Capital, the Communist Manifesto and Other Writings

By Karl Marx; Max Eastman | Go to book overview

THE THREE SOURCES AND THREE CONSTITUENT PARTS OF MARXISM

THROUGHOUT the whole civilized world Marxist teachings draw upon themselves the extreme hostility and hatred of all bourgeois science (both governmental and liberal). It sees in Marxism something in the nature of a harmful "sect." No other attitude could be expected, for an impartial social science is impossible in a society founded on class struggle. In one way or another every governmental and liberal science defends wage slavery, and Marxism has declared ruthless war against this slavery. To expect impartial science in a wage- slave society is rather stupidly naïve--like expecting owners to be impartial on the question whether to raise the workers' wages at the expense of the profits of capital.

But never mind that. The history of philosophy and the history of social science offer abundantly clear proof that Marxism has nothing similar to "sectarianism" in the sense of a shut-in, ossified doctrine standing apart from the main road of development of world civilization. On the contrary, the very genius of Marx lay in the fact that he gave the answer to those questions which the most advanced thought of humanity had already raised. His teachings arose as a direct and immediate continuation of the teachings of the greatest representatives of philosophy, political economy and socialism.

The teaching of Marx is all-powerful because it is true. It is complete and symmetrical, offering an integrated view of the world, irreconcilable with any superstition, with any reactionism, or with any defense of bourgeois oppression. It is the legitimate inheritor of the best that humanity created in the 19th century in the form of German philosophy, English political economy, French socialism.

Let us dwell briefly upon these three sources and therefore constituent parts of Marxism.

-xxi-

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