In Karl Marx's critique of political economy, commodity fetishism is the perception of the social relationships involved in production not as relationships among people, but as economic relationships among the money and commodities exchanged in market trade. As such, commodity fetishism transforms the subjective, abstract aspects of economic value into objective, real things that people believe have intrinsic value; the theory of commodity fetishism is presented in the first chapter of Das Kapital, at the conclusion of the analysis of the value-form of commodities, to explain that the social organization of labor is mediated through market exchange, the buying and the selling of commodities. Hence, in a capitalist society, social relations between people—who makes what, who works for whom, the production-time for a commodity, et cetera—are perceived as economic relations among objects, that is, how valuable a given commodity is when compared to another commodity. Therefore, the market exchange of commodities obscures the true economic character of the human relations of production, between the worker and the capitalist, the intrinsic value of what is exchanged, irrespective of its status relative to other commodities.
Marx explained the philosophic concepts underlying commodity fetishism thus: As against this, the commodity-form, the value-relation of the products of labour within which it appears, have no connection with the physical nature of the commodity and the material relations arising out of this. It is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy we must take flight into the misty realm of religion. There the products of the human brain appear as autonomous figures endowed with a life of their own, which enter into relations both with each other and with the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men's hands. I call this the fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities, is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities; the theory of commodity fetishism originated from Karl Marx's references to fetishes and fetishism in his analyses of religious superstition, in the criticism of the beliefs of political economists.
Marx borrowed the concept of "fetishism" from The Cult of Fetish Gods by Charles de Brosses, which proposed a materialist theory of the origin of religion. Moreover, in the 1840s, the philosophic discussion of fetishism by Auguste Comte, Ludwig Feuerbach's psychological interpretation of religion influenced Marx's development of commodity fetishism. Marx's first mention of fetishism appeared in 1842, in his response to a newspaper article by Karl Heinrich Hermes, which defended the Prussian state on religious grounds. Hermes agreed with the German philosopher Hegel in regarding fetishism as the crudest form of religion. Marx dismissed that argument, Hermes's definition of religion as that which elevates man "above sensuous appetites". Instead, Marx said that fetishism is "the religion of sensuous appetites", that the fantasy of the appetites tricks the fetish worshipper into believing that an inanimate object will yield its natural character to gratify the desires of the worshipper. Therefore, the crude appetite of the fetish worshipper smashes the fetish when it ceases to be of service.
The next mention of fetishism was in the 1842 Rheinische Zeitung newspaper articles about the "Debates on the Law on Thefts of Wood", wherein Marx spoke of the Spanish fetishism of gold and the German fetishism of wood as commodities: The savages of Cuba regarded gold as a fetish of the Spaniards. They celebrated a feast in its honour, sang in a circle around it, threw it into the sea. If the Cuban savages had been present at the sitting of the Rhine Province Assembly, would they not have regarded wood as the Rhinelanders' fetish? But a subsequent sitting would have taught them that the worship of animals is connected with this fetishism, they would have thrown the hares into the sea in order to save the human beings. In the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Marx spoke of the European fetish of precious-metal money: The nations which are still dazzled by the sensuous glitter of precious metals, are, still fetish-worshippers of metal money, are not yet developed money-nations. Contrast of France and England.
The extent to which the solution of theoretical riddles is the task of practice, is effected through practice, the extent to which true practice is the condition of a real and positive theory, is shown, for example, in fetishism. The sensuous consciousness of the fetish-worshipper is different from that of the Greek, because his sensuous existence is different; the abstract enmity between sense and spirit is necessary so long as the human feeling for nature, the human sense of nature, therefore the natural sense of man, are not yet produced by man's own labour. In the ethnological notebooks, he commented upon the archæological reportage of The Origin of Civilisation and the Primitive Condition of Man: Mental and Social conditions of Savages, by John Lubbock. In the Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy, he criticized the statist, anti-socialist arguments of the French economist Frédéric Bastiat.
Factors of production
In economics, factors of production, resources, or inputs are what is used in the production process to produce output—that is, finished goods and services. The utilized amounts of the various inputs determine the quantity of output according to the relationship called the production function. There are three basic resources or factors of production: land and capital; the factors are frequently labeled "producer goods or services" to distinguish them from the goods or services purchased by consumers, which are labeled "consumer goods". There are two types of factors: secondary; the mentioned primary factors are land and capital goods. Materials and energy are considered secondary factors in classical economics because they are obtained from land and capital; the primary factors facilitate production but neither becomes part of the product nor becomes transformed by the production process. Land includes not only the site of production but natural resources above or below the soil. Recent usage has distinguished human capital from labor.
Entrepreneurship is sometimes considered a factor of production. Sometimes the overall state of technology is described as a factor of production; the number and definition of factors vary, depending on theoretical purpose, empirical emphasis, or school of economics. In the interpretation of the dominant view of classical economic theory developed by neoclassical economists, the term "factors" did not exist until after the classical period and is not to be found in any of the literature of that time. Differences are most stark. Physiocracy is an economic theory developed by a group of 18th century Enlightenment French economists who believed that the wealth of nations was derived from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development" and that agricultural products should be priced The classical economics of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, their followers focus on physical resources in defining its factors of production and discuss the distribution of cost and value among these factors. Adam Smith and David Ricardo referred to the "component parts of price" as the costs of using: Land or natural resource — occurring goods like water, soil, flora and climate that are used in the creation of products.
The payment given to a landowner is rent, loyalties and goodwill. Labor — human effort used in production which includes technical and marketing expertise; the payment for someone else's labor and all income received from one's own labor is wages. Labor can be classified as the physical and mental contribution of an employee to the production of the good; the capital stock — human-made goods which are used in the production of other goods. These include machinery and buildings, they are of two types and working. Fixed are one time investments like machines and working consists of liquid cash or money in hand and raw materialThe classical economists employed the word "capital" in reference to money. Money, was not considered to be a factor of production in the sense of capital stock since it is not used to directly produce any good; the return to loaned money or to loaned stock was styled as interest while the return to the actual proprietor of capital stock was styled as profit. See returns. Marx considered the "elementary factors of the labor-process" or "productive forces" to be: Labor The subject of labor The instruments of labor.
The "subject of labor" refers including land. The "instruments of labor" are tools, in the broadest sense, they include factory buildings and other human-made objects that facilitate labor's production of goods and services. This view seems similar to the classical perspective described above, but unlike the classical school and many economists today, Marx made a clear distinction between labor done and an individual's "labor power" or ability to work. Labor done is referred to nowadays as "effort" or "labor services." Labor-power might be seen as a stock. Labor, not labor power, is the key factor of production for Marx and the basis for Marx's labor theory of value; the hiring of labor power only results in the production of goods or services when organized and regulated. How much labor is done depends on the importance of conflict or tensions within the labor process. Neoclassical economics, one of the branches of mainstream economics, started with the classical factors of production of land and capital.
However, it developed an alternative theory of distribution. Many of its practitioners have added various further factors of production. Further distinctions from classical and neoclassical microeconomics include the following: Capital — This has many meanings, including the financial capital raised to operate and expand a business. In much of economics, however, "capital" means goods that can help produce other goods in the future, the result of investment, it refers to machines, factories, schools and office buildings which humans have produced to create goods and services. Fixed capital — This includes machinery, equipment, new technology, buildings and other goods that are designed to increase the productive potential of the economy for future years. Nowadays, many consider computer softwa
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon is an essay written by Karl Marx between December 1851 and March 1852, published in 1852 in Die Revolution, a German monthly magazine published in New York City and established by Joseph Weydemeyer. English editions, such as an 1869 Hamburg edition, were entitled The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte; the essay discusses the French coup of 1851 in which Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte assumed dictatorial powers. It shows Marx in his form as a social and political historian, treating actual historical events from the viewpoint of his materialist conception of history; the title refers to the Coup of 18 Brumaire in which Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in revolutionary France, in order to contrast it with the coup of 1851. In the preface to the second edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx stated that the purpose of this essay was to "demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero's part."This essay contains the most famous formulation of Marx's view of the role of the individual in history translated to something like: "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.
The Eighteenth Brumaire catalogs the mass of the bourgeoisie, which Marx says impounded the republic like its property, as composed of: the large landowners, the aristocrats of finance and big industrialists, the high dignitaries of the army, the university, the church, the bar, the academy, the press. It shows more criticism of the proletariat than is typical of his other works, referring to the bureaucracy as a "giant parasitic body" and describing widespread perceptions of the proletariat as a "party of anarchy and communism," a party paradoxically established on precepts of an oppositional "party of order." Along with Marx's contemporary writings on English politics and The Civil War in France, the Eighteenth Brumaire is a principal source for understanding Marx's theory of the capitalist state. Marx's interpretation of Louis Bonaparte's rise and rule is of interest to scholars studying the nature and meaning of fascism. Many Marxist scholars regard the coup as a forerunner of the phenomenon of 20th-century fascism.
This book is the source of one of Marx's most quoted statements, that history repeats itself, "the first as tragedy as farce", referring to Napoleon I and to his nephew Louis Napoleon: Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle, and the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire. Marx's sentiment echoed an observation made by Friedrich Engels at the same time Marx began work on this book. In a letter to Marx of 3 December 1851, Engels wrote from Manchester:.... It seems as though old Hegel, in the guise of the World Spirit, were directing history from the grave and, with the greatest conscientiousness, causing everything to be re-enacted twice over, once as grand tragedy and the second time as rotten farce, Caussidière for Danton, L. Blanc for Robespierre, Barthélemy for Saint-Just, Flocon for Carnot, the moon-calf together with the first available dozen debt-encumbered lieutenants for the little corporal and his band of marshals.
Thus the 18th Brumaire would be upon us. Yet this motif appeared earlier, in Marx's 1837 unpublished novel Scorpion and Felix, this time with a comparison between the first Napoleon and King Louis Philippe: Every giant... presupposes a dwarf, every genius a hidebound philistine.... The first are too great for this world, so they are thrown out, but the latter strike root in it and remain.... Caesar the hero leaves behind him the play-acting Octavianus, Emperor Napoleon the bourgeois king Louis Philippe.... Marxist philosophy Margaret A. Rose, Reading the Young Marx and Engels: Poetry and the Censor. London: Croon Helm, 1978; the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Preface to the Second Edition The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, 1907; the Eighteenth Brumaire Of Louis Bonaparte, International Publishers, New York City, 1963
The proletariat is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power. A member of such a class is a proletarian. In Marxist theory, a dictatorship of the proletariat is for the proletariat, of the proletariat, by the proletariat. On the Marxist view, this will endow the proletarian with the power to abolish the conditions that make a person a proletarian and, build communism; the proletarii constituted a social class of Roman citizens owning no property. The origin of the name is linked with the census, which Roman authorities conducted every five years to produce a register of citizens and their property from which their military duties and voting privileges could be determined. For citizens with property valued 11,000 assēs or less, below the lowest census for military service, their children—proles —were listed instead of their property; the only contribution of a proletarius to the Roman society was seen in his ability to raise children, the future Roman citizens who can colonize new territories conquered by the Roman Republic and by the Roman Empire.
The citizens who had no property of significance were called capite censi because they were "persons registered not as to their property...but as to their existence as living individuals as heads of a family." Although included in one of the five support centuriae of the Comitia Centuriata, proletarii were deprived of their voting rights due to their low social status caused by their lack of "even the minimum property required for the lowest class" and a class-based hierarchy of the Comitia Centuriata. The late Roman historians, such as Livy, not without some uncertainty, understood the Comitia Centuriata to be one of three forms of popular assembly of early Rome composed of centuriae, the voting units whose members represented a class of citizens according to the value of their property; this assembly, which met on the Campus Martius to discuss public policy issues, was used as a means of designating military duties demanded of Roman citizens. One of reconstructions of the Comitia Centuriata features 18 centuriae of cavalry, 170 centuriae of infantry divided into five classes by wealth, plus 5 centuriae of support personnel called adsidui.
The top infantry class assembled with full arms and armor. In voting, the cavalry and top infantry class were enough to decide an issue. In the last centuries of the Roman Republic, the Comitia Centuriata became impotent as a political body, which further eroded minuscule political power the proletarii might have had in the Roman society. Following a series of wars the Roman Republic engaged since the closing of the Second Punic War, such as the Jugurthine War and conflicts in Macedonia and Asia, the significant reduction in the number of Roman family farmers had resulted in the shortage of people whose property qualified them to perform the citizenry's military duty to Rome; as a result of the Marian reforms initiated in 107 BC by the Roman general Gaius Marius, the proletarii became the backbone of the Roman army. In the era of early 19th century, many Western European liberal scholars - who dealt with social sciences and economics - pointed out the socio-economic similarieties of the modern growing industrial worker class and the classic ancient proletarians.
One of the earliest analogies can be found in the 1807 paper of French philosopher and political scientist Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais. It was translated to English with the title: "Modern Slavery". Swiss liberal economist and historian Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi, was the first who applied the proletariat term to the working class created under capitalism, whose writings were cited by Marx. Marx most encountered the Proletariat term while studying the works of Sismondi. Karl Marx, who studied Roman law at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin, used the term proletariat in his socio-political theory of Marxism to describe a working class unadulterated by private property and capable of a revolutionary action to topple capitalism in order to create classless society. In Marxist theory, the proletariat is the social class that does not have ownership of the means of production and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their labor power for a wage or salary. Proletarians are wage-workers.
For Marx, wage labor may involve getting a salary rather than a wage per se. Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie as occupying conflicting positions, since workers automatically wish their wages to be as high as possible, while owners and their proxies wish for wages to be as low as possible. In Marxist theory, the borders between the proletariat and some layers of the petite bourgeoisie, who rely but not on self-employment at an income no different from an ordinary wage or below it – and the lumpenproletariat, who are not in legal employment – are not well defined. Intermediate positions are possible, where some wage-labor for an employer combines with self-employment. Marx makes a clear distinction between proletariat as salaried workers, which he sees as a progressive class, Lumpenproletariat, "rag-proletariat", the poorest and outcasts of the society
Crisis theory, concerning the causes and consequences of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall in a capitalist system, is now associated with Marxist economics. Earlier analysis by Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi provided the first suggestions of the systemic roots of Crisis. "The distinctive feature of Sismondi’s analysis is that it is geared to an explicit dynamic model in the modern sense of this phrase... Sismondi’s great merit is that he used and explicitly, a schema of periods, that is, that he was the first to practice the particular method of dynamics, called period analysis". Marx built on Sismondi's theoretical insights. Rosa Luxemburg and Henryk Grossman both drew attention to Sismondi's work, on the nature of capitalism, as a reference point for Karl Marx, Grossman in particular pointed out how Sismondi had contributed to the development of a series of Marx’s concepts including crises as a necessary feature of capitalism, arising from its contradictions between forces and relations of production and exchange value and consumption, capital and wage labor.
His "inkling... that the bourgeois forms are only transitory" was distinctive. John Stuart Mill in his Of the Tendency of Profits to a Minimum which forms Chapter III of Book IV of his Principles of Political Economy and Chapter V, Consequences of the Tendency of Profits to a Minimum, provides a conspectus of the accepted understanding of a number of the key elements, after David Ricardo, but without Karl Marx's theoretical working out of the theory that Frederick Engels posthumously published in Capital, Volume III. Marx's crisis theory was only understood among leading Marxists at the beginning of the twentieth-century, his notes, ‘Books of Crisis’ remain unpublished and have been referred to. A small group including Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin attempted to defend the revolutionary implications of the theory, while others, first Eduard Bernstein and Rudolf Hilferding, argued against its continued applicability, thereby founded one of the mainstreams of revision of the interpretation of Marx's ideas after Marx.
It was Henryk Grossman in 1929 who most rescued Marx's theoretical presentation... ‘he was the first Marxist to systematically explore the tendency for the organic composition of capital to rise and hence for the rate of profit to fall as a fundamental feature of Marx's explanation of economic crises in Capital.' Independently Samezō Kuruma was in 1929 drawing attention to the decisive importance in Marx's writings and made the explicit connection between Crisis theory and the theory of imperialism. Following the extensive setbacks to independent working class politics, the widespread destruction both of people and capital value, the 1930s and'40s saw attempts to reformulate Marx's analysis with less revolutionary consequences, for example in Joseph Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction, and his presentation of Marx's crisis theory as a prefiguration of aspects of what Schumpeter, others, championed as a theory of business cycles. “... more than any other economist identified cycles with the process of production and operation of additional plant and equipment”A survey of the competing theories of crisis in the different strands of political economy and economics was provided by Anwar Shaikh in 1978. and by Ernest Mandel in his'Introduction' to the Penguin edition of Marx's Capital Volume III in the section ‘marxist theories of crisis’ where Mandel says more about the theoretical confusion on this question at that time among thoughtful and influential marxists, than an excursus or introduction to Marx's crisis theory.
There have been attempts in periods of capitalist growth and expansion, most notably in the long Post-War Boom to both explain the phenomenon and to argue that Marx's strong statements of its'law like' fundamental character under capitalism have been overcome in practice, in theory or both. As a result, there have been persistent challenges to this aspect of Marx's theoretical achievement and reputation. Keynesian's argue that a "crisis" may refer to an sharp bust cycle of the regular boom and bust pattern of "chaotic" capitalist development, which, if no countervailing action is taken, could continue to develop into a recession or depression, it continues to be argued in terms of historical materialism theory, that such crises will repeat until objective and subjective factors combine to precipitate the transition to the new mode of production either by sudden collapse in a final crisis or gradual erosion of the basing on competition and the emerging dominance of cooperation. Karl Marx considered his crisis theory to be his most substantial theoretical achievement.
He presents it in its most developed form as Law of Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall combined with a discussion of various counter tendencies, which may slow or modify its impact." Roman Rosdolsky observed that ‘Marx concludes by saying that the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall is ‘in every respect the most important law of modern political economy... despite its simplicity, it has never before been grasped and less consciously articulated... It is from the historical standpoint the most important law.’ A key characteristic of these theoretical factors is that none of them are natural or accidental in origin but instead arise from systemic elements of capitalism as a mode of production and basic social order. In Marx's words, "The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself"; the law of the falling rate of profit, the unexpected consequence of the profit motive, is described by Marx as a "two-faced law with the same causes fo
Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Marxism, which drew out of various sources, the official philosophy in the Soviet Union, which enforced a rigid reading of Marx called dialectical materialism, in particular during the 1930s. Marxist philosophy is not a defined sub-field of philosophy, because the diverse influence of Marxist theory has extended into fields as varied as aesthetics, ontology, theoretical psychology and philosophy of science, as well as its obvious influence on political philosophy and the philosophy of history; the key characteristics of Marxism in philosophy are its materialism and its commitment to political practice as the end goal of all thought. Marxist theorist Louis Althusser, for example, defined philosophy as "class struggle in theory", thus radically separating himself from those who claimed philosophers could adopt a "God's eye view" as a purely neutral judge.
The philosopher Étienne Balibar wrote in 1996 that "there is no Marxist philosophy and there never will be. So the existence of Marxist philosophy is debatable. Balibar's remark is intended to explain the significance of the final line of Karl Marx's 11 Theses on Feuerbach, which can be read as an epitaph for philosophy: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. If this claim is still more or less the case in the 21st century, as many Marxists would claim Marxist theory is in fact the practical continuation of the philosophical tradition, while much of philosophy is still politically irrelevant. Many critics, both philosophers outside Marxism and some Marxist philosophers, feel that this is too quick a dismissal of the post-Marxian philosophical tradition. Much sophisticated and important thought has taken place after the writing of Engels. Dismissing all philosophy as sophistry might condemn Marxism to a simplistic empiricism or economism, crippling it in practice and making it comically simplistic at the level of theory.
Nonetheless, the force of Marx's opposition to Hegelian idealism and to any "philosophy" divorced from political practice remains powerful to a contemporary reader. Marxist and Marx-influenced 20th century theory, such as the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, the political writing of Antonio Gramsci, the neo-Marxism of Fredric Jameson, must take Marx's condemnation of philosophy into account, but many such thinkers feel a strong need to remedy the perceived theoretical problems with orthodox Marxism; such problems might include a too-simple economic determinism, an untenable theory of ideology as "false consciousness," or a simplistic model of state power rather than hegemony. So Marxist philosophy must continue to take account of advances in the theory of politics developed after Marx, but it must be wary of a descent into theoreticism or the temptations of idealism. Étienne Balibar claimed that if one philosopher could be called a "Marxist philosopher", that one would doubtlessly be Louis Althusser: Althusser proposed a'new definition' of philosophy as "class struggle in theory"... marxism had proper signification only insofar as it was the theory of the tendency towards communism, in view of its realization.
The criteria of acceptation or rejectal of a'marxist' proposition was always the same, whether it was presented as'epistemological' or as'philosophical': it was in the act of rendering intelligible a communist policy, or not.". However, "Althusser never ceased to put in question the images of communism that Marxist theory and ideology carried on: but he did it in the name of communism itself." Althusser thus criticized the evolutionist image which made of communism an ultimate stage of history, as well as the apocalyptic images which made it a "society of transparence", "without contradiction" nor ideology. Balibar observes that, in the end, Althusser enjoined the most sober definition of communism, exposed by Marx in The German Ideology: Communism is "not a state of the future, but the real movement which destroys the existing state of being.". There are endless interpretations of the "philosophy of Marx", from the interior of the Marxist movement as well as in its exterior. Although some have separated Marx's works between a "young Marx" and a "mature Marx" or by separating it into purely philosophical works, economics works and political and historical interventions, Étienne Balibar has pointed out that Marx's works can be divided into "economic works", "philosophical works" and "historical works" Marx's philosophy is thus inextricably linked to his critique of political economy and to his historical interventions in the workers' movement, such as the 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program or The Communist Manifesto, written with Engels a year before the Revolutions of 1848.
Both after the defeat of the French socialist movement during Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's 1851 coup and aft
Theses on Feuerbach
The "Theses on Feuerbach" are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx as a basic outline for the first chapter of the book The German Ideology in 1845. Like the book for which they were written, the theses were never published in Marx's lifetime, seeing print for the first time in 1888 as an appendix to a pamphlet by his co-thinker Friedrich Engels; the document is best remembered for the epigrammatic 11th thesis and final line: "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways. In February 1845 Karl Marx was deported from France at the behest of minister of foreign affairs François Guizot. Marx found sanctuary in Brussels, where he was joined for a number of months by his political compatriot Frederick Engels beginning in April of that same year, it was in Brussels that Marx first began to shape the concept of historical materialism—the idea that underlying fundamental changes in political history was a corresponding economic struggle between ruling and oppressed classes, at root of these structural transformations.
Marx began work upon a book detailing his new philosophy of history, entitled The German Ideology. In connection with this project, Marx wrote a terse 11-point set of observations and epigrams regarding the ideas of Ludwig Feuerbach, a fellow Young Hegelian philosopher regarded by him as the most modern exponent of materialism, albeit one whom Marx believed had failed to draw satisfactory political conclusions from his philosophical insights; these "theses" were written as a raw outline for the first chapter of The German Ideology, most of these were developed at greater length in that work. Marx criticized the contemplative materialism of the Young Hegelians, viewing "the essence of man" in isolation and abstraction, instead arguing that the nature of man could only be understood in the context of his economic and social relations. Marx argued that understanding the origins of religious belief were not enough in moving towards its elimination; the "Theses" identify political action as the only truth of philosophy, famously concluding: "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways.
While the text wishes to retain the critical stance of German critical idealism, it transposes that criticism into practical, political terms. Despite their best efforts to find a publisher, The German Ideology was not published during the lifetime of either Marx or Engels; the polemical work was published in full only in 1932 by the Marx–Engels–Lenin Institute of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party in Moscow. Nor did Marx publish the "Theses on Feuerbach" during his lifetime; this material was instead edited by Friedrich Engels and published in February 1888 as a supplement to his pamphlet Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy. Marx's original unedited text was published only in 1924 in German and Russian translation as part of Marx–Engels Archives, Book I, by the Marx–Engels Institute in Moscow; the Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach — "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways. The Eleventh Thesis is engraved in the entryway of Humboldt University on Unter den Linden in Berlin.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany ordered this in 1953 as part of reconstruction following World War II. The Eleventh Thesis is Marx's epitaph, engraved on his tombstone in Highgate Cemetery in London, along with the final line of the Communist Manifesto, "Workers of All Lands, Unite". Whittaker Chambers published his own translation in his 1952 memoir Witness: "Philosophers have explained the world. Young Marx Marxism Marxist philosophy Young Hegelians German idealism Materialism German Wikisource has original text related to this article: Thesen über Feuerbach Theses on Feuerbach from the Marx-Engels Internet Archive From the Marxists Internet Archive Eleven Theses on Feuerbach public domain audiobook at LibriVox