Karl Marx Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 144 quotes)
Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions, those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions. In this, they resemble the theologians, who likewise establish two kinds of religion. Every religion which is not theirs is an invention of men, while their own is an emanation from God. When the economists say the present-day relations--the relations of bourgeois production--are natural, they imply that these are the relations in which wealth is created and productive forces developed in conformity with the laws of nature. These relations therefore are themselves natural laws independent of the influence of time. They are eternal laws which must always govern society. Thus, there has been history, but there is no longer any. There has been history, since there were institutions of feudalism, and in these institutions of feudalism we find quite different relations of production from those of bourgeois society, which the economists try to pass off as natural and, as such, eternal.
The very same bourgeois mentality which extols the manufacturing division of labour, the life-long annexation of the worker to a partial operation, and the unconditional subordination of the detail worker to capital, extols them as an organisation of labour which increases productivity - denounces just as loudly every kind of deliberate social control and regulation of the social process of production, denounces it as an invasion of the inviolable property rights, liberty and self-determining genius of the individual capitalist. It is characteristic that the inspired apologists of the factory system can find nothing worse to say of any proposal for the general organisation of social labour, than that it would transform the whole of society into a factory.
The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would -be universal reformer. They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of communism. All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.
The less you eat, drink and read books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save-the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor dust will devour-your capital. The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life-the greater is the store of your estranged being.
Your favourite virtue ... Simplicity. Your favourite virtue in man ... Strength. Your favourite virtue in woman ... Weakness. Your chief characteristic ... Singleness of purpose. Your idea of happiness ... To fight. Your idea of misery ... Submission. The vice you excuse most ... Gullibility. The vice you detest most ... Servility. Your aversion ... Martin Tupper. Favourite occupation ... Book-worming. Favourite poet ... Shakespeare, Aeschylus, Goethe. Favourite prose-writer ... Diderot. Favourite hero ... Spartacus, Kepler. Favourite heroine ... Gretchen [Heroine of Goethe's Faust]Favourite flower ... Daphne. Favourite colour ... Red. Favourite name ... Laura, Jenny. Favourite dish ... Fish. Favourite maxim ... Nihil humani a me alienum puto [Nothing human is alien to me]Favourite motto ... De omnibus dubitandum [Everything must be doubted].
All freed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
Christ represents originally: 1) men before God; 2) God for men; 3) men to man. Similarly, money represents originally, in accordance with the idea of money: 1) private property for private property; 2) society for private property; 3) private property for society. But Christ is alienated God and alienated man. God has value only insofar as he represents Christ, and man has value only insofar as he represents Christ. It is the same with money.
It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, it has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- free trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
In its rational form [dialectic] is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.