Written between end of August and middle September 1857.

Marx intended this to be the Introduction to his _Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy_ (1859), but, as his Preface to that work notes, he decided to omit it.

The unfinished rough draft, which was found among Marx's papers after his death. First published 1903, in _Die Neue Zeit_. Would become the first manuscript in the _Grundrisse_.

4. Production

Means of Production and Conditions of Production. Conditions of Production and Communication. Political forms and Forms of Cognition in Relation to the Conditions of Production and Communication. Legal Relations. Family Relations.

Notes regarding points which have to be mentioned in this context and should not be forgotten.

1. _War_ develops [certain features] earlier than peace; the way in which -- as a result of war, and in the armies, etc. -- certain economic conditions -- e.g.. wage-labor, machinery, etc. -- were evolved earlier than within civil society. the relations between productive power and conditions of communication are likewise particularly obvious in the Army.

2. The relation of the hitherto existing idealistic historiography to realistic historiography. In particular what is known as history of civilization, the old history of religion and states. (The various kinds of historiography hitherto existing could also be discussed in this context; the so-called objective, subjective (moral and others), philosophical [historiography].)

3. Secondary and tertiary phenomena, in general _derived_ and transmitted_, i.e., non-primary, conditions of production. The influence of international relations.

4. Reproaches about the materialism of this conception: relation to naturalistic materialism.

5. Dialectics of the concepts productive power (means of production) and relations of production; the limits of this dialectical connection, which does not abolish the real differences, have to be defined.

6. The unequal development of material production and, e.g.., that of art. The concept of progress is on the whole not to be understood in the usual abstract form. Modern art, etc. This disproportion is not as important and difficult to grasp as within concrete social relations -- e.g.., in education. Relations of the United States to Europe. However, the really difficult point to be discussed here is how the relations of production as legal relations take part in this uneven development. For example, the relations of Roman civil law (this applies in smaller measure to criminal and constitutional law) to modern production.

7. This concept appears to be an inevitable development. But vindication of chance. How? (Freedom, etc., as well.) (Influence of the means of communication. World history did not always exist; history as world history is a result.)

8. The starting-point is of course the naturally determined factors; both subjective and objective. Tribes, race, etc.

As regards art, it is well known that some of its peaks by no means correspond to the general development of society; nor do they therefore to the material substructure, the skeleton as it were of its organization. For example, the Greeks compared with modern [nations], or else Shakespeare. It is even acknowledged that certain branches of art -- e.g.., the _epos_ -- can no longer be produced in their epoch-making classic form after artistic production as such has begun; in other words, that certain important creations within the compass of art are only possible at an early stage in the development of art. If this is the case with regard to different branches of art within the sphere of art itself, it is not so remarkable that this could also be the case with regard to the entire sphere of art and its relation to the general development of society. The difficulty lies only in the general formulation of these contradictions. As soon as they are reduced to specific questions they are already explained.

Let us take, for example, the relation of Greek art, and that of Shakespeare, to the present time. We know that Greek mythology is not only the arsenal of Greek art, but also its basis. Is the conception of nature and of social relations which underlies Greek imagination and therefore Greek [art] possible when there are self-acting mules, railways, locomotives and electric telegraphs? What is a Vulcan compared with Roberts and Co., Jupiter compared with the lightning conductor, and Hermes compared with the _Credit mobilier_? All mythology subdues, controls, and fashions the forces of nature in the imagination and through imagination; it disappears, therefore, when real control over these forces is established. What becomes of Fama side-by-side with Printing House Square? Greek art presupposed Greek mythology, in other words that natural and social phenomena are already assimilated in an unintentionally artistic manner by the imagination of the people. This is the material of Greek art, not just any mythology -- i.e., not every unintentionally artistic manner by the imagination of nature (here the term comprises all physical phenomena, including society); Egyptian mythology could never become the basis of, or give rise to, Greek art. But at any rate [it presupposes] a mythology; on no account, however, a social development which precludes a mythological attitude towards nature -- i.e., any attitude to nature which might give rise to myth; a society therefore demanding from the artist an imagination independent of mythology.

Regarded from another aspect: is Achilles possible when powder and shot have been invented? And is the Iliad possible at all when the printing press and even printing machine exist? Is it not inevitable that with the emergence of the press, the singing and the telling and the muse cease -- that is the conditions necessary for epic poetry disappear?

The difficulty we are confronted with is not, however, that of understanding how Greek art and epic poetry are associated with certain forms of social development. The difficulty is that they still give us aesthetic pleasure and are in certain respects regarded as a standard and unattainable ideal.

An adult cannot become a child again, or he becomes childish. But does the naivete of the child not give him pleasure, and does not he himself endeavor to reproduce the child's veracity on a higher level? Does not in every epoch the child represent the character of the period in its natural veracity? Why should not the historical childhood of humanity, where it attained its most beautiful form, exert an eternal charm because it is a stage that will never recur? There are rude children and precocious children. Many of the ancient peoples belong to this category. The Greeks were normal children. The charm their art has for us does not conflict with the immature stage of the society in which it originated. On the contrary, its charm is a consequence of this and is inseparably linked with the fact that the immature social conditions which gave rise, and which alone could give rise, to this art cannot recur.

Return to Hanover College
Return to History Department