Written in 1833-4, when Marx was barely twenty-five, this astonishingly rich body of works formed the cornerstone for his later political philosophy. In the Critique of Hegel's "Doctrine of the State", he dissects Hegel's thought and develops his own views on civil society, while his Letters reveal a furious intellect struggling to develop the egalitarian theory of state. Equally challenging are his controversial essay, "On the Jewish Question and the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts", where Marx first made clear his views on alienation, the state, democracy and human nature. Brilliantly insightful, Marx's "Early Writings" reveal a mind on the brink of one of the most revolutionary ideas in human history - the theory of Communism. This translation fully conveys the vigour of the original works. The introduction, by Lucio Colletti, considers the beliefs of the young Marx and explores these writings in the light of the later development of Marxism.
Karl Marx (1818-1883). The core of Marx's economic analysis found early expression in the Okonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (Economic and Political Manuscripts of 1844). There, Marx argued that the conditions of modern industrial societies invariably result in the estrangement (or alienation) of workers from their own labor. In his review of a Bruno Baier book, On the Jewish Question (1844), Marx decried the lingering influence of religion over politics and proposed a revolutionary re-structuring of European society. Much later, Marx undertook a systematic explanation of his economic theories in Das Kapital (Capital) (1867-95) and Theorien uber den Mehrwert (Theory of Surplus Value) (1862).