1.These manuscripts were never published in Marx's lifetime. They were first made available to the reading public in Russian in the Arkhiv K. Marksa i F. Engelska (Moscow, 1927). The German original of the 1844 manuscripts was first published in 1932 by David Riazanov, when he included them in Volume 3. section 1, of the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA. Berlin, 1932). Complete editions of the first three manuscripts are now available in English in T.B. Bottomore, Karl Marx: Early Writings (New York. 1964). pp.61-219. and Dirk J. Struik, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (New York, 1964), pp. 63-l93. In this paper all references to Marx's 1844 manuscripts are taken from Bottomore's edition, which I find the more readable, though Struik's edition is important because it also carries the text of Engels' first attempt to apply the dialectical method to English political economy, Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy. pp. 197-226. In my text (Marx--) indicates the page number in Bottomore's edition.

2. An exhaustive study of the philosophical origins and development of Marx's theory of alienation. and of the secondary literature that it has generated, is presented by lstvan Meszaros, Marx's Theory of Alienation (New York, 1969). Me'szaros states (p. 11): "The number of books and articles written about or referring to the Manuscripts of 1844 is countless. They are unquestionably the most talked about philosophical work in this country.

3. I have been working from photocopies prepared by the Institute, supplemented by information about the original notebook. currently being prepared by Jurgen Rojahn. one of the directors of the Institute, for a forthcoming Moscow edition of Marx's early writings. [The Soviet scholar N.I. Lapin reinterpreted the originals; see Der Junge Marx, Berlin. 1974.]

4. There is no available English translation, to the best of my knowledge, of the fourth manuscript. German publications are MEGA 1/3 pp. 592-596; Siegfried Landshut's Karl Marx: Die Fruhschriften (Stuttgart, 1953), pp 309-316; and H.J. Lieber and P. Furth, Karl Marx: Fruhe Schriften, Erster Band (Stuttgart, 1962), pp 958-964. It contains extensive excerpts, almost word-for-word from the final chapter "Absolute Knowledge" of Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind (New York, 1967), pp. 78-808.

5. Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, originally published in 1776. All references to Smith are taken from the Modern Library Edition (New York, 1937) and will be indicated in the text as (Smith --).

6. Cf.: 'In every society the price of every commodity finally resolves itself into some one or other, or all of those three parts; and in every improved society, all the three enter more or less, as component parts, into the price of the far greater part of commodities.

"In the price of corn, for example, one part pays the rent of the landlord, another pays the wages of maintenance of the labourers or labouring cattle employed in producing it, and the third pays the profit of the farmer. These three parts seem either immediately or ultimately to make up the whole price of corn . . . the whole price still resolves itself either immediately or ultimately into the same three parts of rent, labour, and profit" (Smith 50).

7. To the best of my knowledge. it has been published only once, in the 1927 edition of the Marx/Engels Historische-Kritische Gesantausgabe (MEGA, Berlin 1932), pp. 457-492. Marx's references in the Grundrisse (translated by Martin Nicolaus [Harmondsworth 1973]) to his notebooks of l842-44 (see, for example, p. 613, fn. 33) are evidence that these notebooks remained in his possession throughout his life, and that he regularly consulted them in his later work on political economy.

8. Karl Marx, Capital. Vol. I (New York, 1967), pp. t~2O.

9. I have not seen this bibliography published in any edition of the 1844 manuscripts. Only seven of the items listed are quoted in Marx's 1844 notebooks. 11 are recorded in his reading notes taken during the three years from 1843 to 1846. It seems likely therefore that this list represents Marx's agenda for future study, which would follow up the issues raised in his 1844 manuscripts.

10. On the last two pages the numbers are not clearly visible because the left-hand corner is low torn.

11. After countless efforts to produce a lucid explanation of the pagination of Marx's notebooks, I have finally been convinced that a simple demonstration is worth a thousand words. I have therefore appended a step-by-step guide for interested readers to compile their own facsimile [the Appendix to this article]. This includes a schematic diagram of the pages of the original manuscript, which summarizes the evidence for my claim of the original existence of two separate parts, but which is likely to confuse readers who do not attempt the 'do-it-yourself' exercise.

12. In the case of "Profit of Capital," this is an oversimplification. Marx in fact uses three synonyms: i) Profit des Kapitals; ii) Kapitalgewinn (pp- III, V-XI); and iii) Gewinn des Kapitals (pp. IV. XII). He also uses on a later page (XIV) a fourth synonym, (iv) Gewinn der Kapitolien.

13. cf.: Smith 270: ". . the price of every commodity necessarily resolves itself into… these three parts: every part of it which goes neither to rent nor to wages, being necessarily profit to somebody.

"Since this is the case… with regard to every particular commodity, taken separately; it must he so with regard to all the commodities which compose the whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country, taken complexly." See also Marx's opening sentence of Capital. Vol. I (Op. cit.), p.35: "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as 'an immense accumulation of commodities' its unit being a single commodity."

14. Cf.: Smith 248: "The whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country…naturally divides itself... and constitutes a revenue to three different orders of people; to those who live by rent, to those who live by wages, andd to those who live by profit. These are the three great original and constituent orders of every civilized society, from whose revenue that of every other order is ultimately derived."

15. Marx himself, in his own life-time, had to correct the false impression that he was the first to analyze the class structure of contemporary society: see his letter to Weydemeyer, March 5, 1852 (MEW, Band 28, pp. 510-l2), quoted in Werner Blumenberg, Portrait of Marx (New York. 1972), pp. 76-7: "1 do not deserve credit for having discovered either the existence of the classes in modern society, or the struggle between them. Long before me . . .bourgeois economists had shown the economic anatomy of the classes."

16. Page xxvi is an exception. "Rent of Land" appears in the center column, and "Profit of Capital" (which replaces a crossed-out heading "Private Property") appears on the right. "Wages," as usual, appears on the left.

17. I.e., pages I-XVI. The division of the notebook into core and outer pages is not mentioned in any edition that I have seen.

18. These chapters are rarely discussed in the secondary literature and some editions of the 1844 Manuscripts omit them; for example, S. Landshut (op. cit.), pp. 225-316 and Erich Fromm, Marx's Concept of Man (New York, 1961), pp. 90-196.

19. H.J. Lieber and P. Furth. Karl Marx: Fruhe Schriften (op. cit.), p.510, fn. 12.

20. T.B. Bottomore in his introduction states (Marx xvii): "On page XXII of the manuscript. however, Marx began to write on a different subject, ignoring the division of the pages into three columns; this portion of the manuscript was given the title 'Alienated labour' by the editors of the .MEGA."

In the first line of the quotation I have changed Bottomore's XII--an obvious misprint--to xxii. Cf. Struik (op. cit.). p. 229 and Marx-Engels Werke: Erganzungband, Part 1 (Berlin, 1973), p.674, note 113 (which is the source for both Bottomore and Struik).

21. Cf.: Marx's comments on "Method of Political Economy." in the Introduction to the Grundrisse. and his distinction in Capital. Vol.1 (op. cit.), p. 19, between the method of inquiry and the method of presentation: "Of course the method of presentation must differ in form from that of inquiry. The latter has to appropriate the material in detail, to analyse its different forms of development, to trace out their inner connexion. Only after this work is done can the actual movement be adequately described."

22. My explanation [See Chapter IV of the dissertation] is based on my own study of Hegel's method in The Phenomenology of Mind (op. cit.) and The Philosophy of Right (trans. T.M. Knox [New York, 1967]), and on Marx's method in his 1843 Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (ed. J. O'MaIley [Cambridge, 1971]) and in his 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (op. cit.) where he examines not only the Wealth of Nations but also Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind. Hegel's own account of the dialectical method in The Logic of Hegel (trans. from Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences by Wm. Wallace [London, 1874]) is highly thought-provoking and mind-expanding, but it is presented at such a level of abstraction that it is not very clear how one sets about applying it. This too, is a problem with most of the secondary literature on the dialectical method of Hegel and Marx. Nevertheless, it is worth reading Herbert Marcuse's Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (Boston, 1960), especially chapters 3-5, and the first chapter of Jurgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests (Boston, 1971) to get some idea of the philosophical premises underpinning the dialectical method, and of the conceptual vocabulary of this method.

23. For Hegel. the major representative of the 'Level of Understanding' was Immanuel Kant (see Habermas op. cit. pp.7-24), but he also meant he whole tradition of positivist science, including the science of political economy. See his Philosophy of Right (Op. cit.). pp. l26-7. "Political economy ... is one of the sciences which have arisen out of the conditions of the modern world. Its development affords the interesting spectacle (as in Smith, Say, and Ricardo) of thought working upon the endless mass of details which confront it at the outset and extracting therefrom the simple principle of the thing, the Understanding effective in the thing and directing it."

24. My use of s/he, her/his, etc.. in this essay is intended to avoid the fallacy of misrepresenting the human species as an undifferentiated male entity. I shall also use s/he in this essay to refer to members of the working class, since a large part of the workforce in Marx's time, and already in Smith's time, were women. I have been less conscientious about the capital and land-owning classes, since the members of these classes who exercised the rights of the ownership of the means of production were rarely female.

25. Hegel, Science of Logic (trans. A.V. Miller [London, 1969)), pp.830, 840. "Concrete" (from the Latin concresco) literally means "grown together," in opposition to "abstract" (abstraho), "drawn apart."

26. Cf. Hegel's critique of conventional logic, ibid., p.52: "~.. determinations are accepted in their unmoved fixity and are brought only into an external relation with each other.... Consequently everything rests on an external difference, on mere comparison and becomes a completely analytical procedure and mechanical [begrifflos] calculation." See also Hegel, Science of Logic (op. cit. ), pp. 834-5, where he criticizes the "Level of Understanding" as a mode of thinking "in which the contradictories are held asunder in juxtaposition and temporal succession and so come before consciousness without reciprocal contact" (emphasis Hegel's). The dialectic, in contrast (The Logic of Hegel. op. cit., pp.126, 129), "is . . . the life and soul of scientific progress, the dynamic which alone gives an immanent connexion and necessity to the subject-matter of science. . . . [It] apprehends the unity of the categories in their opposition. It marks or seizes the affirmation, which is latent in their disintegration and transition-state."

27. In his Philosophy of History (New York, 1956), pp. 5~5, Hegel defines the principle of Development as 1) "a real capacity for change, and that for the better -- an impulse of perfectibility": and 2) "a latent germ of being -- a capacity or potentiality striving to realize itself." The important implication of the second point is that development is not the result of external changes, but the unfolding of "an internal unchangeable principle; a simple essence -- whose existence, i.e., as a germ, is primarily simple -- but which subsequently develops a variety of parts, that become involved with other objects. and consequently live through a continuous process of changes." Aristotle was the first to insist that every existent object must be understood as a double being: 1) what it actually is and 2) what it is potentially; and that the analysis of the changeability of objects must start from this premise. See Aristotelis .Metaphysica (Oxford, 1960), pp. 242-252. Cf. also Mao Tse-tung's observation that no matter how long you apply heat to a stone, you will never produce a chicken, because stones, unlike eggs (though they do look alike) have no potential to produce chickens.

28. Cf. The Logic of Hegel (op. cit. ), p.128: "We are aware that everything finite, instead of being inflexible and ultimate, is rather changeable and transient; and this is exactly what we mean by that Dialectic of the finite, by which the finite, as implicitly other than what it is, is forced to surrender its own immediate or natural being. and to turn suddenly into its opposite. . . All things. we say, that is, the finite world as such, meet their doom; and in saying so, we have a perception that Dialectic is the universal and irresistible power, before which nothing can stay, however secure and stable it may deem itself."

29. Nowhere in Smith's very extensive index to his five volumes, initially compiled by Smith himself, and supplemented by later editors, is there any entry for "private property" or "ownership."

Margaret Fay


Send comments to:
The Hypertext Manuscripts of Karl Marx, Paris 1844
Copyright Gary Tedman 2001
last modified: 10/8/01 10:52:35 PM