written between April and August 1844

THIRD MANUSCRIPT Private Property and Communism ad page XXXIX.

[ This section, "Private Property and Communism", formed an appendix to page XXXIX of the incomplete Second Manuscript. ]

But the antithesis between propertylessness and property is still an indifferent antithesis, not grasped in its active connection, its inner relation, not yet grasped as contradiction, as long as it is not understood as the antithesis between labor and capital. In its initial form, this antithesis can manifest itself even without the advanced development of private property -- as, for example, in ancient Rome, in Turkey, etc. In such cases, it does not yet appear as established by private property itself. But labor, the subjective essence of private property as exclusion of property, and capital, objective labor as exclusion of labor, constitute private property in its developed relation of contradiction: a vigorous relation, therefore, driving towards resolution. ad ibidem.

The supersession [Aufhebung] of self-estrangement follows the same course self-estrangement. Private property is first considered only in its objective aspect, but still with labor as its essence. Its form of existence is therefore capital, which is to be abolished "as such" (Proudhon). Or the particular form of labor -- levelled down, parcelled, and, therefore, unfree -- is taken as the source of the harmfulness of private property and its humanly estranged existence. For example, Fourier, like the Physiocrats, regarded agriculture as at least the best form of labor, while Saint-Simon, on the other hand, declared industrial labor as such to be the essence and consequently wants exclusive rule by the industrialists and the improvement of the condition of the workers. Finally, communism [that is, crude or utopian communism, like Proudhon et al above] is the positive expression of the abolition of private property, and, at first, appears as universal private property. In grasping this relation in its universality, communism is 1. in its initial form only a generalization and completion of that relation (of private property). As such, it appears in a dual form: on the one hand, the domination of material property bulks so large that it threatens to destroy everything which is not capable of being possessed by everyone as private property; it wants to abstract from talent, etc., by force. Physical, immediate possession is the only purpose of life nd existence as far as this communism is concerned; the category of worker is not abolished but extended to all men; the relation of private property remains the relation of the community to the world of things; ultimately, this movement to oppose universal private property to private property is expressed in bestial form -- marriage (which is admittedly a form of exclusive private property) is counterposed to the community of women, where women become communal and common property. One might say that this idea of a community of women is the revealed secret of this as yet wholly crude and unthinking communism. Just as women are to go from marriage into general prostitution, so the whole world of wealth -- i.e., the objective essence of man -- is to make the transition from the relation of exclusive marriage with the private owner to the relation of universal prostitution with the community. This communism, inasmuch as it negates the personality of man in every sphere, is simply the logical expression of the private property which is this negation. Universal envy constituting itself as a power is the hidden form in which greed reasserts itself and satisfies itself, but in another way. The thoughts of every piece of private property as such are at least turned against richer private property in the form of envy and the desire to level everything down; hence these feelings in fact constitute the essence of competition. The crude communist is merely the culmination of this envy and desire to level down on the basis of a preconceived minimum. It has a definite, limited measure. How little this abolition of private property is a true appropriation is shown by the abstract negation of the entire world of culture and civilization, and the return to the unnatural simplicity of the poor, unrefined man who has no needs and who has not yet even reached the stage of private property, let along gone beyond it.

(For crude communism) the community is simply a community of labor and equality of wages, which are paid out by the communal capital, the community as universal capitalist. Both sides of the relation are raised to an unimaginary universality -- labor as the condition in which everyone is placed and capital as the acknowledged universality and power of the community.

In the relationship with woman, as the prey and handmaid of communal lust, is expressed the infinite degradation in which man exists for himself -- for the secret of this relationship has its unambiguous, decisive, open and revealed expression in the relationship of man to woman and in the manner in which the direct, natural species- relationship is conceived. The immediate, natural, necessary relation of human being to human being is the relationship of man to woman. In this natural species-relationship, the relation of man to nature is immediately his relation to man, just as his relation to man is immediately his relation to nature, his own natural condition. Therefore, this relationship reveals in a sensuous form, reduced to an observable fact, the extent to which the human essence has become nature for man or nature has become the human essence for man. It is possible to judge from this relationship the entire level of development of mankind. It follows from the character of this relationship of this relationship how far man as a species-being, as man, has become himself and grasped himself; the relation of man to woman is the most natural relation of human being to human being. It therefore demonstrates the extent to which man's natural behavior has become human or the extent to which his human essence has become a natural essence for him, the extent to which his human nature has become nature for him. This relationship also demonstrates the extent to which man's needs have become human needs, hence the extent to which the other, as a human being, has become a need for him, the extent to which in his most individual existence he is at the same time a communal being.

The first positive abolition of private property -- crude communism -- is therefore only a manifestation of the vileness of private property trying to establish itself as the positive community.

2. Communism (a) still of a political nature, democratic or despotic; (b) with the abolition of the state, but still essentially incomplete and influenced by private property -- i.e., by the estrangement of man. In both forms, communism already knows itself as the reintegration, or return, of man into himself, the supersession of man's self-estrangement; but since it has not yet comprehended the positive essence of private property, or understood the human nature of need, it is still held captive and contaminated by private property. True, it has understood its concept, but not yet in essence.

[Marx now endeavors to explore if own version of communism, as distinct from Proudhon et al above.] 3. Communism is the positive supersession of private property as human self-estrangement, and hence the true appropriation of the human essence through and for man; it is the complete restoration of man to himself as a social -- i.e., human -- being, a restoration which has become conscious and which takes place within the entire wealth of previous periods of development. This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature, and between man and man, the true resolution of the conflict between existence and being, between objectification and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species. It is the solution of the riddle of history and knows itself to be the solution.

The entire movement of history is therefore both the actual act of creation of communism -- the birth of its empirical existence -- and, for its thinking consciousness, the comprehended and known movement of its becoming; whereas the other communism, which is not yet fully developed, seeks in isolated historical forms opposed to private property a historical proof for itself, a proof drawn from what already exists, by wrenching isolated moments from their proper places in the process of development (a hobbyhorse Cabet, Villegardelle, etc., particularly like to ride) and advancing them as proofs of its historical pedigree. But all it succeeds in showing is that be far the greater part of this development contradicts its assertions and that if it did not once exist, then the very fact that it existed in the past refutes its claim to essential being [Wesen]. It is easy to see how necessary it is for the whole revolutionary movement to find both its empirical and its theoretical basis in the movement of private property or, to be exact, of the economy. This material, immediately sensuous private property is the material, sensuous expression of estranged human life. Its movement --production and consumption -- is the sensuous revelation of the movement of all previous production -- i.e., the realization or reality of man. Religion, the family, the state, law, morality, science, art, etc., are only particular modes of production and therefore come under its general law. The positive supersession of private property, as the appropriation of human life, is therefore the positive supersession of all estrangement, and the return of man from religion, the family, the state, etc., to his human -- i.e., social -- existence. Religious estrangement as such takes place only in the sphere of consciousness, of man's inner life, but economic estrangement is that of real life -- its supersession therefore embraces both aspects. Clearly the nature of the movement in different countries initially depends on whether the actual and acknowledged life of the people has its being more in consciousness or in the external world, in ideal or in real life. Communism begins with atheism (Owen), but atheism is initially far from being communism, and is for the most part an abstraction. The philanthropy of atheism is therefore at first nothing more than an abstract philosophical philanthropy, while that of communism is at once real and directly bent towards action.

We have seen how, assuming the positive supersession of private property, man produces man, himself and other men; how the object, which is the direct activity of his individuality, is at the same time his existence for other men, their existence and their existence for him. Similarly, however, both the material of labor and man as subject are the starting-point as well as the outcome of the movement (and the historical necessity of private-property lies precisely in the fact that they must be this starting-point). So the social character is the general character of the whole movement; just as society itself produces man as man, so it is produced by him. Activity and consumption, both in their content and in their mode of existence, are social activity and social consumption. The human essence of nature exists only for social man; for only here does nature exist for him as a bond with other men, as his existence for others and their existence for him, as the vital element of human reality; only here does it exist as the basis of his own human existence. Only here has his natural existence become his human existence and nature become man for him. Society is therefore the perfected unity in essence of man with nature, the true resurrection of nature, the realized naturalism of man and the realized humanism of nature. * [* Marx added the following note at the bottom of the page: Prostitution is only a particular expression of the universal prostitution of the worker, and since prostitution is a relationship which includes not only the prostituted but also the prostitutor -- whose infamy is even greater -- the capitalist is also included in this category.]

Social activity and social consumption by no means exist solely in the form of a directly communal activity and a directly communal consumption, even though communal activity and communal consumption -- i.e., activity and consumption that express and confirm themselves directly in real association with other men -- occur wherever that direct expression of sociality [Gesellschaftlichkeit] springs from the essential nature of the content of the activity and is appropriate to the nature of the consumption.

But even if I am active in the field of science, etc. -- an activity which I am seldom able to perform in direct association with other men -- I am still socially active because I am active as a man. It is not only the material of my activity -- including even the language in which the thinker is active -- which I receive as a social product. My own existence is social activity. Therefore what I create from myself I create for society, conscious of myself as a social being.

My universal consciousness is only the theoretical form of that whose living form is the real community, society, whereas at present universal consciousness is an abstraction from real life and as such in hostile opposition to it. Hence the activity of my universal consciousness -- as activity -- is my theoretical existence as a social being.

It is, above all, necessary to avoid once more establishing "society" as an abstraction over against the individual. The individual is the social being. His vital expression -- even when it does not appear in the direct form of a communal expression, conceived in association with other men -- is therefore an expression and confirmation of social life. Man's individual and species-life are not two distinct things, however much -- and this is necessarily so -- the mode of existence of individual life is a more particular or a more general mode of the species-life, or species-life a more particular or more general individual life.

As species-consciousness man confirms his real social life and merely repeats in thought his actual existence; conversely, species-being confirms itself in species-consciousness and exists for itself in its universality, as a thinking being. Man, however much he may therefore be a particular individual -- and it is just this particularity which makes him an individual totality, the ideal totality, the subjective existence of thought and experienced society for itself; he also exists in reality as the contemplation and true enjoyment of social existence and as a totality of vital human expression.

It is true that thought and being are distinct, but at the same time they are in unity with one another.

Death appears as the harsh victory of the species over the particular individual, and seemingly contradicts their unity; but the particular individual is only a particular species-being, and, as such, mortal.

4. Just as private property is only the sensuous expression of the fact that man becomes objective for himself and at the same time becomes an alien and inhuman object for himself, that his expression of life [Lebensausserung ] is his alienation of life [Lebensentausserung], and that his realization is a loss of reality, an alien reality, so the positive supersession of private property -- i.e., the sensuous appropriation of the human essence and human life, of objective man and of human works by and for man -- should not be understood only in the sense of direct, one-sided consumption, of possession, of having. Man appropriates his integral essence in an integral way, as a total man. All his human elations to the world -- seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, thinking, contemplating, sensing, wanting, acting, loving -- in short, all the organs of his individuality, like the organs which are directly communal in form, are in their objective approach or in their approach to the object the appropriation of that object. This appropriation of human reality, their approach to the object, is the confirmation of human reality. [Marx's note: It is therefore just as varied as the determinations of the human essence and activities.] It is human effectiveness and human suffering, for suffering, humanly conceived, is an enjoyment of the self for man.

Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital or when we directly possess, eat, drink, wear, inhabit it, etc., in short, when we use it. Although private property conceives all these immediate realizations of possession only as means of life; and the life they serve is the life of private property, labor, and capitalization.

Therefore all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by the simple estrangement of all these senses -- the sense of having. So that it might give birth to its inner wealth, human nature had to be reduced to this absolute poverty. (On the category of having see Hess in Einundzwanzig Bogen.)

The supersession of private property is therefore the complete emancipation of all human senses and attributes; but it is this emancipation precisely because these senses and attributes have become human, subjectively as well as objectively. The eye has become a human eye, just as its object has become a social, human object, made by man for man. The senses have therefore become theoreticians in their immediate praxis. They relate to the thing for its own sake, but the thing itself is an objective human relation to itself and to man, and vice versa. [Marx's note: In practice I can only relate myself to a thing in a human way if the thing is related in a human way to man.] Need or employment have therefore lost their egoistic nature, and nature has lost its mere utility in the sense that its use has become human use.

Similarly, senses and enjoyment of other men have become my own appropriation. Apart from these direct organs, social organs are therefore created in the form of society; for example, activity in direct association with others, etc., has become an organ of my life expressions and a mode of appropriation of human life.

Obviously the human eye takes in things in a different way from the crude non-human eye, the hum ear in a different way from the crude ear, etc.

To sum up: it is only when man's object becomes a human object or objective that man does not lose himself in that object. This is only possible when it becomes a social object for him and when he himself becomes a social being for himself, just as society becomes a being for him in this object.

On the one hand, therefore, it is only when objective reality universally becomes for man in society the reality of man's essential powers, becomes human reality, and thus the reality of his own essential powers, that all objects become for him the objectification of himself, objects that confirm and realize his individuality, his objects -- i.e., he himself becomes the object. The manner in which they become his depends on the nature of the object and the nature of the essential power that corresponds to it; for it is just the determinateness of this relation that constitutes the particular, real mode of affirmation. An object is different for the eye from what it is for the ear, and the eye's object is different for from the ear's. The peculiarity of each essential power is precisely its peculiar essence, and thus also the peculiar mode of its objectification, of its objectively real, living being. Man is therefore affirmed in the objective world not only in thought but with all the senses.

On the other hand, let us look at the question in its subjective aspect: only music can awaken the musical sense in man and the most beautiful music has no sense for the unmusical ear, because my object can only be the confirmation of one of my essential powers -- i.e., can only be for me insofar as my essential power exists for me as a subjective attribute (this is because the sense of an object for me extends only as far as my sense extends, only has sense for a sense that corresponds to that object). In the same way, and for the same reasons, the senses of social man are different from those of non-social man. Only through the objectively unfolded wealth of human nature can the wealth of subjective human sensitivity -- a musical ear, an eye for the beauty of form, in short, senses capable of human gratification -- be either cultivated or created. For not only the five senses, but also the so-called spiritual senses, the practical senses (will, love, etc.), in a word, the human sense, the humanity of the senses -- all these come into being only through the existence of their objects, through humanized nature. The cultivation of the five senses is the work of all previous history. Sense which is a prisoner of crude practical need has only a restricted sense. For a man who is starving, the human form of food does not exist, only its abstract form exists; it could just as well be present in its crudest form, and it would be hard to say how this way of eating differs from that of animals. The man who is burdened with worries and needs has no sense for the finest of plays; the dealer in minerals sees only the commercial value, and not the beauty and peculiar nature of the minerals; he lacks a mineralogical sense; thus the objectification of the human essence, in a theoretical as well as a practical respect, is necessary both in order to make man's senses human and to create an appropriate human sense for the whole of the wealth of humanity and of nature.

Just as in its initial stages society is presented with all the material for this cultural development through the movement of private property, and of its wealth and poverty -- both material and intellectual wealth and poverty -- so the society that is fully developed produces man in all the richness of his being, the rich man who is profoundly and abundantly endowed with all the senses, as its constant reality.

It can be seen how subjectiveness and objectivism, spiritualism and materialism, activity and passivity [Leiden], lose their antithetical character, and hence their existence as such antithesis, only in the social condition; it can be seen how the resolution of the theoretical antitheses themselves is possible only in a practical way, only through the practical energy of man, and how their resolution is for that reason by no means only a problem of knowledge, but a real problem of life, a problem which philosophy was unable to solve precisely because it treated it as a purely theoretical problem.

It can be seen how the history of industry and the objective existence of industry as it has developed is the open book of the essential powers of man, man's psychology present in tangible form; up to now this history has not been grasped in its connection with the nature of man, but only in an external utilitarian aspect, for man, moving in the realm of estrangement, was only capable of conceiving the general existence of man -- religion, or history in its abstract and universal form of politics, art, literature, etc. -- as the reality of man's essential powers and as man's species-activity. In everyday, material industry (which can just as easily be considered as a part of that general development as that general development itself can be considered as a particular part of industry, since all human activity up to now has been labor -- i.e., industry, self-estranged activity) we find ourselves confronted with the objectified powers of the human essence, in the form of sensuous, alien, useful objects, in the form of estrangement. A psychology for which this book, the most tangible and accessible part of history, is closed, can never become a real science with a genuine content. What indeed should we think of a science which primly abstracts from this large area of human labor, and fails to sense its own inadequacy, even though such an extended wealth of human activity says nothing more to it perhaps than what can be said in one word -- "need", "common need"?

The natural sciences have been prolifically active and have gathered together an ever growing mass of material. But philosophy has remained just as alien to them as they have remained alien to philosophy. Their momentary union was only a fantastic illusion. The will was there, but not the means. Even historiography only incidentally takes account of natural science, which it sees as contributing to enlightenment, utility and a few great discoveries. But natural science has intervened in and transformed human life all the more practically through industry and has prepared the conditions for human emancipation, however much its immediate effect was to complete the process was to complete the process of dehumanization. Industry is the real historical relationship of nature, and hence of natural science, to man. If it is then conceived as the exoteric revelation of man's essential powers, the human essence of nature or the natural essence of man can also be understood. Hence natural science will lose its abstractly material, or rather idealist, orientation and become the basis of a human science, just as it has already become -- though in an estranged form -- the basis of actual human life. The idea of one basis for life and another for science is from the very outset a lie. Nature as it comes into being in human history -- in the act of creation of human society -- is the true nature of man; hence nature as it comes into being through industry, though in an estranged form, is true anthropological nature.

Sense perception (see Feuerbach) must be the basis of all science. Only when science starts out from sense perception in the dual form of sensuous consciousness and sensuous need -- i.e., only when science starts out from nature -- is it real science. The whole of history is a preparation, a development, for "man" to become the object of sensuous consciousness and for the needs of "man as man" to become [sensuous] needs. History itself is a real part of natural history and of nature's becoming man. Natural science will, in time, subsume the science of man, just as the science of man will subsume natural science: there will be one science.

Man is the immediate object of natural science; for immediate sensuous nature for man is, immediately, human sense perception (an identical expression) in the form of the other man who is present in his sensuous immediacy for him. His own sense perception only exists as human sense perception for himself through the other man. But nature is the immediate object of the science of man. Man's first object -- man -- is nature, sense perception; and the particular sensuous human powers, since they can find objective realization only in natural objects, can find self-knowledge only in the science of nature in general. The element of thought itself, the element of the vital expression of thought -- language -- is sensuous nature. The social reality of nature and human natural science or the natural science of man are identical expressions.

It can be seen how the rich man and the wealth of human need take the place of the wealth and poverty of political economy. The rich man is simultaneously the man in need of totality of vital human expression; he is the man in whom his own realization exists as inner necessity, as need. Given socialism, not only man's wealth but also his poverty acquire a human and hence a social significance. Poverty is the passive bond which makes man experience his greatest wealth -- the other man -- as need. The domination of the objective essences within me, the sensuous outburst of my essential activity, is passion, which here becomes the activity of my being.

5. A being sees himself as independent only when he stands on his own feet, and he only stands on his own feet when he owes this existence to himself. A man who lives by the grace of another regards himself as a dependent being. But I live completely by the grace of another if I owe him not only the maintenance of my life, but also its creation, if he is the source of my life. My life is necessarily grounded outside itself if it is not my own creation. The creation is therefore an idea which is very hard to exorcize from the popular consciousness. This consciousness is incapable of comprehending the self-mediated being [Durchsichselbstsein ] of nature and of man, since such a being contradicts all the palpable evidence of practical life.

The creation of the Earth receives a heavy blow from the science of geogeny -- i.e., the science which depicts the formation of the Earth, its coming to be, as a process of self-generation. Generatio aequivoca [spontaneous generation] is the only practical refutation of the theory of creation.

Now, it is easy to say to a particular individual what Aristotle said: You were begotten by your father and your mother, which means that in you the mating of two human beings, a human species-act, produced another human being. Clearly, then, man also owes his existence to man in a physical sense. Therefore, you should not only keep sight of the one aspect, the infinite progression which leads you on to the question: "Who begot my father, his grandfather, etc.?" You should also keep in mind the circular movement sensuously perceptible in that progression whereby man reproduces himself in the act of begetting and thus always remains the subject. But you will reply: I grant you this circular movement, but you must also grant me the right to progress back to the question: Your question is itself a product of abstraction. Ask yourself how you arrived at that question. Ask yourself whether your question does not arise from a standpoint to which I cannot reply because it is a perverse one. Ask yourself whether that progression exists as such for rational thought. If you ask about the creation of nature and of man, then you are abstracting from nature and from man. You assume them as non-existent and want me to prove to you that they exist. My answer is: Give up your abstraction and you will them give up your question. But if you want to hold on to your abstraction, then do so consistently, and if you assume the non-existence of man and nature, then assume also your own non-existence, for you are also nature and man. Do not think and do not ask me questions, for as soon as you think and ask questions, your abstraction from the existence of nature and man has no meaning. Or are you such an egoist that you assume everything as non-existence and still want to exist yourself?

You can reply: I do not want to assume the nothingness of nature, etc. I am only asking how it arose, just as I might ask the anatomist about the formation of bones, etc.

But since for socialist man the whole of what is called world history is nothing more than the creation of man through human labor, and the development of nature for man, he therefore has palpable and incontrovertible proof of his self-mediated birth, of his process of emergence. Since the essentiality [Wesenhaftigkeit] of man and nature, a man as the existence of nature for man and nature as the existence of man for man, has become practically and sensuously perceptible, the question of an alien being, being above nature and man -- a question which implies an admission of the unreality of nature and of man -- has become impossible in practice. Atheism, which is a denial of this unreality, no longer has any meaning, for atheism is a negation of God, through which negation it asserts the existence of man. But socialism as such no longer needs such mediation. Its starting point is the theoretically and practically sensuous consciousness of man and of nature as essential beings. It is the positive self-consciousness of man, no longer mediated through the abolition of religion, just as real life is positive reality no longer mediated through the abolition of private property, through communism. Communism is the act of positing as the negation of the negation, and is therefore a real phase, necessary for the next period of historical development, in the emancipation and recovery of mankind. Communism is the necessary form and the dynamic principle of the immediate future, but communism is not as such the goal of human development -- the form of human society. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ transcribed by zodiac@io.org report errors to that address .

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