The Poverty of Philosophy

The Poverty of Philosophy

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The Poverty of Philosophy

The Poverty of Philosophy

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The present work was produced in the winter of 1846- 47, at a time when Marx had cleared up for himself the basic features of his new historical and economic outlook. Proudhon's Système des Contradictions économiques ou Philosophie de la Misère, which had just appeared, gave him the opportunity to develop these basic features in opposing them to the views of a man who, from then on, was to occupy the chief place among living French Socialists. From the time when the two of them in Paris often spent whole nights in discussing economic questions, their paths had more and more diverged; Proudhon's book proved that there was already an unbridgeable gulf between them. To ignore it was at that time impossible, and so Marx by this answer of his put on record the irreparable rupture.

Marx's general opinion of Proudhon is to be found in the article, given as appendix to this preface, which appeared in the Berlin Sozialdemokrat, Nos. 16, 17 and 18, in 1865. It was the only article that Marx wrote for that paper; Herr von Schweitzer's attempts, which soon afterwards became evident, to guide it along feudal and government lines compelled us to announce publicly the end of our collaboration after only a few weeks.

For Germany the present work has at this precise moment a significance which Marx himself never foresaw. How could he have known that, in trouncing Proudhon, he was hitting Rodbertus, the idol of the place hunters of today, whose very name was then unknown to him?

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