Inicio > Filosofía marxista, Teoría crítica acumulada > «The German Ideology Never Took Place»: Terrell Carver

«The German Ideology Never Took Place»: Terrell Carver

The German Ideology (Die Deutsche Ideologie) by Karl Marx and Friedrich (or Frederick) Engels has a very well established scholarly and interpretive reception. However, this dates from long after the authors’ deaths (in 1883 and 1895, respectively), and began with the archival and editorial work of D.B. Ryazanov in the early 1920s, the initial publication of the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ in Russian (1924) and German (1926), and the first ‘complete’ publication as a single volume in 1932. Since that time there have been numerous further editions and translations, the latest of which is in Marx-Engels Jahrbuch 2003, edited by Inge Taubert and Hans Pelger.[2] Currently a new edition is planned as MEGA2 I-5 in the ongoing scholarly publication of the complete works of Marx and Engels.[3]

       While The German Ideology is well known to have been editorially constructed from uncorrected manuscripts, which are famously eccentric and difficult to decipher, it is worth reconsidering exactly what intellectual and political significance has been assigned to these manuscripts and exactly how their publication as The German Ideology has represented and reinforced some of these judgements. Thus there are two large-scale areas of enquiry here. The first is into the framing of the manuscript works from 1845-6 as important and worth reading at all, and the second is into their construction as a ‘book’ of canonical status by Marx and Engels (only), beginning with the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’.

       Most readers would take it that ‘the German ideology’[4] obviously is a book by Marx and Engels, and that ‘Marxism’ is a tradition of thought ‘going back to Marx’. With respect to both The German Ideology and Marxism, I take the view that a deconstructive historicisation will be productive of knowledge, namely a history of the various ‘moves’ through which these discursive objects were assembled such that readers – particularly those attuned to political theory – could acquire knowledge of them. It is not just that people might disagree about ‘the German ideology’ or ‘Marxism’ in one way or another, given that disagreements can be over a common object. Rather both locutions represent considerable constructive work over many years by numerous people such that a factuality has – to date – been produced through repetitions of scholarly activity. This has been naturalised, in a sense, in interpretive works of commentary, which are themselves – in some instances – canonical.

       ‘Marxism’ as an ‘ism’-construction originates in the later 1890s and thus postdates the lives of Marx and Engels.[5] In my view, those constructing it relied much more on Engels’s work at the outset than on Marx’s, for a variety of reasons. Engels’s own view of Marx’s thought was readily available to them in the numerous works, prefaces, introductions and editions published by Engels in the 12 years 1883-95. In that way a tradition, framed as philosophical system-building on certain self-styled ‘materialist’ principles, was founded. The ‘fit’ between this tradition based on Engels’s works and views, on the one hand, and Marx’s works and projects from 1842 until the early 1870s, on the other hand, is open to question.[6]

       This article is thus intended to adjust the overall intellectual context through which The German Ideology has been viewed as a canonical volume for understanding Marx and Marxism. In particular the book as we know it opens with a philosophical chapter where puzzling but important materials are said to mark an advance in social theory, indeed the very theory that makes Marxism distinctive, the ‘materialist conception of history’. This advance is said to have taken place through Marx’s engagement there with the Young Hegelian philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach. David McLellan writes:

  The section of The German Ideology on Feuerbach was one of the most central of Marx’s works. It was a tremendous achievement in view of the low level of socialist writing and thought prevalent at the time. Marx never subsequently stated his materialist conception of history at such length and in detail. It remains a masterpiece today for the cogency and clarity of its presentation.[7]

       However, drawing on recent contextual research, undertaken within the framework of the MEGA2 project, I take issue with this long-standing and widely held view. To do this I embark on a deconstructive historicisation of ‘the German ideology’, showing why and how the manuscripts were written in 1845-6 and abandoned by 1847. These manuscripts were later negatively received by the few who looked back at them, beginning in the 1880s with Engels. However, in the early 1920s Ryazanov reversed these negative judgements, heralding his project to publish The German Ideology by Marx and Engels as a book with the quick publication in Russian translation of an opening chapter.[8] In particular I subject that opening ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ – the section most commonly excerpted and read today – to factual scrutiny, showing that it was constructed factitiously to fill a void. This void was in a plan, synthesised from correspondence and other sources, by Ryazanov and successively modified by later editors. Those few pages have been read since the 1960s as foundational to an understanding of Marx’s ideas – in particular, the ‘materialist interpretation of history’ – and more than any other text represent a certification of him as a political philosopher.

       My conclusions in this article thus question the canonical status of the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ with respect to existing interpretations of Marx’s life and thought. Crucially these interpretations turn on the nature and locus of the ‘self-clarification’ concerning our ‘conception’ that Marx mentions autobiographically in 1859. Current texts and commentary link this ‘self-clarification’ directly to the The German Ideology and its opening chapter ‘I. Feuerbach’.[9] Given the facts detailed in this article, this familiar linkage is no longer tenable.

The Production of Manuscripts by Means of Polemic

       The first order of business is to establish the context through which the manuscript materials themselves were successively written and re-written in 1845-6. Following that it will be possible to see how subsequently they acquired the title The German Ideology in 1902, such that a ‘book’ by Marx and Engels (in that order, and not by anyone else) came to be editorially constructed in the 1920s.

       Beginning in November 1845, Marx and Engels, as communist agitators, were working together in Brussels, and during 1846 they continued to work jointly, though sometimes by correspondence from various locations. During this period the two (in conjunction with others, including Joseph Weydemeyer and Moses Hess), planned and drafted – and variously re-planned and re-drafted – a number of evolving polemical works for publication, most probably in a multi-author ‘special number’ resembling their preceding German-French Annals (Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher), edited with Arnold Ruge and published in 1844.[10]

       Only a tiny fraction of the manuscript material of 1845-6 found its way into print in the authors’ lifetimes,[11] and by early 1847 other works had overtaken these projects. Marx himself referred to these manuscript materials as Schrift (‘writing’), Werk (‘work’), Manuskript (‘manuscript’) or Publication (‘publication’) with volumes/parts/numbers (Bände). The English translation ‘book’ is tendentious.[12]

       Marx’s own references to these manuscript materials occur in just four surviving texts. The first two were in a subsequent but near contemporary press note in 1847 and in an item of contemporary correspondence. The third occurred somewhat later in life in 1859, when he drew attention to them in presenting a brief intellectual autobiography accompanying the first published instalment of his major lifetime project, a critical work on political economy. The fourth and last was in correspondence of 1860 relating to the published volume of the previous year. In the discussion below I take the first two references together, skip to the fourth, and then return to the third. This third reference is by far the most detailed and best known, and so for that reason warrants close examination.

       In the first reference, Marx wrote on 3 April 1847 from Brussels to correct press reports that were, so he says, giving a false picture of his The Poverty of Philosophy (Misère de la philosophie, 1847), just then with the publishers. He wished to dissociate himself from the view, which he had detected in the press, that he valued the work of the famous French socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon equally with that of the German ‘True Socialist’ Karl Grün, the translator of Proudhon’s System of Economic Contradictions, or Philosophy of Poverty (System des contradictions économiques, où philosophie de la misère, 2 vols, 1846). This was the widely-read work which Marx was attacking in his French-language response through satire and parody, one of the few ways through which critical politics could proceed at the time. In his press comment he emphasised the distance between Grün, on the one hand, and Proudhon and himself, on the other, in terms of ideas and influence. He did this by disparaging Grün’s book The Social Movement in France and Belgium (Soziale Bewegung in Frankreich und Belgien, 1845). Damning with faint praise, Marx wrote that he himself had:

so little urge to acquaint ‘the German world’ with the results of my studies of Herr Grün’s Soziale Bewegung in Frankreich und Belgien that I have permitted a fairly comprehensive review of Grün’s book, prepared a year ago, peacefully to sleep the sleep of the just in manuscript form, and only now that I have been challenged by our friend in Berlin [Eduard Meyen, a former associate, writing in the press – TC] shall I send it to the [monthly – TC] Westphälisches Dampfboot to be printed. The review forms an appendix to the book [sic – TC, Marx writes Schrift] written jointly by Fr. Engels and me on ‘the German ideology’ (critique of modern German philosophy as expounded by its representatives Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner, and of German socialism as expounded by its various prophets).[13]

       This is the origin of the title The German Ideology (and further subtitle) assigned by later editors to their editions ‘as a single work’ by Marx and Engels (only)[14] of selections from the various manuscript materials accumulated during this period, and then largely left aside by the authors. It is also the source, in conjunction with some examination of the numbering schemes extant on the manuscript pages, of the ultimate ‘plan’ for a ‘book’ divided into two ‘volumes’ that editors ‘of the last hand’ (Fassung letzter Hand)[15] have striven to fill out.[16]

       The manuscripts themselves give no title at all for the overall work,[17] or for the planned first volume,[18] but do record Der wahre Sozialismus (‘True Socialism’) in conjunction with what appears to be the second (‘critique … of German socialism according to its various prophets’).[19] At times in correspondence of 1846[20] Marx mentions two volumes (Bände), but it is less than clear that these are volumes of a book as such, rather than ‘numbers’ of a ‘publication’ (Marx uses Publication as a German word twice in this connection).[21] Moreover Marx did not always list the contents of such a publication in the same order, viz. ‘Bauer[,] Feuerbach up to Stirner’, a reversal between Bruno Bauer and Ludwig Feuerbach in the order that later editors have generally used.[22]

       The manuscripts were mentioned by Marx for the fourth and last time (in a letter to J.M. Weber of 3 March 1860)[23] as ‘a work [Werk] in two volumes on latter-day German philosophy and socialism’.[24] Engels referred to the manuscripts a number of times without mentioning either a two-volume structure or an overall title.[25] The primary, and probably first, association of these manuscripts with the overall title The German Ideology was by Franz Mehring in his 1902 selection of materials from Marx’s literary legacy (Nachlass).[26] This was then amplified by him for his biography, Karl Marx: The Story of His Life (Karl Marx: Geschichte seines Lebens), originally published in 1918, the first full-length study and very widely read. In that book ‘The “German Ideology”’ appears as a chapter sub-heading and the ‘two big volumes’ are given the now familiar title.[27]

       The third time that Marx discusses ‘the German ideology’, however, is by far the most important. He looked back to his largely unpublished ‘manuscript’ (Manuskript) of 1845-6 in his brief autobiographical introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, 1859).[28] In that ‘Preface’ (Vorwort) he formulated a ‘guide’ to the intellectual content of his work in order to help his readers along. He began this account with his stint as editor of the liberal paper Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne in 1842-3, saying:

I first found myself in the embarrassing position of having to discuss what is known as material interests … [regarding – TC] thefts of wood and the division of landed property … the condition of the Mosel peasantry … the debates on free trade and protective tariffs [which – TC] caused me in the first instance to turn my attention to economic questions. On the other hand, at that time when good intentions ‘to push forward’ often took the place of factual knowledge, an echo of French socialism and communism, slightly tinged by philosophy, was noticeable in the Rheinische Zeitung. I objected to this dilettantism, but at the same time frankly admitted … that my previous studies did not allow me to express any opinion on the content of the French theories.  The first work which I undertook to dispel the doubts assailing me was a critical re-examination of the Hegelian philosophy of law[29]; the introduction[30] to this work being published in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher issued in Paris in 1844.[31]

After that point in his brief autobiography Marx began to sketch out his ‘guide’ (Leitfaden)[32] in a very long paragraph, noting at the end that his conclusion was:

that neither legal relations nor political forms could be comprehended whether by themselves or on the basis of so-called general development of the human mind, but that on the contrary they originate in the material conditions of life, the totality of which Hegel, following the example of English and French thinkers of the eighteenth century, embraces within the term ‘civil society’; that the anatomy of this civil society, however, has to be sought in political economy. The study of this, which I began in Paris, I continued in Brussels, where I moved [on 11 January 1845 – TC][33] owing to an expulsion order issued by M. Guizot [government minister to King Louis Philippe of the French].[34]

Marx’s discussion then advances to a ‘general conclusion [Das allgemeine Resultat] … which, once reached, became the guide [or more literally ‘guiding thread’ – TC] of my studies’.[35] This long paragraph contained material highlighted by Engels in his subsequent 1859 review of Marx’s work.[36]

       However, further on in his autobiographical narrative of 1859, Marx returned to the Brussels years when he introduced readers to his then collaborator

Frederick Engels … [who – TC] arrived by another road (compare his Condition of the Working-Class in England)[37] at the same result as I, and when in the spring of 1845 he too came to live in Brussels, we decided to set forth together our conception [Ansicht] as opposed to the ideological one of German philosophy, in fact to settle accounts with our former philosophical conscience [Gewissen]. The intention was carried out in the form of a critique of post-Hegelian philosophy. The manuscript, two large octavo volumes [Oktavbände],[38] had long ago reached the publishers in Westphalia when we were informed that owing to changed circumstances it could not be printed. We abandoned the manuscript to the gnawing criticism of the mice all the more willingly since we had achieved our main purpose – self-clarification.[39]

At this point the editors of CW refer the reader to The German Ideology,[40] published as a book by Marx and Engels (only), such as various editors have produced since the first ‘complete’ publication of this material in volume format in 1932.[41]

The ‘Chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’

       However, this ‘complete’ edition was preceded by the publication of the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ by an editorial team headed by Ryazanov at the Marx-Engels-Institute in Moscow, first in Russian translation in 1924,[42] and then in German in 1926. This latter publication was in the Marx-Engels-Archiv, a joint venture between German socialists and Russian bolsheviks.[43] It is this short work that has come to be associated with the ‘self-clarification’, the settling of ‘accounts’ with German philosophers (an unwanted ‘conscience’ for Marx and Engels),[44] and with the wider political movements and philosophical enquiries in the twentieth century through which the works (variously) of Marx and Engels have been interpreted as materials doctrinal to Marxism. In particular, the manuscript materials that went into the editorially constructed opening ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ of the editorially constructed ‘book’ The German Ideology, over time and in various ways, have come to be one of the most influential texts of twentieth-century philosophy.

       The editors of the Jahrbuch 2003 edition of these manuscript materials are now in no doubt that they do not include a draft of a ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’, even though one was evidently planned by Marx and Engels from the spring of 1846, some time after most of ‘the German ideology’ manuscripts were actually written.[45] The manuscript materials that were organised by Ryazanov and subsequent editors in a chapter-like way have been re-presented by the Jahrbuch 2003 editors rather as independent sequences of manuscript text ‘of the last hand’, ordered in a manner that reflects both chronological and thematic considerations. These sequences, known since 1924 as ‘I. Feuerbach’, were not in fact part of the materials actually prepared by Marx, Engels and Weydemeyer for publication in April and June 1846, and so were never sent by them to any publishers at all.[46]

       Later in life, when introducing his pamphlet work Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (Ludwig Feuerbach und der Ausgang der klassischen deutschen Philosophie, 1888), Engels remarked that:

… I have once again ferreted out and looked over the old manuscript of 1845-6. The section dealing with Feuerbach is not completed. The finished portion consists of an exposition of the materialist conception of history which proves only how incomplete our knowledge of economic history still was at that time. It contains no criticism of Feuerbach’s doctrine itself; for the present purpose, therefore, it was useless. On the other hand, in an old notebook of Marx’s I have found the eleven theses on Feuerbach … These are notes hurriedly scribbled down for later elaboration, absolutely not intended for publication, but invaluable as the first document in which is deposited the brilliant germ of the new world outlook.[47]

       Possibly at this point, or possibly earlier when listing the Nachlass after Marx’s death,[48] Engels wrote ‘I. Feuerbach: Gegensatz von materialistischer & idealistischer Anschauung’ [I. Feuerbach: Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlooks][49] in pencil on a page of the manuscript.[50] In his ‘Preface’ to his pamphlet Ludwig Feuerbach he seems to give only an ambiguous assurance that those ‘incomplete’ manuscript pages on what he termed ‘the materialist conception of history[51] represent something that would have gone into a critique of Feuerbach, had the two completed their apparent plan of spring 1846 to write one. In any case it is not clear at all exactly which manuscript pages Engels was examining in the late 1880s (other than the one on which he made his note).[52] The manuscript pages that were arranged as the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ by later editors (and variously re-arranged, along with other materials), comprise several distinct ‘runs’ of pages and fragments that are in fact discontinuous with each other.[53]

       Nonetheless Engels’s broad point is true enough – none of these materials contains any sustained critique of Feuerbach, either of the kind that Engels was interested in conducting retrospectively in the late 1880s (when the socialist paper Die Zeit asked him to review C.N. Starcke’s new book on the philosopher),[54] or of some other kind within the context of the political interventions in which the two were engaged in France, Belgium and Germany in late 1845 and the first half of 1846 (and, of course, later on during 1847 and into the revolutionary period of 1848).

       Following the general outline of Engels’s discussion, Mehring, in his Marx-biography of 1918, set out what became the standard interpretive terms for commentary on The German Ideology as a supposed book of which the manuscripts of 1845-6 were presumed to be drafts in some fairly obvious sense:

The work is a still more discursive super-polemic than The Holy Family[55] even in its most arid chapters, and the oases in the desert are still more rare, though they are by no means entirely absent, whilst even when dialectical trenchancy does show itself it soon degenerates into hair-splitting and quibbling, some of it of a rather puerile character …[Mehring then compares Marx and Engels’s ‘very small circle’ with that of Shakespeare {! – TC} and ‘his dramatic contemporaries’] …

  Something of the sort is probably the explanation of the tone which Marx and Engels consciously or unconsciously adopted when dealing with Bauer and Stirner and others of their old companions in the art of purely intellectual gymnastics. What they had to say about Feuerbach would have been much more interesting because it would have been something more than purely negative criticism, but unfortunately this part of the work was never completed.[56]

       Mehring thus established a very clear break between the presumed (but apparently non-existent) ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ and the fair copy ‘super-polemic’ manuscript materials ultimately left aside in 1847. The ‘incomplete’ manuscript pages on ‘the materialist conception of history’ which Engels was apparently examining when searching for a critique of Feuerbach (and not finding it) were – though Engels does not say it – themselves discontinuous extractions from the ‘super-polemical’ manuscript materials about which Mehring was so dismissive.[57]

       As mentioned above, in late 1845 and very early 1846 Marx and Engels were working on polemical critiques of Bruno Bauer, a former intellectual associate of Marx’s. Bauer had concerned himself in a recently published article (‘Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs’)[58] with the political implications of Feuerbach’s philosophy, and very briefly with the recently published work by Engels and Marx, The Holy Family, which had been critical of him.[59] One short critique of Bauer (dated 20 November 1845) was published anonymously in a periodical edited by Hess;[60] the other critique was begun shortly thereafter, though never published. The two authors seem to have retained some printer’s sheets[61] from the latter, numbered by Engels, whereas other printer’s sheets from this work are not preserved. The exact reason for preserving certain sheets is not obvious, but later editorial supposition has generally been that they were retained because of their possible relevance for a subsequent Feuerbach-critique.[62] They are apparently divided up with the words ‘Feuerbach’, ‘History’, and ‘Bauer’.[63] Some sections of text on these pages were subsequently marked as deleted because they had been copied out again for insertion into the subsequent fair copy when Marx and Engels started their critique of Bauer afresh. This eventually became the critique ‘Saint Bruno’,[64] which is extant in fair copy manuscript and appears in ‘volume I’ of ‘complete’ editions of The German Ideology as ‘II. Saint Bruno’.[65]

       At around the same time in early 1846 Marx and Engels were also working on a critique of Max Stirner, who had published a lengthy critique of Hegel and various ‘Young Hegelians’, including Bauer and Feuerbach, under the title The Ego and Its Own [Der Einzige und sein Eigentum, 1844]).[66] Marx and Engels’s critique, as it eventually developed, was divided into two sections (an ‘old testament’ for ‘Saint Max’, and a ‘new testament’). The printer’s sheets of this fair copy manuscript were again numbered by Engels, and two sequences, discontinuous with each other, were evidently extracted (numbers 20-21 from the ‘old testament’, and 84-92 from the ‘new testament’). In the first sequence there was again a process of marked deletions where Weydemeyer had copied out material for use in another fair copy manuscript. In the second, a run of printer’s sheets was set aside, and the fair copy begun again on the same subject but with wholly altered text, suggesting that the content was for some reason unsuitable.[67] The so-called main manuscript of the so-called Feuerbach chapter thus derives from three discontinous runs of printer’s sheets: one from an early draft critique of Bauer, and two from the fair copy of a two-part critique of Stirner (and each from a different part of that critique).

       However, the question that now arises is, were Marx and Engels assembling a ‘Feuerbach-chapter’ (given that Marx later renumbered these three sequences himself in a continuous series),[68] or were they, while working on their fair copy critiques of Bauer and Stirner, merely preserving some materials that might prove useful later in composing a Feuerbach-critique such as they were planning? The latter seems more likely, especially since there are three other very short, quite separate ‘opening salvos’ specifically on Feuerbach. These fragments appear to inaugurate this process of beginning a Feuerbach-critique in the summer of 1846.[69] The process of composition seems to have got no further after that, and to have produced no extensive reference back to the so-called Feuerbach materials amongst those eventually left aside, other than some very brief notes appended on the last page, which do not mention Feuerbach at all.[70]

       What is crucial then is that the three parts of the so-called main manuscript (as through-numbered by Marx), which has formed the core of the so-called Feuerbach chapter in successive editions, are not only discontinuous with each other, but that all three runs of printer’s sheets derive from Marx and Engels’s critiques of Bauer and Stirner. These extractions from manuscript printer’s sheets are thus already at a considerable remove from a direct critique of Feuerbach such as Marx and Engels were apparently planning to write later on in 1846, but never did. Why then the intense editorial determination to produce a Feuerbach chapter, or at least to order these materials into that position, as happens – in effect – even in Jahrbuch 2003?

       Had the various parties involved in 1845-6 actually obtained a publisher, and had they completed their latest scheme in full fair copy, the rough-draft and ‘extracted’ character of the manuscript pages that have gone into a ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ would have been readily visible to later scholars and easily acknowledged (if indeed such rough manuscript pages had been preserved, which was not often the case). The ‘German ideology’ polemic, variously planned by Marx, Engels and others, has not yet been fully contextualised, precisely because textual scholarship and scholarly commentary have been teleologically focused on an outcome to which the manuscript materials were presumed – for reasons I investigate below – to have been leading.

       As indicated above, the manuscripts went through a number of substantial revisions by the authors, and all the manuscript materials are therefore a collection of ‘starts’, some of which are quite fragmentary, some of which are extractions from longer sequences of printer’s sheets, and some of which are fair copy (but of exactly what?). This means that a process of fitting all the surviving materials together into a book-length scheme authored by Marx and Engels alone is factitious. In the absence, then, of a finished product authorially titled and specifically ordered as fair copy and/or published text, the editorial urge to construct a publishable book by Marx and Engels (only), and in particular its supposedly crucial opening chapter, has nonetheless been as overwhelming as it has been misplaced.

       The process began with Ryazanov, who introduced his work on these manuscripts by abbreviating Engels’s account even more than Mehring had done, evidently rejecting Engels’s and Mehring’s shared conclusion about their irrelevance to a Feuerbach-critique. Ryazanov thus communicated through his work the impression that some manuscript pages were in fact drafts of a ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’, however incomplete and discontinuous they might be. The ‘chapter’ was assembled and published in German in 1926,[71] and from that point on, scholarship on ‘the German ideology’ has generated commentaries on how to present ‘it’ as a book (or something very like a book), by Marx and Engels alone. In particular there has been intense effort expended on exactly which materials, and in exactly what order, a crucial opening ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ (or ‘Feuerbach and History’, as in Jahrbuch 2003) could be constituted.[72]

       This opening chapter was so crucial for Ryazanov and other theoretically-minded Marxists of the time because it was presumed to be the opening gambit in a work of ‘self-clarification’ by Marx and Engels as lifelong partners in relation to a rival philosophical school (namely idealism, as opposed to materialism); crucial because in 1888 Engels had identified Feuerbach (and the earlier, and physically separate, ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ by Marx) as supremely important for a philosophical understanding of their ‘conception’, termed ‘materialist’ by Engels[73]; and crucial because by the 1920s the Marxist tradition of scholarly enquiry and philosophical debate on such issues had become well established. This was through the work of Eduard Bernstein, Karl Kautsky and G.V. Plekhanov, to name but a few, not excepting the even more politicised interest in V.I. Lenin’s Materialism and Empirio-Criticism (1909), especially after the bolshevik revolution. Ryazanov was also battling for scarce resources for his scholarly projects, so the ‘discovery’ of a manuscript that could be editorially linked with the defining principles of Marxism was of obvious strategic utility.[74]

       The editors of the Jahrbuch 2003 edition declare that they are breaking, in principle with this ‘constructionist’ approach, announcing that their text will be edited as Marx and Engels ‘left it’ and therefore as ‘text-instances’ (Textzeugen).[75] The editors are at considerable pains to justify their ordering of these text instances according to a ‘systematic structure’, rather than according to an order based on strict chronology, which would contradict this, and would include other materials. Moreover they apply their hybrid reasoning to a grouping of manuscripts from the period which they consider to be authorially formative for a ‘book’ The German Ideology, albeit newly subtitled ‘Manuskripte und Drucke (November 1845 to June 1846)’, and with the inclusion of Weydemeyer as an author. They include some 13 text instances separately listed but recognisably tracing a structure laboriously deduced by them from fragmentary comments about plans and incomplete achievements, much as previous editors have done.[76] There is thus not so much distance between Jahrbuch 2003 and earlier editions as is claimed by the editors of the former. Moreover the factual research presented there and in allied MEGA2 research, in my view, has destroyed the case for publishing not just a ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ in any form, but also a volume of ‘German ideology’ manuscripts as a work ‘of the last hand’.

Last Hand(s)?

       Having undertaken a historical examination of the framing of the manuscript materials of 1845-6 as crucially significant, and of their factitious construction as a ‘book’ The German Ideology with an opening ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’, I turn briefly to strategies for reframing and republication. This discussion requires some consideration of methodological principles relating to joint authorship, namely that of Marx and Engels in their work on the manuscript materials of 1845-6, and of bibliographical principles, namely the presumption that the reader wants to view the text of the ‘last hand’.

       In almost all commentary since Marx’s death, and following on from Engels’s lead as the first biographer of the Marx-Engels relationship, the two authors are generally treated, from late 1844 onwards, as continuous collaborators who are presumed to agree with each other’s ideas and texts (unless there is explicit evidence to the contrary), to complement each other in their works when dealing with similar subjects, and to supplement each other’s works when dealing with different subjects.[77] I take a different methodological approach and jettison this set of presumptions, by arguing instead that agreement or disagreement will only be visible if the two are presumed to be different individuals, each with his own intellect. This seems to me to be the only position that responsible scholars can adopt, so that questions will not be begged, nor evidence (one way or the other) neglected or overlooked. Readers may then draw their own conclusions about exactly what is going on between the two at any given point.

       However, it should also be noted here that commentary on The German Ideology since the 1920s has generally presumed as fact what Gustav Mayer put forward as a speculative view about the way the two were working:

Engels wrote more legibly, he was faster and more precise, and was therefore always prepared to put on paper passages which he and Marx had sketched out together. Other passages, which they had already talked through beforehand, Marx will perhaps [vielleicht – my emphasis – TC] have dictated to his pen.[78]

       In 1921 Mayer was the first to publish fragments of ‘the German ideology’ manuscripts, albeit from the ‘super-polemical’ sections not included in anyone’s ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’. Rather against the interpretive speculations quoted above, these were assigned authorially to ‘Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx’.[79] Almost all pages of the manuscript materials from ‘the German ideology’ period are in fact in Engels’s hand, with Marx making comments, corrections, insertions and additions in his own hand from time to time. Mayer, of course, was Engels’s first biographer,[80] and had a stake in his subject’s reputation and standing within the Marxist movement and the wider world.

       In its transcriptions Jahrbuch 2003 distinguishes Marx’s hand from Engels’s by using a superscript m, but does this only in the textual variants recorded in line-by-line lists in volume 2, Apparat (apparatus criticus). This is necessarily separate from volume 1 containing the transcribed text, as dictated by the methodology of ‘the last hand’.[81] The transcribed text thus appears in volume 1 as a ‘smooth text’ of a single (albeit – in some putative sense – joint) authorial ‘hand’. Unlike Ryazanov’s original ‘complete’ version, where variants are listed in footnotes on the page,[82] and unlike Wataru Hiromatsu’s edition of 1974,[83] where variants are included (using various codes) in the text itself, Jahrbuch 2003 continues the otherwise common yet ‘scientific’ practice of making it quite difficult for readers to identify the two separate hands involved.[84] In the case of one very famous passage, I have previously argued that this practice of producing a ‘smooth text’ occludes actual debates between the two authors, and makes it easy for even experienced commentators to produce incorrect – or at least highly contestable – interpretations.[85]

       The Bogen, that is, ‘printer’s sheets’, on which most manuscript pages were written, are crucial to the numbering schemes which divide editorial presentation of ‘the last hand’ from alternative modes of presentation. The Bogen format is not particularly visible from photocopies and photographs of single pages, and is perhaps most easily explained as a kind of ‘greeting card’ or ‘simple folder’ format, formed from a large sheet of paper folded once. What you see then is a recto or ‘first page’ with a fold on the left; you open out the fold and see two pages (‘second page’ and ‘third page’) with a verso on the left and another recto on the right; you then turn over the right-hand recto, and you see its verso, with the fold now on the right. The individual ‘pages’ (thus four per ‘printer’s sheet’) are very approximately A4 in size, and in most cases the fold and folded-over condition survive, though in some instances the fold has deteriorated into a tear and the resulting two pages (recto/verso) survive separately. At some, probably early stage of their work, Engels himself numbered each printer’s sheet in arabic numerals, and it is his sequencing which presumably reflects a rough chronological order of composition.[86]

       All editions, including Jahrbuch 2003, follow Marx’s later numbering of manuscript pages per printer’s sheet. This was because Marx was re-numbering page-remnants per printer’s sheet, given that he and Engels had evidently decided to have some materials on some manuscript pages (in some cases whole manuscript pages) copied afresh and put back into a fair copy of their redrafted Bauer-critique and Stirner-critique. This was presumably because the extracted Bogen contained material that was mostly (but not wholly) unwanted for the polemical plans of the moment. In common with other editions Jahrbuch 2003 omits these ‘copied out’ sections from their reproduction of the manuscript pages that were counted as contributions to the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ (or ‘text-instances’ in a ‘systematic structure’) such as various editors have been constructing since 1924. Jahrbuch 2003, however, uniquely reproduces these ‘copied out’ sections separately in vol. 2, with a diagrammatic visual indication where on each original manuscript page of each Bogen they would have sat.[87]

       Obviously this is an improvement in terms of making information available to readers, but it raises an acute question concerning the methodology of the ‘last hand’. Are readers necessarily interested in the ‘final’ state of the text as it was abandoned by the authors? The ‘German ideology’ manuscripts as a whole were never prepared by them for submission to a publisher as a distinct intellectual and commercial entity. Or are readers perhaps more interested in the state of the text as the authors were composing it for the different and overlapping projects on which they were working successively during this period? If the latter, then there is a point to restoring the ‘copied out’ sections to the actual pages presented to the reader, who would be interested in following the thoughts of the authors as they put pen to paper (rather than in looking in a separate volume for a fragment of text truncated for what are now extraneous reasons).

       Indeed this line of thinking argues for a ‘variant-rich’ and contextual approach to the manuscript materials, putting as much information as possible on the actual printed page[88] such that successive processes of (re)composition can be reproduced. In that way readers would follow the compositional thought-process as the authors were working on pages 1/2/3/4 per printer’s sheet, in the sequence of printer’s sheets as numbered by Engels, whatever polemic was under construction at the time of writing. This presentation would therefore catch the compositional process as the authors wrestled with their ideas.

       Drafts for published works as rough as this are rarely preserved, since most authors are required by publishers to send ‘fair copy’. Arguably a mode of presentation alternative to the ‘smooth text’ of the ‘last hand’, as employed throughout the MEGA2 project as a matter of principle, would lead readers in this particular case into the ‘laboratory’ where Marx and Engels were working during a formative period in their intellectual development. In the course of drafting successive polemical works, the authors developed some of the ideas that Marx counted, albeit enigmatically, as ‘self-clarification’. However, if we follow Marx’s autobiographical account of this period 1843-7 as a continuous discussion – and if we read it independently of Ryazanov’s startling re-evaluation of the otherwise quite disparaged ‘German ideology’ manuscripts – we now see that the manuscripts of 1845-6 represent a continuation of the jointly published polemics of The Holy Family, which were directed towards a German audience of radical intellectuals, and also a precursor to Marx’s foray into the world of French socialism in The Poverty of Philosophy, where he was trying to bring the new ‘conception’ to a wider public.


       While texts written before or after the manuscript polemics of late 1845 to mid-1846 record and discuss the crucial insights of the new conception of human life, history and the future that Marx and Engels were developing, the precise moment of ‘self-clarification’, and its precise terms, have always proved elusive. The ‘German ideology’ manuscripts, as Marx says,[89] were part of this process. But the factitious ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ of the two-volume ‘book’ The German Ideology, as I have shown above, was not.

       The broader project in ‘Marxism’ of framing the new conception of society, history and politics as a philosophy, crucially resting on a critique of Feuerbach and Hegel, is itself questionable. Ryazanov’s ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ of 1924 was touted as a solution to the problem of what exactly in philosophical terms Marx’s new conception actually was. Even if this is a valid problem, and even if there is a solution to be found, my conclusion is that the manuscript materials used to construct the ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ are of interest – not as a text of ‘the last hand’ – but as a rare record of a compositional process. This can be explored in relation to any number of questions, not least how exactly Marx and Engels were learning to think as they did. It follows that future editions of the successive manuscript polemics against ‘the German ideology’ should proceed on this basis.


[1] I am indebted throughout to Daniel Blank, PhD of the University of Bristol, for his research work, for our conversations and discussions, and for reference access to his unpublished dissertation, ‘“The German Ideology” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Political History of the Manuscript and its Published Editions’. While this manuscript is referenced below as Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, I wish to acknowledge that my work on this project has been influenced at every stage by his. Errors and omissions are, of course, my own responsibility. My research work was supported by a Research Leave Scheme award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, for which I acknowledge here and for which I express my thanks. I am also grateful for a critique of my views privately communicated by Professor Georg H. Fromm of the University of Puerto Rico, and for questions and feedback from audiences at the MEGA-Symposium in Helsinki, the Oxford Political Theory Conference, the University of California at Berkeley, The Johns Hopkins University and the Center for the Study of Marxist Social Theory at Nanjing University.

[2] For the most recent short, factual account of the history and reception of The German Ideology, see Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Joseph Weydemeyer, Die Deutsche Ideologie: Artikel, Druckvorlagen, Entwürfe, Reinschriftenfragmente und Notizen zu I. Feuerbach und II. Sankt Bruno, 2 vols, Marx-Engels-Jahrbuch 2003 (issued by the Internationale Marx-Engels-Stiftung, Amsterdam), ed. Inge Taubert and Hans Pelger (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2004), vol. 1, pp. *8-19*; hereafter referred to as Jahrbuch 2003. For a select bibliography of editions and translations, see Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, app. A.

[3] For information on the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe, second series (MEGA2), which has been in progress since the 1970s, see (accessed 9 June 2009); see also (accessed 10 June 2009).

[4] I use The German Ideology to refer to the various editions of selected or ‘complete’ manuscript materials of 1845-6 published since 1924; on the origin of this title, see below. I use ‘the German ideology’ to refer collectively to the various manuscript materials commonly assumed to be drafts for a planned ‘work’, publishable as a book; see the detailed discussion below.

[5] See George Lichtheim, Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964).

[6] See Terrell Carver, Marx and Engels: The Intellectual Relationship (Brighton: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1983); see also Terrell Carver, ‘“Marx-Engels” or “Engels v. Marx”’, MEGA-Studien, 1996/2, pp. 79-85.

[7] David McLellan, Karl Marx: His Life and Thought (London: Macmillan, 1973), p. 151. See also Shlomo Avineri, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), passim.

[8] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 8*-10*; see also Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, ch. 3.

[9] Karl Marx, ‘Preface’ [to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Part One], in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works [hereafter referred to as CW], vol. 29 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1987), p. 264. The phrase ‘The manuscript, two large octavo volumes’ is identified by an editorial footnote with The German Ideology; this title does not occur in the manuscript materials, nor elsewhere in Marx’s works as the title of a book; see the detailed discussion of this passage below.

[10] Inge Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke der “Deutschen Ideologie” (November 1845 bis Juni 1846). Probleme und Ereignisse’, MEGA-Studien, 1997/2, pp. 12-13, 16-20; see the detailed research on this period in Galina Golowina, ‘Das Projekt der Vierteljahrsschrift von 1845/1846: Zu den ursprünglichen Publikationsplänen der Manuskripte der “Deutschen Ideologie”’, in Marx-Engels-Jahrbuch, vol. 3, ed. Institute for Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU and Institute for Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the SED ([East] Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1980). pp. 260–74.

[11] Inge Taubert, ‘Die Überlieferungsgeschichte der Manuskripte der “Deutschen Ideologie” und die Erstveröffentlichungen in der Originalsprache’, MEGA-Studien, 1997/2, pp. 32-3; see also see also Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, app. A.

[12] See pp. 00-00 below.

[13] Marx, [Declaration against Karl Grün], in CW, vol. 6 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1976), pp. 72 note b, 73; emphasis in original; the newspaper note had no title so the editors have assigned the one in square brackets; see also Inge Taubert, Hans Pelger, Jacques Grandjonc, ‘Dokument: Marx’ Erklärung vom 3. April 1847’, MEGA-Studien, 1997/2, pp. 154-61. For information on the Westphälisches Dampfboot, where Marx’s review appeared in August/September 1847, see CW, vol. 5 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1976), pp. 604-5, note 128; ‘B. Bauer’ is distinguished from his brother Edgar; see CW, vol. 5, p. 610.

[14] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 5; Jahrbuch 2003 departs somewhat from previous practice by including Joseph Weydemeyer in the list of authors; see note 2 above; see also note 16 below.

[15] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 19; ‘of the last hand’ is a bibliographical term signifying the author’s final intentions as recorded on a text.

[16] This includes the projected MEGA2 vol. 1/5; see Inge Taubert, Hans Pelger, Jacques Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5 “Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Moses Hess: Die deutsche Ideologie. Manuskripte und Drucke (November 1845 bis Juni 1846)”’, MEGA-Studien, 1997/2, pp. 49-53.

[17] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 12.

[18] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 7*.

[19] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 5, 11-12; see also Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 57.

[20] Marx to Joseph Weydemeyer, 14-16 May 1846, CW, vol. 38, pp. 41-3; Marx to Carl Friedrich Julius Leske, 1 August 1846, CW, vol. 38, pp. 48-51.

[21] Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 1/5’, p. 53.

[22] Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 53. ‘Bauer[,] Feuerbach up to Stirner’ occurs in Marx to Leske, 1 August 1846, though not in the English text (see note 20 above; my thanks to Sun Leqiang, PhD student of Nanjing University, for pointing this out). The context suggests that Marx crossed out this descriptive phrase so as not to have to write a similar one for ‘German socialism’ (emphasis in original); see the full text with variants in MEGA2 III/2, pp. 23, 622; cf. the English text without variants in CW, vol. 38, p. 50. ‘Feuerbach, B. Bauer and Stirner’ occurs in the press note dated 3 April 1847 discussed above.

[23] CW, vol. 41, pp. 92-104.

[24] Tauber, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 54; CW, vol. 41 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1985), p. 101.

[25] Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 54.

[26] Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, which references Mehring’s Aus dem literarischen Nachlass von Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels und Ferdinand Lassalle: Gesammelte Schriften von Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels 1841–1850, vol. 2, July 1844 to November 1847 (Stuttgart: Dietz), p. 346.

[27] Franz Mehring, Karl Marx; TheStory of His Life, trans. Edward Fitzgerald (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1936, 3rd imp. 1951), pp. 109-11.

[28] CW, vol. 29, pp. 257-417.

[29] The manuscript Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law, first published in 1927; CW, vol. 3 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975), pp. 3-129.

[30] ‘Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law: Introduction’ (1844), CW, vol. 3, pp. 175-87.

[31] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, pp. 261-2.

[32] CW, vol. 29, p. 262 reads ‘guiding principle’; cf. Karl Marx, ‘Preface’ to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, in Karl Marx, Later Political Writings, ed. and trans. Terrell Carver (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 159, which reads ‘guide’.

[33] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 262, note d.

[34] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 262.

[35] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 262.

[36] Frederick Engels, ‘Karl Marx: A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, CW, vol. 16 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1980), pp. 465-77; for an analysis and discussion of Engels’s review, see Terrell Carver, Engels (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 37-44.

[37] CW, vol. 4 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975), pp. 295-583.

[38] No trace of any temporary binding to collect draft-material into convenient ‘volumes’ survives; inspection of original mss and queries to Ursula Balzer at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 15 March 2007; I am responding here to a point raised in Georg H. Fromm, ‘Remarks on T. Carver’s Proposals for a Critical Edition of The German Ideology’, pp. 7-8, unpublished mss, privately communicated.

[39] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 264.

[40] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 264, n. b; for The German Ideology, see CW, vol. 5, pp. 19-539,

[41] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Die Deutsche Ideologie, in Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe, Abt. 1, Bd 5, ed. V.V. Adoratskii (Berlin, Marx-Engels-Verlag, 1932); series now generally referred to as MEGA1.

[42] See Harry Waton, ‘Preface’, The Marxist (New York), July 1926, p. 240. Waton translated Ryazanov’s ‘chapter’ ‘I. Feuerbach’ from Russian into English under the title ‘German Ideology (The Materialist Conception of History)’, pp. 245-303, and added an ‘Analysis and Criticism of the Materialist Conception of History’, pp. 307-33. Ryazanov’s editorial work is discussed in Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, ch. 3, where it is argued that MEGA1 1/5, published under Adoratskii’s editorship, largely reproduces his predecessor’s work.

[43] Taubert, ‘Die Überlieferungsgeschichte der Manuskripte’, pp. 44-6.

[44] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, p. 264.

[45] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 16; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, pp. 49, 55.

[46] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 7*; Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 10; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’ p. 53.

[47] CW, vol. 26 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1990), p. 520; for Marx’s ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ see CW, vol. 5, pp. 3-5; these ‘Theses’ pre-date the ‘German ideology’ sequence of manuscript writings and are contained, as Engels says, in a separate notebook. Contrary to editorial opinion summarised in CW, vol. 5, pp. XIV, 585 note 1, these ‘Theses’ were not part of the ‘German ideology’ project as initially conceived, since the original targets in that manuscript sequence were Bruno Bauer and then Stirner and later others, such as Grün, and only eventually, Feuerbach; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 55; Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 6*-7*; cf. McLellan, Karl Marx, p. 143, and Golowina, ‘Das Projekt’.

[48] Taubert, ‘Die Überlieferungs der Manuskripte’, p. 34.

[49] The usual English translation of this phrase is ‘Outlooks’, whereas Anschauung is singular.

[50] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 100.

[51] Engels, ‘Karl Marx. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’, CW, vol. 16, p. 469.

[52] Taubert, ‘Die Überlieferungsgeschichte der Manuskripte’, p. 34.

[53] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 8*; see also Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 23; and Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, pp. 51-2; see the detailed discussion below.

[54] Ludwig Feuerbach (Stuttgart: F. Enke, 1885).

[55] Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, Die heilige Familie oder Kritik der kritischen Kritik: Gegen Bruno Bauer und Consorten (Frankfurt a. M.: Literarische Anstalt (J. Rütten), 1845); see CW 4 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975), pp. 5-211. The ‘German ideology’ manuscript materials (end November/beginning of December 1845 and on through 1846) were at the outset effectively a continuation of the authors’ engagement in The Holy Family with a critique of post-Hegelian philosophical politics; Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1 p. 6*.

[56] Mehring, Karl Marx, pp. 110-11.

[57] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, pp. 178-80, 304; Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 23-4.

[58] Wigandsvierteljahrschrift, vol. 3 (1845); Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, p. 163.

[59] Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 49.

[60] Karl Marx, [Gegen Bruno Bauer], Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 3-5; vol. 2, pp. 157-8; published in English translation as Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, [A Reply to Bruno Bauer’s Anti-Critique], CW, vol. 5, pp. 15-18; the editors of Jahrbuch 2003 trace the assignment of authorship of this work originally to Engels (by his biographer Gustav Mayer), then to Marx and Engels (in MEGA1), but argue themselves for Marx alone; vol. 2, p. 157.

[61] These are Bogen, each containing four manuscript pages (Seite); this particular sequence is actually somewhat defective, in that it consists of two manuscript pages from printer’s sheet 1, and then of printer’s sheets 6 to 11, each containing 4 manuscript pages; Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, pp. 172, 178.

[62] See Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, p. 21, where she argues that Marx and Engels’s draft critique of Bauer followed the various divisions of Bauer’s original article, and that the contents of the extracted material on printer’s sheets 6 to 11 ‘has its origin’ in Bauer’s discussion of ‘Feuerbach’s materialism’.

[63] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 168, 172-3; Daniel Blank (personal conversation, 23 May 2007) has noted that ‘History’ never appears in later editorial ‘chapter plans’ as an independent item, and there are of course similar notes made on the text (such as ‘Religions’, ‘Sismondi’, ‘Hegel’ etc.) which do not figure in these thematic discussions either; see Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 18, 73, 88, and passim; the Jahrbuch 2003 editors refer to these manuscript pages, after Marx had later paginated them 1) to 29), as ‘Feuerbach and History’ [Feuerbach und Geschichte]; vol. 2, p. 168.

[64] Ordered by Marx and Engels firstly as ‘I. Saint Bruno’, and then later as ‘II. Saint Bruno’, as the authors changed their plans in order to subject further writers to critique; Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 21-2.

[65] Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 21-5; Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, pp. 163-70, 172-3, 337-8.

[66] Ed. David Leopold (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); see Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, p. 328; cf. McLellan, Karl Marx, p. 143.

[67] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, pp. 173-5; this fair copy critique appears in ‘Volume I’ of most editions of The German Ideology as ‘III. Saint Max’.

[68] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, p. 163; Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 13-14, 23-4; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, pp. 51-2.

[69] For these three texts, see Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 104-10; for dating, see vol. 2, pp. 300, 308, 315; these three short texts in rough draft are the original source for ‘I. Feuerbach’ as the numbered ‘chapter’ heading within Marx and Engels’s ‘plans’ of 1846 for a sequence of ‘German ideology’ critiques. In most editions of The German Ideology they are editorially amalgamated and then incorporated into the text of ‘I. Feuerbach’ as a single ‘Preface’ (Vorrede).

[70] Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 52; Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 99-100.

[71] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 8*-11*.

[72] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. V, 8*-15*.

[73] Engels does this in his 1859 review, CW, vol. 16, pp. 465-77; see Carver, Engels, p. 38; see also note 36 above.

[74] This ‘discovery’ was vigorously contested by Gustav Mayer at the time; see Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, ch. 3.

[75] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 7*; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, p. 50.

[76] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, pp. 11*-15*; Taubert, ‘Manuskripte und Drucke’, pp. 13-25; Taubert, Pelger, Grandjonc, ‘Die Konstitution von MEGA2 I/5’, pp. 49, 54-5.

[77] Carver, Marx and Engels: Intellectual Relationship, pp. xi-xv; Carver, ‘“Marx-Engels” or “Engels v. Marx”’, pp. 79-85; cf. McLellan, Karl Marx, pp. 130-2.

[78] Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, which cites Gustav Mayer, ‘Das Leipziger Konzil’, Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, vol. 47 (1921), p. 776; my translation.

[79] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 8*.

[80] Friedrich Engels, vol. 1, 2nd edn (Berlin, 1920), vol. 2 (The Hague, 1934).

[81] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 1, p. 23*.

[82] MEGA1 1/5.

[83] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Die Deutsche Ideologie: Neuveröffentlichung des Abschnittes 1 des Bandes 1 mit Text-Kritischen Anmerkungen, ed. Wataru Hiromatsu (Tokyo: Kawadashobo-Shinsa, 1974).

[84] See the discussion of these different modes of presentation in Blank, ‘“The German Ideology”: Political History’, ch. 3.

[85] See Terrell Carver, ‘Communism for Critical Critics? A New Look at The German Ideology’, History of Political Thought, vol. 9, no. 1 (1988), pp. 129-36; see also Terrell Carver, The Postmodern Marx (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), pp. 98-107.

[86] Marx and Engels may, of course, have composed some passages out of sequence; Jahrbuch 2003 records some editorial inferences about this with reference to particular passages.

[87] Jahrbuch 2003, vol. 2, pp. 178-211

[88] The International Institute for Historical Research and the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe project are jointly planning to present digital facsimile images of the actual pages of the ‘German ideology’ manuscripts – rather than typographical transcriptions – on the internet; personal conversation with U. Balzer, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 15 March 2007.

[89] Marx, ‘Preface’, CW, vol. 29, pp. 262, 264.

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: