Category: Karl Marx
Che Guevara’s Road to Revolution
| November 17, 2017 | 7:42 pm | Che Guevara, Cuba, Karl Marx | No comments

By W. T. Whitney Jr., November 6, 2017, https://mltoday.com/article/2885-che-guevara-s-road-to-revolution/90-frontpage-stories

“Walker, there is no road, we make the road by walking.” To these words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado, which say much about the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, we add: “But there is a map.” Che of course used a map provided by Karl Marx.

Che Guevara once suggested that Marx had a “capacity of love [that] reached out to the suffering people of the whole world.” Marx “carried the message to them of serious struggle, of unbreakable optimism [and] has been disfigured by history to the point of his having been cast as an idol of stone. We must rescue him so that his example may shine even more.”

Was Che, who wrote that “the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love,” presuming too much of Marx? Did Che search out Marx’s “capacity for love” among comrades of the international Communist movement? How in fact did Che, an anomalous figure within the Marxist tradition, connect intellectually with Marxist thought?

October 8, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of Che’s murder in Bolivia, and commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution followed a month later, on November 7. So the timing may be right to explore Che’s contribution to the theory and practice of revolutionary socialism.

Theoretician Che

In his short essay “Socialism and Man in Cuba” – 23 pages long in a 1993 Cuban edition – Che looks at the process through which individuals become politically aware. (1) He thinks political consciousness develops gradually and with difficulty.

Che proposes “to define the individual actor in this strange and passionate drama of constructing socialism. In line with Marx, he says that, “In capitalist society individuals are controlled by a pitiless law usually beyond their comprehension. The alienated human specimen is tied to society as a whole by an invisible umbilical cord: the law of value.”

Che’s central concern is the problem of human alienation. He or she harbors “the residue of an education systematically oriented to the isolation of the individual… Remnants of the past are carried forth to the present in the individual’s consciousness and it takes continual work to eradicate them.”

Che blames the “persistence of merchandizing relationships, merchandise being the economic cell of the capitalist society.” They affect “the organization of production and therefore consciousness.” And, “to pursue the chimera of realizing socialism with help from the jagged tools of capitalism leads down a blind alley.”

The task is “to choose the correct instrument for mobilizing the masses and this instrument must be moral in character.”  Evoking values, Che departs from Marxist theoreticians, who deal more with material realities than with abstractions.  He adds that, “in moments of great peril it is easy to muster a powerful response with moral incentives. Retaining their effectiveness, however, requires the development of a consciousness in which there is a new scale of values. Society as a whole must be converted into a gigantic school.”

Individuals “try to adjust themselves to a situation that they feel is right and that their own lack of development had prevented them from reaching previously. They educate themselves.” Doing so, “They follow their vanguard [which] has its eyes fixed on the future and its reward, but this is not a vision of reward for the individual. The prize is the new society in which individuals will have different characteristics: the society of communist human beings.” Leaders must not “lose sight of the ultimate and most important revolutionary aspiration: to see human beings liberated from their alienation.”

Che regards Cuba’s Communist Party as “still in diapers” because of “scholasticism that has held back the development of Marxist philosophy.” For people to be “educated for communism,” the Party must be “the living example; its cadres must teach hard work and sacrifice.”

For Che, consciousness is influenced by community and culture, and so what works in Europe may not apply to Latin America. So, “Cuba … occupies the post of advance guard [and shows] the masses of Latin America the road to full freedom.” Che points out that capitalism’s contradictions show up first in “countries [in the global periphery] that were weak limbs on the tree of imperialism.  Liberation from misery and foreign oppression causes capitalism to “explode” in such places, and “conscious action does the rest.”

Ultimately then, Che sees the mental processes of individuals as a venue for revolutionary struggle. People, he says, act according to values and material interests alike. And values are malleable, shaped as they are by the experiences, culture, and history of communities they belong to. Che calls for a narrative of Marxist theory that accepts differences among groups and individuals but, seeking unity, centers on their common values – moral in nature – and interests.

Self-education.

Che also epitomized a mode of revolutionary practice aimed at guaranteeing that changes for the better in the individual’s consciousness might take root.  That he was his own teacher prepared him for a role as teacher and exemplar during a short lifetime of zig-zag wanderings. His own experiences and observations would serve as teaching tools for a curriculum of sorts.  Like a scientist, Che put assumptions to the test of reality. His life became both advertisement and validation of a style of revolutionary practice ideal for expanding political consciousness.

In 1952 prior to finishing medical studies, Che and the young biochemist and leprosy expert Alberto Granados left Argentina for a long trip across South America.  The two motorcycled, walked, and hitchhiked.  They slept in peasants’ huts, shivered at night on mountain sides, and bedded in prisons in little towns.  One cold night in the Chilean desert, they shared a blanket with a copper miner and his wife, both hungry and cold. They were members of the banned Chilean Communist Party, and Che remembered their dedication.

Che and Granados arrived in Lima, Peru. There Che came to know Dr. Hugo Pesce, famous worldwide as a leprologist and in Peru as co-founder with José Carlos Mariátegui of the Peruvian Communist Party. They talked with Pesce night after night. Pesce, says one commentator, was the first physician Che knew “motivated by Marxist ideology” rather than by “winning a piece of heaven” through being a doctor.

Dedicating his 1961 book “Guerrilla Warfare” to Pesce, Che wrote: “To Doctor Hugo Pesce who, without knowing it perhaps, provoked a great change in my attitude towards life and society – with as always the same adventurous spirit, but channelled toward goals more harmonious with the needs of America.” Che visited the scientist the following year and Pesce greeted him with great emotion.”

What Che and Pesce talked about is unknown, but “It’s not difficult to imagine that the young Guevara was … nourished with the writings of José Carlos Mariátegui, writes Argentinian Marxist scholar Néstor Kohan. That exposure bore fruit, at least according to Peruvian scholar Gustavo Pérez Hinojosa who in November 2005 presented a paper titled Latin American Marxism, Mariátegui and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara” at the Centennial Forum on Josè Carlos Mariátegui.

Mariátegui, as quoted by Pérez Hinojosa, critiques intellectuals who “exaggerate … the determinism of Marx and his school” thereby “declaring them to be a product of the mechanistic mentality of the 19th century, something incompatible with the voluntarist, heroic idea of life embraced in the modern world” – and by Che Guevara.

In the same vein: “The proletarian movement … from the origins of the First International to its present manifestation in the first experiment with state socialism, the USSR, [requires that] each word, each act of Marxism impart the flavor of faith, of voluntarism, of heroic and creative conviction.”

“Marxism fundamentally is a dialectical method … It’s not …a body of principles with rigid consequences, equal for all historical climates and every social latitude … Marxism in each country, in every people, operates on and affects the environment and all aspects of it.” Che and Mariátegui, each in their own era, were foes of Eurocentric modes of political thinking.

Says Mariátegui: “We certainly don’t want socialism in America to be a copy or imitation. … We have to give life to indo-American socialism with our own reality, in our own language.” The pioneering Peruvian Marxist thus joined Cuban national hero José Martí in loyalty to, in Martí’s words, “Our America.”

Pesce had firsthand knowledge of friction between leaders of world communism and Latin American currents of the movement. South American Communists allied to the Third International met for the first time in 1929 in Buenos Aires under clandestine circumstances. Mariátegui would have delivered a report from the Peruvian Socialist Party – really the Communist Party – but was sick. Hugo Pesce and another comrade represented Mariátegui. Later the Third International’s Latin American representative condemned the report which Pesce delivered; supposedly the Peruvians had confused “the national problem with the agrarian problem” and showed signs of a “revolutionary movement of the most diverse, non-proletarian tendencies.”

Che’s boyhood home in Argentina was full of books, political books, even Marx. His parents in the 1930s supported the Spanish Republicans. On the recommendation of fellow medical student Tita Infante, a Communist, Che read Bourgeois Humanism and Proletarian Humanism by Argentinian Marxist Anibal Ponce. One of Che’s boyhood friends was the son of socialist university reformer Deodoro Roco. Che explored that family’s library which contained books on anti-imperialism and cultural diversity.

Che would add to his education in 1954, when he found himself amid the CIA-organized coup that year in Guatemala. Later, he worked intermittently as a doctor in Mexico City where he was joined by his first wife Hilda Gadea, a Peruvian Marxist with a big supply of socialist books.

Che lives

Che inserted ideas about the individual and about consciousness into both revolutionary theory and practice and thus contributed to the socialist movement. He also left his mark on the wider history of our time, especially among young people.

He spoke for and defended the humble and oppressed, while moving around, volunteering, studying, observing, and fighting. His image as a practitioner of revolution was that of a single-minded and optimistic idealist who never slackened or compromised. Che symbolized hope for change and a better world.

Ilka Oliva Corado, who migrated to the United States from Guatemala, writes about migrants’ lives prior to, during, and after their crossings. She talks with “people from countries I didn’t know existed. … They ask about Che as if he were a friend on the block.”  As for herself: “Just  seeing the shoes he was using the day he was captured, one understands the immortal grandeur of a human being who lives on in our epoch now and who left everything to go out in search of freedom for the peoples, and not only in Latin America but in the world.”

But Che, especially Che the Marxist revolutionary, was for real, or so says Oswaldo Martinez, president of the Economic Affairs Commission of Cuba’s National Assembly. Che, he observes, “freed us from the myth, as if from a manual, of socialism being irreversible once it was established.  He offered the supreme lesson that it’s in human consciousness and not in material stimuli that socialism can be made irreversible – as long as we are educated into that consciousness and fed with the values of solidarity.”

End Note: (1) “Socialism and Man in Cuba” first appeared March 12, 1965 in the journal Marcha, published in Montevideo. Its title then was: “From Algeria, for Marcha, the Cuban Revolution Today.”

Revisiting the October Revolution of 1917
| October 26, 2017 | 8:39 pm | Analysis, J. Stalin, Karl Marx, socialism, USSR, V.I. Lenin | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201710261058554269

Communist supporter carries the red flag as others carry a banner declaring Long Live the 88th Anniversary of the October Revolution, during the rally to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution, marking a long-sacred former holiday that was an official working day for the first time in decades in Moscow, Monday, Nov. 7, 2005.

Revisiting the October Revolution of 1917

© AP Photo/ Ivan Sekretarev
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John Wight
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To some the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia still stands, a hundred years on, as the single most important emancipatory event in human history.

For such people it commands greater importance than the Reformation or the American and French revolutions preceding it, in that it went further than religious or political emancipation to engender social emancipation; and with it an end to the exploitation of man by man which describes the human condition fashioned under capitalism.

To its detractors, meanwhile, October ushered in a dark night of communist tyranny under which, per Marx, all that was holy was profaned and all that was solid melted into air. In this rendering, October is considered, along with fascism, to have been part of a counter-Enlightenment impulse, one that arrived as the harbinger of a new dark age.However the attempt to place communism and fascism in the same category is facile in the extreme; it is a depiction that fails the test of history. The real and historically accurate relationship between both of those world-historical ideologies is that whereas fascism was responsible for starting the Holocaust, it was communism — in the shape of the Soviet Red Army — that ended it.

That Russia in 1917 was the least favorable country of any in Europe for socialist and communist transformation is indisputable. The starting point of communism, Marx avers in his works, is the point at which society’s productive forces have developed and matured to the point where the existing form of property relations acts as a brake on their continuing development. By then the social and cultural development of the proletariat has incubated a growing awareness of their position within the existing system of production; thereby effecting its metamorphosis from a class “in itself” to a class “for itself” and, with it, its role as the agent of social revolution and transformation.

Marx writes:

“No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself.”

The error in Marx’s analysis was that rather than emerge in the advanced capitalist economies of Western Europe, communism emerged on the periphery of the capitalist centers — Russia, China, and Cuba et al. — in conditions not of development or abundance but under-development and scarcity.

German philosopher and economist Karl Marx. Late 1870s. Reproduction
© Sputnik/ A. Sverdlov
German philosopher and economist Karl Marx. Late 1870s. Reproduction

From the vantage of exile in Switzerland, Lenin saw with uncommon clarity how the First World War presented revolutionaries across Europe with a clear choice. They could either succumb to national chauvinism, fall into line behind their respective ruling classes and support their respective countries’ war efforts, or they could use the opportunity to agitate among the workers of said countries for the war to be turned into a civil war in the cause of worldwide revolution.

It was a choice separating the revolutionary wheat from its chaff, leading to the collapse of the Second International as with few exceptions former giants of the international Marxist and revolutionary socialist movement succumbed to patriotism and war fever.

Lenin observed:

“The war came, the crisis was there. Instead of revolutionary tactics, most of the Social-Democratic [Marxist] parties launched reactionary tactics, went over to the side of their respective governments and bourgeoisie. This betrayal of socialism signifies the collapse of the Second (1889-1914) International, and we must realize what caused this collapse, what brought social-chauvinism into being and gave it strength.”

The ensuing chaos, carnage, and destruction wrought by four years of unparalleled conflict brought the so-called civilized world to the brink of collapse. The European continent’s ruling classes had unleashed an orgy of bloodshed in the cause not of democracy or liberty, as the Entente powers fatuously claimed, but over the division of colonies in Africa and elsewhere in the undeveloped world.

Vladimir Lenin
© RIA Novosti. Otsup
Vladimir Lenin

From the left, or at least a significant section of the international left, the analysis of October and its aftermath is coterminous with the deification of its two primary actors — Lenin and Trotsky — and the demonization of Stalin; commonly depicted as a peripheral player who hijacked the revolution upon Lenin’s death, whereupon he embarked on a counter-revolutionary process to destroy its gains and aims.

Writing in the second volume of his magisterial three-part biography of Leon Trotsky, The Prophet Unarmed, Isaac Deutscher describes how the Bolsheviks were aware that “only at the gravest peril to themselves and the revolution could they allow their adversaries to express themselves freely and to appeal to the Soviet electorate. An organized opposition could turn the chaos and discontent to its advantage all the more easily because the Bolsheviks were unable to mobilize the energies of the working class. They refused to expose themselves and the revolution to this peril.”

The harsh reality is that the cultural level of the country’s nascent and small proletariat, whose most advanced cadre was destined perish in the civil war, was too low for it to take the kind commanding role in the organization and governance of the country Lenin had hoped and anticipated. “Our state apparatus is so deplorable,” he was forced to admit, “not to say wretched, that we must first think very carefully how to combat its defects, bearing in mind that these defects are rooted in the past, which, although it has been overthrown, has not yet been overcome, has not yet reached the stage of a culture, that has receded into the distant past.”

Stalin’s victory in the struggle for power within the leadership in the wake of Lenin’s death in 1924 was, if conventional wisdom is to be believed, down to his Machiavellian subversion and usurpation not only of the party’s collective organs of government, but the very ideals and objectives of the revolution itself. However, this describes a reductive interpretation of the seismic events, both within and outwith Russia, that were in train at this point.

Despite Trotsky’s determination to hold onto the belief in the catalyzing properties of October with regard to European and world revolution — which he shared with Lenin — by 1924 it was clear that the prospect of any such revolutionary outbreak in the advanced European economies had ended, and that socialism in Russia would have to be built, per Bukharin, “on that material which exists.”

Trotsky and Lenin’s faith in the European proletariat proved wrong, while Stalin’s skepticism in this regard proved justified. Returning to Isaac Deutscher:

“After four years of Lenin’s and Trotsky’s leadership, the Politbureau could not view the prospects of world revolution without skepticism… Stalin was not content with broad historical perspectives which seemed to provide no answer to burning, historical questions… extreme skepticism about world revolution and confidence in the reality of a long truce between Russia and the capitalist world were the twin premises of his [Stalin’s] socialism in one country.”

The five-year plans introduced by Stalin, beginning in 1928, were undertaken in conditions of absolute necessity in response to the gathering storms of war in the West: “We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries,” Stalin declared in 1931. “We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it or they crush us.”

When it comes to those who cite the human cost of October and its aftermath as evidence of its unadulterated evil, no serious student of the history of Western colonialism and imperialism could possibly argue its equivalence when weighed on the scales of human suffering. Here Alain Badiou reminds us that “the huge colonial genocides and massacres, the millions of deaths in the civil and world wars through which our West forged its might, should be enough to discredit, even in the eyes of ‘philosophers’ who extol their morality, the parliamentary regimes of Europe and America.”

Ultimately, no revolution or revolutionary process ever achieves the ideals and vision embraced by its adherents at the outset. Revolutions advance and retreat under the weight of internal and external realities and contradictions, until arriving at the state of equilibrium that conforms to the limitations imposed by the particular cultural and economic constraints of the space and time in which they are made.

Though Martin Luther advocated the crushing of the Peasants Revolt led by Thomas Munzer, can anyone gainsay Luther’s place as one of history’s great emancipators? Likewise, while the French Revolution ended not with liberty, equality, fraternity, but Napoleon, who can argue that at Waterloo the Corsican general’s Grande Armee was fighting in the cause of human progress against the dead weight of autocracy and aristocracy represented by Wellington? In similar vein, Stalin’s socialism in one country and resulting five-year plans allowed the Soviet Union to overcome the monster of fascism in the 1940s.

This is why, in the last analysis, the fundamental metric of the October Revolution 1917 is the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. And for that, whether it cares to acknowledge it or not, the world will forever be in its debt.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

Turkey: Erdogan’s government removes Karl Marx from school books
| September 23, 2017 | 9:18 pm | Communist Party Turkey, Karl Marx, Turkey | No comments

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Turkey: Erdogan’s government removes Karl Marx from school books

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/turkey-erdogans-government-removes-karl.html
According to soL news portal, the Turkish government removed Karl Marx from sociology textbooks, promoted Islamic prophet Muhammad’s “holy birth week”.
 
As the debates on Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party-led Islamic school curriculum has inflamed the society, the theme of Karl Marx was removed from the school books of sociology for high school degree.
 
While the last year’s sociology textbook involved August Comte, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, the topic of Karl Marx has been removed from the 2017-2018 education term curriculum.
In addition to the AKP’s pro-sharia impositions in many other textbooks, the sociology school book’s chapter, “Social Institutions”, includes “the holy birth week” with reference to the unknown birthdate of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The subchapter, “The Functions of Religion As a Social Institution”, reads:
 
“Religion has the functionality of recreation, travel and relaxation with regard to the field of influence. The celebrations of Holy Birth Week, commemoration ceremonies, mystic and Sufi meetings, visiting religious and sacred venues are such religious social activities.”
 
Meanwhile, the celebrations of “holy birth week” were launched in Turkey with the initiative of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s religious cult. However, the AKP government has decided to change the celebration date of “holy birth week” after Turkey witnessed a military coup attempt in July 2016, masterminded by the Gülenist faction, the long-termed ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
 
The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) issued a declaration to the people, calling for a countrywide united struggle against the AKP-imposed Islamic and anti-science school curriculum.
V.I. Lenin writes about Engels: “A great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!”
| August 7, 2017 | 6:55 pm | Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin | 1 Comment

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

V.I. Lenin writes about Engels: “A great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/08/vi-lenin-writes-about-engels-great.html

“Frederich Engels”

By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Written in autumn 1895, First published in 1896 in the miscellany Rabotnik, No. 1-2.
Source: V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 via Marxists Internet Archives.

What a torch of reason ceased to burn, 
What a heart has ceased to beat!


On August 5 (new style), 1895, Frederick Engels died in London. After his friend Karl Marx (who died in 1883), Engels was the finest scholar and teacher of the modern proletariat in the whole civilised world. From the time that fate brought Karl Marx and Frederick Engels together, the two friends devoted their life’s work to a common cause. And so to understand what Frederick Engels has done for the proletariat, one must have a clear idea of the significance of Marx’s teaching and work for the development of the contemporary working-class movement. 
Marx and Engels were the first to show that the working class and its demands are a necessary outcome of the present economic system, which together with the bourgeoisie inevitably creates and organises the proletariat. They showed that it is not the well-meaning efforts of noble-minded individuals, but the class struggle of the organised proletariat that will deliver humanity from the evils which now oppress it. In their scientific works, Marx and Engels were the first to explain that socialism is not the invention of dreamers, but the final aim and necessary result of the development of the productive forces in modern society. All recorded history hitherto has been a history of class struggle, of the succession of the rule and victory of certain social classes over others. And this will continue until the foundations of class struggle and of class domination – private property and anarchic social production – disappear. The interests of the proletariat demand the destruction of these foundations, and therefore the conscious class struggle of the organised workers must be directed against them. And every class struggle is a political struggle.
 
These views of Marx and Engels have now been adopted by all proletarians who are fighting for their emancipation. But when in the forties the two friends took part in the socialist literature and the social movements of their time, they were absolutely novel. There were then many people, talented and without talent, honest and dishonest, who, absorbed in the struggle for political freedom, in the struggle against the despotism of kings, police and priests, failed to observe the antagonism between the interests of the bourgeoisie and those of the proletariat. These people would not entertain the idea of the workers acting as an independent social force. On the other hand, there were many dreamers, some of them geniuses, who thought that it was only necessary to convince the rulers and the governing classes of the injustice of the contemporary social order, and it would then be easy to establish peace and general well-being on earth. They dreamt of a socialism without struggle. Lastly, nearly all the socialists of that time and the friends of the working class generally regarded the proletariat only as an ulcer, and observed with horror how it grew with the growth of industry. They all, therefore, sought for a means to stop the development of industry and of the proletariat, to stop the “wheel of history.” Marx and Engels did not share the general fear of the development of the proletariat; on the contrary, they placed all their hopes on its continued growth. The more proletarians there are, the greater is their strength as a revolutionary class, and the nearer and more possible does socialism become. The services rendered by Marx and Engels to the working class may be expressed in a few words thus: they taught the working class to know itself and be conscious of itself, and they substituted science for dreams.
 
That is why the name and life of Engels should be known to every worker. That is why in this collection of articles, the aim of which, as of all our publications, is to awaken class-consciousness in the Russian workers, we must give a sketch of the life and work of Frederick Engels, one of the two great teachers of the modern proletariat.
 
Engels was born in 1820 in Barmen, in the Rhine Province of the kingdom of Prussia. His father was a manufacturer. In 1838 Engels, without having completed his high-school studies, was forced by family circumstances to enter a commercial house in Bremen as a clerk. Commercial affairs did not prevent Engels from pursuing his scientific and political education. He had come to hate autocracy and the tyranny of bureaucrats while still at high school. The study of philosophy led him further. At that time Hegel’s teaching dominated German philosophy, and Engels became his follower. Although Hegel himself was an admirer of the autocratic Prussian state, in whose service he was as a professor at Berlin University, Hegel’s teachings were revolutionary. Hegel’s faith in human reason and its rights, and the fundamental thesis of Hegelian philosophy that the universe is undergoing a constant process of change and development, led some of the disciples of the Berlin philosopher – those who refused to accept the existing situation – to the idea that the struggle against this situation, the struggle against existing wrong and prevalent evil, is also rooted in the universal law of eternal development. If all things develop, if institutions of one kind give place to others, why should the autocracy of the Prussian king or of the Russian tsar, the enrichment of an insignificant minority at the expense of the vast majority, or the domination of the bourgeoisie over the people, continue for ever? Hegel’s philosophy spoke of the development of the mind and of ideas; it was idealistic. From the development of the mind it deduced the development of nature, of man, and of human, social relations. While retaining Hegel’s idea of the eternal process of development,[1] Marx and Engels rejected the preconceived idealist view; turning to life, they saw that it is not the development of mind that explains the development of nature but that, on the contrary, the explanation of mind must be derived from nature, from matter…. Unlike Hegel and the other Hegelians, Marx and Engels were materialists. Regarding the world and humanity materialistically, they perceived that just as material causes underlie all natural phenomena, so the development of human society is conditioned by the development of material forces, the productive forces. On the development of the productive forces depend the relations into which men enter with one another in the production of the things required for the satisfaction of human needs. And in these relations lies the explanation of all the phenomena of social life, human aspirations, ideas and laws. The development of the productive forces creates social relations based upon private property, but now we see that this same development of the productive forces deprives the majority of their property and concentrates it in the hands of an insignificant minority. It abolishes property, the basis of the modern social order, it itself strives towards the very aim which the socialists have set themselves. All the socialists have to do is to realise which social force, owing to its position in modern society, is interested in bringing socialism about, and to impart to this force the consciousness of its interests and of its historical task. This force is the proletariat. Engels got to know the proletariat in England, in the centre of English industry, Manchester, where he settled in 1842, entering the service of a commercial firm of which his father was a shareholder. Here Engels not only sat in the factory office but wandered about the slums in which the workers were cooped up, and saw their poverty and misery with his own eyes. But he did not confine himself to personal observations. He read all that had been revealed before him about the condition of the British working class and carefully studied all the official documents he could lay his hands on. The fruit of these studies and observations was the book which appeared in 1845: The Condition of the Working Class in England. We have already mentioned what was the chief service rendered by Engels in writing The Condition of the Working Class in England. Even before Engels, many people had described the sufferings of the proletariat and had pointed to the necessity of helping it. Engels was the first to say that the proletariat is not only a suffering class; that it is, in fact, the disgraceful economic condition of the proletariat that drives it irresistibly forward and compels it to fight for its ultimate emancipation. And the fighting proletariat will help itself. The political movement of the working class will inevitably lead the workers to realise that their only salvation lies in socialism. On the other hand, socialism will become a force only when it becomes the aim of the political struggle of the working class. Such are the main ideas of Engels’ book on the condition of the working class in England, ideas which have now been adopted by all thinking and fighting proletarians, but which at that time were entirely new. These ideas were set out in a book written in absorbing style and filled with most authentic and shocking pictures of the misery of the English proletariat. The book was a terrible indictment of capitalism and the bourgeoisie and created a profound impression. Engels’ book began to be quoted everywhere as presenting the best picture of the condition of the modern proletariat. And, in fact, neither before 1845 nor after has there appeared so striking and truthful a picture of the misery of the working class.
It was not until he came to England that Engels became a socialist. In Manchester he established contacts with people active in the English labour movement at the time and began to write for English socialist publications. In 1844, while on his way back to Germany, he became acquainted in Paris with Marx, with whom he had already started to correspond. In Paris, under the influence of the French socialists and French life, Marx had also become a socialist. Here the friends jointly wrote a book entitled The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Critique. This book, which appeared a year before The Condition of the Working Class in England, and the greater part of which was written by Marx, contains the foundations of revolutionary materialist socialism, the main ideas of which we have expounded above. “The holy family” is a facetious nickname for the Bauer brothers, the philosophers, and their followers. These gentlemen preached a criticism which stood above all reality, above parties and politics, which rejected all practical activity, and which only “critically” contemplated the surrounding world and the events going on within it. These gentlemen, the Bauers, looked down on the proletariat as an uncritical mass. Marx and Engels vigorously opposed this absurd and harmful tendency. In the name of a real, human person – the worker, trampled down by the ruling classes and the state – they demanded, not contemplation, but a struggle for a better order of society. They, of course, regarded the proletariat as the force that is capable of waging this struggle and that is interested in it. Even before   the appearance of The Holy Family, Engels had published in Marx’s and Ruge’s Deutsch-Franz\”osische Jahrb\”ucher[5] his “Critical Essays on Political Economy,”[6] in which he examined the principal phenomena of the contemporary economic order from a socialist standpoint, regarding them as necessary consequences of the rule of private property. Contact with Engels was undoubtedly a factor in Marx’s decision to study political economy, the science in which his works have produced a veritable revolution.
 
From 1845 to 1847 Engels lived in Brussels and Paris, combining scientific work with practical activities among the German workers in Brussels and Paris. Here Marx and Engels established contact with the secret German Communist League,[7] which commissioned them to expound the main principles of the socialism they had worked out. Thus arose the famous Manifesto of the Communist Party of Marx and Engels, published in 1848. This little booklet is worth whole volumes: to this day its spirit inspires and guides the entire organised and fighting proletariat of the civilised world.
 
The revolution of 1848, which broke out first in France and then spread to other West-European countries, brought Marx and Engels back to their native country. Here, in Rhenish Prussia, they took charge of the democratic Neue Rheinische Zeitung[8] published in Cologne. The two friends were the heart and soul of all revolutionary-democratic aspirations in Rhenish Prussia. They fought to the last ditch in defence of freedom and of the interests of the people against the forces of reaction. The latter, as we know, gained the upper hand. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung was suppressed. Marx, who during his exile had lost his Prussian citizenship, was deported; Engels took part in the armed popular uprising, fought for liberty in three battles, and after the defeat of the rebels fled, via Switzerland, to London.
 
Marx also settled in London. Engels soon became a clerk again, and then a shareholder, in the Manchester commercial firm in which he had worked in the forties. Until 1870 he lived in Manchester, while Marx lived in London, but this did not prevent their maintaining a most lively interchange of ideas: they corresponded almost daily. In this correspondence   the two friends exchanged views and discoveries and continued to collaborate in working out scientific socialism. In 1870 Engels moved to London, and their joint intellectual life, of the most strenuous nature, continued until 1883, when Marx died. Its fruit was, on Marx’s side, Capital, the greatest work on political economy of our age, and on Engels’ side, a number of works both large and small. Marx worked on the analysis of the complex phenomena of capitalist economy. Engels, in simply written works, often of a polemical character, dealt with more general scientific problems and with diverse phenomena of the past and present in the spirit of the materialist conception of history and Marx’s economic theory. Of Engels’ works we shall mention: the polemical work against D\”uhring (analysing highly important problems in the domain of philosophy, natural science and the social sciences),[2] The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (translated into Russian, published in St. Petersburg, 3rd ea., 1895),[9] Ludwig Feuerbach (Russian translation and notes by G. Plekhanov, Geneva, 1892),[10] an article on the foreign policy of the Russian Government (translated into Russian in the Geneva Social-Demokrat, Nos. 1 and 2),[11]splendid articles on the housing question,[12] and finally, two small but very valuable articles on Russia’s economic development (Frederick Engels on Russia, translated into Russian by Zasulich, Geneva, 1894).[13] Marx died before he could put the final touches to his vast work on capital. The draft, however, was already finished, and after the death of his friend, Engels undertook the onerous task of preparing and publishing the second and the third volumes of Capital. He published Volume II in 1885 and Volume III in 1894 (his death prevented the preparation of Volume IV).[14] These two volumes entailed a vast amount of labour. Adler, the Austrian Social-Democrat, has rightly remarked that by publishing volumes II and III of Capital Engels erected a majestic monument to the genius who had been his friend, a monument on which, without intending it, he indelibly carved his own name. Indeed   these two volumes of Capital are the work of two men: Marx and Engels. Old legends contain various moving instances of friendship. The European proletariat may say that its science was created by two scholars and fighters, whose relationship to each other surpasses the most moving stories of the ancients about human friendship. Engels always – and, on the whole, quite justly – placed himself after Marx. “In Marx’s lifetime,” he wrote to an old friend, “I played second fiddle.”[15]His love for the living Marx, and his reverence for the memory of the dead Marx were boundless. This stern fighter and austere thinker possessed a deeply loving soul.
 
After the movement of 1848-49, Marx and Engels in exile did not confine themselves to scientific research. In 1864 Marx founded the International Working Men’s Association,[16] and led this society for a whole decade. Engels also took an active part in its affairs. The work of the International Association, which, in accordance with Marx’s idea, united proletarians of all countries, was of tremendous significance in the development of the working-class movement. But even with the closing down of the International Association in the seventies, the unifying role of Marx and Engels did not cease. On the contrary, it may be said that their importance as the spiritual leaders of the working-class movement grew continuously, because the movement itself grew uninterruptedly. After the death of Marx, Engels continued alone as the counsellor and leader of the European socialists. His advice and directions were sought for equally by the German socialists, whose strength, despite government persecution, grew rapidly and steadily, and by representatives of backward countries, such as the Spaniards, Rumanians and Russians, who were obliged to ponder and weigh their first steps. They all drew on the rich store of knowledge and experience of Engels in his old age.
 
Marx and Engels, who both knew Russian and read Russian books, took a lively interest in the country, followed the Russian revolutionary movement with sympathy and maintained contact with Russian revolutionaries. They both became socialists after being democrats, and the democratic feeling of hatred for political despotism was exceedingly strong in them. This direct political feeling, combined   with a profound theoretical understanding of the connection between political despotism and economic oppression, and also their rich experience of life, made Marx and Engels uncommonly responsive politically. That is why the heroic struggle of the handful of Russian revolutionaries against the mighty tsarist government evoked a most sympathetic echo in the hearts of these tried revolutionaries. On the other hand, the tendency, for the sake of illusory economic advantages, to turn away from the most immediate and important task of the Russian socialists, namely, the winning of political freedom, naturally appeared suspicious to them and was even regarded by them as a direct betrayal of the great cause of the social revolution. “The emancipation of the workers must be the act of the working class itself” – Marx and Engels constantly taught.[17] But in order to fight for its economic emancipation, the proletariat must win itself certain political rights. Moreover, Marx and Engels clearly saw that a political revolution in Russia would be of tremendous significance to the West-European working-class movement as well. Autocratic Russia had always been a bulwark of European reaction in general. The extraordinarily favourable international position enjoyed by Russia as a result of the war of 1870, which for a long time sowed discord between Germany and France, of course only enhanced the importance of autocratic Russia as a reactionary force. Only a free Russia, a Russia that had no need either to oppress the Poles, Finns, Germans, Armenians or any other small nations, or constantly to set France and Germany at loggerheads, would enable modern Europe, rid of the burden of war, to breathe freely, would weaken all the reactionary elements in Europe and strengthen the European working class. That was why Engels ardently desired the establishment of political freedom in Russia for the sake of the progress of the working-class movement in the West as well. In him the Russian revolutionaries have lost their best friend.
 
Let us always honour the memory of Frederick Engels, a great fighter and teacher of the proletariat!
 
Notes:
 
[1] Marx and Engels frequently pointed out that in their intellectual development they were much indebted to the great German philosophers, particularly to Hegel. “Without German philosophy,” Engels says, “scientific socialism would never have come into being.” —Lenin.
 
[2] This is a wonderfully rich and instructive book. Unfortunately, only a small portion of it, containing a historical outline of the development of socialism, has been translated into Russian (The Development of Scientific Socialism, 2nd ea., Geneva, 1892). —Lenin.
Programa 1 – Escuela de cuadros – Manifesto Comunista, Parte I (Marx y Engels)
| July 26, 2017 | 7:20 pm | Frederick Engels, Karl Marx | No comments

Programa 116 – Escuela de cuadros – Miseria de la filosofía, Parte I (Marx)
| July 26, 2017 | 7:17 pm | Karl Marx | No comments

Karl Marx- Wage, Labour and Capital 1847 (Part II)
| July 26, 2017 | 7:09 pm | Analysis, Economy, Karl Marx, Labor | No comments

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Karl Marx- Wage, Labour and Capital 1847 (Part II)

 https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/karl-marx-wage-labour-and-capital-1847_27.html

Wage, Labour and Capital.

By Karl Marx. 
First Published: April 1849.
Source: From the original 1891 pamphlet via Marxists Internet Archives.
 

(Continue from Part I)

 
PART II.
 
THE NATURE AND GROWTH OF CAPITAL 
Capital consists of raw materials, instruments of labor, and means of subsistence of all kinds, which are employed in producing new raw materials, new instruments, and new means of subsistence. All these components of capital are created by labour, products of labour, accumulated labour. Accumulated labour that serves as a means to new production is capital.
So say the economists. What is a Negro slave? A man of the black race. The one explanation is worthy of the other.
A Negro is a Negro. Only under certain conditions does he become a slave. A cottonspinning machine is a machine for spinning cotton. Only under certain conditions does it become capital. Torn away from these conditions, it is as little capital as gold is itself money, or sugar is the price of sugar.
In the process of production, human beings work not only upon nature, but also upon one another. They produce only by working together in a specified manner and reciprocally exchanging their activities. In order to produce, they enter into definite connections and relations to one another, and only within these social connections and relations does their influence upon nature operate – i.e., does production take place.
These social relations between the producers, and the conditions under which they exchange their activities and share in the total act of production, will naturally vary according to the character of the means of production. With the discover of a new instrument of warfare, the firearm, the whole internal organization of the army was necessarily altered, the relations within which individuals compose an army and can work as an army were transformed, and the relation of different armies to another was likewise changed.
We thus see that the social relations within which individuals produce, the social relations of production, are altered, transformed, with the change and development of the material means of production, of the forces of production. The relations of production in their totality constitute what is called the social relations, society, and, moreover, a society at a definite stage of historical development, a society with peculiar, distinctive characteristics. Ancient society, feudal society, bourgeois (or capitalist) society, are such totalities of relations of production, each of which denotes a particular stage of development in the history of mankind.
Capital also is a social relation of production. It is a bourgeois relation of production, a relation of production of bourgeois society. The means of subsistence, the instruments of labour, the raw materials, of which capital consists – have they not been produced and accumulated under given social conditions, within definite special relations? Are they not employed for new production, under given special conditions, within definite social relations? And does not just the definite social character stamp the products which serve for new production as capital?
Capital consists not only of means of subsistence, instruments of labour, and raw materials, not only as material products; it consists just as much of exchange values. All products of which it consists are commodities. Capital, consequently, is not only a sum of material products, it is a sum of commodities, of exchange values, of social magnitudes. Capital remains the same whether we put cotton in the place of wool, rice in the place of wheat, steamships in the place of railroads, provided only that the cotton, the rice, the steamships – the body of capital – have the same exchange value, the same price, as the wool, the wheat, the railroads, in which it was previously embodied. The bodily form of capital may transform itself continually, while capital does not suffer the least alteration.
But though every capital is a sum of commodities – i.e., of exchange values – it does not follow that every sum of commodities, of exchange values, is capital.
Every sum of exchange values is an exchange value. Each particular exchange value is a sum of exchange values. For example: a house worth 1,000 pounds is an exchange value of 1,000 pounds: a piece of paper worth one penny is a sum of exchange values of 100 1/100ths of a penny. Products which are exchangeable for others are commodities. The definite proportion in which they are exchangeable forms their exchange value, or, expressed in money, their price. The quantity of these products can have no effect on their character as commodities, as representing an exchange value , as having a certain price. Whether a tree be large or small, it remains a tree. Whether we exchange iron in pennyweights or in hundredweights, for other products, does this alter its character: its being a commodity, or exchange value? According to the quantity, it is a commodity of greater or of lesser value, of higher or of lower price.
How then does a sum of commodities, of exchange values, become capital?
Thereby, that as an independent social power – i.e., as the power of a part of society – it preserves itself and multiplies by exchange with direct, living labour-power.
The existence of a class which possesses nothing but the ability to work is a necessary presupposition of capital.
It is only the dominion of past, accumulated, materialized labour over immediate living labour that stamps the accumulated labour with the character of capital.
Capital does not consist in the fact that accumulated labour serves living labour as a means for new production. It consists in the fact that living labour serves accumulated labour as the means of preserving and multiplying its exchange value.
RELATION OF WAGE-LABOUR TO CAPITAL
What is it that takes place in the exchange between the capitalist and the wagelabourer?
The labourer receives means of subsistence in exchange for his labour-power; the capitalist receives, in exchange for his means of subsistence, labour, the productive activity of the labourer, the creative force by which the worker not only replaces what he consumes, but also gives to the accumulated labour a greater value than it previously possessed. The labourer gets from the capitalist a portion of the existing means of subsistence. For what purpose do these means of subsistence serve him? For immediate consumption. But as soon as I consume means of subsistence, they are irrevocably lost to me, unless I employ the time during which these means sustain my life in producing new means of subsistence, in creating by my labour new values in place of the values lost in consumption. But it is just this noble reproductive power that the labourer surrenders to the capitalist in exchange for means of subsistence received. Consequently, he has lost it for himself.
Let us take an example. For one shilling a labourer works all day long in the fields of a farmer, to whom he thus secures a return of two shillings. The farmer not only receives the replaced value which he has given to the day labourer, he has doubled it. Therefore, he has consumed the one shilling that he gave to the day labourer in a fruitful, productive manner. For the one shilling he has bought the labour-power of the day-labourer, which creates products of the soil of twice the value, and out of one shilling makes two. The day-labourer, on the contrary, receives in the place of his productive force, whose results he has just surrendered to the farmer, one shilling, which he exchanges for means of subsistence, which he consumes more or less quickly. The one shilling has therefore been consumed in a double manner – reproductively for the capitalist, for it has been exchanged for labour-power, which brought forth two shillings; unproductively for the worker, for it has been exchanged for means of subsistence which are lost for ever, and whose value he can obtain again only by repeating the same exchange with the farmer. Capital therefore presupposes wage- labour; wage-labour presupposes capital. They condition each other; each brings the other into existence.
Does a worker in a cotton factory produce only cotton? No. He produces capital. He produces values which serve anew to command his work and to create by means of it new values.
Capital can multiply itself only by exchanging itself for labour-power, by calling wage-labour into life. The labour-power of the wage-labourer can exchange itself for capital only by increasing capital, by strengthening that very power whose slave it is. Increase of capital, therefore, is increase of the proletariat, i.e., of the working class.
And so, the bourgeoisie and its economists maintain that the interest of the capitalist and of the labourer is the same. And in fact, so they are! The worker perishes if capital does not keep him busy. Capital perishes if it does not exploit labour-power, which, in order to exploit, it must buy. The more quickly the capital destined for production – the productive capital – increases, the more prosperous industry is, the more the bourgeoisie enriches itself, the better business gets, so many more workers does the capitalist need, so much the dearer does the worker sell himself. The fastest possible growth of productive capital is, therefore, the indispensable condition for a tolerable life to the labourer.
But what is growth of productive capital? Growth of the power of accumulated labour over living labour; growth of the rule of the bourgeoisie over the working class. When wage-labour produces the alien wealth dominating it, the power hostile to it, capital, there flow back to it its means of employment – i.e., its means of subsistence, under the condition that it again become a part of capital, that is become again the lever whereby capital is to be forced into an accelerated expansive movement.
To say that the interests of capital and the interests of the workers are identical, signifies only this: that capital and wage-labour are two sides of one and the same relation. The one conditions the other in the same way that the usurer and the borrower condition each other.
As long as the wage-labourer remains a wage-labourer, his lot is dependent upon capital. That is what the boasted community of interests between worker and capitalists amounts to.
If capital grows, the mass of wage-labour grows, the number of wage-workers increases; in a word, the sway of capital extends over a greater mass of individuals. Let us suppose the most favorable case: if productive capital grows, the demand for labour grows. It therefore increases the price of labour-power, wages.
A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut. The little house now makes it clear that its inmate has no social position at all to maintain, or but a very insignificant one; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilization, if the neighboring palace rises in equal or even in greater measure, the occupant of the relatively little house will always find himself more uncomfortable, more dissatisfied, more cramped within his four walls.
An appreciable rise in wages presupposes a rapid growth of productive capital. Rapid growth of productive capital calls forth just as rapid a growth of wealth, of luxury, of social needs and social pleasures. Therefore, although the pleasures of the labourer have increased, the social gratification which they afford has fallen in comparison with the increased pleasures of the capitalist, which are inaccessible to the worker, in comparison with the stage of development of society in general. Our wants and pleasures have their origin in society; we therefore measure them in relation to society; we do not measure them in relation to the objects which serve for their gratification. Since they are of a social nature, they are of a relative nature.
But wages are not at all determined merely by the sum of commodities for which they may be exchanged. Other factors enter into the problem. What the workers directly receive for their labour-power is a certain sum of money. Are wages determined merely by this money price?
In the 16th century, the gold and silver circulation in Europe increased in consequence of the discovery of richer and more easily worked mines in America. The value of gold and silver, therefore, fell in relation to other commodities. The workers received the same amount of coined silver for their labour-power as before. The money price of their work remained the same, and yet their wages had fallen, for in exchange for the same amount of silver they obtained a smaller amount of other commodities. This was one of the circumstances which furthered the growth of capital, the rise of the bourgeoisie, in the 18th century.
Let us take another case. In the winter of 1847, in consequence of bad harvest, the most indispensable means of subsistence – grains, meat, butter, cheese, etc. – rose greatly in price. Let us suppose that the workers still received the same sum of money for their labour-power as before. Did not their wages fall? To be sure. For the same money they received in exchange less bread, meat, etc. Their wages fell, not because the value of silver was less, but because the value of the means of subsistence had increased.
Finally, let us suppose that the money price of labour-power remained the same, while all agricultural and manufactured commodities had fallen in price because of the employment of new machines, of favorable seasons, etc. For the same money the workers could now buy more commodities of all kinds. Their wages have therefore risen, just because their money value has not changed.
The money price of labour-power, the nominal wages, do not therefore coincide with the actual or real wages – i.e., with the amount of commodities which are actually given in exchange for the wages. If then we speak of a rise or fall of wages, we have to keep in mind not only the money price of labour-power, the nominal wages, but also the real wages.
But neither the nominal wages – i.e., the amount of money for which the labourer sells himself to the capitalist – nor the real wages – i.e., the amount of commodities which he can buy for this money – exhausts the relations which are comprehended in the term wages.
Wages are determined above all by their relations to the gain, the profit, of the capitalist. In other words, wages are a proportionate, relative quantity.
Real wages express the price of labour-power in relation to the price of commodities; relative wages, on the other hand, express the share of immediate labour in the value newly created by it, in relation to the share of it which falls to accumulated labour, to capital.
THE GENERAL LAW THAT DETERMINES THE RISE AND FALL
OF WAGES AND PROFITS
 
We have said: “Wages are not a share of the worker in the commodities produced by him. Wages are that part of already existing commodities with which the capitalist buys a certain amount of productive labor-power.” But the capitalist must replace these wages out of the price for which he sells the product made by the worker; he must so replace it that, as a rule, there remains to him a surplus above the cost of production expended by him, that is, he must get a profit.
 
The selling price of the commodities produced by the worker is divided, from the point of view of the capitalist, into three parts: 
 
First, the replacement of the price of the raw materials advanced by him, in addition to the replacement of the wear and tear of the tools, machines, and other instruments of labor likewise advanced by him; 
 
Second, the replacement of the wages advanced; and 
 
Third, the surplus leftover – i.e., the profit of the capitalist.
 
While the first part merely replaces previously existing values, it is evident that the replacement of the wages and the surplus (the profit of capital) are as a whole taken out of the new value, which is produced by the labor of the worker and added to the raw materials. And in this sense we can view wages as well as profit, for the purpose of comparing them with each other, as shares in the product of the worker.
 
Real wages may remain the same, they may even rise, nevertheless the relative wages may fall. Let us suppose, for instance, that all means of subsistence have fallen 2/3rds in price, while the day’s wages have fallen but 1/3rd – for example, from three to two shillings. Although the worker can now get a greater amount of commodities with these two shillings than he formerly did with three shillings, yet his wages have decreased in proportion to the gain of the capitalist. The profit of the capitalist – the manufacturer’s for instance – has increased one shilling, which means that for a smaller amount of exchange values, which he pays to the worker, the latter must produce a greater amount of exchange values than before. The share of capitals in proportion to the share of labour has risen. The distribution of social wealth between capital and labour has become still more unequal. The capitalist commands a greater amount of labour with the same capital. The power of the capitalist class over the working class has grown, the social position of the worker has become worse, has been forced down still another degree below that of the capitalist. 
 
What, then, is the general law that determines the rise and fall of wages and profit in their reciprocal relation? 
 
They stand in inverse proportion to each other. The share of (profit) increases in the same proportion in which the share of labour (wages) falls, and vice versa. Profit rises in the same degree in which wages fall; it falls in the same degree in which wages rise. 
 
It might perhaps be argued that the capitalist class can gain by an advantageous exchange of his products with other capitalists, by a rise in the demand for his commodities, whether in consequence of the opening up of new markets, or in consequence of temporarily increased demands in the old market, and so on; that the profit of the capitalist, therefore, may be multiplied by taking advantage of other capitalists, independently of the rise and fall of wages, of the exchange value of labourpower; or that the profit of the capitalist may also rise through improvements in the instruments of labour, new applications of the forces of nature, and so on. 
 
But in the first place it must be admitted that the result remains the same, although brought about in an opposite manner. Profit, indeed, has not risen because wages have fallen, but wages have fallen because profit has risen. With the same amount of another man’s labour the capitalist has bought a larger amount of exchange values without having paid more for the labour on that account – i.e., the work is paid for less in proportion to the net gain which it yields to the capitalist. 
 
In the second place, it must be borne in mind that, despite the fluctuations in the prices of commodities, the average price of every commodity, the proportion in which it exchanges for other commodities, is determined by its cost of production. The acts of overreaching and taking advantage of one another within the capitalist ranks necessarily equalize themselves. The improvements of machinery, the new applications of the forces of nature in the service of production, make it possible to produce in a given period of time, with the same amount of labour and capital, a larger amount of products, but in no wise a larger amount of exchange values. If by the use of the spinning- machine I can furnish twice as much yarn in an hour as before its invention – for instance, 100 pounds instead of 50 pounds – in the long run I receive back, in exchange for this 100 pounds no more commodities than I did before for 50; because the cost of production has fallen by 1/2, or because I can furnish double the product at the same cost. 
 
Finally, in whatsoever proportion the capitalist class, whether of one country or of the entire world-market, distribute the net revenue of production among themselves, the total amount of this net revenue always consists exclusively of the amount by which accumulated labour has been increased from the proceeds of direct labour. This whole amount, therefore, grows in the same proportion in which labour augments capital – i.e., in the same proportion in which profit rises as compared with wages.