Arkayan Ganguly, Critique. Journal of Socialist Theory.

Review of The Last Marx (1881-1883): An Intellectual Biography

Few of the numerous biographies of Marx, written both before and after the ‘New Revival’, betray any genuine concern for the tireless intellectual pursuits of his last years; instead, they turn their attention almost wholly to his earlier thoughts, which too are, more often than not, dealt in isolation – hence cut off – from his shaping life experience as a living continuum. In The Last Years of Karl Marx, 1881–1883: An Intellectual Biography Marcello Musto, determined to put to rest such uncritical intellectual prejudices, takes a firm stand against this trend. Drawing support from the huge corpus of Marx’s books, notebooks, letters, marginalia and even the comments of his adversaries, he paints the portrait of an embattled thinker, which nevertheless remains a sensitively nuanced one. At the same time, he correlates what he calls Marx’s ‘existential vicissitudes’ (p. 5) and his academic labours, in the process extending the focus from the subject’s ‘mind, thoughts and ideas’ to his ‘life, personality and character’,1 the coordinates within which the man and his works may be seen as being charted in graphic detail.

In 1859, in a defining gesture bearing on his pertinence as a political economist,2 Marx offered a clarificatory note on what characterized the nature and direction of his learning. Whether in his last years he continued to remain consistent with this specific self-clarification, the present review seeks to examine, in the light, that is, of Musto’s study.

The book opens ‘with a fateful question’ which John Swinton, walking along the beach in September, 1880, once put to Marx. Moving from topic to topic he finally asked what the ‘law of being’ is. While gazing upon the ‘roaring sea’ and the ‘restless multitude upon the beach’, and after a measured silence Marx responded, saying in a voice tempered with self-knowledge – ‘Struggle’ (p. 9)!

What this moment truly evokes is an image of the hero as he emerges in the finale of Beethoven’s Eroica. The ‘noble Poco Andante’3 section, resonating with the walk, the question and Marx’s contemplative gaze, ‘represents the apotheosis of the hero’, which gets ‘transfigured by a vast change of tempo and of instrumentation, and thundered out in all its splendour by the brass’ of ‘the Coda4 which follows it’,5 depicting Marx’s ‘Struggle’ succeeding, almost, as the culmination of his gaze. The music projects the undaunted hero, not as the one who is exalted above the struggling common soul, but as the one who ‘is free to resist myth, “to stand firm against fate,”’ holding ‘out “hope without the lie of religion”’6 and beseeches ‘the spirit of man, charged with the task of making the world as it “should be”’.7 In short, it can be claimed, the music captures Marx and his spirit. Indeed, Eroica in a sense helps unveil the purpose of the account Musto presents, which, to be precise, not only upholds the spirit of ‘late Marx’ but does, at the same time, place upon the readers a realization of the task they too by implication are ‘charged with’.

To return to Musto. He presents Marx in 1881 with his family – his wife diagnosed with cancer, daughter Jennychen in Paris, and he himself seriously ill; his friends, visitors, and his research apparatuses; a humble desk, an elaborate library, newspapers, government records, unpublished writings and the unfinished manuscripts of Capital II. Writing for self-clarification and recasting his thoughts, between end of 1879 and summer of 1880, among other things, Marx studied Maksim Kovalevsky’s Communal Landownership. His purpose was to know how the existing communal landownership and ‘possession rights’ (p. 19) in the colonies were abolished under the superimposed rule of capital with the lust to explore and plunder. The Spanish in Latin America, the British in India and the French in Algeria were but so many facets of colonial pillaging to secure economic gains while also fulfilling a ‘political aim’ (p. 21), that of eliminating resistance of the colonized by destroying their societal foundations.

Next, Musto records how Kovalevsky would introduce Marx to an American anthropologist, Lewis Morgan, whose Ancient Society led him to study anthropology between December 1880 and June 1881. His studies were later collected to form The Ethnological Notebooks. Although Musto refrains from an ‘exhaustive analysis’ (p. 6) of the Notebooks, the material provided in this book is by no means negligible. He maintains that Marx’s ‘precise theoretical-political purpose’ for studying anthropology was, first, to trace capitalism’s genesis through the ‘likely’ sequences in which the modes of production ‘succeeded one another’; and, second, explain the ‘historical foundations’ (p. 26) necessary for societal transformation.

From his anthropological studies, especially those centred round Morgan, Marx observed the following: the deduction of ‘the gens and not the family’ (p. 27) being the unit of ancient society; the identification of the beginning of ‘history as “the history of class struggle”’ (p. 28) by locating a ‘domestic class’ within the earliest monogamous family; the origin of property relations; and, the transformation of the state’s socio-cultural character from ‘barbarism’ to ‘civilization’ (p. 31) and the relation between the state and individuals.

However, Marx was opposed to the anthropologists’ faith in an evolutionary ‘pregiven course’; instead, he stressed the reality of changes through ‘human intervention’ (p. 33), thus prioritizing the role of political struggle. As on the side, Musto points out how, ironically, in the Second International, a belief analogous to that of the anthropologists in an inevitable progression leading up to socialism, and codified with the rigidity of a sanctified doctrine and advanced in Marx’s name, undermined the role of and need for the workers’ socio-political struggle (p. 32).

Shortly afterwards, between autumn 1881 and winter 1882, Marx studied world history to fill four notebooks, later titled the Chronological Extracts (p. 100), which Musto discusses in a subsequent chapter. He prepared notes on major historical developments from the first to the end of the seventeenth century. He focused on the entangled relationship between capitalism’s progress – beginning with scientific farming, maritime laws, and modern banking8 of the thirteenth-century ‘Italian maritime republics’ (p. 101) to the emergence of the world market – and the birth of the modern states as distinct from those of antiquity (p. 100).

In view of these two diverse studies which the book presents – the colonial and anthropological studies contra the Chronological Extracts – it seems fairly possible to draw the line of inquiry and method adopted by Marx. His inquiry begins with how capitalism instituted ‘categories that are historically specific to that social form’ – viz. private property, the atomistic patriarchal family and wage labour – by continually replacing the ‘commune system of living’, be it in the colonies or in the lands of its provenance. Further, through this inquiry, he seeks to establish even more concretely how capital, through a dynamism of these very historically specific categories, establishes a ‘form of domination, of heteronomy’ by implying history, understood as a natural historico-political ‘marche generale’, to be a ‘universal category of human social life’. Such a reconstruction remains very much in sync with his theory which regards history’s universality in social life, comprehended as ‘an immanently driven directional dynamic’ to be a ‘historically specific feature of capitalist society’ – a form of domination grounded in the ‘category of capital’.9 The upshot of all this is that this way of unraveling the historical specificities of capitalism by a composite reading of texts which runs against the grain of each other – the former condemning or opposing and the latter panegyrizing capitalism – forms a didactic dialectical alliance, which, as in early Marx, is very much there even in his later days.

By the Fall of 1881 Marx would compile the Mathematical Manuscripts. He would write ‘two short manuscripts’ on calculus as part of his study ‘on the history of differential calculus’. He attempted to demonstrate ‘the “mystical” foundation of … differential calculus’ (p. 34) and recast it by concluding how a ‘mathematically correct result is based upon an equally mathematically wrong presupposition at the very foundation  … [which] they’ – namely Newton, Liebniz, Lagrange, and d’Alembert – ‘did not know’!10 Ambitious as it may appear, the concluding statement with its contrasting features was perfectly sensible at a time when scholars used to frame their problematic under the continuing influence of the European Enlightenment tradition.11

However, his importance as a mathematician remains contested between those on one hand who dismiss him as of no significance, and on the other, those who uphold his interpretation on ‘operator calculus’.12 The upshot of the query undertaken is that, for Marx, learning a subject matter mandatorily involved a responsible critique of it, be it for self-clarifications or otherwise. Nevertheless, keeping this debate aside, Musto concludes that mathematics for Marx remained ‘a useful intellectual stimulus’ (p. 35) and a shelter during his personal crises.

Alongside this, Marx dealt with ‘socialist’ political economists. He criticized Adolph Wagner (pp. 24–25) for his purported attempt to lay bare the composition of value and its analysis independent of commodity relations, and Henry George (pp. 38–39) for his idea of creating ‘common property’ by means of a single-point tax on land.

In this context it is pertinent to note that, during Marx’s last years, advanced mathematics was applied in economics, especially by the marginalists – viz. Léon Walras, William Stanley Jevons, and Alfred Marshall. The absence of advanced mathematics in Marx’s economic writings and his mysterious silence regarding the marginalists – the presence notwithstanding of a copy of The progress of the mathematical theory of political economy, with an explanation of the principles of the theory by Jevons in his library13 – would go a long way to account for the dividing line between the economists supporting and opposing socialism.14 The problematic stands in need of a more comprehensive critical examination quite different from those available in plenty on rival economic theories: Marx contra the marginalists.

Another integral part of Marx’s intellectual constitution, to which Musto draws attention, was his role as a political activist – refusing to make predictions about the future socialist state for a socialist congress (p. 35), drawing the Electoral Programme of the Socialist Workers (p. 45), and preparing a 101-point questionnaire for the French socialist workers’ party (p. 46). Alongside this, he also scrupulously observed world historical, political, and economic events – study of the 1873 economic crash (p. 40); migration, ethnic violence, and working-class riot in San Francisco 1877 (p. 40), complications and crisis of the British administration in India (p. 42); and the ‘mass evictions’ in Ireland and criticism of the Land Law (Ireland) Act of 1881 (p. 43). Capturing Marx as an unfailingly vigilant observer and constant participant of ‘social conflicts developing at every latitude’, Musto closes the chapter by showing how he thereby evolved as a ‘citizen of the world’ (p. 48).

The second chapter, the heart of Musto’s book, deals with Marx’s critical assessment of the question of agency vis-à-vis the possibility of socialist transformation in Russia. Marx came to acknowledge peasantry as the revolutionary agent owing to the series of uprising and rabblement (byistva) in Russia, for, indeed, the two years following the 1861 Emancipation Edict’s promulgation witnessed about 1100 insurrections.15 There was also another overriding consideration: the percentage they formed (38% of total Russian population) as against only half a million industrial proletariat. This explains why he concurred with the prevailing Russian revolutionaries’ view that the Russian peasantry and not the proletariat was the potential agent of revolutionary social change.

True, Marx’s thoughts found an explosive purchase in Russia. Nevertheless, as Musto asserts, the significance in this context of Nikolai Chernsyshevky’s ‘left-wing anti-capitalist movement’ (p. 50) could not be belittled. To form an informed judgment of Russia’s socio-economic conditions, Marx taught himself Russian and read Chernyshensky carefully (p. 50).16

In view of the resulting shift in Marx’s theoretical focus Musto provides a short introductory note on Chernyshensky’s works (pp. 50–53), to which further additions are made for a more comprehensive evaluation. Chernsyshevsky in the tradition of Mikhail Lomonorov (1711–1766), Alexander Herzen (1812–1870) (p. 53), et al. firmly believed that given the vast land wealth, and the population historically growing very slowly in Russia – rendering Malthus’ theory of population infructuous17 – if the obshchina’s cooperative farming labour, driven by its common good,18 could be enhanced by fusing it with capitalist acceleration vectors (p. 50–51) – namely, the dynamic composite of technology, agronomy, innovative distribution of farming labour – then the growth in farming would set in motion unprecedented economic prosperity in Russia. Abundant land, farmed to promote enormous yield, low population, and an emancipated obshchina would set the conditions for Chernsyshevsky’s ‘scientific’ social transformation (p. 51): in short, the possibility of bypassing capitalism to attain socialism. This idea of a direct transition into socialism with the peasantry, no more to be dismissed as either ‘a sack of potatoes’19 or ‘an idle mob’ (p. 63) but as the potential revolutionary agent, opened a historical vista relatively new to Marx.

Previously, Marx had emphasized the expansion of capital being a ‘necessary pre-requisite’ (p. 54) for social change. Gleaning through his sprawling oeuvre, Musto depicts how capitalist production itself generates ‘the condition for’ emancipation of labourers (p. 56) by assimilating them into a cooperative whole under the gruelling conditions of production and establishing a ‘universality’ (p. 57) of working relations determined by socially necessary labour time. Simultaneously, the necessary ‘material premise[s]’ (p. 57) are supplied by its advanced productive forces. With the development of a political will for communism, a key component missing with the British workers (p. 49), the fetters of capitalist production can be broken by its own constitutive forces. However, Marx never codified this conviction into a teleological theory of social change.

In clarifying his views, Marx in his letter to Otecestvenniye Zapisky (1877), explained that his study of capitalism’s genesis was limited to Western Europe; it was not, unlike what Mikhailovky held, a universalist ‘historico-philosophical theory’ (p. 64) indifferent to widely divergent social conditions. Upon this view, then, capitalism was not a ‘condition precedent’ to socialism or communism; instead, societies evolving within historical parameters different from those of Europe, could, he argued, ‘develop [their] own historical foundations’ (p. 64), albeit demanding different strategies, but, ripen for a socialist revolution just as much as those arising out of class antagonism under capitalist production. It is in the context of such a broad explanatory paradigm that Musto prioritizes the theoretical insights in the drafts and the final letter to Vera Zasulich.

For a majorly agrarian Russia still at an embryonic stage of capitalism to become a privileged locus for a socialist transformation, ‘rebellion or resistance’ (p. 68) needed to be furnished with a few key vectors, which, according to Marx, were then present in Russia. They were, first, the opportunities to supplant parcel with collective labour (p. 70) provided by the obshchina with its cooperative labour process independent of ‘blood relations’ (p. 68) and organizational knowhow of the ‘artel’. Next, Russia’s coexistence with the capitalist world market would enable it to quarry the advanced forces of production to complement the cooperative labour process. Finally, a revolutionary ‘political will’ erupting in the rebellions which followed the imposition of the 1861 Edict and the newly emerging antagonistic property relations (p. 120–121) led Marx to conclude in favour of a possible socialist revolution there.

It is against the backdrop of what may be called theoretical mutation of this kind that Musto postulates a fruitful strategy of reading Marx. To start with, as he argues, Marx’s research method consists in testing previously formulated hypotheses within evolving historical conditions to try them out in order to evaluate their consistency and resolve doubts enabling the scope for opening new directions of studies. As for a general method, to be deduced from his research procedure, Musto maintains, any determination of possible historical courses should be based upon existing historical contexts and not abstract laws (p. 73) which German metaphysicians tend to champion. This explains why, as he seems to claim, through a relentless theoretical auto-critique, Marx liberated himself from the captivity of the tradition of the German Enlightenment thinkers to which he had begun by swearing allegiance.

Along with the above formulation another insight pertains to what Musto claims to be Marx’s newly developed conviction. That is, with an access to advanced productive forces, structurally similar socio-political conditions – cooperative working-relations, antagonistic class-relations and a defiant political will – within radically different modes of productions could stimulate headway into socialism. Through this insight, Musto, while highlighting Marx’s position on social transformation in Russia, simultaneously sheds light on an enlarged vision of revolution possibly breaking out in various historical conditions, extending way beyond his specific take on Russia. In doing so, he reiterates Marx’s insistence on attentively observing ‘historical specificities’ (p. 76). Unless the readers of Marx come to terms with this, any deep penetration into Marx’s unique dialectical method will continue to elude their grasp.

Notwithstanding the rich theoretical potentials the Zasulich papers possess, published in 1924, they would be routinely adduced as a standard proof of Marx’s ‘undermined capacity for work’.20 In the third chapter of his book, Musto addresses himself to the task of lifting this illegitimate burden Marx was long made to carry.

In the same chapter Musto has also brought into focus an unhappy historical concurrence: while his ideas began to spread, gaining wide recognition, (pp. 77–85) his health continued to deteriorate. Along with discussing the occasional trips made in the hope of improving his health, and the death, eventually, of his wife (pp. 94–99), Musto raises the question why Marx could never complete Capital II. In addition to his failing health, Musto advances two other contributory factors. First, Marx anticipated the upcoming industrial crisis to supply rich insights; next, he also wanted to study the changing socio-economic developments in Russia and America, analysing and tuning them to perfection before Capital II was made public (pp. 90–91).

Yet, Musto firmly maintains, the fact that Capital II and III remained incomplete should by means be made to weigh against Marx intellectually; on the contrary, he rather regards this incompleteness as testifying to the rigour of his critical method demanding a process of insistent examination and re-examination of his claims. What bears this out is that Capital I too never reached a ‘definite version’ (p. 93) as is evident from the additions and alterations he kept making in the German, the French (p. 93), and also the American edition.21 Commensurate as it is with his strategy of reading Marx, Musto asserts that any hunt for a ‘definite’ Marx would be futile since he, following his own chosen motto ‘De omnibus dubitandum’,22 never stopped pushing his interpretations to the extent possible in order to break new frontiers.

However, Musto remains silent about the analytical complexities – viz. those surrounding transformation of value, falling rate of profit, reproduction chain, or the Asiatic mode of production – which stalwarts like Achille Loria, Böhm-Bawerk, Oskar Lange, and all their epigones claim to have prevented him from completing Capital II and proceeding further.23 Following this line of thought, an assumption has been floated that those complexities had some bearing on the origin of his illness24 which, upon this view would rapidly blunt his intellectual productivity. Be this as it may, the contrasting views should not be regarded as a loss but rather as providing an opportunity for further research.

As his life drew to a close, though he was plagued by a number of debilitating infirmities, Marx’s passion for knowledge refused to grow any less. Sieving through numerous correspondences and exchanges, Musto in the final chapter chronicles those years. Mostly away from home, he was hoping to recover and get ‘down to any real work’ (p. 118), with a thorough revision, in particular, of the third German edition of Capital I being a top priority.

Unfortunately, returning to Capital remained a chimera. Nonetheless, he stayed immersed in a wide spectrum of studies and interests. They broadly encompassed, inter alia, a bewildering array of subjects: current affairs such as the ‘British invasion of Egypt’, the troublesome ‘ultra-revolutionary’ position of the French Workers’ Party (p. 119), the changing socio-economic conditions of Russia (p. 121); political and economic issues such as the condition of Arabs in French occupied Algeria (p. 109), the ‘financial blackmail’ by the Anglo-German creditors following Egypt’s debt (p. 119); and, natural and physical sciences such as the recent progress in thermodynamics, electricity and its applications, ecology, zoology, biology and physiology (pp. 116–117).

Musto has dealt in brief on Marx’s growing interests in the applications of electricity. What can be added to Musto’s account is the impact of the advances in the practical uses of electricity on production and their possible bearings on Marx’s theories. After the application of electricity in telegraph, the next big leap came in the early 1880s with the electrical motors in industries and electrification of street and building lights. The first World Electrical Congress (September, 1881) in Paris followed by the next held in Munich (1882) made clear that the production system in advanced countries would enter an altogether new phase.25 Such developments gave rise to a plethora of questions. Would these progressively qualitative changes in production not bear on Marx’s theories through changes in the organic composition of capital, the rate of profit,26 and, finally, the measurement of labour-time? Systematically to marshal the huge mass of notes he left behind demands a sensitive and conscientious grasp of the elusive intellectual design underlying what is apparently disparate. The book being a biography, albeit an intellectual one, it is not to such a task of any major systematization that Musto has addressed himself.

Nonetheless, with the vast erudition informing the book plus, of course, the moral energy such an enterprise involves, has a lot to offer. One of the cardinal merits whereby the reader stands to benefit substantially is its success in beating off the largely prevalent belief that Marx in his last years was reduced to no better than a sorry knight-errant haplessly entrapped in his own theoretical befuddlement. Discarding such beliefs and by stitching together the unfinished work in progress and the whole range of disciplines Marx was pre-occupied with in his last years, Musto in keeping with the new materials of Marx Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA II)27 presents a systematically connected bold socio-political reading of Marx. His emphasis, in the present study he offers, is on the method Marx deploys as he looks critically into the historical process. To these accomplishments of the book, what should certainly be mentioned is the way, thanks to his lapidary prose, the valuable study engages the reader. While highlighting the book’s contributions, this review has attempted throughout to offer a few relevant critical upshots aimed at a further contextualization of the various studies with which late Marx was pre-occupied.

At this point, something like a complementary appreciation may not be amiss. Marx engaged in diverse studies not to satisfy interests peripheral or foreign to his project; his purpose was to assimilate natural sciences, social sciences and human history into his critique to expose, among other things, how their true potentialities were being undermined by being ‘forced into the service of capital’.28 In insistently exposing the truth, his critique simultaneously addresses the task of defining the new organization of society as a field of convergence of these disciplines freely developing in consonance with the new role assigned to people in relation to each other and also to nature. To further enrich Marx’s ideas, it now becomes imperative to develop them with these considerations and Musto’s book strongly points towards this direction.

For a world that has obstinately denied a system’s fundamentally exploitative core to be rooted in the appropriation of time,29 it perhaps is time to believe the Devil when with a canny insight he said ‘system teaches you how time is won’.30 To organize ‘struggle’ remains the need of the hour, and for that it is necessary to go back to the thoughts of the man who ‘has stood and yet stands behind more of earthquakes which have convulsed nations and destroyed thrones, and do now menace and appal crowned heads and established frauds’ (p. 8).

I wish to thank Aniruddha Lahiri, John Hutnyk, Marcello Musto and Himani Banneji, for their critical responses and suggestions that helped me clarify various aspects of this writing. My sincere thanks to the reviewers for their kind words and Christopher Recamara of Taylor and Francis Group for editorial assistance.

Additional information
Notes on contributors
Arkayan Ganguly
Arkayan Ganguly is an independent scholar and activist, with a strong interest in Marx and Marxism, currently pursuing graduate studies in Political Science at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, India. Email:
1 Paul J Korshin, ‘The Development of Intellectual Biography in the Eighteenth Century’, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 73:4 (1974), p. 514.

2 Karl Marx, ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, in Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works, Volume 29 (Moscow: Progress Publisher, 1987), p. 261.

3 Ludwig van Beethoven, ‘Symphony No.3 in E-flat Major (“Eroica”), Op.55’, in First, Second and Third Symphonies in full Orchestral Score (New York: Dover Publication, Inc., 1976), pp. 347–360 (Bar 349–430).

4 van Beethoven, op. cit., pp. 360–368 (Bar 431–473).

5 R.W.S. Mendl, ‘The “Eroica” Symphony’, The Musical Times, 65 (1924), p. 127.

6 Daniel K.L. Chua, ‘Beethoven’s Other Humanism’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 62:3 (2009), p. 572; Theodor Adorno, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 169 and p. 174.

7 Daniel K.L. Chua, ‘Beethoven’s Other Humanism’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 62:3 (2009), p. 572; Theodor Adorno, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 163.

8 Michael R Krätke, ‘Marx and World History’, International Review of Social History, 63:1 (2018), p. 15.

9 Moise Postone, ‘Capital and Temporality’, in Marcello Musto (ed.) The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), p. 161.

10 Pradip Baksi, ‘The Historical Course of Development’, in Karl Marx Mathematical Manuscript: Together with a Special Supplement (Calcutta: Viswakosh Parishad, 1994), p. 78.

11 Karl Marx, Karl Marx Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) IV/31: Naturwissenschaftliche Exzerpte Und Notizen Mitte 1877 Bis Anfang 1883 (Amsterdam: Akademie Verlag, 1999), p. 635.

12 Leon Smolnski, ‘Karl Marx and Mathematical Economics’, Journal of Political Economy, 81:5 (1973), p. 1192; Peter Hans Mathews, ‘The Dialectics of Differentiation: Marx’s Mathematical Manuscripts and Their Relation to his Economics’, Review of Social Economy, 2019,, p. 12.

13 Karl Marx, Karl Marx Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) IV/32: Die Bibliotheken Von Karl Marx Und Friedrich Engels (Amsterdam: Akademie Verlag, 1999), p. 355.

14 Smolnski, ‘Karl Marx and Mathematical Economics’, op. cit., pp. 1200–1201.

15 McClellon Woodford, ‘Russians in the IWMA: The Background’, in Fabrice Bensimon et al. (eds) “Arise Ye Wretched of the Earth”: The First International in a Global Perspective (Boston: Brill, 2018), p. 194.

16 Karl Marx, Karl Marx Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) IV/32: Die Bibliotheken Von Karl Marx Und Friedrich Engels (Amsterdam: Akademie Verlag, 1999), pp. 184–187.

17 S.T. Turin, ‘Nicholas Chernyshevsky and John Stuart Mill’, The Slavonic and East European Review, 9:25 (1930), p. 32.

18 Natasha Grigorian, ‘Thomas Malthus and Nikolai Chernyshevsky: Thought Experiments an Visions of the Future’, Whatif Wasärewenn 2014,, p. 7.

19 Karl Marx, ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’, in Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works, Volume 11 (Moscow: Progress Publisher, 1979), p. 187.

20 David Ryazanov, ‘The Discovery of the Draft (1924)’, in Teodor Shannin (ed.) Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and ‘the Peripheries of Capitalism’ (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983), p. 129.

21 Regina Roth, ‘Concepts in Examining the Legacy of Karl Marx’, The European Journal of The History of Economic Thought, 25:5 (2018), p. 758 and pp. 771–777.

22 Karl Marx, ‘Confessions’, in Teodor Shannin (ed.) Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and ‘the Peripheries of Capitalism” (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983), p. 140.

23 Ludo Cuyvers, ‘Why Did Marx’s Capital Remain Unfinished? On Some Old and New Arguments’, Science & Society 84:1 (2020), pp. 19–31.

24 Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion (London: Penguin Books, 2017), p. 419.

25 Karl Marx, Karl Marx Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) IV/31: Naturwissenschaftliche Exzerpte Und Notizen Mitte 1877 Bis Anfang 1883 (Amsterdam: Akademie Verlag, 1999), p. 633.

26 Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1 transl. Ben Fowkes (London: Penguin Books, 1990), p. 781 n. 11.

27 Marcello Musto, ‘Review Essay: The Rediscovery of Karl Marx’, International Review of Social History, 52:3 (2007), pp. 477–498; ‘Marx is Back: The Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) Project’, Rethinking Marxism, 22:2 (2010), pp. 290–291; ‘New Profiles of Marx after the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA2)’, Contemporary Sociology, 45:5 (2020), p. 416.

28 Karl Marx, ‘Outline of the Critique of Political Economy [Grundrisse], Second Instalment’, in Karl Marx Frederick Engels Collected Works, Volume 29 (Moscow: Progress Publisher, 1979), p. 90; Amy E Wendling, ‘Technology and Science’, in Marcello Musto (ed.) The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), p. 367.

29 Michael R. Krätke, ‘Capitalism’, in Marcello Musto (ed.) The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), p. 11.

30 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: Parts One and Two (31st ed.) (Chicago: William Benton, 1989), p. 45.


Published in:

Critique. Journal of Socialist Theory

Date Published

14 February, 2022


Arkayan Ganguly
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