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Critique of Political Economy

  • ●  about 400 words per answer
  • ●  At least one quotation from the reading,  properly cited in Chicago Style format
  • ●  5 possible points, graded on completeness, accuracy, presentation.0 ­ Failure to respond
    1 ­ There are some English words here
    2 ­ An attempt was made, but minimally acceptable 3 ­ Average.
    4 ­ Nicely done.
    5 ­ Stellar.

    Marx & Anarchism

    Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,The German Ideology,“Estranged Labour” Mutual Aid, “Kropotkin was no Crackpot”
    (DUE: 4/12)

  1. In the excerpts you read from Marx, he writes, “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness” (from Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy). Relatedly, he writes, “Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life” (from The German Ideology). What does he mean by this?(Note:By “consciousness”, he means something like “individual identity,” but you also might relate this to our discussions of soul/mind/will.)
  2. In the section “Estranged Labour”, Marx discusses four types of “estrangement” (or alienation), from (1) the product of labor,(2) the act of production,(3) Man’s species­being,(4) estrangement of man from man. Describe each of these and give an example.(Note:the concept “species­being” is the hardest, but try your best to articulate the concept)


  1. How did Kropotkin and the Russian Darwinists apply Darwin’s theory of evolution and his notion of survival differently than the British Darwinists? (primarily from the article by Stephen Jay Gould, “Kropotkin was no Crackpot”)
  2. Describe Kropotkin’s notion of “mutual aid.” Compare this to Hobbes’ and Rousseau’s ideas about our natural tendencies to be “social.”
  3. Questions: Formulate 5 questions raised by the readings.

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