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Book Title: Critique of the Gotha Program|
Date of issue: March 30th 2008
ISBN 13: 9781434463098
The author of the book: Karl Marx
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 988 KB
Edition: Wildside Press
Read full description of the books Critique of the Gotha Program:Read it at " http://marxists.org/archive/marx/work... " which is just the critique itself (and a brief introduction by Engels).
Some key points: I don't think this is an endorsement of "labor vouchers", but rather Marx pointing out that the new society is going to be stamped with the marks of the old, and that any sort of voucher is founded in capitalism and is a bourgeois right; but also it demolishes the idea that contributions are even measurable beyond labor time. I think Lenin's turning of this, even in "State and Revolution" into a two-stage model is more a function of the inherent tendency toward bureaucratization in the Bolshevik party model. In other words, the principle Marx is getting at is not "first we will have the system of labor vouchers and the social safety net administered by the dictatorship of the proletariat, and then, full communism!" but that task of the revolutionary proletariat is not just to smash the state, seize power, and expropriate the expropriators, but to, by changing the basic conditions of production, give birth to entirely new social relations.
Marx's pointing out that Nature is the source of wealth is important, and a good reminder - it's too easy to fall into the trap that since only labor produces surplus value, to then fall into "labor is the source of all wealth". That would be an inaccurate bit of inductive reasoning, there.
Marx does provide some guidance on organization, here, as Dunayevskaya points out. For instance:
"The international activity of the working classes does not in any way depend on the existence of the International Working Men's Association. This was only the first attempt to create a central organ for the activity; an attempt which was a lasting success on account of the impulse which it gave but which was no longer realizable in its historical form after the fall of the Paris Commune."
This is practically overflowing with advice. It's a pretty clear statement of Marx feeling that the working classes are autonomous of parties, unions, and other official organizations; that he feels that there is some usefulness to some forms of those organizations (that the IWMA was an attempt to create a central organ for the activity, and that the First International was a lasting success), but that they are historically specific, and are about coordinating, connecting, and aiding the organization of the class, not substituting for the class or sections of it. As an autonomist, I would of course extend this to say that each composition of the class has its own forms of organization. The whole discussion on organization serves as a strong rejection of the Second International, and even of, as Dunayevskaya would put it, the "half-way" solution of Lenin.
Read information about the authorIn 1818, Karl Marx, descended from a long line of rabbis, was born in Prussian Rhineland. Marx's' father converted to Protestantism shortly before Karl's birth. Educated at the Universities of Bonn, Jena, and Berlin, Marx founded the Socialist newspaper Vorwarts in 1844 in Paris. After being expelled from France at the urging of the Prussian government, which "banished" Marx in absentia, Marx studied economics in Brussels. He and Engels founded the Communist League in 1847 and published the Communist Manifesto. After the failed revolution of 1848 in Germany, in which Marx participated, he eventually wound up in London. Marx worked as foreign correspondent for several U.S. publications. His Das Kapital came out in three volumes (1867, 1885 and 1894). Marx organized the International and helped found the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Although Marx was not religious, Bertrand Russell later remarked, "His belief that there is a cosmic force called Dialectical Materialism which governs human history independently of human volitions, is mere mythology" (Portraits from Memory, 1956). Marx once quipped, "All I know is that I am not a Marxist" (according to Engels in a letter to C. Schmidt; see Who's Who in Hell by Warren Allen Smith). D. 1883.
Marx began co-operating with Bruno Bauer on editing Hegel's Philosophy of Religion in 1840. Marx was also engaged in writing his doctoral thesis, The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, which he completed in 1841. It was described as "a daring and original piece of work in which Marx set out to show that theology must yield to the superior wisdom of philosophy": the essay was controversial, particularly among the conservative professors at the University of Berlin. Marx decided, instead, to submit his thesis to the more liberal University of Jena, whose faculty awarded him his PhD in April 1841. As Marx and Bauer were both atheists, in March 1841 they began plans for a journal entitled Archiv des Atheismus (Atheistic Archives), but it never came to fruition.
Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science.
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