this was to turn man into an animal, for he only felt at ease when performing the animal functions of eating, drinking and procreating - in his distinctly human functions he was made to feel like an animal.

Marx had analysed man as alienated from the product of his labour and also as alienated in the act of production (this second he also called 'self-alienation'). He then derived his third characteristic of alienated labour from the two previous ones: man was alienated from his species, from his fellow men. Marx then defined what he meant by 'species', a term he took over from Feuerbach. The two chief characteristics of a species-being were self-consciousness and universality: 'Man is a species-being not only in that practically and theoretically he makes both his own and other species into his objects, but also, and this is only another way of putting the same thing, he relates himself as to the present, living species, in that he relates to himself as to a universal and therefore free being.' This universality consisted in the fact that man could appropriate for his own use the whole realm of inorganic nature. It was true that animals also produced - but only what was immediately necessary for them. It was man's nature, on the other hand, to produce universally and freely: he was able 'to produce according to the measure of every species and knows everywhere how to apply its inherent standard to the object; thus man also fashions things according to the laws of beauty'.

Marx then completed his picture by drawing a fourth characteristic of alienation out of the first three: every man was alienated from his fellow men.

In general, the statement that man is alienated from his species-being means that one man is alienated from another as each of them is alienated from the human essence. The alienation of man and generally of every relationship in which he stands is first realized and expressed in the relationship in which man stands to other men. Thus in the situation of alienated labour each man measures his relationship to other men by the relationship in which he finds himself placed as a worker.

The fact that both the product of man's labour and the activity of production had become alien to him meant that another man had to control his product and his activity.

Every self-alienation of man from himself and nature appears in the relationship in which he places himself and nature to other men distinct from himself. Therefore religious self-alienation necessarily appears in the relationship of layman to priest, or, because here we are dealing with a spiritual world, to a mediator, etc. In the practical, real world, the self-alienation can only appear through the practical, real relationship to other men.

Marx went on to point to practical consequences as regards private property and wages, which followed from his conclusion that social labour was the source of all value and thus of the distribution of wealth. He used his conclusion to resolve two contemporary problems. The first was the utter rejection of any system that involved the paying of wages. Wages only served to reinforce the notion of private property and thus even the proposal of Proudhon that all wages should be equal was quite misconceived. Secondly, Marx considered - extremely optimistically - that universal human emancipation could be achieved through the emancipation of the working class, since 'the whole of human slavery is involved in the relationship of the worker to his product'.

He next planned to extend the entire discussion to all aspects of classical economics - barter, competition, capital, money - and also to a comparison of the relative alienations of the capitalist and the worker.

But the manuscript broke off, unfinished. In spite of the incompleteness of the manuscript, it is possible to infer what the remaining portion would have contained. In his notebooks of this time, Marx set down his reflections on his reading of the classical economists. His note on James Mill's  Elements of Political Economy is exceptionally long and rich: in it Marx dealt with the categories of classical economics he had planned to discuss in the unfinished part of his manuscript on alienated labour - barter, competition, capital and money. He concentrated on the dehumanising effect of money and private property, finishing with an account of his conception of unalienated labour which was the positive side of his critique of alienated labour. Marx began his note by criticising Mill's attempt to formulate precise 'laws' in economics, a field so chaotic and open to constant fluctuation; and proceeded to comment on Mill's description of money as the medium of exchange. In capitalist society, Marx argued, money alone gave significance to man's relationship to his fellow men and even to his products.

The note-books deal extensively with the problem of credit. Credit only increased the dehumanising power of money: Credit is the economic judgement on the morality of a man. In credit, man himself, instead of metal or paper, has become the mediator of exchange but not as man, but as the existence of capital and interest.

Human individuality, human morality, has itself become both an article of commerce and the form in which money exists. Instead of money, paper is my own personal being, my flesh and blood, my social value and status, the material body of the spirit of money.

The credit system, according to Marx, had four main characteristics: it increased the power of the wealthy - for credit was more readily available to those who already had money; it added a moral judgement to an economic one, by implying that a man without credit was untrustworthy; it compelled people to try to obtain credit by lying and deceit; and finally, credit reached its perfection in the banking system. In a short section on money later in the manuscript Marx quoted extensively from Goethe's Faust and Shakespeare's  Timon of Athens to show that money was the ruin of society. Since money could purchase anything, it could remedy all deficiences: it was 'the bond of all bonds'.'Since money is the existing and self-affirming concept of value and confounds and exchanges all things, it is the universal confusion and exchange of all things, the inverted world, the confusion and exchange of all natural and human qualities.

In truly human society where man was man - then everything would have a definite, human value and only love could be exchanged for love, and so on.

It was in contrast to this society based on money and credit that Marx outlined his idea of man's authentic social existence: Since human nature is man's true communal nature, men create and develop their communal nature by their natural action; they develop their social being which is no abstract, universal power as opposed to single individuals, but the nature of each individual, his own activity, his own life, his own enjoyment, his own wealth. Therefore this true communal nature does not originate in reflection, it takes shape through the need and egoism of individuals, i.e. it is produced directly by the effect of their being. It is not dependent on man whether this communal being exists or not; but so long as man has not recognized himself as man and has not organized the world in a human way, this communal nature appears in the form of alienation - because its subject, man, is a self-alienated being. Men - not in the abstract, but as real, living, particular individuals are this nature.

With the transformation of labour into wage-labour, this alienation was inevitable. In primitive barter men only exchanged the surplus of their own produce. But soon men produced with the sole object of exchanging and finally 'it becomes quite accidental and inessential whether the producer derives immediate satisfaction from a product that he personally needs, and equally whether the very activity of his labour enables him to fulfil his personality, realize his natural capacities and spiritual aims'.

This process was only accelerated by the division of labour that increased with civilisation and meant that 'you have no relationship to my object as a human being because I myself have no human relation to it'.

Marx finished his note on money with a description of unalienated labour and this is one of the few passages where he described in any detail his picture of the future communist society. It is therefore worth quoting at length:

Supposing that we had produced in a human manner; in his production each of us would have doubly affirmed himself and his fellow men. (1) I would have objectified in my production my individuality and its peculiarity, and would thus have enjoyed in my activity an individual expression of my life and would have also had - in looking at the object

- the individual pleasure of realizing that my personality was objective, visible to the senses and therefore a power raised beyond all doubt;  (2) in your enjoyment or use of my product I would have had the direct enjoyment of realizing that by my work I had both satisfied a human need and also objectified the human essence and therefore fashioned for another human being the object that met his need; (3) I would have been for you the mediator between you and the species and thus been felt by you and acknowledged as a completion of your own essence and a necessary part of yourself, and I would thereby have realized that I was confirmed both in your thought and in your love; (4) in my expression of my life I would have fashioned your expression of your life, and thus in my own activity have realized my own essence, my human, communal essence. In such a situation our products would be like so many mirrors, each one reflecting our essence. Thus, in this relationship what occurred on my side would also occur on yours. My work would be a free expression of my life, and therefore a free enjoyment of my life. In work the peculiarity of my individuality would have been affirmed since it is my individual life. Work would thus be genuine, active property. Presupposing private property, my individuality is so far externalised that I hate my activity: it is a torment to me and only the appearance of an activity and thus also merely a forced activity that is laid upon me through an external, arbitrary need - not an inner and necessary one.

Marx's basic thesis was thus that man's objectification of himself in capitalist society denied his species-being instead of confirming it. He asserted that this was a judgement based purely on a study of economic facts; he claimed to be using the evidence presented by the classical economists themselves and only criticising their premisses. Several times he claimed merely to be giving expression to economic facts; and in the introduction to the manuscripts as a whole, he wrote: 'I do not need to reassure the reader who is familiar with political economy that my results have been obtained through a completely empirical analysis founded on a conscientious and critical study of political economy.' However, his use of terms like 'alienation' and 'the realisation of the human essence' plainly show that Marx's analysis was not a purely scientific one. Nor was it empirical, if this is taken to mean devoid of value judgements. For Marx's description was full of dramatically over-simplified pronouncements that bordered on the epigrammatic. And while the economic analysis was taken over from classical economics, the moral judgements were inspired by the reading (noted above) of Schulz, Pecqueur, Sismondi and Buret. In order to understand Marx's claims, it is important to realise that 'empirical' for him did not involve a fact-value distinction (an idea he would have rejected) but merely that the analysis (wherever it might lead) started in the right place - with man's material needs.

The second of Marx's manuscripts provided the kernel to his 1844 writings and it is this one that has aroused most enthusiasm among later commentators. It is certainly a basic text for anyone interested in 'socialism with a human face'. In it Marx outlines in vivid and visionary language his positive counter-proposal to the alienation suffered by man under capitalism - a proposal he called 'communism'. His conceptions obviously reflected the first of many long debates with German workers and with French socialists whose deficiencies he remarked on at the outset. Proudhon, for example, had advocated the abolition of capital; and Fourier and Saint-Simon had traced the alienation of labour to a particular form of labour. Fourier had consequently advocated a return to agricultural labour; whereas Saint-Simon saw the essential solution in terms of the correct organisation of industrial labour. Communism, however, went further than these partial insights and represented 'the positive expression of the over-coming of private property'. Naturally, the idea of communism had its own intellectual history and developed only by stages.

The first form to appear - what Marx called 'crude' communism - was merely the universalisation of private property. 'This sort of communism is faced with such a great domination of material property that it seeks to destroy everything that cannot be possessed by everybody as private property; it wishes to abstract forcibly from talent, etc. It considers immediate physical ownership as the sole aim of life and being.' This conception of communism had its counter-part in the proposal to abolish marriage and substitute the community of women. For it was the relationship between the sexes that was 'the immediate, natural and necessary relationship of human being to human being....'

By systematically denying the personality of man this communism is merely the consistent expression of private property which is just this negation. Universal envy setting itself up as a power is the concealed form of greed which merely asserts itself and satisfies itself in another way. How little this abolition of private property constitutes a real appropriation is proved by the abstract negation of the whole world of culture and civilization, a regression to the unnatural simplicity of the poor man without any needs who has not even arrived at the stage of private property, let alone got beyond it.

I lere the only community was a community of (alienated) labour and the only equality was one of wages paid out by the community as universal capitalist.

The second form of communism that Marx branded as inadequate was of two sorts: the first he described as 'still political in nature, whether democratic or despotic', and the second as achieving 'the abolition of the state, but still incomplete and under the influence of private property, i.e., of the alienation of man'. Of both these forms Marx commented (rather obscurely):

Communism knows itself already to be the reintegration or return of man into himself, the abolition of man's self-alienation. But since it has not yet grasped the positive essence of private property nor the human nature of needs, it is still imprisoned and contaminated by private property. It has understood its concept, but not yet its essence.

The 'democratic' communism that Marx mentioned here must have been the Utopian, non-violent sort advocated by Etienne Cabet which was increasingly popular in Paris about this time, particularly in the League of the Just; the 'despotic' type probably alluded to the transitory dictatorship of the proletariat advocated by the followers of Babeuf. The second type of communism, involving the abolition of the state, was represented by Dezamy (who coined the famous phrase about an accountant and a register being all that was necessary to ensure the perfect functioning of the future communist society).

Thirdly, Marx described in a few tightly written and pregnant pages his own idea of communism - the culmination of previous inadequate conceptions:

Communism is the positive abolition of private property and thus of human self-alienation and therefore the real reappropriation of the human essence by and for man. This is communism as the complete and conscious return of man - conserving all the riches of previous development for man himself as a social, i.e. human, being. Communism as completed naturalism is humanism, and as completed humanism is naturalism. It is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man. It is the true resolution of the struggle between existence and essence, between objectification and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species. It is the solution to the riddle of history and knows itself to be this solution.155

Having thus outlined his own conception of communism, Marx went on to enlarge on three of its particular aspects: its historical bases, its social character, and its regard for the individual.

Dealing with the first aspect - the historical bases of communism -

Marx drew a further distinction between his own communism and the

'underdeveloped' variety. The latter types (he cited as examples the Utopian communism of Cabet and Villegardelle) tried to justify themselves by appealing to certain historical forms of community that were opposed to private property. For Marx, this choice of isolated aspects or epochs implied that the rest of history did  not provide the case for communism.

In his own version, on the other hand, 'both as regards the real engender-ing of this communism - the birth of its empirical existence, and also as regards its consciousness and thought, the whole movement of history is the consciously comprehended process of its becoming'. Thus the whole revolutionary movement 'finds not so much its empirical as its theoretical basis in the development of private property, and particularly of the economic system'.1" This was so because the alienation of human life was expressed in the existence of private property, and it was in the movement of private property, in production and consumption, that man had hitherto attempted to realise himself.

Religion, family, state, law, morality, science and art are only particular forms of production and fall under its general law. The positive abolition of private property and the appropriation of human life is therefore the positive abolition of all alienation, thus the return of man out of religion, family, state, etc., into his human, i.e. social, being.

The basic alienation, Marx went on, took place in the economic sphere: religious alienation only occurred in the consciousness of man, whereas economic alienation occurred in his real life and thus its supersession involved the supersession of all alienations. Of course, the preaching of atheism might be important where religion was strong, but atheism was only a stage on the path to communism, and an abstract one at that; only communism proposed a doctrine of action that affected what was real.

Secondly, Marx emphasised the social character of communism and extended the reciprocal relation of man and society to man and nature:

. . . only to social man is nature available as a bond with other men, as the basis of his own existence for others and theirs for him, and as the vital element in human reality; only to social man is nature the foundation of his own human existence. Only as such has his natural existence become a human existence and nature itself become human.

Thus society completes the essential unity of man and nature: it is the genuine resurrection of nature, the accomplished naturalism of man and the accomplished humanism of nature.

(This passage, and other similar ones, show Marx very much under the influence of Hegel, to such an extent that he almost said that nature was created by man). As regards the social aspect, Marx showed that the capacities peculiar to man were evolved in social intercourse. Even when a man was working in isolation, he performed a social act simply by virtue of his being human. Even thought - since it used language - was a social activity.

But this emphasis on the social aspects of man's being did not destroy man's individuality (and this was Marx's third point): 'However much he is a particular individual (and it is precisely his particularity that makes him an individual and a truly individual communal being), man is just as much the totality - the ideal totality - and the subjective existence of society as something thought and felt'.

Marx devoted most of the rest of this section to drawing a picture of unalienated man, man whom he called 'total' and 'multi-sided'. One should not, he said, have too narrow an idea about what the supersession of private property would achieve: just as the state of alienation totally vitiated all human faculties, so the supersession of this alienation would be a total liberation. It would not be limited to the enjoyment or possession of material objects. All human faculties - Marx listed seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking, observing, feeling, desiring, acting, loving - would, in their different ways, become means of appropriating reality. This was difficult for alienated man to imagine, since private property had made men so stupid that they could only imagine an object to be theirs when they actually used it and even then it was only employed as a means of sustaining life which was understood as consisting of labour and the creation of capital.

Referring to Hess's work on this subject, Marx declared that all physical and mental senses had been dulled by a single alienation - that of  having.

But this absolute poverty would give birth to the inner wealth of human beings:

The supersession of private property is therefore the complete emancipation of all human senses and qualities, but it is this emancipation precisely in that these senses and qualities have become human, both subjectively and objectively. The eye has become a human eye when its object has become a social, human object produced by man and destined for him. Thus in practice the senses have become direct theoreticians.

They relate to the thing for its own sake, but the thing itself is an objective human relationship to itself and to man and vice versa. (I can in practice only relate myself humanly to an object if the object relates humanly to man.) Need and enjoyment have thus lost their egoistic nature and nature has lost its mere utility in that its utility has become human utility.

This cultivation or creation of the faculties could be achieved only in certain surroundings.

For it is not just a matter of the five senses, but also the so-called spiritual senses - the practical senses (desiring, loving, etc.) - in brief: human sensibility and the human character of the senses, which can only come into being through the existence of its object, through humanized nature. The cultivation of the five senses is the work of all previous history.

For plainly a starving man appreciated food in a purely animal way; and a dealer in minerals saw only value, and not necessarily beauty, in his wares. For his faculties to become human faculties, man needed to be liberated from all external constraints.

It is passages such as this that have led some commentators to argue plausibly that Marx's model of human activity was an artistic one and that he drew much of his picture of man from romantic sources and particularly from Schiller. The idea of man's alienated senses finding objects appropriate to them, the attempt to form a connection between freedom and aesthetic activity, the picture of the all-round man - all these occurred in Schiller's  Briefe.164 It is also possible that there was a more contemporary and personal influence of the same nature, in that Marx spent a lot of his time in Paris in the company of Heine and Herwegh, two poets who did their best to embody the German romantic ideal. Marx's picture of the all-round, unalienated individual was drawn to some extent from models that were very present to him at the time.

Marx went on to sketch the importance of industry in the history of mankind. The passages anticipated his later, more detailed accounts of historical materialism. It was the history of industry, he maintained, that really revealed human capabilities and human psychology. Since human nature had been misunderstood in the past, history had been turned into the history of religion, politics and art. Industry, however, revealed man's essential faculties and was the basis for any science of man.

In the past, natural science had been approached from a purely utilitarian angle. But its recent immense growth had enabled it, through industry, to transform the life of man. If industry were considered as the external expression of man's essential faculties, then natural science would be able to form the basis of human science. This science had to be based on sense-experience, as described by Feuerbach. But since this was  human sense-experience, there would be a single, all-embracing science: 'Natural science will later comprise the science of man just as much as the science of man will embrace natural science: there will be one single science.'

Thus the reciprocal relationship that Marx had earlier outlined between man and nature was reflected here in his idea of a natural science of man.

The last part of his manuscript on communism consisted of a discussion, both digressive and uncharacteristic of his usual approach, on the question of whether the world was created or not. One of the key ideas in Marx's picture of man was that man was his own creator; any being that lived by the favour of another was a dependent being. Accordingly, Marx rejected the idea that the world was created, but got bogged down in an Aristotelian type of discussion about first causes in which he was defeated by his imaginary opponent until he broke off the argument and continued in a much more characteristic vein: 'But since for socialist man what is called world history is nothing but the creation of man by human labour and the development of nature for man, he has the observable and irrefutable proof of his self-creation and the process of his origin.'

Thus for socialist man the question of an alien being beyond man and nature whose existence would imply their unreality had become impossible. For him the mutual interdependence of man and nature was what was essential and anything else seemed unreal. 'Atheism, as a denial of this unreality, has no longer any meaning, for atheism is a denial of God and tries to assert through this negation the existence of man; but socialism as such no longer needs this mediation; it starts from the theoretical and practical sense-perception of man and nature as the true reality.'

This perception, once established, no longer required the abolition of private property, no longer needed communism. Marx finished with a very Hegelian remark on the transistorizes of the communist phase: Communism represents the positive in the form of the negation of the negation and thus a phase in human emancipation and rehabilitation, both real and necessary at this juncture of human development. Communism is the necessary form and dynamic principle of the immediate future, but communism is not as such the goal of human development, the form of human society.

Here communism seems to be viewed as merely a stage in the dialectical evolution, a stage that at a given moment would have served its purpose and be superseded. The picture, in the first part of the manuscript, of 'true communism' as 'the solution of the riddle of history'169 was much more static and unhistorical.

In the third and final section of the Manuscripts, Marx tried to come to grips definitively with the thought of the Master. He began by discussing the various attitudes of the young Hegelians to Hegel and singled out Feuerbach as the only constructive thinker; he then used Hegel to show up the weaknesses in Feuerbach's approach. Finally he settled down to a long analysis of Hegel's fundamental error, evident generally in the Phenomenology and particularly in the last chapter. Marx's style is here often obscure, involved and extremely repetitive, as he was constantly working over and reformulating his attitude to Hegel. In his doctoral thesis he had rejected the idea that Hegel was guilty of 'accommodation'

and demanded that apparent contradictions be resolved by appeal to Hegel's 'essential consciousness'. In his  Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,  he showed by reference to particular examples that Hegel's principles inevitably involved accommodation. But it was not until he transferred his attention from Hegel's  Philosophy of Right to his  Phenomenology that he was able to formulate a general criticism of Hegel's dialectic. Here it was clear that Marx, although still at home with Hegel's concepts and terminology, did not confine himself to criticism on Hegel's own terms.

At the same time he still respected Hegel as a great thinker and considered his dialectic a valuable instrument for investigating the world. He also credited Hegel with having discovered, though in a mystified form, the process of man's alienation and the means by which it could be overcome.

According to Marx none of Hegel's disciples had ever attempted to face the crucial question of the validity of their Master's dialectical method. The only exception to this was Feuerbach: 'Feuerbach is the only person to have a serious and critical relationship to the Hegelian dialectic and to have made real discoveries in this field; in short, he has overcome the old philosophy. The greatness of his achievement is in striking contrast to the unpretentious simplicity with which he presents it to the world.' Feuerbach had shown that the Hegelian system was merely a philosophised form of religion and equally alienating; he had thus 'founded true materialism and real science by making the social relationship of "man to man" the basic principle of his theory'. Marx briefly summarised Feuerbach's achievement in a letter he sent him in August 1844:

In your writings you have given - whether intentionally I do not know  a philosophical basis to socialism, and the communists, too, have similarly understood these works in that sense. The unity of man with man based on the real differences between men, the concept of human species transferred from an abstract heaven to the real world: what is this other than the concept of society!

Continuing with the third and final section of the Manuscripts, Marx turned to look at Hegel's system. He began by copying out the table of contents of the  Phenomenology,  'the true birth place and secret of his philosophy', and accused Hegel of making all entities that in reality belonged objectively and sensuously to man into mental entities, since for him spirit alone was the genuine essence of man. This criticism was tempered, however, by an analysis of Hegel's achievements that clearly showed how much (despite his critical comments) he owed to him. For Marx considered that, although the concept of criticism in the  Phenomenology was still liable to mystify and was not sufficiently self-aware, it nevertheless went far beyond later developments; in other words, none of the disciples had as yet been able to surpass the Master. Indeed, Marx made the astonishing claim for the  Phenomenology that: It contains all the elements of criticism - concealed but often already prepared and elaborated in a way that far surpasses Hegel's own point of view. The 'unhappy consciousness', the 'honest consciousness', the struggle of the 'noble and base consciousness', etc., etc., these single sections contain the elements (though still in an alienated form) of a criticism of whole spheres such as religion, the state, civil life, etc.

This was because the  Phenomenology had understood the alienation of man, contained insights into the process of man's development, and had seen that the objects which appeared to order men's lives - their religion, their wealth - in fact belonged to man and were the product of essential human capacities. Marx summed up his attitude to Hegel as follows: The greatness of Hegel's  Phenomenology and its final product - the dialectic of negativity as the moving and creating principle, is on the one hand that Hegel conceives of the self-creation of man as a process, objectification as loss of the object, as externalization and the transcendence of this externalization. This means, therefore, that he grasps the nature of labour and understands objective man, true because real, man as the result of his own labour.

Thus although Hegel did grasp labour as the self-confirming essence of man, yet 'the only labour Hegel knows and recognises is abstract, mental labour'.

Although Marx's language was (as often) involved, and his arrangement somewhat haphazard, this is the passage where he gave his fullest and clearest account of his debt to, and disagreements with, Hegel. Hegel thought that reality was Spirit realising itself. In this process Spirit produced a world which it thought at first was external; only later did it realise that this world was its own creation. Spirit was not something separate from this productive activity; it only existed in and through this activity. At the beginning of this process Spirit was not aware that it was externalising or alienating itself. Only gradually did Spirit realise that the world was not external to it. It was the failure to realise this that constituted, for Hegel, alienation. This alienation would cease when men became fully self-conscious and understood their environment and their culture to be emanations of Spirit. Freedom consisted in this understanding and freedom was the aim of history. In broad terms, what Marx did was to reject the notion of Spirit and retain only finite individual beings: thus the Hegelian relationships of Spirit to the world became the Marxian notion of the relationship of man to his social being. Marx said that Hegel only took account of man's mental activities - that is, of his ideas  and that these, though important, were by themselves insufficient to explain social and cultural change.

Turning to the final chapter of the  Phenomenology,  Marx opposed his view of man as an objective, natural being to Hegel's conception of man as self-consciousness. If man were reduced to self-consciousness, Marx objected, then he could establish outside himself only abstract objects that were constructs of his mind. These objects would have no independence  vis-a-vis man's self-consciousness. Marx's own view of human nature was very different:

When real man of flesh and blood, standing on the solid, round earth and breathing in and out all the powers of nature posits his real objective faculties, as a result of his externalisation, as alien objects, it is not the positing that is the subject; it is the subjectivity of objective faculties whose action must therefore be an objective one.

Marx called his view 'naturalism' or 'humanism', and distinguished this from both idealism and materialism, claiming that it united what was essential both to idealism and to materialism.

Marx followed this with two concise paragraphs (very reminiscent of the previous section on private property and communism) on the meaning of naturalism and objectivity. Nature seemed to mean to Marx whatever was opposed to man, what afforded him scope for his activities and satisfied his needs. It was these needs and drives that made up man's nature. Marx called his view 'naturalism' because man was orientated towards nature and fulfilled his needs in and through nature, but also, more fundamentally, because man was part of nature. Thus man as an active natural being was endowed with certain natural capacities, powers and drives. But he was no less a limited, dependent suffering creature.

The objects of his drives were independent of him, yet he needed them to satisfy himself and express his objective nature. Thus, 'a being that does not have its nature outside itself is not a natural being and has no part in the natural world'. Marx concluded: 'To be sentient is to suffer.

Man as an objective, sentient being is therefore a suffering being and, since he is a being who reacts to his sufferings, a passionate being. Passion is man's faculties energetically striving after their object.'181 This contained echoes of the eighteenth-century French materialists, Holbach and Helvetius, but the main source for Marx's ideas and terminology when discussing nature and objectivity was Feuerbach's  Philosophy of the Future.l82

Following this digression on his own concept of human nature, Marx continued with his critique of the  Phenomenology by emphasising that I legel seemed to equate alienation with any sort of objectivity and thus only transcended alienation in thought: the consequence was that, for I legel, man was truly human only when he was engaging in philosophy and that, for example, the most authentically religious man was the philosopher of religion. The last few pages of the manuscript degenerate into absolute obscurity. Indeed, throughout this whole section where Marx was wrestling so tortuously with Hegel's dialectic, the modern reader must find the arguments rather difficult to follow. In so far as the arguments can be grasped, 'common sense' would tend to agree with Marx as against Hegel - though it is, of course, a Hegel refracted through Marx himself.

What must be remembered, however, is the dense idealist fog (created particularly by Hegel's disciples) that Marx had to disperse in order to arrive at any sort of 'empirical' view.

Marx himself supplied no conclusion to the 'Paris Manuscripts' and it is impossible to draw one from such a disjointed work which included discussions of economics, social criticism, philosophy, history, logic, dialectics and metaphysics. Although each section was dominated by a separate subject, to some extent all were approached in similar fashion. Here for the first time there appeared together, if not yet united, what Engels described as the three constituent elements in Marx's thought - German idealist philosophy, French socialism, and English economics. It is above all these Manuscripts which (in the West at least) reorientated many people's interpretation of Marx - to the extent of their even being considered as his major work. They were not published until the early 1930s and did not attract public attention until after the Second World War; certain facets of the Manuscripts were soon assimilated to the existentialism and humanism then so much in vogue and presented an altogether more attractive basis for non-Stalinist socialism than textbooks on dialectical materialism.

Seen in their proper perspective, these Manuscripts were in fact no more than a starting-point for Marx - an initial, exuberant outpouring of ideas to be taken up and developed in subsequent economic writings, particularly in the  Grimdrisse and in  Capital.  In these later works the themes of the '1844 Manuscripts' would certainly be pursued more systematically, in greater detail, and against a much more solid economic and historical background; but the central inspiration or vision was to remain unaltered: man's alienation in capitalist society, and the possibility of his emancipation - of his controlling his own destiny through communism.


While Marx had been feverishly composing his Manuscripts in Paris, Jenny was re-immersing herself in the provincial life of Trier. She was glad to be reunited with her mother for whom she had so often wept in France; but the genteel poverty in which the Westphalen household was compelled to live and the sponging of her spineless brother Edgar depressed her. The baby, now provided with a wet nurse, was soon out of danger, and was the subject of long paragraphs of loving description in Jenny's letters to Marx. When her old friends and acquaintances came to see her and view the baby, she felt as though she were holding court.

She fended off as best she could inquiries about exactly what sort of a job Marx had acquired in Paris. In fact she was filled with misgivings which she confided to her husband:

Dear heart, I have too great an anxiety about our future, both in the long and the short term, and I think that I shall be punished for my present high spirits and exuberance. If you can, please calm my fears on this point. People talk far too much about a  steady income. I then answer simply with my red cheeks, my white flesh, my velvet cloak, my feathered hat and my fine ribbons.

Full of anxiety she made the difficult trip to her mother-in-law whose attitude, she was surprised to find, had quite changed since the marriage.

Marx's mother and his three sisters still living at home received her with open arms, a change of heart she could only attribute to the impression made by their new prosperity with the 1000 thalers sent by Jung. She finished her first letter to Marx with a delightful admonition - unfortunately little-heeded - of his style:

Please do not write in such a bitter and irritated style!!! Either write factually and precisely or lightly and with humour. Please, dear heart, let the pen run over the page, and even if it should sometimes fall and stumble and cause a sentence to do likewise, yet your thoughts stand upright like Grenadiers of the old Guard, steadfast and brave. . . . What does it matter if their uniform hangs loosely and is not so tightly laced?

How handsome the loose, light uniform looks on French soldiers.

Think of our elaborate Prussians - doesn't it make you shudder? So let the participles run and put the words where they themselves want to go. Such a race of warriors must not march too regularly. Are your troops marching to field? Good luck to their general, my black master.

Fare well, dear heart, darling and only life.

A later letter, however (written from a Trier grown suddenly feverish with the influx of nearly a million pilgrims to see the Holy Coat), was more worried: she was anxious to return to Paris lest Marx be led astray by the temptations of the city; at the same time she feared - and the event proved her right - that a second baby would be on its way soon after her return. 'Though the exchequer may be full at the moment,' she wrote,

'reflect how easily it empties itself again, and how difficult it is to fill it!' She returned to Paris in September 1844 with the wet nurse and her four-tooth baby to find that Marx had just formed the most important friendship of his life - that with Friedrich Engels.

Engels was two years younger than Marx, born on 28 November 1820, the eldest child of a large family of rich industrialists in Barmen (now called Wuppertal), a few miles east of Diisseldorf, near the Ruhr. His great-grandfather had founded a lace factory which prospered sufficiently to enable the family to claim its own coat of arms. Friedrich Engels senior diversified the business by associating with Peter Ermen to found an extensive cotton-spinning enterprise based in Barmen and Manchester.

Engels' mother came from a family of Dutch schoolteachers. Business and Church were the twin pillars of the Engels household and Engels senior expected his son to take both to heart. Young Engels was an excellent pupil at school, particularly in languages; but he left before his final year and entered his father's factory to gain practical experience. He spent all his spare time, however, writing large quantities of poetry - even more than Marx - and by the time he was dispatched to Bremen in 1838 to gain further business experience, he already had several small anonymous publications to his credit. Although he was lodged with a clergyman's family, the atmosphere in the city of Bremen was very different from the biblical, puritanical and intransigent form of Christianity that imbued his family back in Prussia.

During his three years in Bremen he struggled hard to rid himself of his fundamentalist upbringing, and particularly of the notion of predestination.187 Strauss's  Life of Jesus made a strong impression on him and, through Schleiermacher, he made a swift progression to Young Hegelianism. Berlin was the obvious place to pursue his literary interests and he willingly underwent his military service - as an artilleryman in a barracks on the outskirts of the capital, arriving a few months after Marx had left. He gravitated quickly towards the  Freien,  composed a striking pamphlet against Schelling and wrote for the  Rheinische Zeitung.  When his year in the army was finished, his father sent him to work in the Manchester branch of the firm. On his way he passed through the Rhineland, had a lengthy meeting with Hess from which he emerged 'a first-class revolutionary'.188 He also called on the editor of the  Rheinische Zeitung-,  Marx, however, received Engels 'coldly', seeing in him an emissary of the  Freien with whom he had just severed all contacts.

In Manchester, Engels wrote for Owen's  New Moral World and got to know several leading Chartists, particularly George Julian Harney. He also continued from Manchester to write for the  Rheinische Zeitung and sent two pieces to the  Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbiicher.  a critique of Carlyle's  Past and Present-,  and the essay entitled  Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy 190 whose stark and clear prediction of the impending doom of capitalism caused Marx to revise his opinion of Engels with whom he began to correspond. Already, from his observation of conditions in Manchester, Engels was beginning to collect material for his masterpiece,  The Situation of the Working Class in England,  probably the bitterest criticism of early capitalism over written.

At the end of August 1844, Engels passed through Paris on his way back to Germany. His historic meeting with Marx occurred on 28 August in the Cafe de la Regence, one of the most famous Parisian cafes of the time, which had counted among its clients Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Diderot, Grimm, Louis Napoleon, Sainte-Beuve and Musset. Their long, initial conversation persuaded them to spend the next ten days in each other's company in the rue Vaneau. 'Our complete agreement in all theoretical fields became obvious,' wrote Engels, 'and our joint work dates from that time.' At the end of his life, looking back on this co-operation Engels summed up his view as follows:

Both before and during my forty years' collaboration with Marx I had a certain independent share in laying the foundations of the theory, and more particularly in its elaboration. But the greater part of its leading basic principles - especially in the realm of economics and history, and, above all, their final trenchant formulation, belong to Marx. For all that I contributed - at any rate with the exception of my work in a few special fields - Marx could very well have done without me. What Marx accomplished I would not have achieved. Marx stood higher, saw farther, and took a wider and quicker view than all the rest of us. Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented. Without him the theory would not, by a long way, be what it is today. It therefore righdy bears his name.

Probably this passage presents an accurate account of their later relationship - though obviously Engels was indispensable to Marx financially. But so far as the theory is concerned, it has been argued (and with considerable justification), that during the thirteen years that he survived his friend, Engels managed - in his all too clear elucidations - to take much of the subtlety out of Marx's ideas. Nevertheless, in the late summer of 1844

Engels, with his practical experience of capitalism, brought more to Marx than he received.

Thus began a friendship that ended only with Marx's death. In their similar origins in comfortable middle-class homes, their youthful enthusiasm for poetry and their transition through Young Hegelian liberalism to radical politics, Marx and Engels shared sufficient experiences to form a basis for lasting friendship. But it was a friendship more of contrasts than similarities: Marx's forte lay in his power of abstraction. He had throughly absorbed the Hegelian method and his dialectical approach managed to blend elements in a subtle synthesis. While Marx had been studying Hegel, Engels had been gaining practical experience and making first-hand observations as a professional businessman; always quick at synthesis, he could write fast and clearly, and sometimes with a dogmatism foreign even to Marx. Their life-styles, too, were very different. Engels was invariably immaculately dressed, his study was invariably tidy, and he was precise, business-like and responsible in money matters. Marx was careless about his clothing, had a very disorderly order in his study and had no notion of how to manage money. Marx was, moreover, very definitely a family man, however much he might sometimes regret it; Engels was a great womaniser and although capable of long attachments, always refused marriage.

During their first ten days together, the two men decided to publicise their newly agreed viewpoint by means of a pamphlet which finally disposed of Bruno Bauer. Jung particularly urged Marx to enter the lists against Bauer, and Marx had already announced in the Preface to the 'Paris Manuscripts' his intention of dealing with the 'critical criticism' Bauer was propagating in a newly founded journal, the  Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.  Engels wrote the fifteen pages or so that he conceived to be his half of the pamphlet, and departed to propagandise with Hess in the Rhineland where interest in communism was growing fast. Marx took until the end of November to draft his contribution and (typically) soon found that the 'pamphlet' had grown to a book of almost 300 pages which was published in February 1845 under the ironic title (referring to the Bauer brothers) of  The Holy Family (subtitled 'Critique of Critical Criticism').

The modern reader is likely to share the view of Engels expressed when he learnt of the scope of the book, namely that 'the sovereign derision that we accord to the  Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung is in stark contrast to the considerable number of pages that we devote to its criticism'. The book was extremely discursive, being a critique of random articles in the  Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.  Much of Marx's attack consisted of hair-splitting and deliberate misrepresentation which distorted their opponents' articles to the point of absurdity. This sort of approach had a particular vogue at that time and, more importantly, it was directed at precisely the kind of esoteric circle able to grasp some of the rather baroque points. There was little, indeed, of permanent interest. This was particularly so of the two long sections dealing with the comments made by Bauer's followers on Eugene Sue's enormous Gothic novel,  The Mysteries of Paris.  These comments endeavoured to show, in a Hegelian manner, that Sue's novel contained the key to the 'mysteries' of modern society. Marx criticised at great length both this vapourising interpretation and also the moralising tone of the novelist himself. The three sections of real interest in the book were Marx's replies to Bauer's attacks on Proudhon, on the role of the masses in history, and on materialism.

Marx praised Proudhon as the first thinker to have questioned the existence of private property and to have demonstrated the inhuman effects it had on society. He then summarised his own view of the relationship between private property and the proletariat: The propertied class and the class of the proletariat present the same human self-alienation. But the former class finds in this self-alienation its confirmation and its good, its own power: it has in it a semblance of human existence. The class of the proletariat feels annihilated in its self-alienation; it sees in it its own powerlessness and the reality of an inhuman existence. The proletariat executes the sentence that private property pronounced on itself by begetting the proletariat, just as it carries out the sentence that wage-labour pronounced on itself by bringing forth wealth for others and misery for itself. When the proletariat is victorious, it by no means becomes the absolute side of society, for it is victorious only by abolishing itself and its opposite. The then proletariat disappears as well as the opposite which determines it, private property.

In answer to the criticism that socialist writers, by attributing this historic role to the proletariat, seemed to consider it a god, Marx continued: The question is not what this or that proletarian, or even the whole of the proletariat at the moment  considers as its aim. The question is what the proletariat is,  and what, consequent on that  being,  it will be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action are irrevocably and obviously demonstrated in its own life-situation as well as in the whole organisation of bourgeois society today.199

Bauer wished to dissociate his philosophy from the mass of the people and considered the operative force in society to be the idea of even a personalised history. Marx's view was the opposite: 'History... does not use man to achieve its own ends, as though it were a particular person: it is merely the activity of man pursuing his own objectives.' Or again:

'Ideas never lead beyond the established situation, they only lead beyond the ideas of the established situation. Ideas can accomplish absolutely nothing. To become real, ideas require men who apply practical force.'

For Bauer, the ideas of an intellectual elite were threatened by popular contact and he believed that the ideas of the French Revolution had been contaminated by the enthusiasm of the masses. For Marx, on the other hand, these ideas had not sufficently penetrated the masses, and the bourgeoisie had consequently been able to turn the French Revolution to its own profit. Bauer made much of the 'human rights' embodied in the French Revolution, but Marx, pursuing the theme of his  On the Jewish Question,  declared that it was only a ruthless selfishness that had been really emancipated.

On the significance of French materialism, Marx also disagreed with Bauer who held that the materialist movement in France was a direct descendant of Spinoza's metaphysical monism. Marx wished to emphasise the anti-metaphysical humanist aspects of French materialists such as Helvetius and Holbach. He traced the influence on socialism and communism of the materialist doctrine of the eighteenth-century social philosophers:

If man draws all his knowledge, sensation, etc., from the world of the senses and the experience gained in it, the empirical world must be arranged so that in it man experiences and gets used to what is really human and becomes aware of himself as man. If correctly-understood interest is the principle of all morals, man's private interest must be made to coincide with the interest of humanity. If man is unfree in the materialist sense, i.e., is free not through the negative power to avoid this or that, but through the positive power to assert his true individuality, crime must be not punished in the individual, but the anti-social source of crime must be destroyed, and each man must be given social scope for the vital manifestation of his being. If man is shaped by his surroundings, his surroundings must be made human. If man is social by nature, he will develop his true nature only in society, and the strength of his nature must be measured not by the strength of separate individuals but by the power of society.

The Holy Family was little read at the time of its publication and was certainly not one of Marx's major works. But several of the themes of what was to become 'the materialistic conception of history' appeared there for the first time and Marx, re-reading the book after twelve years, was able to comment: 'I was pleasantly surprised to find that we do not need to be ashamed of our work, although the cult of Feuerbach strikes me as very amusing.'

Before  The Holy Family was published Marx had to leave Paris. The Prussian Government became more insistent in its complaints about  Vorwiirts and even Louis Philippe is said to have explained: 'We must purge Paris of German philosophers!' On 25 January 1845 Guizot, the Minister of the Interior, closed down  Vorwiirts and issued an order expelling its leading personnel, including Marx, Heine and Ruge. Marx took a little longer than the twenty-four hours grace given him and he left for Liege and Brussels on 2 February taking with him Heinrich Burgers, a young radical journalist from the  Vorwiirts staff. The two kept up their spirits by singing choruses throughout the journey. Jenny sold off the furniture and some of the linen, stayed two nights with the Herweghs, and followed Marx to Brussels a few days later.