« НазадПродовжити »
Marxian Economics and Its Influence on the Labor Movement
Industrial unionism, which is the theme of this paper,
is firmly rooted in tne economic doctrines of Karl Marx. There
fore, we must understand clearly the economic interpretation of
history and the theory of value enunciated by Marx.
we cannot understand how the tide is setting in the labor move
- & tide which, in spite of cross-currents and a
powerful undertow, is destined, or so its more aggressive lead
ers believe, to beat upon the seemingly eternal cliffs of cap
italism until they are carried away into the sea.
Not what is
true, as Professor Dunning so well reminds us, but what men
believe to be true, shapes the course of history. Karl Marx is the one economist whose teachings penetrate beyond aloof
academic circles to the restless world of labor.
To that world
he seems the evangel of a new economic dispensation.
The materialistic conception of history and doctrine of
the class struggle set forth by Marx and Engels in the Manifesto
of the Communist Party in 1848 may be thus summarized, using, so
far as possible, the words of the text:
"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles..?
In successive periods, slave struggled against freeman, plebeian against patrician, serf against
A revolution in the modes of production and
1. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Manifest of the Communist
exchange has always produced a new class alignment, accom
panied by a corresponding shifting of social and political
Modern bourgeois, or capitalistic, society, which sprouted from the ruins of feudalism, has played a most
It has left no bond between man and
man except that of self-interest.
It has converted lawyers,
priests, and men of science into paid wage-laborers. Family
ties are rent asunder and the children of the proletariat
"are transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor..?
"The bourgeoisie has, through its
exploitation of the world-market, given a cosmopolitan
2 character to production and consumption..... Capitalism
has resulted in the concentration of population in cities
and in the concentration of the means of production and of
wealth, and of government in the hands of the few.
Under capitalism, social labor power has created
"more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Nevertheless, "modern bourgeois
..... that has conjured up such gigantic means of
production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is
no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. 4 "Not only has the
bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself;
1. Ibid, 38 2. Ibid, 17 3. Ibid. 19 4. Ibid, 20