III

[III.1.]
All wealth has become industrial wealth, the wealth of labour; and industry is accomplished labour, just as the factory system is the perfected essence of industry, that is of labour, and just as industrial capital is the accomplished objective form of private property.

We can now see how it is only at this point that private property can complete its dominion over man and become, in its most general form, a world-historical power.

Re p.
XXXIX. or XXXIV (note by Marx, unclear in MS, X or V?) [XXXIV links to Proudhon subject matter in this Notebook - other editors believe XXXIX refers to a lost page of notebook 2 --Ed./GT]

The antithesis between
lack of property and property, so long as it is not understood as the antithesis of labour and capital, remains an indifferent antithesis, not grasped in its active connection, in its internal relation, not yet grasped as a contradiction. It can find expression in this first form even without the advanced development of private property (as in ancient Rome, Turkey, etc.). It does not yet appear as having been established by private property itself. But labour, the subjective essence of private property as exclusion of property, and capital, objective labour as exclusion of labour, constitute private property as its developed state of contradiction--hence a dynamic relationship driving towards resolution.

Re the same page. The transcendence of self-estrangement follows the same course as self-estrangement. Private property is first considered only in its objective aspect--but nevertheless with labour as its essence. Its form of existence is therefore capital, which is to be annulled "as such" (Proudhon). Or a particular form of labour--labour levelled down, fragmented, and therefore unfree--is conceived as the source of private property's perniciousness and of its existence in estrangement from men. For instance, Fourier, who, like the Physiocrats, also conceives agricultural labour to be at least the exemplary type, whereas Saint-Simon declares in contrast that industrial labour as such is the essence, and accordingly aspires to the exclusive rule of the industrialists and the improvement of the workers' condition. Finally, communism is the positive expression of annulled private property--at first as universal private property. By embracing this relation as a whole, communism is:

(1) In its first form only a generalisation and consummation of it. As such it appears in a twofold form: on the one hand, the dominion of material property bulks so large that it wants to destroy everything which is not capable of being possessed by all as private property. It wants to disregard talent, etc., in an arbitrary manner. For it the only purpose of life and existence is direct, physical possession. The category of the worker is not abolished, but extended to everybody.
[IV.1.]

[III.2.]
The relationship of private property persists as the relationship of the community to the world of things. Finally, this movement of opposing universal private property to private property finds expression in the brutish form of opposing to marriage (certainly a form of exclusive private property) the community of women, in which a woman becomes a piece of communal and common property. It may be said that this idea of the community of women gives away the secret of this as yet completely crude and thoughtless communism. Just as woman passes from marriage to general prostitution, so the entire world of wealth (that is, of man's objective substance) passes from the relationship of exclusive marriage with the owner of private property to a state of universal prostitution with the community. This type of communism--since it negates the personality of man in every sphere--is but the logical expression of private property, which is this negation. General envy constituting itself as a power is the disguise in which greed reestablishes itself and satisfies itself, only in another way. The thought of every piece of private property as such is at least turned against wealthier private property in the form of envy and the impulse to reduce things to a common level, so that this envy and impulse even constitute the essence of competition. Crude communism is only the culmination of this envy, of this levelling-down, proceeding from the preconceived minimum. It has a definite, limited standard. How little this annulment of private property is really an appropriation is actually proved by the abstract negation of the entire world of culture and civilisation, the regression to the unnatural
[IV.2.]



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