THE TALE I HAVE TOLD began with Feuerbach's critique of Christianity. It moved to his critique of philosophy, and then to Bauer's and the 1844 Marx's stress on human beings as creatures who realize their nature by continually transforming themselves and, for Marx, by transforming the material world as well. This pointed to a critique of capitalism as a social system in which individuals do not and cannot realize their nature. In Chapter 6 a question arose about Marx's justification of his claims about human nature, more specifically his claim about the type of activity through which human beings realize their nature. Feuerbach demanded a shift in orientation from his reader, and this functioned as a justificatory device. The 1844 Marx could not, without inconsistency, demand a similar shift. And the Feuerbachian critique of philosophy, which Marx substantially adopted, deprived him of justificatory resources he tamed out, on his own premises, to need. In Chapter 7 I presented a reading of the Tbeses on Feuerbach as a way (ultimately not wholly successful) to handle Marx's problem. In the final three chapters I looked at The German Ideology's attack on the Young Hegelians, at its critique of philosophy and of morality, and at its (somewhat different from 1844) picture of the good life; and I examined again the issue of justifying a critique of capitalism.
What I have traced is a series of attempts to explain how human