We continue our review of Marx’s Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy. As a recap, Marx first treats “production” and sets forth some main ideas about production, in opposition to the classical liberal economists of the day: (1) the isolated hunter-fisher of Smith and Ricardo is not primitive or natural, (2) production is most usefully discussed historically as opposed to as a general economic term, (3) production has two basic principles outside of history (mankind and nature), THEN (4) distribution has two basic principles outside of history (the slave group and the conqueror group), (5) production does not need property to exist and (6) every form of production creates its own legal relations (form of government). Continue reading Marx’s Editor: Production = Consumption (Part III)
Below is a summary of the second half of Marx’s treatment of production in his “Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy.” The first half sets forth that (1) the isolated hunter-fisher of Smith and Ricardo is not primitive or natural, (2) production is most usefully discussed historically as opposed to as a general economic term and (3) production has two basic principles outside of history (mankind and nature).
The “Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy” is the opening to Marx’s lengthy unfinished manuscript, the “Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy,” or the Grundrisse. It was written around 1857, then abandoned by Marx, to be first published posthumously in Germany around 1939. Towards the end of his life, Marx supposedly viewed his more popular published works with a “skepticism bordering on rejection,” while viewing his Grundrisse “with a tone of achievement and sense of accomplishment.”
I do not remember the day you filled my mind with certainty. The day your dazzling clarity became irrefutable to my feeble mind. The card-board stand-up people bartered dead objects in strange and barren places. I could see to the end of heaven.
We do not perceive a species’ extinction or survival in terms of punishment or reward because such a judgment would have a moral quality, inappropriate to the beasts. Yet, we do not treat ourselves or each other with such tenderness.
I am a lawyer by trade, and not one who enjoys reading judicial opinions in the common law. I’m not a fancy lawyer, you understand. When it dawned on me my first year of law school that reading opinions was a whole lot of what law school was about, I thought I had made a big mistake. One that I would have to suffer through the rest of my life, because I think all pessimistically like that.