Another Marx

Early Manuscripts to the International
London–New York: Bloomsbury
2018
xii + 272 pages
Another Marx book cover
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Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Marx was regarded as a thinker doomed to oblivion about whom everything had already been said and written. However, the international economic crisis of 2008 favoured a return to his analysis of capitalism, and recently published volumes of the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA²) have provided researchers with new texts that underline the gulf between Marx’s critical theory and the dogmatism of many twentieth-century Marxisms.

This work aims to reconstruct with great textual and historical rigour, but in a form accessible to those encountering Marx for the first time, a number of little noted, or often misunderstood, stages in his intellectual biography. The book is divided into three parts. The first – “Intellectual Influences and Early Writings” – investigates the formation of the young Marx and the composition of his Parisian manuscripts of 1844. The second – “The Critique of Political Economy” – focuses on the genesis of Marx’s magnum opus, beginning with his studies of political economy in the early 1850s and following his labours through to all the preparatory manuscripts for Capital. The third – “Political Militancy” – presents an insightful history of the International Working Men’s Association and of the role that Marx played in that organization.

The volume offers a close and innovative examination of Marx’s ideas on post-Hegelian philosophy, alienated labour, the materialist conception of history, research methods, the theory of surplus-value, working-class self-emancipation, political organization and revolutionary theory. From this emerges “another Marx”, a thinker very different from the one depicted by so many of his critics and ostensible disciples.

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Reviews

Endorsements

"We are all discussing Marx again. Among the vast literature, Marcello Musto's new work stands out as a careful, contextual analysis of Marx's writings and contributions to our understanding of the world - today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Another Marx is an outstanding and essential work for us all."
Immanuel Wallerstein, Professor of Sociology, Yale University, USA
"In Another Marx, Marcello Musto escorts us into the innermost workings of Marx’s intellectual laboratory, revealing their intimate links to Marx’s unsettled personal life and fluctuating political fortunes. Addressing three key periods, this well-paced study draws on deep knowledge of Marx’s notebooks to illuminate his working methods, their connection to real world events, their role in his intellectual breakthroughs and political struggles. With a meticulous scholarship to match Marx but with a livelier touch, this work is an indispensable guide for beginners and cognoscenti alike."
Bob Jessop, Distinguished Professor, Lancaster University, UK
"Another Marx by Marcello Musto departs from the standard accounts of Marx’s intellectual legacy, in which his work is presented, often in doctrinaire form, as a completed corpus of a known quantity. Instead, we see with fresh eyes the arduous journey that went into the development of Marx’s critique of political economy, and his inability in the end to bring it to completion. Building on the ongoing Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA2) project in which Marx’s excerpt notebooks are being made available for the first time, Musto introduces us to a critical-dialectical project that far from being finished and closed, is intriguingly unfinished and open, pointing to numerous alternative paths, and inviting more complex interpretations. For those unaware of the new historical materialist scholarship associated with the contemporary Marx Revival, Musto’s Another Marx is an excellent place to start."
John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon, USA

Table of contents

List of Figures ix

Notice x

Introduction 1
1. The Marx revival 1
2. New research paths 4
3. Chronology of Marx's writings 7

Part I: Intellectual Influences and Early Writings

1. Childhood, Youth, and University Studies 15
1. The rabbi manque 15
2. At school in Trier and studiosus juris in Bonn 18
3. Into the arms of the enemy 24
4. A young Hegelian in Berlin 28

2. Encounter with Political Economy 33
1. Paris: Capital of the nineteenth century 33
2. Classics of political economy and alienated labour 34
3. Manuscripts and notebooks of excerpts: The papers of 1844 42
4. From critical philosophy to revolutionary praxis 45

Part II: The Critique of Political Economy

3. Waiting for the Economic Crisis 55
1. Continuing the study of economics 55
2. In the solitude of exile 59
3. Research notes of 1850–1853 65
4. The trial of the communists and personal hardships 74
5. Articles on the crisis for the New-York Tribune 76

4 At the Time of the Grundrisse 83
1. The financial crisis of 1857 and the date with the revolution 83
2. History and the social individual 86
3. Poverty in London 95
4. In search of a method 99
5. Writing the Grundrisse 106
6. Struggling against bourgeois society 111

5. The Polemic against Carl Vogt 117
1. Herr Vogt 117
2. Fighting misery and disease 126
3. In the meantime ‘Economics’ waits 128
4. Journalism and international politics 131

6. Capital: The Unfinished Critique 137
1. Critical analysis of theories of surplus-value 137
2. The writing of the three volumes 149
3. The completion of Volume I 155
4. In search of the definitive version 165

Part III: Political Militancy

7. The Birth of the International Working Men’s Association 171
1. The right man in the right place 171
2. Organizational development and growth 178
3. The defeat of the mutualists 189

8. The Revolution in Paris
1. The struggle for liberation in Ireland 199
2. Opposition to the Franco-Prussian War 204
3. The Paris Commune takes power 208
4. The political turn of the London conference 215

9. The Conflict with Bakunin
1. The crisis of the International 221
2. Marx versus Bakunin 230
3. Two opposing conceptions of revolution 236
4. Socialism in Russia? 240

Bibliography 249

Index 267

Excerpts