| [XL.] [pages I to
XL (this page) are apparently missing--GT]
[...]...forms the interest on his capital. The worker is the subjective manifestation of the fact that capital is man entirely lost to himself, just as capital is the objective manifestation of the fact that labour is man lost to himself. But the worker has the misfortune to be a living capital, and hence an indigent capital, one which loses its interest, and thus its livelihood, every moment it is not working. As capital the value of the worker rises or falls according to supply and demand, and physically too his existence, his life, was and is looked upon as the supply of a commodity like any other. The worker produces capital, capital produces him--hence he produces himself, and man as worker, as a commodity, is the product of this whole cycle. To the man who is nothing more than a worker--and to him as a worker--his human qualities only exist insofar as they exist for capital alien to him. Because man and capital are alien, foreign to each other, however, and thus stand in an indifferent, external and accidental relationship to each other, it is inevitable that this foreignness should also appear as something real. As soon, therefore, as it occurs to capital to be (whether from necessity or caprice) no longer for the worker, he himself is no longer for himself: he has no work, hence no wages, and since he has no existence as a human being but only as a worker, he can go and bury himself, starve to death, etc. The worker exists as a worker only when he exists for himself as capital; and he exists as capital only when some capital exists for him. The existence of capital is his existence, his life; as it determines the tenor of his life in a manner indifferent to him.
....Political economy, therefore, does not recognise the unemployed worker, the workingman, insofar as he happens to be outside this labour relationship. The rascal, swindler, beggar, the unemployed, the starving, wretched and criminal workingman--these are figures who do not exist for political economy but only for other eyes, those of the doctor, the judge, the grave-digger, and bum-bailiff, etc.; such figures are spectres outside its domain. For it, therefore, the worker's needs are but the one need--to maintain him whilst he is working and insofar as may be necessary to prevent the race of labourers from [dying] out. The wages of labour have therefore exactly the same significance as the maintenance and servicing of any other productive instrument, or as the consumption of capital in general, necessary for it to reproduce itself with interest--like the oil which is applied to wheels to keep them turning. Wages, therefore, belong to capital's and the capitalist's necessary costs, and must not exceed the bounds of this necessity. It was therefore quite logical for the English factory owners, before the Amendment Bill of 1834 [Poor Laws], to deduct from the wages of the worker the public alms which he was receiving out of the Poor Rate and to consider this to be an integral part of wages.
....Production does not simply produce man as a commodity, the human commodity, man in the role of commodity; it produces him in keeping with this role as a mentally and physically dehumanised being.--Immorality, deformity, and dulling of the workers and the capitalists.--Its product is the self-conscious and self-acting commodity... the human commodity... Great advance of Ricardo, Mill, etc., on Smith and Say, to declare the existence of the human being--the greater or lesser human productivity of the commodity--to be indifferent and even harmful. Not how many workers are maintained by a given capital, but rather how much interest it brings in, the sum-total of the annual savings, is said to be the true purpose of production. It was likewise a great and consistent advance of modern
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The Hypertext Manuscripts of Karl Marx, Paris 1844
Copyright Gary Tedman 2001
last modified: 10/8/01 10:48:56 PM