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OSMUN Civics NAME: _______________________________________

Marx vs. Smith Tale of the Tape DATE: __________________________ PERIOD: ______
Directions: Read the following excerpts and answer the questions from the reading.
Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels - The Communist Manifesto
Chapter I Bourgeois and Proletarians
The history of all hitherto
1
existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor
and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight,
a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the
contending classes.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various
orders, a manifold
2
gradation
3
of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the
Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again,
subordinate gradations.

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class
antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old
ones.

Our epoch
4
, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class
antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes
directly facing each other Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.

Questions
1. Marx claims that The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. As he is writing,
who does Marx say the conflict is between in his modern era?


2. According to Marx, what are the two common results of historical class struggles?


3. What --


4. From what time in history does the bourgeoisie arise?


5. During his time Marx says the bourgeoisie has succeeded in doing what?


1
Hitherto - Until now or until the point in time under discussion
2
Manifold - Many and various
3
Gradation - A scale or a series of successive changes, stages, or degrees.
4
Epoch - A period of time in history or a person's life, typically one marked by notable events or particular characteristics.
Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations

Chapter 8: Of The Wages of Labour

The produce of labour
5
constitutes the natural recompense
6
or wages of labour. In that original state of things,
which precedes both the appropriation
7
of land and the accumulation
8
of stock, the whole produce of labour belongs to
the labourer. He has neither landlord nor master to share with him.

Had this state continued, the wages of labour would have augmented
9
with all those improvements in its
productive powers, to which the division of labour gives occasion. All things would gradually have become cheaper. They
would have been produced by a smaller quantity of labour; and as the commodities
10
produced by equal quantities of
labour would naturally in this state of things be exchanged for one another, they would have been purchased likewise
with the produce of a smaller quantity.

But though all things would have become cheaper in reality, in appearance many things might have become
dearer than before, or have been exchanged for a greater quantity of other goods. Let us suppose, for example, that in
the greater part of employments the productive powers of labour had been improved to tenfold, or that a day's labour
could produce ten times the quantity of work which it had done originally; but that in a particular employment they had
been improved only to double, or that a day's labour could produce only twice the quantity of work which it had done
before. In exchanging the produce of a day's labour in the greater part of employments, for that of a day's labour in this
particular one, ten times the original quantity of work in them would purchase only twice the original quantity in it. Any
particular quantity in it, therefore, a pound weight, for example, would appear to be five times dearer than before. In
reality, however, it would be twice as cheap. Though it required five times the quantity of other goods to purchase it, it
would require only half the quantity of labour either to purchase or to produce it. The acquisition, therefore, would be
twice as easy as before.

Questions
1. According to Smith, what is the natural recompense of the Produce of Labor?
2. In the original state of things (i.e. the time before industry) who did the Produce of Labour belong to?
3. Had things continued on as originally, what would have happened to the cost of all things?
4. In the last paragraph, Smith lays out his theory Marginal Product of Labor. It is a simple concept that is difficult
to understand. The marginal product of labor is the change in output (Y) per unit change in labor (L). In
mathematical terms the marginal product of labor is:

In such that Y represents how much more is being made whenever you add a new worker L.

There is no question here, I just like the idea of students grappling with a difficult concept.


5
Produce of Labour The use of human brains and muscles in natural processes to create goods from raw materials.
6 Recompense - Compensation or reward.
7 Appropriation - The act of selecting, devoting, or setting something apart for a particular use or purpose
8
Accumulation - The gradual gathering of something
9
Augmented - Having been made greater in size or value.
10
Commodities - Something useful that can be turned to commercial or other advantage.