Part 3: Socialism

Submitted by libcom on August 5, 2005


We saw in the "Introduction" *7 how the French philosophers of the eighteenth century, the forerunners of the Revolution, appealed to reason as the sole judge of all that is. A rational government, rational society, were to be founded; everything that ran counter to eternal reason was to be remorselessly done away with. We saw also that this eternal reason was in reality nothing but the idealised understanding of the eighteenth century citizen, just then evolving into the bourgeois. The French Revolution had realised this rational society and government. But, the new order of things, rational enough as compared with earlier conditions, turned out to be by no means absolutely rational. The state based upon reason completely collapsed. Rousseau's Contrat Social had found its realisation in the Reign of Terror, from which the bourgeoisie, who had lost confidence in their own political capacity, had taken refuge first in the corruption of the Directorate, and, finally, under the wing of the Napoleonic despotism. [101] The promised eternal peace was turned into an endless war of conquest. The society based upon reason had fared no better. The antagonism between rich and poor, instead of dissolving into general prosperity, had become intensified by the removal of the guild and other privileges, which had to some extent bridged it over, and by the removal of the charitable institutions of the Church. The development of industry upon a capitalistic basis made poverty and misery of the working masses conditions of existence of society. The number of crimes increased from year to year. Formerly, the feudal vices had openly stalked about in broad daylight; though not eradicated, they were now at any rate thrust into the background. In their stead, the bourgeois vices, hitherto practiced in secret, began to blossom all the more luxuriantly. Trade became to a greater and greater extent cheating. The "fraternity" of the revolutionary motto [102] was realised in the chicanery and rivalries of the battle of competition. Oppression by force was replaced by corruption; the sword, as the first social lever, by gold. The right of the first night was transferred from the feudal lords to the bourgeois manufacturers. Prostitution increased to an extent never heard of. Marriage itself remained, as before, the legally recognised form, the official cloak of prostitution, and, moreover, was supplemented by rich crops of adultery. In a word, compared with the splendid promises of the philosophers, the social and political institutions born of the "triumph of reason" were bitterly disappointing caricatures. All that was wanting was the men to formulate this disappointment and they came with the turn of the century. In 1802 Saint-Simon's Geneva letters appeared; in 1808 appeared Fourier's first work, [103] although the groundwork of his theory dated from 1799; on January 1, 1800, Robert Owen undertook the direction of New Lanark.

At this time, however, the capitalist mode of production, and with it the antagonism between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, was still very incompletely developed. Modern industry, which had just arisen in England, was still unknown in France. But modern industry develops, on the one hand, the conflicts which make absolutely necessary a revolution in the mode of production, conflicts not only between the classes begotten of it, but also between the very productive forces and the forms of exchange created by it. And, on the other hand, it develops, in these very gigantic productive forces, the means of ending these conflicts. If, therefore, about the year 1800, the conflicts arising from the new social order were only just beginning to take shape, this holds still more fully as to the means of ending them. The propertyless masses of Paris, during the Reign of Terror, were able for a moment to gain the mastery. But, in doing so, they only proved how impossible it was for their domination to last under the conditions then obtaining. The proletariat, which then for the first time evolved itself from these propertyless masses as the nucleus of a new class, as yet quite incapable of independent political action, appeared as an oppressed, suffering estate, to whom, in its incapacity to help itself, help could, at best, be brought in from without or down from above.

This historical situation also dominated the founders of socialism. To the crude conditions of capitalist production and the crude class conditions corresponded crude theories. The solution of the social problems, which as yet lay hidden in undeveloped economic conditions, the utopians attempted to evolve out of the human brain. Society presented nothing but wrongs; to remove these was the task of reason. It was necessary, then, to discover a new and more perfect system of social order and to impose this upon society from without by propaganda, and, wherever it was possible, by the example of model experiments. These new social systems were foredoomed as utopian; the more completely they were worked out in detail, the more they could not avoid drifting off into pure fantasies.

These facts once established, we need not dwell a moment longer upon this side of the question, now wholly belonging to the past. We can leave it to the literary small fry à la Dühring to solemnly quibble over these fantasies, which today only make us smile, and to crow over the superiority of their own bald reasoning, as compared with such "insanity" {D. K. G. 276, 278, 283}. For ourselves, we delight in the stupendously grand thoughts and germs of thought that everywhere break out through their fantastic covering, and to which these philistines are blind.

Already in his Geneva letters, Saint-Simon lays down the proposition that

"all men ought to work".

In the same work he recognises also that the Reign of Terror was the reign of the non-possessing masses.

"See," says he to them, "what happened in France at the time when your comrades held sway there; they brought about a famine."

But to recognise the French Revolution as a class war between nobility, bourgeoisie, and the non-possessors, was, in the year 1802, a most pregnant discovery. In 1816, he declares that politics is the science of production, and foretells the complete absorption of politics by economics. The knowledge that economic conditions are the basis of political institutions appears here only in embryo. Yet what is here already very plainly expressed is the idea of the future conversion of political rule over men into an administration of things and a direction of processes of production -- that is to say, the "abolition of the state", about which recently there has been so much noise. Saint-Simon shows the same superiority over his contemporaries, when in 1814, immediately after the entry of the allies into Paris, [104] and again in 1815, during the Hundred Days' War, [105] he proclaims the alliance of France with England, and then of both these countries with Germany, as the only guarantee for the prosperous development and peace of Europe. To preach to the French in 1815 an alliance with the victors of Waterloo at any rate required somewhat more courage than to declare a war of little-tattle on German professors. [106]

If in Saint-Simon we find a comprehensive breadth of view, by virtue of which almost all the ideas of later Socialists, that are not strictly economic, are found in him in embryo, we find in Fourier a criticism of the existing conditions of society, genuinely French and witty, but not upon that account any the less thorough. Fourier takes the bourgeoisie, their inspired prophets before the Revolution, and their interested eulogists after it, at their own word. He lays bare remorselessly the material and moral misery of the bourgeois world. He confronts it with the philosophers' dazzling promises of a society in which reason alone should reign, of a civilisation in which happiness should be universal, of an illimitable human perfectibility, and with the rose-coloured phraseology of the bourgeois ideologists of his time. He points out how everywhere the most pitiful reality corresponds with the most high-sounding phrases, and he overwhelms this hopeless fiasco of phrases with his mordant sarcasm. Fourier is not only a critic; his imperturbably serene nature makes him a satirist, and assuredly one of the greatest satirists of all time. He depicts, with equal power and charm, the swindling speculations that blossomed out upon the downfall of the Revolution, and the shopkeeping spirit prevalent in, and characteristic of, French commerce at that time. Still more masterly is his criticism of the bourgeois form of the relations between the sexes, and the position of woman in bourgeois society. He was the first to declare that in any given society the degree of woman's emancipation is the natural measure of the general emancipation. [107] But Fourier is at his greatest in his conception of the history of society. He divides its whole course, thus far, into four stages of evolution -- savagery, the patriarchate barbarism, civilisation. This last is identical with the so-called bourgeois society of today. He proves

"that the civilised stage raises every vice practiced by barbarism in a simple fashion into a form of existence, complex, ambiguous, equivocal, hypocritical",

that civilisation moves in a "vicious circle", in contradictions which it constantly reproduces without being able to solve them; hence it constantly arrives at the very opposite to that which it wants to attain, or pretends to want to attain, so that, e.g.,

"under civilisation poverty is born of superabundance itself".

Fourier, as we see, uses the dialectic method in the same masterly way as his contemporary, Hegel. Using these same dialectics, he argues against the talk about illimitable human perfectibility, that every historical phase has its period of ascent and also its period of descent, and he applies this observation to the future of the whole human race. As Kant introduced into natural science the idea of the ultimate destruction of the earth, Fourier introduced into historical science that of the ultimate destruction of the human race. --

Whilst in France the hurricane of the Revolution swept over the land, in England a quieter, but not on that account less tremendous, revolution was going on. Steam and the new tool-making machinery were transforming manufacture into modern industry, and thus revolutionising the whole foundation of bourgeois society. The sluggish march of development of the manufacturing period changed into a veritable storm and stress period of production. With constantly increasing swiftness the splitting-up of society into large capitalists and non-possessing proletarians went on. Between these, instead of the former stable middle class, an unstable mass of artisans and small shopkeepers, the most fluctuating portion of the population, now led a precarious existence. The new mode of production was, as yet, only at the beginning of its period of ascent; as yet it was the normal method of production -- the only one possible under existing conditions. Nevertheless, even then it was producing crying social abuses -- the herding together of a homeless population in the worst quarters of the large towns; the loosening of all traditional moral bonds, of patriarchal subordination, of family relations, overwork, especially of women and children, to a frightful extent; complete demoralisation of the working class, suddenly flung into altogether new conditions. At this juncture there came forward as a reformer a manufacturer 29 years old -- a man of almost sublime, child-like simplicity of character, and at the same time one of the few born leaders of men. Robert Owen had adopted the teaching of the materialistic philosophers: that man's character is the product, on the one hand, of heredity; on the other, of the environment of the individual during his lifetime, and especially during his period of development. In the industrial revolution most of his class saw only chaos and confusion, and the opportunity of fishing in these troubled waters and making large fortunes quickly. He saw in it the opportunity of putting into practice his favourite theory, and so of bringing order out of chaos. He had already tried it with success, as superintendent of more than five hundred men in a Manchester factory. From 1800 to 1829, he directed the great cotton-mill at New Lanark, in Scotland, as managing partner, along the same lines, but with greater freedom of action and with a success that made him a European reputation. A population, originally consisting of the most diverse and, for the most part, very demoralised elements, a population that gradually grew to 2,500, he turned into a model colony, in which drunkenness, police, magistrates, lawsuits, poor laws, charity, were unknown. And all this simply by placing the people in conditions worthy of human beings, and especially by carefully bringing up the rising generation. He was the founder of infant schools, and introduced them first at New Lanark. At the age of two the children came to school, where they enjoyed themselves so much that they could scarcely be got home again. Whilst his competitors worked their people thirteen or fourteen hours a day, in New Lanark the working-day was only ten and a half hours. When a crisis in cotton stopped work for four months, his workers received their full wages all the time. And with all this the business more than doubled in value, and to the last yielded large profits to its proprietors.

In spite of all this, Owen was not content. The existence which he secured for his workers was, in his eyes, still far from being worthy of human beings.

"The people were slaves at my mercy."

The relatively favourable conditions in which he had placed them were still far from allowing a rational development of the character and of the intellect in all directions, much less of the free exercise of all their faculties.

"And yet the working part of this population of 2,500 persons was producing as much real wealth for society, as, less than half a century before, it would have required the working part of a population of 600,000 to create. I asked myself what became of the difference between the wealth consumed by 2,500 persons and that which would have been consumed by 600,000."

The answer was clear. It had been used to pay the proprietors of the establishment 5 per cent on the capital they had laid out, in addition to over £300,000 (6,000,000 marks) clear profit. And that which held for New Lanark held to a still greater extent for all the factories in England.

"If this new wealth had not been created by machinery, the wars in opposition to Napoleon, and to support the aristocratic principles of society, could not have been maintained. And yet this new power was the creation of the working class." [108]

To them, therefore, the fruits of this new power belonged. The newly-created gigantic productive forces hitherto used only to enrich individuals and to enslave the masses, offered to Owen the foundations for a reconstruction of society; they were destined, as the common property of all, to be worked for the common good of all.

Owen's communism was based upon this purely business foundation, the outcome, so to say, of commercial calculation. Throughout, it maintained this practical character. Thus, in 1823, Owen proposed the relief of the distress in Ireland by communist colonies, and drew up complete estimates of costs of founding them, yearly expenditure, and probable revenue. And in his definite plan for the future, the technical working out of details is managed with such practical knowledge that the Owen method of social reform once accepted, there is from the practical point of view little to be said against the actual arrangement of details.

His advance in the direction of communism was the turning-point in Owen's life. As long as he was simply a philanthropist, he was rewarded with nothing but wealth, applause, honour, and glory. He was the most popular man in Europe. Not only men of his own class, but statesmen and princes listened to him approvingly. But when he came out with his communist theories, that was quite another thing. Three great obstacles seemed to him especially to block the path to social reform: private property, religion, the present form of marriage. He knew what confronted him if he attacked these -- outlawry, excommunication from official society, the loss of his whole social position. But nothing of this prevented him from attacking them without fear of consequences, and what he had foreseen happened. Banished from official society, with a conspiracy of silence against him in the press, ruined by his unsuccessful communist experiments in America, in which he sacrificed all his fortune, he turned directly to the working class and continued working in their midst for thirty years. Every social movement, every real advance in England on behalf of the workers links itself on to the name of Robert Owen. He forced through in 1819, after five years' fighting, the first law limiting the hours of labour for women and children in factories. [109] He was president of the first congress at which all the Trade Unions of England united in a single great trade association. [110]He introduced as transition measures to the complete communistic organisation of society, on the one hand, co-operative societies for retail trade and production. These have since that time, at least, given practical proof that the merchant and the manufacturer are socially quite unnecessary. On the other hand, he introduced labour bazaars for the exchange of the products of labour through the medium of labour-notes, whose unit was a single hour of work [111]; institutions necessarily doomed to failure, but completely anticipating Proudhon's bank of exchange [112] of a much later period, and differing entirely from this in that they did not claim to be the panacea for all social ills, but only a first step towards a much more radical revolution of society.

These are the men on whom the sovereign Herr Dühring looks down, from the height of his "final and ultimate truth" {D. Ph. 2}, with a contempt of which we have given a few examples in the Introduction. And in one respect this contempt is not devoid of adequate reason: for its basis is, in essence, a really frightful ignorance of the works of the three utopians. Thus Herr Dühring says of Saint-Simon that

"his basic idea was, in essentials, correct, and apart from some one-sided aspects, even today provides the directing impulse towards real creation" {D. K. G. 246}.

But although Herr Dühring does actually seem to have had some of Saint-Simon's works in his hands, our search through the twenty-seven relevant printed pages for Saint-Simon's "basic idea" is just as fruitless as our earlier search for what Quesnay's Tableau "meant in Quesnay himself" {105}, and in the end we have to allow ourselves to be put off with the phrase

"that imagination and philanthropic fervour ... along with the extravagant fantasy that goes with it, dominated the whole of Saint-Simon's thought complex" {252}!

As regards Fourier, all that Herr Dühring knows or takes into account is his fantasies of the future, painted in romantic detail. This of course "is far more important" for establishing Herr Dühring's infinite superiority over Fourier than an examination of how the latter "attempts occasionally to criticise actual conditions" {282}. Occasionally! In fact, almost every page of his works scintillates with sparkling satire and criticism aimed at the wretchedness of our vaunted civilisation. It is like saying that Herr Dühring only "occasionally" declares Herr Dühring to be the greatest thinker of all time. And as for the twelve pages devoted to Robert Owen, Herr Dühring has absolutely no other source for them than the miserable biography of the philistine Sargant, who also did not know Owen's most important works -- on marriage and the communist system. Herr Dühring can therefore go the length of boldly asserting that we should not "assume any clear-cut communism" {301} in Owen. Had Herr Dühring ever even fingered Owen's Book of the New Moral World, he would most assuredly have found clearly expressed in it not only the most clear-cut communism possible, with equal obligation to labour and equal rights in the product -- equal according to age, as Owen always adds -- but also the most comprehensive building project of the future communist community, with its groundplan, front and side and bird's-eye views. But if one limits one's "first-hand study of the writings of the representatives of socialist idea-complexes" {XIII} to a knowledge of the title and at most the motto {294} of a small number of these works, like Herr Dühring, the only thing left to do is make such a stupid and purely fantastic assertion. Owen did not only preach "clear-cut communism" {301}; for five years (at the end of the thirties and beginning of the forties) he put it into practice in the Harmony Hall Colony [113] in Hampshire, the clear-cut quality of whose communism left nothing to be desired. I myself was acquainted with several former members of this communist model experiment. But Sargant knew absolutely nothing of all this, or of any of Owen's activities between 1836 and 1850, and consequently Herr Dühring's "more profound historical work" {XIII} is also left in pitch-black ignorance. Herr Dühring calls Owen "in every respect a veritable monster of importunate philanthropy" {261}. But when this same Herr Dühring starts to give us information about the contents of books whose title and motto he hardly knows, we must not on any account say that he is "in every respect a veritable monster of importunate ignorance", for on our lips this would certainly be "abuse".

The utopians, we saw, were utopians because they could be nothing else at a time when capitalist production was as yet so little developed. They necessarily had to construct the elements of a new society out of their own heads, because within the old society the elements of the new were not as yet generally apparent; for the basic plan of the new edifice they could only appeal to reason, just because they could not as yet appeal to contemporary history. But when now, almost eighty years after their time, Herr Dühring steps on to the stage and puts forward his claim to an "authoritative" {1} system of a new social order -- not evolved out of the historically developed material at his disposal, as its necessary result -- oh, no! -- but constructed in his sovereign head, in his mind, pregnant with ultimate truths -- then he, who scents epigones everywhere, is himself nothing but the epigone of the utopians, the latest utopian. He calls the great utopians "social alchemists" {237}. That may be so. Alchemy was necessary in its epoch. But since that time modern industry has developed the contradictions lying dormant in the capitalist mode of production into such crying antagonisms that the approaching collapse of this mode of production is, so to speak, palpable; that the new productive forces themselves can only be maintained and further developed by the introduction of a new mode of production corresponding to their present stage of development; that the struggle between the two classes engendered by the hitherto existing mode of production and constantly reproduced in ever sharper antagonism has affected all civilised countries and is daily becoming more violent; and that these historical interconnections the conditions of the social transformation which they make necessary, and the basic features of this transformation likewise determined by them, have also already been apprehended. And if Herr Dühring now manufactures a new utopian social order out of his sovereign brain instead of from the economic material available, he is not practicing mere "social alchemy". He is acting rather like a person who, after the discovery and establishment of the laws of modern chemistry, attempts to restore the old alchemy and to use atomic weights, molecular formulas, the quantivalence of atoms, crystallography and spectral analysis for the sole purpose of discovering -- the philosopher's stone.



The materialist conception of history starts from the proposition that the production and, next to production, the exchange of things produced, is the basis of all social structure; that in every society that has appeared in history, the manner in which wealth is distributed and society divided into classes or estates is dependent upon what is produced, how it is produced, and how the products are exchanged. From this point of view the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in man's better insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in the philosophy, but in the economics of each particular epoch. The growing perception that existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, that reason has become unreason, and right wrong, is only proof that in the modes of production and exchange changes have silently taken place with which the social order, adapted to earlier economic conditions, is no longer in keeping. From this it also follows that the means of getting rid of the incongruities that have been brought to light must also be present, in a more or less developed condition, within the changed modes of production themselves. These means are not to be invented, spun out of the head, but discovered with the aid of the head in the existing material facts of production.

What is, then, the position of modern socialism in this connection?

The present structure of society -- this is now pretty generally conceded -- is the creation of the ruling class of today, of the bourgeoisie. The mode of production peculiar to the bourgeoisie, known, since Marx, as the capitalist mode of production, was incompatible with the local privileges and the privileges of estate as well as with the reciprocal personal ties of the feudal system. The bourgeoisie broke up the feudal system and built upon its ruins the capitalist order of society, the kingdom of free. competition, of personal liberty, of the equality, before the law, of all commodity owners, of all the rest of the capitalist blessings. Thenceforward the capitalist mode of production could develop in freedom. Since steam, machinery, and the making of machines by machinery transformed the older manufacture into modern industry, the productive forces evolved under the guidance of the bourgeoisie developed with a rapidity and in a degree unheard of before. But just as the older manufacture, in its time, and handicraft, becoming more developed under its influence, had come into- collision with the feudal trammels of the guilds, so now modern industry, in its more complete development, comes into collision with the bounds within which the capitalistic mode of production holds it confined. The new productive forces have already outgrown the capitalistic mode of using them. And this conflict between productive forces and modes of production is not a conflict engendered in the mind of man, like that between original sin and divine justice. It exists, in fact, objectively, outside us, independently of the will and actions even of the men that have brought it on. Modern socialism is nothing but the reflex, in thought, of this conflict in fact; its ideal reflection in the minds, first, of the class directly suffering under it, the working class.

Now, in what does this conflict consist?

Before capitalistic production, i.e., in the Middle Ages, the system of petty industry obtained generally, based upon the private property of the labourers in their means of production; {in the country,} the agriculture of the small peasant, freeman or serf; in the towns, the handicrafts. The instruments of labour -- land, agricultural implements, the workshop, the tool -- were the instruments of labour of single individuals, adapted for the use of one worker, and, therefore, of necessity, small, dwarfish, circumscribed. But, for this very reason they belonged, as a rule, to the producer himself. To concentrate these scattered, limited means of production, to enlarge them, to turn them into the powerful levers of production of the present day -- this was precisely the historic role of capitalist production and of its upholder, the bourgeoisie. In Part IV of Capital, Marx has explained in detail, how since the fifteenth century this has been historically worked out through the three phases of simple co-operation, manufacture and modern industry. But the bourgeoisie, as is also shown there, could not transform these puny means of production into mighty productive forces without transforming them, at the same time, from means of production of the individual into social means of production only workable by a collectivity of men. The spinning-wheel, the hand-loom, the blacksmith's hammer, were replaced by the spinning-machine, the power-loom, the steam-hammer; the individual workshop by the factory implying the co-operation of hundreds and thousands of workmen. In like manner, production itself changed from a series of individual into a series of social acts, and the products from individual to social products. The yarn, the cloth, the metal articles that now came out of the factory were the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had successively to pass before they were ready. No one person could say of them: "I made that; this is my product."

But where, in a given society, the fundamental form of production is that spontaneous division of labour, there the products take on the form of commodities whose mutual exchange, buying and selling, enable the individual producers to satisfy their manifold wants. And this was the case in the Middle Ages. The peasant, e.g., sold to the artisan agricultural products and bought from him the products of handicraft. Into this society of individual producers, of commodity producers, the new mode of production thrust itself. In the midst of the old division of labour, grown up spontaneously and upon no definite plan, which had governed the whole of society, now arose division of labour upon a definite plan, as organised in the factory; side by side with individual production appeared social production. The products of both were sold in the same market, and, therefore, at prices at least approximately equal. But organisation upon a definite plan was stronger than spontaneous division of labour. The factories working with the combined social forces of a collectivity of individuals produced their commodities far more cheaply than the individual small producers. Individual production succumbed in one department after another. Socialised production revolutionised all the old methods of production. But its revolutionary character was, at the same time, so little recognised that it was, on the contrary, introduced as a means of increasing and developing the production of commodities. When it arose, it found readymade, and made liberal use of, certain machinery for the production and exchange of commodities: merchants' capital, handicraft, wage-labour. Socialised production thus introducing itself as a new form of the production of commodities, it was a matter of course that under it the old forms of appropriation remained in full swing, and were applied to its products as well.

In the mediaeval stage of evolution of the production of commodities, the question as to the owner of the product of labour could not arise. The individual producer, as a rule, had, from raw material belonging to himself, and generally his own handiwork, produced it with his own tools, by the labour of his own hands or of his family. There was no need for him to appropriate the new product. It belonged wholly to him, as a matter of course. His property in the product was, therefore, based upon his own labour. Even where external help was used, this was, as a rule, of little importance, and very generally was compensated by something other than wages. The apprentices and journeymen of the guilds worked less for board and wages than for education, in order that they might become master craftsmen themselves. Then came the concentration of the means of production in large workshops and manufactories, their transformation into actual socialised means of production. But the socialised means of production and their products were still treated, after this change, just as they had been before, i.e., as the means of production and the products of individuals. Hitherto, the owner of the instruments of labour had himself appropriated the product, because, as a rule, it was his own product and the assistance of others was the exception. Now the owner of the instruments of labour always appropriated to himself the product, although it was no longer his product but exclusively the product of the labour of others. Thus, the products now produced socially were not appropriated by those who had actually set in motion the means of production and actually produced the commodities, but by the capitalists. The means of production, and production itself had become in essence socialised. But they were subjected to a form of appropriation which presupposes the private production of individuals, under which, therefore, everyone owns his own product and brings it to market. The mode of production is subjected to this form of appropriation, although it abolishes the conditions upon which the latter rests. *8 This contradiction, which gives to the new mode of production its capitalistic character, contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today. The greater the mastery obtained by the new mode of production over all decisive fields of production and in all economically decisive countries, the more it reduced individual production to an insignificant residium, the more clearly was brought out the incompatibility of socialised production with capitalistic appropriation.

The first capitalists found, as we have said, wage-labour ready-made for them. But it was exceptional, complementary, accessory, transitory wage-labour. The agricultural labourer, though, upon occasion, he hired himself out by the day, had a few acres of his own land on which he could at all events live at a pinch. The guilds were so organised that the journeyman of today became the master of tomorrow. But all this changed, as soon as the means of production became socialised and concentrated in the hands of capitalists. The means of production, as well as the product, of the individual producer became more and more worthless; there was nothing left for him but to turn wage-worker under the capitalist. Wage-labour, aforetime the exception and accessory, now became the rule and basis of all production; aforetime complementary, it now became the sole remaining function of the worker. The wage-worker for a time became a wage-worker for life. The number of these permanent wageworkers was further enormously increased by the breaking-up of the feudal system that occurred at the same time, by the disbanding of the retainers of the feudal lords, the eviction of the peasants from their homesteads, etc. The separation was made complete between the means of production concentrated in the hands of the capitalists, on the one side, and the producers, possessing nothing but their labour-power, on the other. The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation manifested itself as the antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie.

We have seen that the capitalistic mode of production thrust its way into a society of commodity producers, of individual producers, whose social bond was the exchange of their products. But every society based upon the production of commodities has this peculiarity: that the producers have lost control over their own social interrelations. Each man produces for himself with such means of production as he may happen to have, and for such exchange as he may require to satisfy his remaining wants. No one knows how much of his particular article is coming on the market, nor how much of it will be wanted. No one knows whether his individual product will meet an actual demand, whether he will be able to make good his costs of production or even to sell his commodity at all. Anarchy reigns in socialised production. But the production of commodities, like every other form of production, has its peculiar, inherent laws inseparable from it; and these laws work, despite anarchy, in and through anarchy. They reveal themselves in the only persistent form of social interrelations, i.e., in exchange, and here they affect the individual producers as compulsory laws of competition. They are, at first, unknown to these producers themselves, and have to be discovered by them gradually and as the result of experience. They work themselves out, therefore, independently of the producers, and in antagonism to them, as inexorable natural laws of their particular form of production. The product governs the producers.

In mediaeval society, especially in the earlier centuries, production was essentially directed towards satisfying the wants of the individual. It satisfied, in the main, only the wants of the producer and his family. Where relations of personal dependence existed, as in the country, it also helped to satisfy the wants of the feudal lord. In all this there was, therefore, no exchange; the products, consequently, did not assume the character of commodities. The family of the peasant produced almost everything they wanted: clothes and furniture, as well as means of subsistence. Only when it began to produce more than was sufficient to supply its own wants and the payments in kind to the feudal lord, only then did it also produce commodities. This surplus, thrown into socialised exchange and offered for sale, became commodities. The artisans of the towns, it is true, had from the first to produce for exchange. But they, also, themselves supplied the greatest part of their own individual wants. They had gardens and plots of land. They turned their cattle out into the communal forest, which also, yielded them timber and firing. The women spun flax, wool, and so forth. Production for the purpose of exchange, production of commodities, was only in its infancy. Hence, exchange was restricted, the market narrow, the methods of production stable; there was local exclusiveness without, local unity within, the mark [114] in the country; in the town, the guild.

But with the extension of the production of commodities, and especially with the introduction of the capitalist mode of production, the laws of commodity production, hitherto latent, came into action more openly and with greater force. The old bonds were loosened, the old exclusive limits broken through, the producers were more and more turned into independent, isolated producers of commodities. The anarchy of social production became apparent and grew to greater and greater height. But the chief means by aid of which the capitalist mode of production intensified this anarchy of socialised production was the exact opposite of anarchy. It was the increasing organisation of production, upon a social basis, in every individual productive establishment. By this, the old, peaceful, stable condition of things was ended. Wherever this organisation of production was introduced into a branch of industry, it brooked no other method of production by its side. Where it laid hold of a handicraft, that old handicraft was wiped out. The field of labour became a battle-ground. The great geographical discoveries, and the colonisation following upon them, multiplied markets and quickened the transformation of handicraft into manufacture. The war did not simply break out between the individual producers of particular localities. The local struggles begot in their turn national conflicts, the commercial wars of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. [115] Finally, modern industry and the opening of the world market made the struggle universal, and at the same time gave it an unheard-of virulence. Advantages in natural or artificial conditions of production now decide the existence or non-existence of individual capitalists, as well as of whole industries and countries. He that falls is remorselessly cast aside. It is the Darwinian struggle of the individual for existence transferred from nature to society with intensified violence. The conditions of existence natural to the animal appear as the final term of human development. The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation now presents itself as an antagonism between the organisation of production in the individual workshop, and the anarchy of production in society generally.

The capitalistic mode of production moves in these two forms of the antagonism immanent to it from its very origin. It is never able to get out of that "vicious circle" which Fourier had already discovered. What Fourier could not, indeed, see in his time is that this circle is gradually narrowing; that the movement becomes more and more a spiral, and must come to an end, like the movement of the planets, by collision with the centre. It is the compelling force of anarchy in the production of society at large that more and more completely turns the great majority of men into proletarians; and it is the masses of the proletariat again who will finally put an end to anarchy in production. It is the compelling force of anarchy in social production that turns the limitless perfectibility of machinery under modern industry into a compulsory law by which every individual industrial capitalist must perfect his machinery more and more, under penalty of ruin. But the perfecting of machinery is making human labour superfluous. If the introduction and increase of machinery means the displacement of millions of manual by a few machine-workers, improvement in machinery means the displacement of more and more of the machine-workers themselves. It means, in the last instance, the production of a number of available wage-workers in excess of the average needs of capital, the formation of a complete industrial reserve army, as I called it in 1845, *9 available at the times when industry is working at high pressure, to be cast out upon the street when the inevitable crash comes, a constant dead-weight upon the limbs of the working class in its struggle for existence with capital, a regulator for the keeping of wages down to the low level that suits the interests of capital. Thus it comes about, to quote Marx, that machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working class; that the instruments of labour constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the labourer; that the very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation. Thus it comes about that the economising of the instruments of labour becomes at the same time, from the outset, the most reckless waste of labour-power, and robbery based upon the normal conditions under which labour functions; that machinery, the most powerful instrument for shortening labour-time, becomes the most unfailing means for placing every moment of the labourer's time and that of his family at the disposal of the capitalist for the purpose of expanding the value of his capital. Thus it comes about that the overwork of some becomes the preliminary condition for the idleness of others, and that modern industry, which hunts after new consumers over the whole world, forces the consumption of the masses at home down to a starvation minimum, and in doing this destroys its own home market. "The law that always equilibrates the relative surplus-population, or industrial reserve army, to the extent and energy of accumulation, this law rivets the labourer to capital more firmly than the wedges of Vulcan did Prometheus to the rock. It establishes an accumulation of misery corresponding with accumulation of capital. Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole, i.e., on the side of the class that produces its own product in the form of capital" (Marx's Capital, p. 671.) And to expect any other division of the products from the capitalistic mode of production is the same as expecting the electrodes of a battery not to decompose acidulated water, not to liberate oxygen at the positive, hydrogen at the negative pole, so long as they are connected with the battery.

We have seen that the ever increasing perfectibility of modern machinery is, by the anarchy of social production, turned into a compulsory law that forces the individual industrial capitalist always to improve his machinery, always to increase its productive force. The bare possibility of extending the field of production is transformed for him into a similar compulsory law. The enormous expansive force of modern industry, compared with which that of gases is mere child's play, appears to us now as a necessity for expansion, both qualitative and quantitative, that laughs at all resistance. Such resistance is offered by consumption, by sales, by the markets for the products of modern industry. But the capacity for extension, extensive and intensive, of the markets is primarily governed by quite different laws that work much less energetically. The extension of the markets cannot keep pace with the extension of production. The collision becomes inevitable, and as this cannot produce any real solution so long as it does not break in pieces the capitalist mode of production, the collisions become periodic. Capitalist production has begotten another "vicious circle".

As a matter of fact, since 1825, when the first general crisis broke out, the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange among all civilised peoples and their more or less barbaric hangers-on, are thrown out of joint about once every ten years. Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filters off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit, and speculation, which finally, after break-neck leaps, ends where it began -- in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877) we are going through it for the sixth time. And the character of these crises is so clearly defined that Fourier hit all of them off when he described the first as crise plethorique, a crisis from plethora.

In these crises, the contradiction between socialised production and capitalist appropriation ends in a violent explosion. The circulation of commodities is, for the time being, stopped. Money, the means of circulation, becomes a hindrance to circulation. All the laws of production and circulation of commodities are turned upside down. The economic collision has reached its apogee. The mode of production is in rebellion against the mode of exchange, the productive forces are in rebellion against the mode of production which they have outgrown.

The fact that the socialised organisation of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalists themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises, through the ruin of many large, and a still greater number of small, capitalists. The whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production breaks down under the pressure of the productive forces, its own creations. It is no longer able to turn all this mass of means of production into capital. They lie fallow, and for that very reason the industrial reserve army must also lie fallow. Means of production, means of subsistence, available labourers, all the elements of production and of general wealth, are present in abundance. But "abundance becomes the source of distress and want" (Fourier), because it is the very thing that prevents the transformation of the means of production and subsistence into capital. For in capitalistic society the means of production can only function when they have undergone a preliminary transformation into capital, into the means of exploiting human labour-power. The necessity of this transformation into capital of the means of production and subsistence stands like a ghost between these and the workers. It alone prevents the coming together of the material and personal levers of production; it alone forbids the means of production to function, the workers to work and live. On the one hand, therefore, the capitalistic mode of production stands convicted of its own incapacity to further direct these productive forces. On the other, these productive forces themselves, with increasing energy, press forward to the removal of the existing contradiction, to the abolition of their quality as capital, to the practical recognition of their character as social productive forces.

This rebellion of the productive forces, as they grow more and more powerful, against their quality as capital, this stronger and stronger command that their social character shall be recognised, forces the capitalist class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions. The period of industrial high pressure, with its unbounded inflation of credit, not less than the crash itself, by the collapse of great capitalist establishments, tends to bring about that form of the socialisation of great masses of means of production which we meet with in the different kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production and of communication are, from the outset, so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalistic exploitation. At a further stage of evolution this form also becomes insufficient: the official representative of capitalist society -- the state -- will ultimately have to *10 undertake the direction of production. This necessity for conversion into state property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication -- the post office, the telegraphs, the railways.

If the crises demonstrate the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing any longer modern productive forces, the transformation of the great establishments for production and distribution into joint-stock companies and state property shows how unnecessary the bourgeoisie are for that purpose. All the social functions of the capitalist are now performed by salaried employees. The capitalist has no further social function than that of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists despoil one another of their capital. At first the capitalist mode of production forces out the workers. Now it forces out the capitalists, and reduces them, just as it reduced the workers, to the ranks of the surplus population, although not immediately into those of the industrial reserve army.

But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers -- proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.

This solution can only consist in the practical recognition of the social nature of the modern forces of production, and therefore in the harmonising of the modes of production, appropriation, and exchange with the socialised character of the means of production And this can only come about by society openly and directly taking possession of the productive forces which have outgrown all control except that of society as a whole. The social character of the means of production and of the products today reacts against the producers, periodically disrupts all production and exchange, acts only like a law of nature working blindly, forcibly, destructively. But with the taking over by society of the productive forces, the social character of the means of production and of the products will be utilised by the producers with a perfect understanding of its nature, and instead of being a source of disturbance and periodical collapse, will become the most powerful lever of production itself.

Active social forces work exactly like natural forces: blindly, forcibly, destructively, so long as we do not understand, and reckon with, them. But when once we understand them, when once we grasp their action, their direction, their effects, it depends only upon ourselves to subject them more and more to our own will, and by means of them to reach our own ends. And this holds quite especially of the mighty productive forces of today. As long as we obstinately refuse to understand the nature and the character of these social means of action -- and this understanding goes against the grain of the capitalist mode of production and its defenders -- so long these forces are at work in spite of us, in opposition to us, so long they master us, as we have shown above in detail. But when once their nature is understood, they can, in the hands of the producers working together, be transformed from master demons into willing servants. The difference is as that between the destructive force of electricity in the lightning of the storm, and electricity under command in the telegraph and the voltaic arc; the difference between a conflagration, and fire working in the service of man. With this recognition, at last, of the real nature of the productive forces of today, the social anarchy of production gives place to a social regulation of production upon a definite plan, according to the needs of the community and of each individual. Then the capitalist mode of appropriation, in which the product enslaves first the producer and then the appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the products that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production: upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production -- on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment.

Whilst the capitalist mode of production more and more completely transforms the great majority of the population into proletarians, it creates the power which, under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this revolution. Whilst it forces on more and more the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialised, into state property, it shows itself the way to accomplishing this revolution. The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production in the first instance into state property. But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, abolishes also the state as state. Society thus far, based upon class antagonisms, had need of the state, that is, of an organisation of the particular class, which was pro tempore the exploiting class, for the maintenance of its external conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited classes in the condition of oppression corresponding with the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom, wage-labour). The state was the official representative of society as a whole; the gathering of it together into a visible embodiment. But it was this only in so far as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for the time being, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave-owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, the feudal lords; in our own time, the bourgeoisie. When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a state, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the state really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society -- the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society -- this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a state. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not "abolished". It dies out. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase "a free people's state", both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency [117]; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the state out of hand.

Since the historical appearance of the capitalist mode of production, the appropriation by society of all the means of production has often been dreamed of, more or less vaguely, by individuals, as well as by sects, as the ideal of the future. But it could become possible, could become a historical necessity, only when the actual conditions for its realisation were there. Like every other social advance, it becomes practicable, not by men understanding that the existence of classes is in contradiction to justice, equality, etc., not by the mere willingness to abolish these classes, but by virtue of certain new economic conditions. The separation of society into an exploiting and an exploited class, a ruling and an oppressed class, was the necessary consequence of the deficient and restricted development of production in former times. So long as the total social labour only yields a produce which but slightly exceeds that barely necessary for the existence of all; so long, therefore, as labour engages all or almost all the time of the great majority of the members of society -- so long, of necessity, this society is divided into classes. Side by side with the great majority, exclusively bond slaves to labour, arises a class freed from directly productive labour, which looks after the general affairs of society: the direction of labour, state business, law, science, art, etc. It is, therefore, the law of division of labour that lies at the basis of the division into classes. But this does not prevent this division into classes from being carried out by means of violence and robbery, trickery and fraud. It does not prevent the ruling class, once having the upper hand, from consolidating its power at the expense of the working class, from turning its social leadership into an exploitation of the masses.

But if, upon this showing, division into classes has a certain historical justification, it has this only for a given period, only under given social conditions. It was based upon the insufficiency of production. It will be swept away by the complete development of modern productive forces. And, in fact, the abolition of classes in society presupposes a degree of historical evolution at which the existence, not simply of this or that particular ruling class, but of any ruling class at all, and, therefore, the existence of class distinction itself has become an obsolete anachronism. It presupposes, therefore, the development of production carried out to a degree at which appropriation of the means of production and of the products, and, with this, of political domination, of the monopoly of culture, and of intellectual leadership by a particular class of society, has become not only superfluous but economically, politically, intellectually a hindrance to development. This point is now reached. Their political and intellectual bankruptcy is scarcely any longer a secret to the bourgeoisie themselves. Their economic bankruptcy recurs regularly every ten years. In every crisis, society is suffocated beneath the weight of its own productive forces and products, which it cannot use, and stands helpless face to face with the absurd contradiction that the producers have nothing to consume, because consumers are wanting. The expansive force of the means of production bursts the bonds that the capitalist mode of production had imposed upon them. Their deliverance from these bonds is the one precondition for an unbroken, constantly accelerated development of the productive forces, and therewith for a practically unlimited increase of production itself. Nor is this all. The socialised appropriation of the means of production does away, not only with the present artificial restrictions upon production, but also with the positive waste and devastation of productive forces and products that are at the present time the inevitable concomitants of production, and that reach their height in the crises. Further, it sets free for the community at large a mass of means of production and of products, by doing away with the senseless extravagance of the ruling classes of today and their political representatives. The possibility of securing for every member of society, by means of socialised production, an existence not only fully sufficient materially, and becoming day by day more full, but an existence guaranteeing to all the free development and exercise of their physical and mental faculties -- this possibility is now for the first time here, but it is here. *11

With the seizing of the means of production by society production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organisation. The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then for the first time man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and control of man who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of nature because he has now become master of his own social organisation. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing face to face with man as laws of nature foreign to, and dominating him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man's own social organisation, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history -- only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the humanity's leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.

To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism.



After all that has been said above, the reader will not be surprised to learn that the exposition of the principal features of socialism given in the preceding part is not at all in accordance with Herr Dühring's view. On the contrary. He must hurl it into the abyss where lie all the other rejected "bastards of historical and logical fantasy", "barren conceptions", "confused and hazy notions" {D. K. G. 498}, etc. To Herr Dühring, socialism in fact is not at all a necessary product of historical development and still less of the grossly material economic conditions of today, directed toward the filling of the stomach exclusively {231}. He's got it all worked out much better. His socialism is a final and ultimate truth;

it is "the natural system of society" {D. Ph. 282}, whose roots are to be found in a "universal principle of justice" {D. C. 282},

and if he cannot avoid taking notice of the existing situation, created by the sinful history of the past, in order to remedy it, this must be regarded rather as a misfortune for the pure principle of justice. Herr Dühring creates his socialism, like everything else, through the medium of his famous two men. Instead of these two puppets playing the part of master and servant, as they did in the past, they perform this once, for a change, the piece on the equality of rights -- and the foundations of the Dühringian socialism have been laid.

It therefore goes without saying that to Herr Dühring the periodical crises in industry have not at all the historical significance which we were compelled to attribute to them.

In his view, crises are only occasional deviations from "normality" {218} and at most only serve to promote "the development of a more regulated order" {219}. The "common method" {227} of explaining crises by over-production is in no wise adequate for his "more exact conception of things" {343}. Of course such an explanation "may be permissible for specific crises in particular areas". As, for example, "a swamping of the book market with works suddenly released for republication and suitable for mass sale" {227}.

Herr Dühring can at any rate go to sleep with the gratifying feeling that his immortal works will never bring on any such world disaster.

He claims, however, that in great crises, it is not over-production, but rather "the lagging behind of popular consumption... artificially produced under-consumption... interference with the natural growth of the needs of the people" (!) "which ultimately make the gulf between supply and demand so critically wide" {D. C. 227, 228}.

And he has even had the good fortune to find a disciple for this crisis theory of his.

But unfortunately the under-consumption of the masses, the restriction of the consumption of the masses to what is necessary for their maintenance and reproduction, is not a new phenomenon. It has existed as long as there have been exploiting and exploited classes. Even in those periods of history when the situation of the masses was particularly favourable, as for example in England in the fifteenth century, they under-consumed. They were very far from having their own annual total product at their disposal to be consumed by them. Therefore, while under-consumption has been a constant feature in history for thousands of years, the general shrinkage of the market which breaks out in crises as the result of a surplus of production is a phenomenon only of the last fifty years; and so Herr Dühring's whole superficial vulgar economics is necessary in order to explain the new collision not by the new phenomenon of over-production but by the thousand-year-old phenomenon of under-consumption. It is like a mathematician attempting to explain the variation in the ratio between two quantities, one constant and one variable, not by the variation of the variable but by the fact that the constant quantity remains unchanged. The under-consumption of the masses is a necessary condition of all forms of society based on exploitation, consequently also of the capitalist form; but it is the capitalist form of production which first gives rise to crises. The under-consumption of the masses is therefore also a prerequisite condition of crises, and plays in them a role which has long been recognised. But it tells us just as little why crises exist today as why they did not exist before.

Herr Dühring's notions of the world market are altogether curious. We have seen how, like a typical German man of letters, he seeks to explain real industrial specific crises by means of imaginary crises on the Leipzig book market -- the storm on the ocean by the storm in a teacup. He also imagines that present-day capitalist production must

"depend for its market mainly on the circles of the possessing classes themselves" {221},

which does not prevent him, only sixteen pages later, from presenting, in the generally accepted way, the iron and cotton industries as the modern industries of decisive importance {236} -- that is, precisely the two branches of production whose output is consumed only to an infinitesimally small degree within the circle of the possessing classes and is dependent more than any other on mass use. Wherever we turn in Herr Dühring's works there is nothing but empty and contradictory chatter. But let us take an example from the cotton industry. In the relatively small town of Oldham alone -- it is one of a dozen towns round Manchester with fifty to a hundred thousand inhabitants engaged in the cotton industry -- in this town alone, in the four years 1872 to 1875, the number of spindles spinning only Number 32 yarn increased from two and a half to five million; so that in one medium-sized English town there are as many spindles spinning one single count as the cotton industry of all Germany, including Alsace, possesses. And the expansion in the other branches and areas of the cotton industry in England and Scotland has taken place in approximately the same proportion. In view of these facts, it requires a strong dose of deep-rooted {555-56} effrontery to explain the present complete stagnation in the yarn and cloth markets by the under-consumption of the English masses and not by the over-production carried on by the English cotton-mill owners. *12

But enough. One does not argue with people who are so ignorant of economics as to consider the Leipzig book market in the modern industrial sense. Let us therefore merely note that Herr Dühring has only one more piece of information for us on the subject of crises, that in crises we have nothing

"but the ordinary interplay of overstrain and relaxation" {228}; that over-speculation "is not only due to the planless multiplication of private enterprises", but that "the rashness of individual entrepreneurs and the lack of private circumspection must also be reckoned among the causes which give rise to oversupply" {229}.

And what, again, is the "cause which gives rise" to the rashness and lack of private circumspection? Just precisely this very planlessness of capitalist production, which manifests itself in the planless multiplication of private enterprises. And to mistake the translation of an economic fact into moral reprobation as the discovery of a new cause is also a piece of extreme "rashness".

With this we can leave the question of crises. In the preceding section we showed that they were necessarily engendered by the capitalist mode of production, and explained their significance as crises of this mode of production itself, as means of compelling the social revolution, and it is not necessary to say another word in reply to Herr Dühring's superficialities on this subject. Let us pass on to his positive creations, the "natural system of society" {D. Ph. 282}.

This system, built on a "universal principle of justice" {D. C. 320} and therefore free from all consideration of troublesome material facts, consists of a federation of economic communes among which there is

"freedom of movement and obligatory acceptance of new members on the basis of fixed laws and administrative regulations" {323}.

The economic commune itself is above all

"a comprehensive schematism of great import in human history"{341} which is far superior to the "erroneous half-measures", for example, of a certain Marx {342}. It implies "a community of persons linked together by their public right to dispose of a definite area of land and a group of productive establishments for use in common, jointly participating in the proceeds" {322}. This public right is a "right to the object... in the sense of a purely publicistic relation to nature and to the productive institutions" {342}.

We leave it to the future jurists of the economic commune to cudgel their brains as to what this means; we give it up. The only thing we gather is that

it is not at all the same as the "corporative ownership of workers' associations" {342} which would not exclude mutual competition and even the exploitation of wage-labour.

In this connection he drops the remark that

the conception of a "collective ownership", such as is found also in Marx, is "to say the least unclear and open to question, as this conception of the future always gives the impression that it means nothing more than corporative ownership by groups of workers" {295}.

This is one more instance of Herr Dühring's usual "vile habits" of passing off a thing for what it is not, "for whose vulgar nature" -- to use his own words -- "only the vulgar word snotty would be quite appropriate" {D. K. G. 506}; it is just as baseless a lie as Herr Dühring's other invention that by collective ownership Marx means an "ownership which is at once both individual and social" {503, 505}.

In any case this much seems clear: the publicistic right of an economic commune in its means of labour, is an exclusive right of property at least as against every other economic commune and also as against society and the state.

But this right is not to entitle the commune "to cut itself off... from the outside world, for among the various economic communes there is freedom of movement and obligatory acceptance of new members on the basis of fixed laws and administrative regulations... like... belonging to a political organisation at the present time, or participation in the economic affairs of the commune" {D. C. 322-23}.

There will therefore be rich and poor economic communes, and the levelling out takes place through the population crowding into the rich communes and leaving the poor ones. So that although Herr Dühring wants to eliminate competition in products between the individual communes by means of national organisation of trade, he calmly allows competition among the producers to continue. Things are removed from the sphere of competition, but men remain subject to it.

But we are still very far from clear on the question of "publicistic right" {322}. Two pages further on Herr Dühring explains to us:

The trade commune "will at first cover the politico-social area whose inhabitants form a single legal entity and in this character have at their disposal the whole of the land, the dwellings and productive institutions" {325}.

So after all it is not the individual commune at whose disposal these things are, but the whole nation. The "public right" {322}, "right to the object", "publicistic relation to nature" {342} and so forth is therefore not merely "at least unclear and open to question" {295}: it is in direct contradiction with itself. It is in fact, at any rate in so far as each individual economic commune is likewise a legal entity, "an ownership which is at once both individual and social" {D. K. G. 503}, and this latter "nebulous hybrid" {504} is once again, therefore, only to be met with in Herr Dühring's own works.

In any case the economic commune has at its disposal instruments of labour for the purpose of production. How is this production carried on? Judging by all Herr Dühring has told us, precisely as in the past, except that the commune takes the place of the capitalists. The most we are told is that everyone will then be free to choose his occupation, and that there will be equal obligation to work.

The basic form of all production hitherto has been the division of labour, on the one hand, within society as a whole, and on the other, within each separate productive establishment. How does the Dühring "sociality" {see D. C. 263, 277, 291} stand on this question?

The first great division of labour in society is the separation of town and country.

This antagonism, according to Herr Dühring, is "in the nature of things inevitable" {232}. But "it is in general doubtful to regard the gulf between agriculture and industry... as unbridgeable. In fact, there already exists, to a certain extent, constancy of interconnection with promises to increase considerably in the future" {250}. Already, we learn, two industries have penetrated agriculture and rural production: "in the first place, distilling, and in the second, beet-sugar manufacturing... the production of spirits is already of such importance that it is more likely to be under-estimated than over-estimated" {250-51}. And "if it were possible, as a result of some inventions, for a larger number of industries to develop in such a way that they should be compelled to localise their production in the country and carry it on in direct association with the production of raw materials" {251} -- then this would weaken the antithesis between town and country and "provide the widest possible basis for the development of civilisation". Moreover, "a somewhat similar result might also be attained in another way. Apart from technical requirements, social needs are coming more and more to the forefront, and if the latter become the dominant consideration in the grouping of human activities it will no longer be possible to overlook those advantages which ensue from a close and systematic connection between the occupations of the countryside and the technical operations of working up raw materials" {252}.

Now in the economic commune it is precisely social needs which are coming to the forefront; and so will it really hasten to take advantage, to the fullest possible extent, of the above-mentioned union of agriculture and industry? Will Herr Dühring not fail to tell us, at his accustomed length, his "more exact conceptions" {343} on the attitude of the economic commune to this question? The reader who expected him not to would be cruelly disillusioned. The above-mentioned meagre, stale commonplaces, once again not passing beyond the schnaps-distilling and beet-sugarmaking sphere of the jurisdiction of Prussian law, are all that Herr Dühring has to say on the antithesis between town and country in the present and in the future.

Let us pass on to the division of labour in detail. Here Herr Dühring is a little "more exact". He speaks of

"a person who has to devote himself exclusively to one form of occupation" {D. C. 257}. If the point at issue is the introduction of a new branch of production, the problem simply hinges on whether a certain number of entities, who are to devote themselves to the production of one single article, can somehow be provided with the consumption (!) they require {278}. In the socialitarian system no branch of production would "require many people", and there, too, there would be "economic species" of men "distinguished by their way of life" {329}.

Accordingly, within the sphere of production everything remains much the same as before. In society up to now, however, an "erroneous division of labour" {327} has obtained, but as to what this is, and by what it is to be replaced in the economic commune, we are only told:

"With regard to the division of labour itself, we have already said above that this question can be considered settled as soon as account is taken of the various natural conditions and personal capabilities" {259}.

In addition to capabilities, personal likings are taken into account:

"The pleasure felt in rising to types of activity which involve additional capabilities and training would depend exclusively on the inclination felt for the occupation in question and on the joy produced in the exercise of precisely this and no other thing" {D. Ph. 283} (exercise of a thing!).

And this will stimulate competition within the socialitarian system, so that

"production itself will become interesting, and the dull pursuit of it, which sees in it nothing but a means of earning, will no longer put its heavy imprint on conditions" {D. C. 265}.

In every society in which production has developed spontaneously -- and our present society is of this type -- the situation is not that the producers control the means of production, but that the means of production control the producers. In such a society each new lever of production is necessarily transformed into a new means for the subjection of the producers to the means of production. This is most of all true of that lever of production which, prior to the introduction of modern industry, was by far the most powerful -- the division of labour. The first great division of labour, the separation of town and country, condemned the rural population to thousands of years of mental torpidity, and the people of the towns each to subjection to his own individual trade. It destroyed the basis of the intellectual development of the former and the physical development of the latter. When the peasant appropriates his land, and the townsman his trade, the land appropriates the peasant and the trade the townsman to the very same extent. In the division of labour, man is also divided. All other physical and mental faculties are sacrificed to the development of one single activity. This stunting of man grows in the same measure as the division of labour, which attains its highest development in manufacture. Manufacture splits up each trade into its separate partial operations, allots each of these to an individual labourer as his life calling, and thus chains him for life to a particular detail function and a particular tool. "It converts the labourer into a crippled monstrosity, by forcing his detail dexterity at the expense of a world of productive capabilities and instincts... The individual himself is made the automatic motor of a fractional operation" (Marx) -- a motor which in many cases is perfected only by literally crippling the labourer physically and mentally. The machinery of modern industry degrades the labourer from a machine to the mere appendage of a machine. "The life-long speciality of handling one and the same tool, now becomes the life-long speciality of serving one and the same machine. Machinery is put to a wrong use, with the object of transforming the workman, from his very childhood, into a part of a detail-machine" (Marx). And not only the labourers but also the classes directly or indirectly exploiting the labourers are made subject, through the division of labour, to the tool of their function: the empty-minded bourgeois to his own capital and his own insane craving for profits; the lawyer to his fossilised legal conceptions, which dominate him as an independent power; the "educated classes" in general to their manifold species of local narrow-mindedness and one-sidedness, to their own physical and mental short-sightedness, to their stunted growth due to their narrow specialised education and their being chained for life to this specialised activity -- even when this specialised activity is merely to do nothing.

The utopians were already perfectly clear in their minds as to the effects of the division of labour, the stunting on the one hand of the labourer, and on the other of the labour function, which is restricted to the lifelong uniform mechanical repetition of one and the same operation. The abolition of the antithesis between town and country was demanded by Fourier, as by Owen, as the first basic prerequisite for the abolition of the old division of labour altogether. Both of them thought that the population should be scattered through the country in groups of sixteen hundred to three thousand persons; each group was to occupy a gigantic palace, with a household run on communal lines, in the centre of their area of land. It is true that Fourier occasionally refers to towns, but these were to consist in turn of only four or five such palaces situated near each other. Both writers would have each member of society occupied in agriculture as well as in industry; with Fourier, industry covers chiefly handicrafts and manufacture, while Owen assigns the main role to modern industry and already demands the introduction of steam-power and machinery in domestic work. But within agriculture as well as industry both of them also demand the greatest possible variety of occupation for each individual, and in accordance with this, the training of the youth for the utmost possible all-round technical functions. They both consider that man should gain universal development through universal practical activity and that labour should recover the attractiveness of which the division of labour has despoiled it, in the first place through this variation of occupation, and through the correspondingly short duration of the "sitting" -- to use Fourier's expression -- devoted to each particular kind of work. Both Fourier and Owen are far in advance of the mode of thought of the exploiting classes inherited by Herr Dühring, according to which the antithesis between town and country is inevitable in the nature of things; the narrow view that a number of "entities" {D. C. 257} must in any event be condemned to the production of one single article, the view that desires to perpetuate the "economic species" {329} of men distinguished by their way of life -- people who take pleasure in the performance of precisely this and no other thing, who have therefore sunk so low that they rejoice in their own subjection and one-sidedness. In comparison with the basic conceptions even of the "idiot" {D. K. G. 286} Fourier's most recklessly bold fantasies; in comparison even with the paltriest ideas of the "crude, feeble, and paltry" {295, 296} Owen -- Herr Dühring, himself still completely dominated by the division of labour, is no more than an impertinent dwarf.

In making itself the master of all the means of production to use them in accordance with a social plan, society puts an end to the former subjection of men to their own means of production. It goes without saying that society cannot free itself unless every individual is freed. The old mode of production must therefore be revolutionised from top to bottom, and in particular the former division of labour must disappear. Its place must be taken by an organisation of production in which, on the one hand, no individual can throw on the shoulders of others his share in productive labour, this natural condition of human existence; and in which, on the other hand, productive labour, instead of being a means of subjugating men, will become a means of their emancipation, by offering each individual the opportunity to develop all his faculties, physical and mental, in all directions and exercise them to the full -- in which, therefore, productive labour will become a pleasure instead of being a burden.

Today this is no longer a fantasy, no longer a pious wish. With the present development of the productive forces, the increase in production that will follow from the very fact of the socialisation of the productive forces, coupled with the abolition of the barriers and disturbances, and of the waste of products and means of production, resulting from the capitalist mode of production, will suffice, with everybody doing his share of work, to reduce the time required for labour to a point which, measured by our present conceptions, will be small indeed.

Nor is the abolition of the old division of labour a demand which could only be carried through to the detriment of the productivity of labour. On the contrary. Thanks to modern industry it has become a condition of production itself. "The employment of machinery does away with the necessity of crystallising the distribution of various groups of workmen among the different kinds of machines after the manner of Manufacture, by the constant annexation of a particular man to a particular function. Since the motion of the whole system does not proceed from the workman, but from the machinery, a change of persons can take place at any time without an interruption of the work... Lastly, the quickness with which machine work is learnt by young people, does away with the necessity of bringing up for exclusive employment by machinery, a special class of operatives." But while the capitalist mode of employment of machinery necessarily perpetuates the old division of labour with its fossilised specialisation, although it has become superfluous from a technical standpoint, the machinery itself rebels against this anachronism. The technical basis of modern industry is revolutionary. "By means of machinery, chemical processes and other methods, it is continually causing changes not only in the technical basis of production, but also in the functions of the labourer, and in the social combinations of the labour-process. At the same time, it thereby also revolutionises the division of labour within the society, and incessantly launches masses of capital and of workpeople from one branch of production to another. Modern industry, by its very nature, therefore necessitates variation of labour, fluency of function, universal mobility of the labourer... We have seen how this absolute contradiction ... vents its rage in the incessant human sacrifices from among the working-class, in the most reckless squandering of labour-power, and in the devastation caused by social anarchy. This is the negative side. But if, on the one hand, variation of work at present imposes itself after the manner of an overpowering natural law, and with the blindly destructive action of a natural law that meets with resistance at all points, modern industry, on the other hand, through its catastrophes imposes the necessity of recognising, as a fundamental law of production, variation of work, consequently fitness of the labourer for varied work, consequently the greatest possible development of his varied aptitudes. It becomes a question of life and death for society to adapt the mode of production to the normal functioning of this law. Modern industry makes it a question of life and death to replace the monstrosity of a destitute working population kept in reserve at the disposal of capital for the changing needs of exploitation with the absolute availability of man for the changing requirements of labour; to replace what is virtually a mere fragment of the individual, the mere carrier of a social detail-function, with the fully developed individual, to whom the different social functions are so many alternating modes of activity" (Marx, Capital).

Modern industry, which has taught us to convert the movement of molecules, something more or less universally feasible, into the movement of masses for technical purposes, has thereby to a considerable extent freed production from restrictions of locality. Water-power was local; steam-power is free. While water-power is necessarily rural, steam-power is by no means necessarily urban. It is capitalist utilisation which concentrates it mainly in the towns and changes factory villages into factory towns. But in so doing it at the same time undermines the conditions under which it operates. The first requirement of the steam-engine, and a main requirement of almost all branches of production in modern industry, is relatively pure water. But the factory town transforms all water into stinking manure. However much therefore urban concentration is a basic condition of capitalist production, each individual industrial capitalist is constantly striving to get away from the large towns necessarily created by this production, and to transfer his plant to the countryside. This process can be studied in detail in the textile industry districts of Lancashire and Yorkshire; modern capitalist industry is constantly bringing new large towns into being there by constant flight from the towns into the country. The situation is similar in the metal-working districts where, in part, other causes produce the same effects.

Once more, only the abolition of the capitalist character of modern industry can bring us out of this new vicious circle, can resolve this contradiction in modern industry, which is constantly reproducing itself. Only a society which makes it possible for its productive forces to dovetail harmoniously into each other on the basis of one single vast plan can allow industry to be distributed over the whole country in the way best adapted to its own development, and to the maintenance and development of the other elements of production.

Accordingly, abolition of the antithesis between town and country is not merely possible. It has become a direct necessity of industrial production itself, just as it has become a necessity of agricultural production and, besides, of public health. The present poisoning of the air, water and land can be put an end to only by the fusion of town and country; and only such fusion will change the situation of the masses now languishing in the towns, and enable their excrement to be used for the production of plants instead of for the production of disease.

Capitalist industry has already made itself relatively independent of the local limitations arising from the location of sources of the raw materials it needs. The textile industry works up, in the main, imported raw materials. Spanish iron ore is worked up in England and Germany and Spanish and South-American copper ores, in England. Every coalfield now supplies fuel to an industrial area far beyond its own borders, an area which is widening every year. Along the whole of the European coast steam-engines are driven by English and to some extent also by German and Belgian coal. Society liberated from the restrictions of capitalist production can go much further still. By generating a race of producers with an all-round development who understand the scientific basis of industrial production as a whole, and each of whom has had practical experience in a whole series of branches of production from start to finish, this society will bring into being a new productive force which will abundantly compensate for the labour required to transport raw materials and fuel from great distances.

The abolition of the separation of town and country is therefore not utopian, also, in so far as it is conditioned on the most equal distribution possible of modern industry over the whole country. It is true that in the huge towns civilisation has bequeathed us a heritage which it will take much time and trouble to get rid of. But it must and will be got rid of, however, protracted a process it may be. Whatever destiny may be in store for the German Empire of the Prussian nation, [119] Bismarck can go to his grave proudly aware that the desire of his heart is sure to be fulfilled: the great towns will perish. [120]

And now see how puerile is Herr Dühring's idea that society can take possession of all means of production in the aggregate without revolutionising from top to bottom the old method of production and first of all putting an end to the old division of labour; that everything will be in order once

"natural opportunities and personal capabilities are taken into account" {D. C. 259} --

that therefore whole masses of entities will remain, as in the past, subjected to the production of one single article; whole "populations" {275} will be engaged in a single branch of production, and humanity continue to be divided, as in the past, into a number of different crippled "economic species" {329}, for there still are "porters" and "architects" {D. K.G. 500}. Society is to become master of the means of production as a whole, in order that each individual may remain the slave of his means of production, and have only a choice as to which means of production are to enslave him. And see also how Herr Dühring considers the separation of town and country as "inevitable in the nature of things" {D. C. 232}, and can find only a tiny palliative in schnaps-distilling and beet-sugar manufacturing -- two, in their connection specifically Prussian, branches of industry; how he makes the distribution of industry over the country dependent on certain future inventions and on the necessity of associating industry directly with the procurement of raw materials -- raw materials which are already used at an ever increasing distance from their place of origin! And Herr Dühring finally tries to cover up his rear by assuring us that in the long run social wants will carry through the union between agriculture and industry even against economic considerations, as if this would be some economic sacrifice!

Certainly, to be able to see that the revolutionary elements which will do away with the old division of labour, along with the separation of town and country, and will revolutionise the whole of production; see that these elements are already contained in embryo in the production conditions of modern large-scale industry and that their development is hindered by the existing capitalist mode of production -- to be able to see these things, it is necessary to have a somewhat wider horizon than the sphere of jurisdiction of Prussian law, than the country where production of schnaps and beet-sugar are the key industries, and where commercial crises can be studied on the book market. To be able to see these things it is necessary to have some knowledge of real large-scale industry in its historical growth and in its present actual form, especially in the one country where it has its home and where alone it has attained its classical development. Then no one will think of attempting to vulgarise modern scientific socialism and to degrade it into Herr Dühring's specifically Prussian socialism.



We have already seen that Dühringian economics comes down to the following proposition: the capitalist mode of production is quite good, and can remain in existence, but the capitalist mode of distribution is of evil, and must disappear. We now find that Herr Dühring's "socialitarian" system is nothing more than the carrying through of this principle in fantasy. In fact, it turned out that Herr Dühring has practically nothing to take exception to in the mode of production -- as such -- of capitalist society, that he wants to retain the old division of labour in all its essentials, and that he consequently has hardly a word to say in regard to production within his economic commune. Production is indeed a sphere in which robust facts are dealt with, and in which consequently "rational fantasy" {D. Ph. 46} should give but little scope to the soaring of its free soul, because the danger of making a disgraceful blunder is too great. It is quite otherwise with distribution -- which in Herr Dühring's view has no connection whatever with production and is determined not by production but by a pure act of the will -- distribution is the predestined field of his "social alchemising" {D. K. G. 237}.

To the equal obligation to produce corresponds the equal right to consume, exercised in an organised manner in the economic commune and in the trading commune embracing a large number of economic communes. "Labour" is here "exchanged for other labour on the basis of equal valuation... Service and counterservice represent here real equality between quantities of labour" {D. C. 256}. And this "equalisation of human energies" applies "whether the individuals have in fact done more or less, or perhaps even nothing at all" {D. Ph. 281}; for all performances, in so far as they involve time and energy, can be regarded as labour done -- therefore even playing bowls or going for a walk {see D. C. 266}. This exchange, however, does not take place between individuals as the community is the owner of all means of production and consequently also of all products; on the one hand it takes place between each economic commune and its individual members, and on the other between the various economic and trading communes themselves. "The individual economic communes in particular will replace retail trade within their own areas by completely planned sales" {326}. Wholesale trade will be organised on the same lines: "The system of the free economic society ... consequently remains a vast exchange institution, whose operations are carried out on the basis provided by the precious metals. It is insight into the inevitable necessity of this fundamental quality which distinguishes our scheme from all those foggy notions which cling even to the most rational forms of current socialist ideas" {324}.

For the purposes of this exchange, the economic commune, as the first appropriator of the social products, has to determine, "for each type of articles, a uniform price" {277}, based on the average production costs. "The significance which the so-called costs of production ... have for value and price today, will be provided" (in the socialitarian system) " the estimates of the quantity of labour to be employed. These estimates, by virtue of the principle of equal rights for each individual also in the economic sphere, can be traced back, in the last analysis, to consideration of the number of persons that participated in the labour; they will result in the relation of prices corresponding both to the natural conditions of production and to the social right of realisation. The output of the precious metals will continue, as now, to determine the value of money... It can be seen from this that in the changed constitution of society, one not only does not lose the determining factor and measure, in the first place of values, and, with value, of the exchange relations between products, but wins them good and proper for the first time" {326-327}.

The famous "absolute value" {D. K. G. 499} is at last realised.

On the other hand, however, the commune must also put its individual members in a position to buy from it the articles produced, by paying to each, in compensation for his labour, a certain sum of money, daily, weekly or monthly, but necessarily the same for all. "From the socialitarian standpoint it is consequently a matter of indifference whether we say that wages disappear, or, that they must become the exclusive form of economic income" {D. C. 263}. Equal wages and equal prices, however, establish "quantitative, if not qualitative equality of consumption" {268}, and thereby the "universal principle of justice" {282} is realised in the economic sphere.

As to how the level of this wage of the future is to be determined, Herr Dühring tells us only

that here too, as in all other cases, there will be an exchange of "equal labour for equal labour" {D. C. 257}. For six hours of labour, therefore, a sum of money will be paid which also embodies in itself six hours of labour.

Nevertheless, the "universal principle of justice" must not in any way be confounded with that crude levelling down which makes the bourgeois so indignantly oppose all communism, and especially the spontaneous communism of the workers. It is by no means so inexorable as it would like to appear.

The "equality in principle of economic rights does not exclude the voluntary addition to what justice requires of an expression of special recognition and honour... Society honours itself in conferring distinction on the higher types of professional ability by a moderate additional allocation for consumption" {267}.

And Herr Dühring, too, honours himself, when combining the innocence of a dove with the subtleness of a serpent, [Matthew 10:16. -- Ed.] he displays such touching concern for the moderate additional consumption of the Dührings of the future.

This will finally do away with the capitalist mode of distribution. For

"supposing under such conditions someone actually had a surplus of private means at his disposal, he would not be able to find any use for it as capital. No individual and no group would acquire it from him for production, except by way of exchange or purchase, but neither would ever have occasion to pay him interest or profit" {264-65}. Hence "inheritance conforming to the principle of equality" {289} would be permissible. It cannot be dispensed with, for "a certain form of inheritance will always be a necessary accompaniment of the family principle". But even the right of inheritance "will not be able to lead to any amassing of considerable wealth, as the building up of property ... can never again aim at the creation of means of production and purely rentiers' existences" {291}.

And this fortunately completes the economic commune. Let us now have a look at how it works.

We assume that all of Herr Dühring's preliminary conditions are completely realised; we therefore take it for granted that the economic commune pays to each of its members, for six hours of labour a day, a sum of money, say twelve marks, in which likewise six hours of labour are embodied. We assume further that prices exactly correspond to values, and therefore, on our assumptions, cover only the costs of raw materials, the wear and tear of machinery, the consumption of instruments of labour and the wages paid. An economic commune of a hundred working members would then produce in a day commodities to the value of twelve hundred marks; and in a year of 300 working-days, 360,000 marks. It pays the same sum to its members, each of whom does as he likes with his share, which is twelve marks a day or 3,600 marks a year. At the end of a year, and at the end of a hundred years, the commune is no richer than it was at the beginning. During this whole period it will never once be in a position to provide even the moderate additional allocation for Herr Dühring's consumption, unless it cares to take it from its stock of means of production. Accumulation is completely forgotten. Even worse: as accumulation is a social necessity and the retention of money provides a convenient form of accumulation, the organisation of the economic commune directly impels its members to accumulate privately, and thereby leads it to its own destruction.

How can this conflict in the nature of the economic commune be avoided? It might take refuge in his beloved "taxes" {24}, the price surcharge, and sell its annual production for 480,000 instead of 360,000. But as all other economic communes are in the same position, and would therefore act in the same way, each of them, in its exchanges with the others, would have to pay just as much "taxes" as it pockets itself, and the "tribute" {374} would thus have to fall on its own members alone.

Or the economic commune might settle the matter without more ado by paying to each member, for six hours of labour, the product of less than six hours, say, of four hours, of labour; that is to say, instead of twelve marks only eight marks a day, leaving the prices of commodities, however, at their former level. In this case it does directly and openly what it strived to do in a hidden and indirect way in the former case: it forms Marxian surplus-value to the amount of 120,000 marks annually, by paying its members, on outright capitalist lines, less than the value of what they produce, while it sells them commodities, which they can only buy from it, at their full value. The economic commune can therefore secure a reserve fund only by revealing itself as an "ennobled" truck system *13 on the widest possible communist basis.

So have your choice: Either the economic commune exchanges "equal labour for equal labour" {257}, and in this case it cannot accumulate a fund for the maintenance and extension of production, but only the individual members can do this; or it does form such a fund, but in this case it does not exchange "equal labour for equal labour".

Such is the content of exchange in the economic commune. What of its form? The exchange is effected through the medium of metallic money, and Herr Dühring is not a little proud of the "world-historic import" {D. C. 341} of this reform. But in the trading between the commune and its members the money is not money at all, it does not function in any way as money. It serves as a mere labour certificate; to use Marx's phrase, it is "merely evidence of the part taken by the individual in the common labour, and of his right to a certain portion of the common produce destined for consumption", and in carrying out this function, it is "no more 'money' than a ticket for the theatre". It can therefore be replaced by any other token, just as Weitling replaces it by a "ledger", in which the labour-hours worked are entered on one side and means of subsistence taken as compensation on the other. [121] In a word, in the trading of the economic commune with its members it functions merely as Owen's "labour money", that "phantom" which Herr Dühring looks down upon so disdainfully, but nevertheless is himself compelled to introduce into his economics of the future. Whether the token which certifies the measure of fulfilment of the "obligation to produce", and thus of the earned "right to consume" {320} is a scrap of paper, a counter or a gold coin is absolutely of no consequence for this purpose. For other purposes, however, it is by no means immaterial, as we shall see.

If therefore, in the trading of an economic commune with its members, metallic money does not function as money but as a disguised labour certificate, it performs its money function even less in exchange between the different economic communes. In this exchange, on the assumptions made by Herr Dühring, metallic money is totally superfluous. In fact, mere book-keeping would suffice, which would effect the exchange of products of equal labour for products of equal labour far more simply if it used the natural measure of labour-time, with the labour-hour as unit -- than if it first converted the labour-hours into money. The exchange is in reality simple exchange in kind; all balances are easily and simply settled by drafts on other communes. But should a commune really have a deficit in its dealings with other communes, all "the gold existing in the universe" {D. Ph. 96}, "money by nature" {D. C. 39} though it be, could not save this commune from the fate of having to make good this deficit by increasing the quantity of its own labour, if it does not want to fall into a position of dependence on other communes on account of its debt. But let the reader always bear in mind that we are not ourselves constructing any edifice of the future; we are merely accepting Herr Dühring's assumptions and drawing the inevitable conclusions from them.

Thus neither in exchange between the economic commune and its members nor in exchange between the different communes can gold, which is "money by nature", get to realise this its nature. Nevertheless, Herr Dühring assigns to it the function of money even in the "socialitarian" system. Hence, we must see if there is any other field in which its money function can be exercised. And this field exists. Herr Dühring gives everyone a right to "quantitatively equal consumption" {268}, but he cannot compel anyone to exercise it. On the contrary, he is proud that in the world he has created everyone can do what he likes with his money. He therefore cannot prevent some from setting aside a small money hoard, while others are unable to make ends meet on the wage paid to them. He even makes this inevitable by explicitly recognising in the right of inheritance that family property should be owned in common; whence comes also the obligation of the parents to maintain their children. But this makes a wide breach in quantitatively equal consumption. The bachelor lives like a lord, happy and content with his eight or twelve marks a day, while the widower with eight minor children finds it very difficult to manage on this sum. On the other hand, by accepting money in payment without any question, the commune leaves open the door to the possibility that this money may have been obtained otherwise than by the individual's own labour. Non olet. [122] The commune does not know where it comes from. But in this way all conditions are created permitting metallic money, which hitherto played the role of a mere labour certificate, to exercise its real money function. Both the Opportunity and the motive are present, on the one hand to form a hoard, and on the other to run into debt. The needy individual borrows from the individual who builds up a hoard. The borrowed money, accepted by the commune in payment for means of subsistence, once more becomes what it is in present-day society, the social incarnation of human labour, the real measure of labour, the general medium of circulation. All the "laws and administrative regulations" {323} in the world are just as powerless against it as they are against the multiplication table or the chemical composition of water. And as the builder of the hoard is in a position to extort interest from people in need, usury is restored along with metallic money functioning as money.

Up to this point we have only considered the effects of a retention of metallic money within the field of operation of the Dühring economic commune. But outside this field the rest of the world, the profligate world, meanwhile carries on contentedly in the old accustomed way. On the world market gold and silver remain world money, a general means of purchase and payment the absolute social embodiment of wealth. And this property of the precious metal gives the individual members of the economic communes a new motive to accumulate a hoard, get rich, exact usury; the motive to manoeuvre freely and independently with regard to the commune and beyond its borders, and to realise on the world market the private wealth which they have accumulated. The usurers are transformed into dealers in the medium of circulation, bankers, controllers of the medium of circulation and of world money, and thus into controllers of production, and thus into controllers of the means of production, even though these may still for many years be registered nominally as the property of the economic and trading communes. And so that hoarders and usurers, transformed into bankers, become the masters also of the economic and trading communes themselves. Herr Dühring's "socialitarian system" is indeed quite fundamentally different from the "hazy notions" {D. K. G. 498} of the other socialists. It has no other purpose but the recreation of high finance, under whose control and for whose pecuniary advantage it will labour valiantly -- if it should ever happen to be established and to hold together. Its one hope of salvation would lie in the amassers of hoards preferring, by means of their world money, to run away from the commune with all possible speed.

Ignorance of earlier socialist thought is so widespread in Germany that an innocent youth might at this point raise the question whether, for example, Owen's labour-notes might not lead to a similar abuse. Although we are here not concerned with developing the significance of these labour-notes, space should be given to the following for the purpose of contrasting Dühring's "comprehensive schematism" {D. C. 341} with Owen's "crude feeble and meagre ideas" {D. K. G. 295, 296}: In the first place, such a misuse of Owen's labour-notes would require their conversion into real money, while Herr Dühring presupposes real money, though attempting to prohibit it from functioning otherwise than as mere labour certificate. While in Owen's scheme there would have to be a real abuse, in Dühring's scheme the immanent nature of money, which is independent of human volition, would assert itself; the specific, correct use of money would assert itself in spite of the misuse which Herr Dühring tries to impose on it owing to his own ignorance of the nature of money. Secondly, with Owen the labour-notes are only a transitional form to complete community and free utilisation of the resources of society; and incidentally at most also a means designed to make communism plausible to the British public. If therefore any form of misuse should compel Owen's society to do away with the labour-notes, the society would take a step forward towards its goal, entering upon a more perfect stage of its development. But if the Dühringian economic commune abolishes money, it at one blow destroys its "world-historic import", it puts an end to its peculiar beauty, ceases to be the Dühring economic commune and sinks to the level of the befogged notions to lift it from which Herr Dühring has devoted so much of the hard labour of his rational fantasy. *14

What, then, is the source of all the strange errors and entanglements amid which the Dühring economic commune meanders? Simply the fog which, in Herr Dühring's mind, envelops the concepts of value and money, and finally drives him to attempt to discover the value of labour. But as Herr Dühring has not by any means the monopoly of such fogginess for Germany, but on the contrary meets with many competitors, we will "overt<'me our reluctance for a moment and solve the knot" {497} which he has contrived to make here.

The only value known in economics is the value of commodities. What are commodities? Products made in a society of more or less separate private producers, and therefore in the first place private products. These private products, however, become commodities only when they are made, not for consumption by their producers, but for consumption by others, that is, for social consumption; they enter into social consumption through exchange. The private producers are therefore socially interconnected, constitute a society. Their products, although the private products of each individual, are therefore simultaneously but unintentionally and as it were involuntarily, also social products. In what, then, consists the social character of these private products? Evidently in two peculiarities: first, that they all satisfy some human want, have a use-value not only for the producers but also for others, and secondly, that although they are products of the most varied individual labour, they are at the same time products of human labour as such, of general human labour. In so far as they have a use-value also for other persons, they can, generally speaking enter into exchange; in so far as general human labour, the simple expenditure of human labour-power is incorporated in all of them, they can be compared with each other in exchange, be assumed to be equal or unequal, according to the quantity of this labour embodied in each. In two equal products made individually, social conditions being equal, an unequal quantity of individual labour may be contained, but always only an equal quantity of general human labour. An unskilled smith may make five horseshoes in the time a skilful smith makes ten. But society does not form value from the accidental lack of skill of an individual, it recognises as general human labour only labour of a normal average degree of skill at the particular time. In exchange therefore, one of the five horseshoes made by the first smith has no more value than one of the ten made by the other in an equal time. Individual labour contains general human labour only in so far as it is socially necessary.

Therefore when I say that a commodity has a particular value, I say (1) that it is a socially useful product; (2) that it has been produced by a private individual for private account, (3) that although a product of individual labour, it is nevertheless at the same time and as it were unconsciously and involuntarily, also a product of social labour and, be it noted, of a definite quantity of this labour, ascertained in a social way, through exchange; (4) I express this quantity not in labour itself, in so and so many labour-hours, but in another commodity. If therefore I say that this clock is worth as much as that piece of cloth and each of them is worth fifty marks, I say that an equal quantity of social labour is contained in the clock, the cloth and the money. I therefore assert that the social labour-time represented in them has been socially measured and found to be equal. But not directly, absolutely, as labour-time is usually measured, in labour-hours or days, etc., but in a roundabout way, through the medium of exchange, relatively. That is why I cannot express this definite quantity of labour-time in labour-hours -- how many of them remains unknown to me -- but also only in a roundabout way, relatively, in another commodity, which represents an equal quantity of social labourtime. The clock is worth as much as the piece of cloth.

But the production and exchange of commodities, while compelling the society based on them to take this roundabout way, likewise compel it to make the detour as short as possible. They single out from the commonalty of commodities one sovereign commodity in which the value of all other commodities can be expressed once and for all; a commodity which serves as the direct incarnation of social labour, and is therefore directly and unconditionally exchangeable for all commodities -- money. Money is already contained in embryo in the concept of value; it is value, only in developed form. But since the value of commodities, as opposed to the commodities themselves, assumes independent existence in money, a new factor appears in the society which produces and exchanges commodities, a factor with new social functions and effects. We need only state this point at the moment, without going more closely into it.

The political economy of commodity production is by no means the only science which has to deal with factors known only relatively. The same is true of physics, where we do not know how many separate gas molecules are contained in a given volume of gas, pressure and temperature being also given. But we know that, so far as Boyle's law is correct, such a given volume of any gas contains as many molecules as an equal volume of any other gas at the same pressure and temperature. We can therefore compare the molecular content of the most diverse volumes of the most diverse gases under the most diverse conditions of pressure and temperature; and if we take as the unit one litre of gas at 0° C and 760 mm pressure, we can measure the above molecular content by this unit. -- In chemistry the absolute atomic weights of the various elements are also not known to us. But we know them relatively, inasmuch as we know their reciprocal relations. Hence, just as commodity production and its economics obtain a relative expression for the unknown quantities of labour contained in the various commodities, by comparing these commodities on the basis of their relative labour content, so chemistry obtains a relative expression for the magnitude of the atomic weights unknown to it by comparing the various elements on the basis of their atomic weights, expressing the atomic weight of one element in multiples or fractions of the other (sulphur, oxygen, hydrogen). And just as commodity production elevates gold to the level of the absolute commodity, the general equivalent of all other commodities, the measure of all values, so chemistry promotes hydrogen to the rank of the chemical money commodity, by fixing its atomic weight at 1 and reducing the atomic weights of all other elements to hydrogen, expressing them in multiples of its atomic weight.

Commodity production, however, is by no means the only form of social production. In the ancient Indian communities and in the family communities of the southern Slavs, products are not transformed into commodities. The members of the community are directly associated for production; the work is distributed according to tradition and requirements, and likewise the products to the extent that they are destined for consumption. Direct social production and direct distribution preclude all exchange of commodities, therefore also the transformation of the products into commodities (at any rate within the community) and consequently also their transformation into values.

From the moment when society enters into possession of the means of production and uses them in direct association for production, the labour of each individual, however varied its specifically useful character may be, becomes at the start and directly social labour. The quantity of social labour contained in a product need not then be established in a roundabout way; daily experience shows in a direct way how much of it is required on the average. Society can simply calculate how many hours of labour are contained in a steam-engine, a bushel of wheat of the last harvest, or a hundred square yards of cloth of a certain quality. It could therefore never occur to it still to express the quantities of labour put into the products, quantities which it will then know directly and in their absolute amounts, in a third product, in a measure which, besides, is only relative, fluctuating, inadequate, though formerly unavoidable for lack of a better one, rather than express them in their natural, adequate and absolute measure, time. Just as little as it would occur to chemical science still to express atomic weight in a roundabout way, relatively, by means of the hydrogen atom, if it were able to express them absolutely, in their adequate measure, namely in actual weights, in billionths or quadrillionths of a gramme. Hence, on the assumptions we made above, society will not assign values to products. It will not express the simple fact that the hundred square yards of cloth have required for their production, say, a thousand hours of labour in the oblique and meaningless way, stating that they have the value of a thousand hours of labour. It is true that even then it will still be necessary for society to know how much labour each article of consumption requires for its production. It will have to arrange its plan of production in accordance with its means of production, which include, in particular, its labour-powers. The useful effects of the various articles of consumption, compared with one another and with the quantities of labour required for their production, will in the end determine the plan. People will be able to manage everything very simply, without the intervention of much-vaunted "value". *15

The concept of value is the most general and therefore the most comprehensive expression of the economic conditions of commodity production. Consequently, this concept contains the germ, not only of money, but also of all the more developed forms of the production and exchange of commodities. The fact that value is the expression of the social labour contained in the privately produced products itself creates the possibility of a difference arising between this social labour and the private labour contained in these same products. If therefore a private producer continues to produce in the old way, while the social mode of production develops this difference will become palpably evident to him. The same result follows when the aggregate of private producers of a particular class of goods produces a quantity of them which exceeds the requirements of society. The fact that the value of a commodity is expressed only in terms of another commodity, and can only be realised in exchange for it, admits of the possibility that the exchange may never take place altogether, or at least may not realise the correct value. Finally, when the specific commodity labour-power appears on the market, its value is determined, like that of any other commodity, by the labour-time socially necessary for its production. The value form of products therefore already contains in embryo the whole capitalist form of production, the antagonism between capitalists and wage-workers, the industrial reserve army, crises. To seek to abolish the capitalist form of production by establishing "true value" {D. K. G. 78} is therefore tantamount to attempting to abolish Catholicism by establishing the "true" Pope, or to set up a society in which at last the producers control their product, by consistently carrying into life an economic category which is the most comprehensive expression of the enslavement of the producers by their own product.

Once the commodity-producing society has further developed the value form, which is inherent in commodities as such, to the money form, various germs still hidden in value break through to the light of day. The first and most essential effect is the generalisation of the commodity form. Money forces the commodity form even on the objects which have hitherto been produced directly for self-consumption; it drags them into exchange. Thereby the commodity form and money penetrate the internal husbandry of the communities directly associated for production; they break one tie of communion after another, and dissolve the community into a mass of private producers. At first, as can be seen in India, money replaces joint tillage of the soil by individual tillage; at a later stage it puts an end to the common ownership of the tillage area, which still manifests itself in periodical redistribution, by a final division (for example in the village communities on the Mosel; and it is now beginning also in the Russian village communes); finally, it forces the dividing-up of whatever woodland and pasturage is still owned in common. Whatever other causes arising in the development of production are also operating here, money always remains the most powerful means through which their influence is exerted on the communities. And, despite all "laws and administrative regulations" {D. C. 323}, money would with the same natural necessity inevitably break up the Dühring economic commune, if it ever came into existence.

We have already seen above ("Political Economy", VI) that it is a contradiction in itself to speak of the value of labour. As under certain social relations labour produces not only products but also value, and this value is measured by labour, the latter can as little have a separate value as weight, as such, can have a separate weight, or heat, a separate temperature. But it is the characteristic peculiarity of all social confusion that ruminates on "true value" {D. K. G. 78} to imagine that in existing society the worker does not receive the full "value" of his labour, and that socialism is destined to remedy this. Hence it is necessary in the first place to discover what the value of labour is, and this is done by attempting to measure labour, not by its adequate measure, time, but by its product. The worker should receive the "full proceeds of labour" {D. C. 324}. [124] Not only the labour product, but labour itself should be directly exchangeable for products one hour's labour for the product of another hour's labour. This however, gives rise at once to a very "serious" hitch. The whole product is distributed. The most important progressive function of society, accumulation, is taken from society and put into the hands, placed at the arbitrary discretion, of individuals. The individuals can do what they like with their "proceeds", but society at best remains as rich or poor as it was. The means of production accumulated in the past have therefore been centralised in the hands of society only in order that all means of production accumulated in the future may once again be dispersed in the hands of individuals. One knocks to pieces one's own premises; one has arrived at a pure absurdity.

Fluid labour, active labour-power, is to be exchanged for the product of labour. Then labour-power is a commodity, just like the product for which it is to be exchanged. Then the value of this labour-power is not in any sense determined by its product, but by the social labour embodied in it, according to the present law of wages.

But it is precisely this which must not be, we are told. Fluid labour, labour-power, should be exchangeable for its full product. That is to say, it should be exchangeable not for its value, but for its use-value; the law of value is to apply to all other commodities, but must be repealed so far as labour-power is concerned. Such is the self-destructive confusion that lies behind the "value of labour".

The "exchange of labour for labour on the principle of equal valuation" {256}, in so far as it has any meaning, that is to say, the mutual exchangeability of products of equal social labour, hence the law of value, is the fundamental law of precisely commodity production, hence also of its highest form, capitalist production. It asserts itself in present-day society in the only way in which economic laws can assert themselves in a society of private producers: as a blindly operating law of nature inherent in things and relations, and independent of the will or actions of the producers. By elevating this law to the basic law of his economic commune and demanding that the commune should execute it in all consciousness, Herr Dühring converts the basic law of existing society into the basic law of his imaginary society. He wants existing society, but without its abuses. In this he occupies the same position as Proudhon. Like him, he wants to abolish the abuses which have arisen out of the development of commodity production into capitalist production, by giving effect against them to the basic law of commodity production, precisely the law to whose operation these abuses are due. Like him, he wants to abolish the real consequences of the law of value by means of fantastic ones.

Our modern Don Quixote, seated on his noble Rosinante, the "universal principle of justice" {D. C. 282}, and followed by his valiant Sancho Panza, Abraham Enss, sets out proudly on his knight errantry to win Mambrin's helmet, the "value of labour"; but we fear, fear greatly, he will bring home nothing but the old familiar barber's basin.



With the two last chapters we have about exhausted the economic content of Herr Dühring's "new socialitarian system" {D. Ph. 295}. The only point we might add is that his "universal range of historical survey" {D. K. G. 2} does not in the least prevent him from safeguarding his own special interests, even apart from the moderate surplus consumption referred to above As the old division of labour continues to exist in the socialitarian system, the economic commune will have to reckon not only with architects and porters {500}, but also with professional writers, and the question will then arise how authors' rights are to be dealt with. This question is one which occupies Herr Dühring's attention more than any other. Everywhere, for example, in connection with Louis Blanc and Proudhon {D. C. 302; D. K. G. 482-83}, the reader stumbles across the question of authors' rights, until it is finally brought safely into the haven of "sociality", after a circumstantial discussion occupying nine full pages of the Cursus, in the form of a mysterious "remuneration of labour" {D. C. 307} -- whether with or without moderate surplus consumption, is not stated. A chapter on the position of fleas in the natural system of society would have been just as appropriate and in any case far less tedious.

The Philosophie gives detailed prescriptions for the organisation of the state of the future. Here Rousseau, although "the sole important forerunner" {D. Ph. 264} of Herr Dühring, nevertheless did not lay the foundations deep enough; his more profound successor puts this right by completely watering down Rousseau and mixing in remnants of the Hegelian philosophy of right, also reduced to a watery mess. "The sovereignty of the individual" {268} forms the basis of the Dühringian state of the future; it is not to be suppressed by the rule of the majority, but to find its real culmination in it. How does this work? Very simply.

"If one presupposes agreements between each individual and every other individual in all directions, and if the object of these agreements is mutual aid against unjust offences -- then the power required for the maintenance of right is only strengthened, and right is not deduced from the more superior strength of the many against the individual or of the majority against the minority" {268}.

Such is the ease with which the living force of the hocus-pocus of the philosophy of reality surmounts the most impassable obstacles; and if the reader thinks that after that he is no wiser than he was before, Herr Dühring replies that he really must not think it is such a simple matter, for

"the slightest error in the conception of the role of the collective will would destroy the sovereignty of the individual, and this sovereignty is the only thing" (!) "conducive to the deduction of real rights" {268}.

Herr Dühring treats his public as it deserves, when he makes game of it. He could have laid it on much thicker; the students of the philosophy of reality would not have noticed it anyhow.

Now the sovereignty of the individual consists essentially in that

"the individual is subject to absolute compulsion by the state"; this compulsion, however, can only be justified in so far as it "really serves natural justice" {271}. With this end in view there will be "legislative and judicial authority", which, however, "must remain in the hands of the community" {272}; and there will also be an alliance for defence, which will find expression in "joint action in the army or in an executive section for the maintenance of internal security" {273},

that is to say, there will also be army, police, gendarmerie. Herr Dühring has many times already shown that he is a good Prussian; here he proves himself a peer of that model Prussian, who, as the late Minister von Rochow put it, "carries his gendarme in his breast". This gendarmerie of the future, however, will not be so dangerous as the police thugs [125] of the present day. Whatever the sovereign individual may suffer at their hands, he will always have one consolation:

"the right or wrong which, according to the circumstances, may then be dealt to him by free society can never be an, worse than that which the state of nature would have brought with it" {D. Ph. 274}!

And then, after Herr Dühring has once more tripped us up on those authors' rights of his which are always getting in the way, he assures us that in his world of the future

there will be, "of course, an absolutely free Bar available to all" {279}.

"The free society, as it is conceived today" {304}, gets steadily more and more mixed. Architects, porters, professional writers, gendarmes, and now also barristers! This "world of sober and critical thought" {D. C. 556-57} and the various heavenly kingdoms of the different religions, in which the believer always finds in transfigured form the things which have sweetened his earthly existence, are as like as two peas. And Herr Dühring is a citizen of the state where "everyone can be happy in his own way". [126] What more do we want?

But it does not matter what we want. What matters is what Herr Dühring wants. And he differs from Frederick II in this, that in the Dühringian future state certainly not everyone will be able to be happy in his own way. The constitution of this future state provides:

"In the free society there can be no religious worship; for every member of it has got beyond the primitive childish superstition that there are beings, behind nature or above it, who can be influenced by sacrifices or prayers" {D. Ph. 286}. A "socialitarian system, rightly conceived, has therefore ... to abolish all the paraphernalia of religious magic, and therewith all the essential elements of religious worship" {D. C. 345}.

Religion is being prohibited.

All religion, however, is nothing but the fantastic reflection in men's minds of those external forces which control their daily life, a reflection in which the terrestrial forces assume the form of supernatural forces. In the beginnings of history it was the forces of nature which were first so reflected, and which in the course of further evolution underwent the most manifold and varied personifications among the various peoples. This early process has been traced back by comparative mythology, at least in the case of the Indo-European peoples, to its origin in the Indian Vedas, and in its further evolution it has been demonstrated in detail among the Indians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germans and, so far as material is available, also among the Celts, Lithuanians and Slavs. But it is not long before, side by side with the forces of nature, social forces begin to be active -- forces which confront man as equally alien and at first equally inexplicable, dominating him with the same apparent natural necessity as the forces of nature themselves. The fantastic figures, which at first only reflected the mysterious forces of nature, at this point acquire social attributes, become representatives of the forces of history. *16 At a still further stage of evolution, all the natural and social attributes of the numerous gods are transferred to one almighty god, who is but a reflection of the abstract man. Such was the origin of monotheism, which was historically the last product of the vulgarised philosophy of the later Greeks and found its incarnation in the exclusively national god of the Jews, Jehovah. In this convenient, handy and universally adaptable form, religion can continue to exist as the immediate, that is, the sentimental form of men's relation to the alien, natural and social, forces which dominate them, so long as men remain under the control of these forces. However, we have seen repeatedly that in existing bourgeois society men are dominated by the economic conditions created by themselves, by the means of production which they themselves have produced, as if by an alien force. The actual basis of the religious reflective activity therefore continues to exist, and with it the religious reflection itself. And although bourgeois political economy has given a certain insight into the causal connection of this alien domination, this makes no essential difference. Bourgeois economics can neither prevent crises in general, nor protect the individual capitalists from losses, bad debts and bankruptcy, nor secure the individual workers against unemployment and destitution. It is still true that man proposes and God (that is, the alien domination of the capitalist mode of production) disposes. Mere knowledge, even if it went much further and deeper than that of bourgeois economic science, is not enough to bring social forces under the domination of society. What is above all necessary for this, is a social act. And when this act has been accomplished, when society, by taking possession of all means of production and using them on a planned basis, has freed itself and all its members from the bondage in which they are now held by these means of production which they themselves have produced but which confront them as an irresistible alien force, when therefore man no longer merely proposes, but also disposes -- only then will the last alien force which is still reflected in religion vanish; and with it will also vanish the religious reflection itself, for the simple reason that then there will be nothing left to reflect.

Herr Dühring, however, cannot wait until religion dies this, its natural, death. He proceeds in more deep-rooted fashion. He out-Bismarcks Bismarck; he decrees sharper May laws [127] not merely against Catholicism, but against all religion whatsoever; he incites his gendarmes of the future against religion, and thereby helps it to martyrdom and a prolonged lease of life. Wherever we turn, we find specifically Prussian socialism.

After Herr Dühring has thus happily destroyed religion,

"man, made to rely solely on himself and nature, and matured in the knowledge of his collective powers, can intrepidly enter on all the roads which the course of events and his own being open to him" {D. Ph. 407}.

Let us now consider for a change what "course of events" the man made to rely on himself can intrepidly enter on, led by Herr Dühring.

The first course of events whereby man is made to rely on himself is: being born. Then,

for the period of natural minority, he remains committed to the "natural tutor of children", his mother. "This period may last, as in ancient Roman law, until puberty, that is to say, until about the fourteenth year." Only when badly brought up older boys do not pay proper respect to their mother's authority will recourse be had to paternal assistance, and particularly to the public educational regulations to remedy this. At puberty the child becomes subject to "the natural guardianship of his father", if there is such a one "of real and uncontested paternity" {293, 294}; otherwise the community appoints a guardian.

Just as Herr Dühring at an earlier point imagined that the capitalist mode of production could be replaced by the social without transforming production itself, so now he fancies that the modern bourgeois family can be torn from its whole economic foundations without changing its entire form. To him, this form is so immutable that he even makes "ancient Roman law" {293}, though in a somewhat "ennobled" form, govern the family for all time; and he can conceive a family only as a "bequeathing" {D. C. 291}, which means a possessing, unit. Here the utopians are far in advance of Herr Dühring. They considered that the socialisation of youth education and, with this, real freedom in the mutual relations between members of a family, would directly follow from the free association of men and the transformation of private domestic work into a public industry. Moreover, Marx has already shown (Capital, {Vol. I,} p. 515 et seqq.) that "modern industry, by assigning as it does an important part in the socially organised process of production, outside the domestic sphere, to women, to young persons, and to children of both sexes, creates a new economic foundation for a higher form of the family and of the relations between the sexes".

"Every dreamer of social reforms," says Herr Dühring, "naturally has ready a pedagogy corresponding to his new social life" {D. K. G. 295}.

If we are to judge by this thesis, Herr Dühring is "a veritable monster" {261} among the dreamers of social reforms. For the school of the future occupies his attention at the very least as much as the author's rights, and this is really saying a great deal. He has his curricula for school and university all ready and complete, not only for the whole "foreseeable future" {D. Ph. 1} but also for the transition period. But we will confine ourselves to what will be taught to the young people of both sexes in the final and ultimate socialitarian system.

The universal people's school will provide

"everything which by itself and in principle can have any attraction for man", and therefore in particular the "foundations and main conclusions of all sciences touching on the understanding of the world and of life" {284}. In the first place, therefore, it teaches mathematics, and indeed to such effect that the field of all fundamental concepts and methods, from simple numeration and addition to the integral calculus, is "completely compassed" {418}.

But this does not mean that in this school anyone will really differentiate or integrate. On the contrary. What is to be taught there will be, rather, entirely new elements of general mathematics, which contain in embryo both ordinary elementary and higher mathematics. And although Herr Dühring asserts that

he already has in his mind "schematically, in their main outlines", "the contents of the textbooks" {415} which the school of the future will use,

he has unfortunately not as yet succeeded in discovering these

"elements of general mathematics";

and what he cannot achieve

"can only really be expected from the free and enhanced forces of the new social order" {D. Ph. 418}.

But if the grapes of the mathematics of the future are still very sour, future astronomy, mechanics and physics will present all the less difficulty and will

"provide the kernel of all schooling", while "the science of plants and animals, which, in spite of all theories, is mainly of a descriptive character" will serve "rather as topics for light conversation" {416-17}.

There it is, in black and white, in the Philosophie, page 417. Even to the present day Herr Dühring knows no other botany and zoology than those which are mainly descriptive. The whole of organic morphology, which embraces the comparative anatomy, embryology, and palaeontology of the organic world, is entirely unknown to him even by name. While in the sphere of biology totally new sciences are springing up, almost by the dozen, behind his back, his puerile spirit still goes to Raff's Naturgeschichte fur Kinder for "the eminently modern educative elements provided by the natural-scientific mode of thought" {D. K.G. 504}, and this constitution of the organic world he decrees likewise for the whole "foreseeable future". Here, too, as is his wont, he entirely forgets chemistry.

As for the aesthetic side of education, Herr Dühring will have to fashion it all anew. The poetry of the past is worthless for this purpose. Where all religion is prohibited, it goes without saying that the "mythological or other religious trimmings" characteristic of poets up to now cannot be tolerated in this school. "Poetic mysticism", too, "such as, for example, Goethe practiced so extensively", is to be condemned. Herr Dühring will therefore have to make up his mind to produce for us those poetic masterpieces which "are in accord with the higher claims of an imagination reconciled with reason", and represent the genuine ideal, which "denotes the consummation of the world" {D. Ph. 423}. Let him not tarry with it! The economic commune can achieve its conquest of the world only when it moves along at the Alexandrine double, reconciled with reason.

The adolescent citizen of the future will not be much troubled with philology.

"The dead languages will be entirely discarded ... the foreign living languages, however, ... will remain of secondary importance." Only where intercourse between nations extends to the movement of the masses of the peoples themselves would these languages be made accessible, according to needs and in an easy form. "Really educative study of language" will be provided by a kind of general grammar, and particularly by study of the "substance and form of one's own language" {426-27}.

The national narrow-mindedness of modern man is still much too cosmopolitan for Herr Dühring. He wants also to do away with the two levers which in the world as it is today give at least the opportunity of rising above the narrow national standpoint: knowledge of the ancient languages, which opens a wider common horizon at least to those people of various nationalities who have had a classical education; and knowledge of modern languages, through the medium of which alone the people of different nations can make themselves understood by one another and acquaint themselves with what is happening beyond their own borders. On the contrary, the grammar of the mother tongue is to be thoroughly drilled in. "Substance and form of one's own language", however, become intelligible only when its origin and gradual evolution are traced, and this cannot be done without taking into account, first, its own extinct forms, and secondly, cognate languages, both living and dead. But this brings us back again to territory which has been expressly forbidden. If Herr Dühring strikes out of his curriculum all modern historical grammar, there is nothing left for his language studies but the old-fashioned technical grammar, cut to the old classical philological pattern, with all its casuistry and arbitrariness, based on the lack of any historical basis. His hatred of the old philology makes him elevate the very worst product of the old philology to "the central point of the really educative study of language" {427}. It is clear that we have before us a linguist who has never heard a word of the tremendous and successful development of the historical science of language which took place during the last sixty years, and who therefore seeks "the eminently modern educative elements" {D. K. G. 504} of linguistics, not in Bopp, Grimm and Diez, but in Heyse and Becker of blessed memory.

But all this would still fall far short of making the young citizen of the future "rely on himself". To achieve this, it is necessary here again to lay a deeper foundation, by means of

"the assimilation of the latest philosophical principles". "Such a deepening of the foundation, however, will not be... at all a gigantic task", now that Herr Dühring has cleared the path. In fact, "if one purges of the spurious, scholastic excrescences those few strictly scientific truths of which the general schematics of being can boast, and determines to admit as valid only the reality authenticated" by Herr Dühring, elementary philosophy becomes perfectly accessible also to the youth of the future. "Recall to your mind the extremely simple methods by which we helped forward the concepts of infinity and their critique to a hitherto unknown import" -- and then "you will not be able to see at all why the elements of the universal conception of space and time, which have been given such simple form by the deepening and sharpening now effected, should not eventually pass into the ranks of the elementary studies... The most deep-rooted ideas" of Herr Dühring "should play no secondary role in the universal educational scheme of the new society" {D. Ph. 427-28}. The self-equal state of matter and the counted uncountable are on the contrary destined "not merely to put man on his own feet but also to make him realise of himself that he has the so-called absolute underfoot".

The people's school of the future, as one can see, is nothing but a somewhat "ennobled" Prussian grammar school in which Greek and Latin are replaced by a little more pure and applied mathematics and in particular by the elements of the philosophy of reality, and the teaching of German is brought back to Becker, of blessed memory, that is, down to about a fourth-form level. And in fact, now that we have demonstrated Herr Dühring's mere schoolboy "knowledge" in all the spheres on which he has touched, the reader will "not be able to see at all" why it, or rather, such of it as is left after our preliminary thorough "purging", should not all and sundry "eventually pass into the ranks of the elementary studies" -- inasmuch as in reality it has never left these ranks. True, Herr Dühring has heard something about the combination of work and instruction in socialist society, which is to ensure an all-round technical education as well as a practical foundation for scientific training; and this point, too is therefore brought in, in his usual way, to help the socialitarian scheme {284, 414}. But because, as we have seen, the old division of labour, in its essentials, is to remain undisturbed in the Dühringian production of the future, this technical training at school is deprived of any practical application later on, or any significance for production itself; it has a purpose only within the school: it is to replace gymnastics, which our deep-rooted revolutioniser wants to ignore altogether. He can therefore offer us only a few phrases, as for example,

"young and old will work, in the serious sense of the word" {D. C. 328}.

This spineless and meaningless ranting is really pitiful when one compares it with the passage in Capital, pages 508 to 515, in which Marx develops the thesis that "from the Factory system budded, as Robert Owen has shown us in detail, the germ of the education of the future, an education that will, in the case of every child over a given age, combine productive labour with instruction and gymnastics, not only as one of the methods of adding to the efficiency of production, but as the only method of producing fully developed human beings".

We must skip the university of the future, in which the philosophy of reality will be the kernel of all knowledge, and where, alongside the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law will continue in full bloom; we must also omit the "special training institutions", about which all we learn is that they will be only "for a few subjects". Let us assume that the young citizen of the future has passed all his educational courses and has at last been "made to rely upon himself" sufficiently to be able to look about for a wife. What is the course of events which Herr Dühring offers him in this sphere?

"In view of the importance of propagation for the conservation, elimination, blending, and even new creative development of qualities, the ultimate roots of the human and unhuman must to a great extent be sought in sexual union and selection, and furthermore in the care taken for or against the ensuring of certain birth results. We must leave it practically to a later epoch to judge the brutality and stupidity now rife in this sphere. Nevertheless we must at least make clear from the outset, even in spite of the weight of prejudice, that far more important than the number of births is surely whether nature or human circumspection succeeded or failed in regard to their quality. It is true that at all times and under all legal systems monstrosities have been destroyed; but there is a wide range of degrees between the normal human being and deformities which lack all resemblance to the human being... It is obviously an advantage to prevent the birth of a human being who would only be a defective creature" {D. Ph. 246}.

Another passage runs:

Philosophic thought can find no difficulty ... in comprehending the right of the unborn world to the best possible composition... Conception and, if need be, also birth offer the opportunity for preventive, or in exceptional cases selective, care in this connection" {395-96}.


"Grecian art -- the idealisation of man in marble -- will not be able to retain its historical importance when the less artistic, and therefore, from the standpoint of the fate of the millions, far more important task of perfecting the human form in flesh and blood is taken in hand. This form of art does not merely deal with stone, and its aesthetics is not concerned with the contemplation of dead forms" {256} -- and so on.

Our budding citizen of the future is brought to earth again. Even without Herr Dühring's help he certainly knew that marriage is not an art which merely deals with stone, or even with the contemplation of dead forms; but after all, Herr Dühring had : promised him that he would be able to strike out along all roads which the course of events and his own nature opened to him, in order to discover a sympathetic female heart together with the body belonging to it. Nothing of the kind -- the "deeper and stricter morality" {D. Ph. 396} thunders at him. The first thing that he must do is to cast off the brutality and stupidity now rife in the I sphere of sexual union and selection, and bear in mind the right of ' the new-born world to the best possible composition. At this solemn moment it is to him a matter of perfecting the human form in flesh and blood, of becoming a Phidias, so to speak, in flesh and blood. How is he to set about it? Herr Dühring's mysterious utterances quoted above give him not the slightest indication, although Herr Dühring himself says it is an "art". Has Herr Dühring perhaps "in his mind's eye, schematically", a textbook also on this subject -- of the kind of which, in sealed wrappers, German bookshops are now so full? Indeed, we are no longer in socialitarian society, but rather in the Magic Flute [128] -- the only difference being that Sarastro, the stout Masonic priest, would hardly rank as a "priest of the second order" {460} in comparison with our deeper and stricter moralist. The tests to which Sarastro put his couple of love's adepts are mere child's play compared with the terrifying examination through which Herr Dühring puts his two sovereign individuals before he permits them to enter the state of "free and ethical marriage" {296}. And so it may happen that our "made-to-be-self-reliant" Tamino of the future may indeed have the so-called absolute underfoot, but one of his feet may be a couple of rungs short of what it should be, so that evil tongues call him a club-foot. It is also within the realm of the possible that his best-beloved Pamina of the future does not hold herself quite straight on the above-said absolute, owing to a slight deviation in the direction of her right shoulder which jealous tongues might even call a little hump. What then? Will our deeper and stricter Sarastro forbid them to practice the art of perfecting humanity, in flesh and blood; will he exercise his "preventive care" at "conception", or his "selective care" at "birth" {396}? Ten to one, things will happen otherwise; the pair of lovers will leave Sarastro-Dühring where he stands and go off to the registry office.

Hold on there! Herr Dühring cries. This is not at all what was meant. Give me a chance to explain!

If the "higher, genuinely human motives of wholesome sexual unions... the humanly ennobled form of sexual excitement, which in its intense manifestation is passionate love, when reciprocated is the best guarantee of a union which will be acceptable also in its result... it is only an effect of the second order that from a relation which in itself is harmonious a symphoniously composed product should result. From this in turn it follows that any compulsion must have harmful effects" {247} -- and so on.

And thus all ends the very best way in the best of all possible socialitarian worlds: club-foot and hunchback love each other passionately, and therefore in their reciprocal relation offer the best guarantee for a harmonious "effect of the second order"; it is all just like a novel -- they love each other, they get each other, and all the deeper and stricter morality {396} turns out as usual to be harmonious twaddle.

Herr Dühring's noble ideas about the female sex in general can be gathered from the following indictment of existing society:

"In a society of oppression based on the sale of human being to human being, prostitution is accepted as the natural complement of compulsory marriage ties in the men's favour, and it is one of the most comprehensible but also most significant facts that nothing of the kind is possible for the women" {291-92}.

I would not care, for anything in the world, to have the thanks which might accrue to Herr Dühring from the women for this compliment. But has Herr Dühring really never heard of the form of income known as a petticoat-pension {Schurzenstipendien}, which is now no longer quite an exceptional thing? Herr Dühring himself was once a referendary [129] and he lives in Berlin, where even in my day, thirty-six years ago, to say nothing of lieutenants Referendarius was used often enough to rhyme with Schurzenstipendarius!

* * *

May the reader permit us to take leave of our subject, which has often been dry and gloomy enough, on a note of facetiousness and reconciliation. So long as we had to deal with the separate issues raised, our judgment was bound by the objective, incontrovertible facts, and on the basis of these facts it was often enough necessarily sharp and even hard. Now when philosophy, economics and socialitarian system all lie behind us; when we have before us the picture of the author as a whole, which we had previously to judge in detail -- now human considerations can come into the foreground; at this point we shall be permitted to trace back to personal causes many otherwise incomprehensible scientific errors and conceits, and to sum up our verdict against Herr Dühring in the words: mental incompetence due to megalomania.