XVIII

Wages of Labour

Rent of Land

Profit of Capital

[XVIII. 1.]

[XIX. 1.]

[XVIII. 2.]
In the same way, feudal landed property gives its name to its lord, as does a kingdom to its king. His family history, the history of his house, etc.--all this individualizes his estate for him, and formally turns it into his house, into a person. Similarly, the workers on the estate are not in the position of day-labourers; rather, they are partly the property of the landowner, as are serfs, and they are partly linked to him through a relationship based on respect, submissiveness, and duty. His relation to them is therefore directly political, and even has an agreeable aspect. Customs, character, etc., vary from one estate to another and appear to be one with their particular stretch of land; later, however, it is only a man's purse, and not his character or individuality, which ties him to the land. Finally, the feudal landowner makes no attempt to extract the maximum profit from his property. Rather, he consumes what is there and leaves the harvesting of it to his serfs and tenants. Such is the aristocratic condition of landownership, which sheds a romantic glory on its lords.
....It is inevitable that this appearance should be abolished and that landed property, which is the root of private property, should be drawn entirely into the orbit of private property and become a commodity; that the rule of the property owner should appear as the naked rule of private property, of capital, divested of all political tincture; that the relationship between property owner and worker should be reduced to the economic relationship between the property owner and his property should come to an end, and that the property itself should become purely material wealth; that the marriage of interest with the land should take over from the marriage of honor, and that land, like man, should sink to the level of a venal object. It is inevitable that the root of landed property--sordid self-interest--should also manifest itself in its cynical form. It is inevitable that immovable monopoly should become mobile and restless monopoly, competition; and that the idle employment of the products of the sweat and blood of other people should become a brisk commerce in the same. Finally, it is inevitable under these conditions of competition that landed property, in the form of capital, should manifest its domination both over the working class and over the property owners themselves, inasmuch as the laws of the movement of capital are either ruining or raising them. In this way, the mediaeval saying nulle terre sans seigneur gives way to the modern saying l'argent n'a pas de maitre [Money knows no master], which is an expression of the complete domination of dead matter over men.

[XIX. 2.]

[XVIII. 3.]

[XIX. 3.]



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Send comments to: Lemmaesthetics@freeuk.com The Hypertext Manuscripts of Karl Marx, Paris 1844. Copyright Gary Tedman 2001-3.