Marx’s First Critique of Political Economy (1844–1994)

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


Unknown for a long time, Marx’s immensely emancipatory manuscripts, his first critique of political economy, that he composed in Paris were published by the great Marx scholar David Riazanov in 1932. They comprise Marx’s extensive reading notes on and excerpts from a very large number of economists, as well as what came to be called Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (hereafter Manuscripts), properly speaking. The Manuscripts, a part of which has been lost, in no way constitute a finished work. On the other hand, many of Marx’s crucial (theoretical) categories would be forged only later. Marx’s vocabulary would also not remain exactly the same. Nevertheless, the Manuscripts already constitute the ‘cell-form’ of Marx’s critique, containing the latter’s basic elements in nuce. In this chapter, an attempt will be made to present the basic ideas of this genial critique in barest outline as a way of remembering its legacies.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Quebec in MontrealWestmountCanada

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