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3 Dialectics on Its Feet, or the Form of the Consciousness of the Working Class as Historical Subject

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Chapter Summary

In his afterword to Capital, Marx defines his method as a dialectical one. In so doing, he explicitly recognises Hegel as 'the first to present dialectics general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner'. Hegel recognises that scientific knowledge, as the 'science of manifested spirit', starts from 'empirical, sensuous consciousness', an 'immediate knowledge', therefore, a knowledge which emerges from practice. Marx presents the point of departure of the dialectical development by stating, 'The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities", its unit being a single commodity'. The capitalist mode of production is itself a contradiction in constant development towards its own supersession through the complete socialisation of labour. The specifically capitalist form of developing the productive forces of social labour consists in the progressive socialisation of private labour.

Keywords: capitalist mode of production; dialectical knowledge; Hegel; Marx; social labour

10.1163/9789004270022_005
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