Adultery and the Exchange Economy



In one of the more humorous passages of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels counter bourgeois fears that communism means the abolition of the family:

The communists have no need to introduce community of women […]. Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives. Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common.1


Public Sphere Exchange Economy Private Sphere Wage Contract Liberal Political Theory 
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    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), p. 101.Google Scholar
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    Carole Pateman, The Sexual Contract (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989), pp. 130–1, 6, 54–6, 111–12, 180–1.Google Scholar
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    Tony Tanner, Adultery in the Novel: Contract and Transgression (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), pp. 12–13.Google Scholar
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    Rudi Laermans, ‘Learning to Consume: Early Department Stores and the Shaping of the Modern Consumer Culture (1860–1914)’, Theory, Culture and Society, 10.4 (1993), 87.Google Scholar
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  8. and Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, 3rd edn (London: Verso, 1989), pp. 164–6. Peter A. Bly discusses the novel’s interest in vision in Vision and the Visual Arts in Galdós (Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1986).Google Scholar
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    Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, 5th edn (London: Verso, 1990), p. 237; and Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire, pp. 37, 50, 54, 170–1.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

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