N.I. Bukharin: Historical Materialism - a System of Sociology


5: The Equilibrium between Society and Nature

a. Nature as the Environment of Society

A consideration of society as a system involves the recognition of "external nature" as its environment, i.e., chiefly the terrestrial globe with all its natural properties. Human society is unthinkable without its environment. Nature is the source of foodstuffs for human society, thus determining the latter's living conditions. But nothing could be more incorrect than to regard nature from the teleological point of view: man, the lord of creation, with nature created for his use, and all things adapted to human needs. As a matter of fact, nature often falls upon the "lord of creation" in such a savage manner that he is obliged to admit her superiority. It has taken man centuries of bitter struggle to place his iron bit in nature's mouth.

Now man, as an animal form, as well as human society, are products of nature, parts of this great, endless whole. Man can never escape from nature, and even when he "controls" nature, he is merely making use of the laws of nature for his own ends. It is therefore clear how great must be the influence of nature on the whole development of human society. Before proceeding to a study of the relations existing between nature and man, or of the forms in which nature operates on human society, we must consider first of all with what phases of nature man comes chiefly in contact. We have only to look about us in order to perceive the dependence of society on nature: "The soil (and this, economically speaking, includes water) in the virgin state in which it supplies man with necessaries or the means of subsistence ready to hand, exists independently of him, and is the universal subject of human labor. All those things which labor merely separates from immediate connection with their environment, are subjects of labor spontaneously provided by nature. Such are fish which we catch and take from their element water, timber which we fell in the virgin forest, and ores which we extract from their veins " As the earth is his original larder, so too it is his original tool house. It supplies him, for instance, with stones for throwing, grinding, pressing, cutting, etc."1) Nature is the immediate object of labor in the acquisitive industries (mining, hunting, portions of agriculture, etc.). In other words, nature determines what raw materials are to be manipulated. Man, as we have seen above, is constantly making use of the laws of nature in his struggle with her. "He makes use of the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of some bodies in order to make other substances subservient with his aims:" 2) Man makes use of the power of steam, electricity, etc., the attraction of the earth for bodies (law of gravitation), etc. It is impossible, therefore, for the state of nature at a certain place and at a certain time not to act upon human society. Climate (quantity of moisture, winds, temperature, etc.), configuration of surface (hills or valleys, distribution of water, character of rivers, presence of metals, minerals, all the resources buried in the earth), the character of the shore (in the case of a maritime community), the distribution of land and water, the presence of various animals and plants, etc., such are the chief elements of nature that influence human society. Whales and fish may not be caught on land; agriculture may not be pursued on rocky mountains; deserts are a poor place for forestry; you cannot live in tents in cold countries during the winter, nor do you heat your but in hot weather ... if no metals are in the ground, you cannot conjure them down from heaven or suck them out of your finger-tips, etc.

In detail, the influence of nature is found expressed in the following conditions:

Distribution of land and water. In general, man is a land animal; the ocean therefore has a double influence: it divides: and, on the other hand, furnishes a transportation route. The former influence is earlier than the latter. The influence of the coast-line is chiefly in its possessing - or not possessing - good harbors. With few exceptions (Cherbourg, for instance), modern seaports are established where the natural curves of the seacoast provide natural harbors. The surface of the earth, whose influence on man is felt through the animal and vegetable kingdoms, has also a more direct influence - varying greatly in accordance with the stage in evolution - by determining the nature and direction of transportation routes (paths, highways, railroads, tunnels, etc.).

Stones and minerals. Construction work depends on the nature of the available stone quarries. In mountainous regions, the hard varieties (for instance, porphyry, basalt, etc.) predominate; in valleys, softer varieties. The importance of minerals and metals has increased particularly in recent days (iron, coal). Certain minerals furnish the principal reason for the migration of nations, as well as colonization. (The presence of tin lured the Phoenicians northward; gold drew them to South Africa and East India; gold and silver brought the Spaniards to America.) The centers of modern heavy industry are determined by the location of deposits of iron ore and coal. The character of the soil, together with the climate, have their influence on the vegetable kingdom.

Continental bodies of water. Water is of value, in the first place, for drinking purposes (therefore it is so precious in the desert); second, we have its significance for agriculture (the soil - depending on the amount of water in it - must be drained or irrigated). It is well known how significant are the inundations of the great rivers (Nile, Ganges, etc.) for agriculture, and how great was the influence of this circumstance on the ancient Egyptians and East Indians. Water is also important as motive power (water-mills are among the earliest inventions; therefore, cities arose in close proximity to regions rich in water; more recently, the utilization of water power in electrification may be mentioned, the so called `white coal," now widely exploited in America, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Italy). Finally, there is the fact that water furnishes transportation routes, which some scholars consider its most important function.

The Climate's influence is chiefly through its effect on production. The species of plants to be cultivated depend on the climate, which also determines the length of the agricultural season (very short in Russia; lasting nearly a year in southern countries); labor forces are therefore liberated in northern climates, becoming available for industry, etc. Climate also has an influence on transportation (traffic by sleigh in winter; harbors frozen up or open in winter, also rivers, etc.). A cold climate requires a greater quantity of labor devoted to nourishment, clothing, housing, artificial heating, etc.; in the north, more time is spent indoors; in the south, more in the open air.

The Flora has a varying influence: at lower levels of culture, the paths depended on the nature of the forests (inaccessible primeval forests), the species of trees determine the character of construction, fuel, etc., also the chase, agriculture, even the specific variety of agriculture. The same is true of cattle breeding. The fauna, for primitive tribes, constitutes a powerful hostile element, serving chiefly for nutrition, in other words, as the object of the chase and of fishery; later, there came the taming of beasts, with a further effect on production and transportation (draught animals).

The Ocean has always been of great importance; travel and freight are cheaper by sea; the ocean also furnishes the theater for many branches of production (fisheries, whaling, sealing, etc.). (Cf. A. Hettner: Die geographischen Bedingungen der menschlichen Wirtschaft in Grundriss der Nationalökonomik, Tübingen 1914.) The influence of climatic conditions may be illustrated as follows: in the matter of average annual temperatures (so called isotherms on the charts), "it may be observed that the greatest populations have congregated between the isotherms of + 16· C. and + 4· C. The isotherm + 10· C. coincides pretty closely with the central axis of this climatic and cultural zone, and on this isotherm lie the richest and most populous cities of the globe: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, London, Vienna, Odessa, Peking; on isotherm + 16· we find: St. Louis, Lisbon, Rome, Constantinople, Osaka, Kioto, Tokio; on isotherm + 4·, we have: Quebec, Oslo, Stockholm, Leningrad, Moscow. Very few cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants are found south of isotherm + 16·: Mexico, New Orleans, Cairo, Alexandria, Teheran, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Canton. The northern limit - isotherm + 4· - is more sharply drawn; north of it, the only important cities are Winnipeg (Canada) and the administrative centers of Siberia." (L. I. Mechnikov: Civilization and the Great Historical Rivers, quoted from the Russian edition, Petersburg, 1898, pp.38, 39.)

b. Relations between Society and Nature; the Process of Production and Reproduction

We already know that in any system the cause for alterations in the system must be sought in its relations with its environment; also, that the fundamental direction of growth (progress, rest, or destruction of the system), depends precisely on what the relation is between the given system and its environment. An alteration in this relation impels us to seek a cause producing a change in the system itself. Where shall we seek the constantly changing relations between society and nature?

We have already seen that this changing relation is in the field of social labor. As a matter of fact, how does the process of adaptation of human society to nature express itself? What is the character of the unstable equilibrium between society and nature?

Human society, ever since it began, has had to abstract material energy from external nature; without these loans it could not exist. Society best adapts itself to nature by abstracting (and appropriating to itself) more energy from nature; only by increasing this quantity of energy does society succeed in growing. Let us suppose, for example, that on a certain day all labor should stop-in factories, machine-shops, mines, on railroads, in the forests and fields, by land and sea. Society would not be able to maintain itself for a single week, for even in order to live on the existing supplies, it would have to transport, forward, and distribute them. "Every child knows that any nation would perish of hunger if it should stop work, I shall not say for a year, but only for a few weeks."3) Men cultivate the ground, raise wheat, rye, maize; they breed and graze animals; they raise cotton, hemp and flax; they cut down trees, break stone in quarries, and thus satisfy their demands for food, clothing, and shelter. They seize coal and iron-ore in the bowels of the earth and create great machines of steel, with the aid of which they dig down into nature in various directions, changing the entire earth into a gigantic workshop, in which men beat with hammers, work at the benches, dig holes underground, see to it that the great engines run smoothly, cut tunnels through the mountains, cross the oceans in huge ships, bear burdens through the air, trace a great network of rails over the earth, lay cables at the bottom of the sea-and everywhere, from the noisy city centers to the remote country nooks on the earth's surface, they work like beavers for their "daily bread", always by adapting themselves to nature and adapting nature to themselves. One part of nature, external nature, the part that we are calling the "environment", is opposed to another part, which is human society. And the form of contact between these two parts of a single whole is the process of human labor. "Labor is, in the first place, a process in which both man and nature participate, and in which man of his own accord, starts, regulates, and controls the material reactions between himself and nature. He opposes himself to nature as one of her own forces."4) The immediate contact between society and nature, i.e., the abstraction of energy from nature, is a material process. "Man sets in motion his arms and legs, head and hands, the natural forces of his body, in order to appropriate nature's productions in a form adapted to his own wants."5)

This material process of "metabolism" between society and nature is the fundamental relation between environment and system, between "external conditions" and human society.

In order that society may continue to live, the process of production must be constantly renewed. If we assume that at any moment a certain amount of wheat, shoes, shirts, etc., have been produced, and that all these are eaten, worn, used up, in the same period, it is clear that production must at once repeat its cycle; in fact, it must be constantly repeated, each cycle following immediately upon the other. The process of production, viewed from the point of view of a repetition of these productive cycles, is called the reproductive process. For a realization of the reproductive process it is necessary that all its material conditions be repeated, for example: for the production of textile fabrics, we need looms; for looms we need steel; for steel we need iron ore and coal; for transporting the latter substances we need rail, roads, and therefore also rails, locomotives, etc., also highways, steamers, etc.; warehouses, factory buildings, etc.; in other words, we need a long series of material products of the most varied nature. Of course, all these material products deteriorate - some faster than others - in the process of production; the foodstuffs obtained by the weavers are eaten up; the weaving looms wear out; the warehouses become old, need overhauling; locomotives get out of repair, cars, the ties, must be replaced. In fact, a constant replacement (by new production) of worn-out, used up, consumed objects, in all their various material forms, is a necessary condition of the process of reproduction. At any given moment, human society requires for continuing the progress of reproduction a certain quantity of foodstuffs, buildings, mining products, finished industrial products, replacement parts for transportation units, etc. All these things must be produced if society is not to lower its standard of living, beginning with wheat and rye, coal and steel, and ending with microscopes and chalk for schools, book-bindings, and news-print paper. All these things are a necessary part of the material turnover of society; they are the material components of the social process of reproduction.

We therefore regard the metabolism between society and nature as a material process, for it deals with material things (objects of labor, instruments of labor, and products obtained as a consequence-all are material things); on the other hand, the process of labor itself is an expenditure of physiological energy, nerve energy, muscular energy, whose material expression is in the physical motions of those engaged at work. "If we examine the whole process from the point of view of its result, of the product, it is plain that both the instruments and the subject of labor, are means of production, and that the labor itself is productive labor".6)

Even bourgeois professors, sticking to their "specialty", reluctantly recognize the material character of the process of production. Thus, Professor Herkner (Arbeit und Arbeitsteilung, in Grundriss der Sozialökonomie, vol. ii, p.170) writes: "An investigation of the essence of labor requires the understanding of two types of processes " In the first place, bodily labor is expressed in certain external movements. The smith's left hand, for instance, seizes the red-hot iron with a pair of tongs, placing it on the anvil, while his right imparts form to it through blows with the hammer ". The number, variety and size of the results of labor may be determined " It is possible to describe the entire labor process, as well as the instruments of labor used in it," etc. Herkner calls this labor in the objective sense". On the other hand, the same process may be regarded from the point of view of the thoughts and feelings produced in the worker; this is labor "in the subjective sense". Since we are concerned with the mutual relation between society and nature, and since this mutual relation happens to coincide with objective (material) labor, we may now ignore the subjective phase of this process. It is therefore important for us to examine the material production of all the material elements necessary for the process of reproduction.

But the fact that instruments of precision, for instance, are material things, and that their production is a part of material production, necessary in the process of reproduction, does not justify the conclusion drawn by Kautsky (Die Neue Zeit, vol. 15, p.233) or Cunow (Die Neue Zeit, vol. 39, p. 408) namely, that mathematics and its study are a portion of production, merely because they are necessary for this production. However, if all persons should suddenly lose the faculty of speech, and if there should be no other means of communication aside from this lost faculty, it would at once transpire that production also would cease. Language therefore is also "necessary" for reproduction, like many other elements in any society. Yet it would be ridiculous to consider language as a part of production. Nor need we here cudgel our brains with another allegedly troublesome question: which came first, the chicken or the egg; society or production? This question is an absurd one; society is inconceivable without production; production is inconceivable without society. But it is important to determine whether the alteration in a system is conditioned by the alterations taking place between the system and its environment. If so, we must next ask: wherein is this alteration to be sought? The answer is: in material labor. This mode of formulating the question disposes of most of the "profound" objections to historical materialism, and it becomes evident that the "first cause" of social evolution is to be found precisely here. But more of this later.

The metabolism between man and nature consists, as we have seen, in the transfer of material energy from external nature to society; the expenditure of human energy (production) is an extraction of energy from nature, energy which is to be added to society (distribution of products between the members of society) and appropriated by society (consumption) ;this appropriation is the basis for further expenditure, etc., the wheel of reproduction being thus constantly in motion. Taken as a whole, the process of reproduction therefore includes various phases, together constituting a unit, at the bottom of which is again the same productive process. It is obvious that human society comes most directly into contact with external nature in the process of production; it rubs elbows with nature at this point; therefore, within the process of reproduction, the productive phase determines also that of distribution and consumption.

The process of social production is an adaptation of human society to external nature. The process is an active one. When any type of animal adapts itself to nature, this type is subject, at bottom, to the constant action of its environment. When human society adapts itself to its environment, it also adapts the environment to itself, not only becoming subject to the action of nature, as a material, but also simultaneously transforming nature into a material for human action. For example, when certain forms of insects or birds have a coloring similar to that of their environment (mimicry), this phenomenon is not a result of any effort on the part of these organisms, and certainly not a result of their action on external nature. This result was obtained at the price of the destruction of countless myriads of individual animals, in the course of many thousands of years, with those best adapted surviving and multiplying. Human society struggles with nature; man plows the ground, constructs roads through impassable forests, conquers the forces of nature, uses them for his own ends, changes the whole face of the earth; this is an active, not a passive, adaptation, and constitutes one of the basic differences between human society and the other types of animals.

This was already well understood by the French Physiocrats in the Eighteenth Century. Thus, we find in Nicolas Baudeau (Première introduction de la philosophie ècononomique, ou analyse des états poliées, 1767, Collection des Economistes et des Réformateurs sociaux de France, published by Dubois, Paris, 1910, p.2): "All animals are daily attempting to find products produced by nature, i.e., food furnished by the earth itself. Certain species . . . collect these commodities and preserve them . . . . Man only, destined (this thought is expressed teleologically. N.B.) to investigate the mysteries of nature and its fruitfulness, can obtain more useful products than he finds on the surface of the earth in its wild and unworked condition. This activity (cet art) is perhaps one of man's noblest traits on earth."

"Man," writes the geographer L. Mechnikov (op. cit., p.44), "who shares with all other organisms the valuable property of adaptation to his environment, dominates all by reason of the more precious ability - peculiar to him - of adapting the environment to his needs.

Strictly speaking, active adaptation (by means of labor) is found in elementary outline among certain types of so called social animals (beavers, who build dams; ants, who erect large hills; plant-lice, who exploit certain plants; bees, etc.); the primitive forms of human labor were also animal-like, instinctive forms of labor.

c. The Productive Forces; the Productive Forces as an Indicator of the Relations between Society and Nature

Thus, the interrelation between society and nature is a process of social reproduction. In this process, society applies its human labor energy and obtains a certain quantity of energy from nature ("nature's material", in the words of Marx). The balance between expenditure and receipts is here obviously the decisive element for the growth of society. If what is obtained exceeds the loss by labor, important consequences obviously follow for society, which vary with the amount of this excess.

Let us suppose a certain society must devote all its working time to covering its most rudimentary needs. It is obvious that the products obtained will be consumed as rapidly as new products are produced. This society will therefore not have enough time to produce an additional quantity of products, to extend its requirements, to introduce new products; it will hardly be able to make ends meet, will live from hand to mouth, will eat up what it produces, consuming just enough to keep on working; all its time will be spent in the production of an unvarying quantity of products. This society will remain at the same low level of existence. It will be impossible for its demands to increase; it will have to suit its wants to its resources and both will remain unchanged.

Now let us suppose that for some reason the same quantity of necessary products is obtained with an expenditure, not of all of society's time, but of only one-half of this time (for example, the primitive tribe has migrated to a place where there is twice as much game, twice as many beasts of all kinds, or where the earth is twice as fruitful; or, the tribe has improved its method of working the soil, or devised new tools, etc.).

In such a case, society will be free for one-half of its former working time. It may devote this free time to new branches of production: to the manufacture of new tools; to the obtaining of new raw materials, etc., and also to certain forms of mental labor. Here the growth of new demands becomes possible, for the first time we have an opportunity for the birth and development o£ so called "mental culture". If the free time now available is used only partly in perfecting the former types of labor, it follows that in the future the former demands may be satisfied by devoting to them even less than one-half the entire labor time (new perfections in the labor process arise); in the next cycle of reproduction, still less time is required, etc., and the time thus rendered available will be devoted in greater and greater measure to the manufacture of more and more improved tools, instruments, machines, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to new branches of production, satisfying new wants; and, in the third place, to "mental culture", beginning with those phases that are more or less connected with the process of production.

Let us now suppose that the same quantity of necessary objects which formerly demanded the expenditure of the entire labor time, now require not one-half this time, but twice the time (for instance, owing to an exhaustion of the soil); it is clear that unless new modes of labor are resorted to, or new lands settled, this society will decline, a portion of its numbers will die out. Let us further suppose that a highly developed society, with a rich "mental culture", with the most varied wants, an infinite number of different branches of production, with "arts and sciences" in full bloom, suddenly finds difficulty in satisfying its needs; perhaps, owing to certain reasons, the society is not able to manipulate its technical apparatus (for example, there may be constant class war, with no class gaining the upper hand, and the productive process, with its highly developed technique, dies out); it is then necessary to return to an older stage of labor, in which, for covering the former demands, a much greater period of time would be required, at present an impossibility; production will be curtailed, the standard of living will go down, the flourishing "arts and sciences" will wither; mental life will be impoverished; society, unless this lowering of its standard is the result of merely temporary causes, will be "barbarianized", will go to sleep.

The most noteworthy feature in all these cases is the fact that the growth of society is determined by the yield or productivity of social labor; the productivity of labor means the relation between the quantity of product obtained and the quantity of labor expended; in other words, the productivity of labor is the quantity of product per unit of working time, for example, the amount of product turned out in one day, or in one hour, or in one year. If this amount of product obtained per working hour is doubled, we say the productivity of labor has increased 200 per cent., if it is halved, we say it has gone down 50 per cent.

Obviously, the productivity of labor is a precise measure of the "balance" between society and nature; it is a measure of the mutual interaction between the environment and the system by which the position of the system in the environment is determined, and an alteration of which will indicate inevitable changes throughout the internal life of society.

In considering the productivity of social labor, we must also consider among labor expenditures the amount of human labor which is devoted to the production of suitable instruments of labor. If, for example, a certain product has hitherto been manufactured by human hands only, practically without tools, and now begins to be made with the aid of complicated machinery, and if the application of this machinery makes possible the manufacture of twice the quantity of products in the same time as formerly, this will not mean that the productivity of labor of the entire society will be doubled. For we have not counted the expenditure of human labor that went into the manufacture of the machines (or, more correctly, we have not counted the labor that is indirectly involved in the product because it went directly into the machines). The total productivity of labor will therefore be found to have somewhat less than doubled.

Those who love to harp on petty things may object to the conception of the productivity of social labor, and its adaptation to society as a whole, as does P. P. Maslov (Capitalism, in Russian). For example, one may raise the objection that the conception of the productivity of labor is valid only as applied to single branches of production. In a certain year, in so many working hours, so many pairs of boots were turned out. In the following year, twice as many in the same time. But how may we compare and add together the productivity of labor in the fields - let us say - of pig-breeding and orange-culture? Is this not as silly as the comparison between music, bills of exchange, and sugar-beets, of which Marx spoke so scornfully? Such objections may be answered in two ways; in the first place, all the useful products appropriated by society may be measured comparatively, as useful energies; we already express rye, wheat sugar-beets, and potatoes, in calories; if we have not yet advanced so far as to be able to express these other things in actual practice, we must not attach too much importance to this inability; we must recognize that such a process will ultimately be possible; in the second place, we are already able to compare with each other, by indirect and complicated methods, quantities of quite varied objects. This is not the place for indicating the method pursued, but we shall adduce a simple case. If, for example, in a certain year, in a certain number of hours of labor, there were produced 1,000 pairs of boots plus 2,000 packages of cigarettes plus 20 machines, and in another year, in the same labor period: 1,000 pairs of boots plus 1,999 packages of cigarettes plus 21 machines plus 100 woolen sweaters, we may maintain without error that the productivity of labor has increased on the whole. Of course, we can also imagine the objection that not only products of consumption are produced, but also instruments of production. This would, of course complicate the calculation considerably, but suitable methods may be devised for including this circumstance.

Thus, the relation between nature and society is expressed in the relation between the quantity of useful energy turned out. and the expenditure of social labor, i.e., the productivity of social labor. The expenditure of labor consists of two components: the labor that is crystallized and included in the instruments of production, and the "living" labor, i.e., the direct expenditure of working energy. If the productivity of labor as a quantity be regarded from the point of view of the component material factors of this quantity, we find we are dealing with three quantities: first, the quantity of products obtained; second, the quantity of instruments of production; third, the quantity of the productive forces, i.e., living workers. All these quantities are mutually dependent. For, if we know what workers are involved, we shall also know what they will produce in a given length of time; these two quantities determine the third quantity, the product turned out. Taken together, these two quantities constitute what we call the material productive forces of society. If, in the case of a certain society, we know what instruments of production it controls, how many such instruments, what kinds of workers and how many, we shall also know what will be the productivity of social labor, and what will be the degree to which this society has conquered nature, etc. In other 'words, the instruments of production and the working forces give us a precise material measure for the stage attained in the social evolution.

We may also glance a little deeper; we may go so far as to say that the instruments of production determine even the nature of the worker. For example, when the linotype machine is added to the system of social labor, workers will be found to run the machine. The elements acting in the labor process are therefore not merely an aggregation of persons and things, but a system in which all things and all persons stand, as it were, at their posts, having become adapted to each other. The existence of certain means of production implies also the existence of workers to manipulate them. Furthermore, the means of production themselves may be distinguished into two great groups: raw materials and instruments of labor. Even the instrument of labor (tool) performs an active part; with it, the worker works the raw material. The existence in a certain society of certain tools necessarily implies the existence of the raw material for which these tools are intended (of course, in the normal course of reproduction). We may therefore definitely state that the system of social instruments of labor, i.e., the technology of a certain society, is a precise material indicator of the relation between the society and nature. The material productive forces of society and the productivity of social labor will find their expression in this technical system. "Relics of bygone instruments of labor possess the same importance for the investigation of extinct economical forms of society (societies of various types, N. B.) as do fossil bones for the determination of extinct species of animals. It is not the articles made, but how they are made and by what instruments, that enables us to distinguish different economic epochs."

The question may also be approached from another angle. The "adaptation" of animals to nature consists in an alteration of the various organs of these animals: their feet, jaws, fins, etc., which constitutes a passive, biological adaptation. But human society adapts itself not biologically, but technically, actively, to nature. "An instrument of labor is a thing, or a complex of things, which the laborer interposes between himself and the subject of his labor, and which serves as the conductor of his activity. He makes use of the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of some substances in order to make other substances subservient to his aims . . .thus nature becomes one of the organs of his activity, one that he annexes to his own bodily organs, adding stature to himself in spite of the Bible."7) Human society in its technology constitutes an artificial system of organs which also are its direct, immediate and active adaptation to nature (it may be stated parenthetically that this renders superfluous a direct bodily adaptation of man to nature; even as compared with the gorilla, man is a weak creature; in his struggle with nature he does not "interpose" his jaws, but a system of machines). When viewed from this point of view, the question leads us to the same conclusion: the technical system of society serves as a precise material indicator of the relation between society and nature.

In another passage in Capital, Marx says: "Darwin has interested us in the history of Nature's Technology, i.e., in the formation of the organs of plants and animals, which organs serve as instruments of production for sustaining life. Does not the history of the productive organs of man, of organs that are the material basis of all social organization deserve equal attention? " Technology discloses man's mode of dealing with Nature, the process of production by which he sustains his life, and thereby also lays bare the mode of formation of his social relations, and of the mental conceptions that flow from them" (Capital, vol. i, Chicago, 1915, p.406, footnote). "The use and fabrication of instruments of labor, although existing in the germ in certain species of animals, is specifically characteristic of the human labor-process, and Franklin therefore defines man as a tool-making animal" (ibid., vol. i, p. 200). It is interesting to observe that the earliest tools were actually constructed "according to the image" of the organs of the human body. "Utilizing the objects found `at hand' in the immediate environment, the first tools put in their appearance as a prolongation, expansion, or reduction of bodily organs" (Ernst Kapp: Grundlinien einer Philosophie der Technik, Braunschweig, 1877, p.42). "Blunt tools are anticipated in the human fist, while edged tools are anticipated in the finger-nails and the incisor teeth. The hammer, with its pene, gives rise to the various forms of axe and hatchet; the index finger, held rigid, with its sharp nail, is imitated in the borer; a single row of teeth is duplicated in file and saw, while the gripping hand and the closing jaw are expressed in the head of a pair of tongs and in the jaws of the vise. Hammer, axe, knife, chisel, borer, saw, tongs-all are primitive tools" (ibid., pp. 434q.). "The finger, crooked, becomes a hook; the hollow of the hand, a bowl; sword, spear, rudder, shovel, rake, plow, trident, represent the various directions and postures of arm, hand and fingers" (ibid., p. 45)~ The example of primitive tools also shows how simple instruments were developed into more intricate ones: "The staff evolves into a number of different forms; it becomes a club for purposes of vigorous aggression; a pointed stick for turning over the ground; a spear for palings and for throwing at game" (Friedrich von Gottl-Ottlilienfeld: Wirtschaft and Technik in Grundriss der Nationalokonomie, vol. ii, p. 228).

The close connection between technology and the so called "cultural wealth" is obvious. We need only to compare present-day China and Japan. In China-by virtue of a number of circumstances - the productivity of social labor, and the social technology, developed very slowly, and China may therefore be considered, for the moment, a stagnant civilization. The new capitalist technology will here exert a revolutionizing influence. In Japan, on the other hand, great advances in technical evolution have been made in recent decades, and Japan's culture has correspondingly developed rapidly; a glance at the state of Japanese science will show this.

In the early Middle Ages, culturally at a lower level than so called antiquity, "technology made a great retrogression as compared with antiquity, and many methods and mechanical inventions of the ancient world were forgotten " The sole exception was the technique of warfare and the metallurgy of iron connected with that technique" (W. K. Agafonov: Modern Technology, in Russian, vol. iii, p.16 . Obviously, no cultural accumulation was possible on this technical foundation: society's living sap was too poor to make a "full life" possible. The swift growth of Europe coincides with the capitalist machine technology; the century 1750-1850 witnessed a revolution in technology; steam-engine, steam transportation, coal, machine methods in obtaining iron etc. There followed the application of electricity, turbine engines, Diesel motors, the automobile, aviation. The technical basis of society, and its productive forces, rose to unprecedented heights. Under these circumstances, of course, human society was capable of developing a very intricate and versatile "mental life". If we examine the ancient civilizations, with their comparatively intricate mental life, the backwardness of even their technology as compared with the capitalist technology of modern Europe and America is very striking. More or less complicated machines were used chiefly for construction work, water supply systems, and mining. Even the greatest establishments came into being not by reason of their perfect instruments, but owing to their use of an immense number of living labor forces. "Herodotus reports that 100,000 men carried stones for three months for the pyramid of Cheops (2800 B.C.), and ten years had to be spent in the preliminary work of making a road leading from the quarries down to the Nile" (Agafonov: ibid., p.5). The comparative poverty of ancient technology is apparent from the definition of a "machine", given by the ancient Roman engineer Vitruvius "A machine is an articulated connection of wood, affording great advantages in lifting weights" (ibid., p.3). These wooden "machines" were used chiefly for "raising weights", but they had to be supplied with much human or animal labor.

d. The Equilibrium Between Nature and Society; Its Disturbances and Readjustments

Considered as a whole, we find that the process of reproduction is a process of constant disturbance and reestablishment of equilibrium between society and nature.

Marx distinguishes between simple reproduction and reproduction on an extending scale.

Let us first consider the case of simple reproduction. We have seen that in the process of production, the means of production are used up (the raw material is worked over, various auxiliary substances are required, such as lubricating oil, rags, etc.; the machines themselves, and the buildings in which the work is done, as well as all kinds of instruments and their parts, wear out); on the other hand, labor power is also exhausted (when people work, they also deteriorate, their labor power is used up, and a certain expenditure must be incurred in order to reestablish this labor power). In order that the process of production may continue, it is necessary to reproduce in it and by means of it the substances that it consumes. For example, in textile production, cotton is consumed as a raw material, while the weaving machinery deteriorates. In order that production may continue, cotton must continue to be raised somewhere, and looms to be manufactured. At one point the cotton disappears by reason of its transformation into fabrics, at another point, fabrics disappear (workers, etc., use them) and cotton reappears. At one point, looms are being slowly wiped out, while at another they are being produced. In other words, the necessary elements of production required in one place must be produced somewhere else; there must be a constant replacement of everything needed in production; if This replacement proceeds smoothly and at the same rate as the disappearance, we have a case of simple reproduction, which corresponds to a situation in which the productive social labor remains uniform, with the productive forces unchanging, and society moving neither forward nor backward. It is clear that this is a case of stable equilibrium between society and nature. It involves constant disturbances of equilibrium (disappearance of products in consumption and deterioration) and a constant reestablishment of equilibrium (the products reappear); but this reestablishment is always on the old basis: just as much is produced as has been consumed; and again just as much is consumed as has been produced, etc., etc. The process of reproduction is here a dance to the same old tune.

But where the productive forces are increasing, the case is different. Here, as we have seen, a portion of the social labor is liberated and devoted to an extension of social production (new production branches; extension of old branches). This involves not only a replacement of the formerly existing elements of production, but also the insertion of new elements into the new cycle of production. Production here does not continue on the same path, moving in the same cycle all the time, but increases in scope. This is production on an extending scale, in which case equilibrium is always established on a new basis; simultaneously with a certain consumption proceeds a larger production; consumption consequently also increases, while production increases still further. Equilibrium results in each case in a wider basis; we are now dealing with unstable equilibrium with positive indication.

The third case, finally, is that of a decline in the productive forces. In this case, the process of reproduction falls asleep: smaller and smaller quantities are reproduced. A certain quantity is consumed, but reproduction involves a smaller quantity still; less is consumed; and still less is reproduced, etc. Here again, reproduction does not repeat the same old cycle in each case; its sphere grows narrower and narrower; society's condition of life becomes poorer and poorer. The equilibrium between society and nature is reestablished on a level that goes lower and lower each time.

Society meanwhile is adapting itself to this continually narrowing standard of living, which can only be done by the partial disintegration of society. We are here dealing with unstable equilibrium with negative indication. The reproduction in this case may be termed negatively extended reproduction, or extended insufficiency of production.

Having discussed the subject from all angles, we have found the same result always, each case depending on the character of the equilibrium between society and nature. Since the productive forces serve as a precise expression of this equilibrium, these forces enable us to judge its character. Our remarks would apply just as well if we were speaking of the technology of society.

e. The Productive Forces as the Point of Departure in Sociological Analysis

From all that has been said above, the following scientific law results inevitably: any investigation of society, of the conditions of its growth, its forms, its content, etc., must begin with an analysis of the productive forces, or of the technical bases, of society. Let us first take up a few of the objections that are made - or might be made - against this view.

In the first place, let us consider some objections advanced by scholars who in general accept the materialist point of view. One of these, Heinrich Cunow, says 8) that technology "is related to a very great extent with the conditions of nature. The presence of certain raw materials (das Vorkommen bestimmter Rohmaterialien) determines, for example, whether it is possible for certain forms of technology to develop at all, as well as the direction which they will take. For instance, where certain species of stone, or woods, or ores, or fibers, or shell-fish, are not present, the natives of these regions will of course never be able to develop of themselves these natural substances, or make tools and weapons from them." At the beginning of this chapter we have already adduced data as to the influence of the natural conditions. Why should we not begin with these conditions in nature? Why should the starting point of our methodology not be nature itself? There is no doubt that its influence on technology is as great as Cunow says, and, in addition, nature of course existed before society. Are we not therefore sinning against true materialism when we base it on an analysis of the material technical apparatus of human society?

However close a examination of the question will show how erroneous are Cunow's conclusions. To be sure, where there are no deposits of coal, no coal can be dug from the ground. But, we might also add, you can't dig it out with your fingers either; and it will be somewhat hard to make use of it if you don't know its useful qualities. "Raw materials", in fact, do not "exist" in nature as Cunow says. "Raw materials" according to Marx are products of labor, and they have as little existence in the bowels of nature as has a painting by Raphael or Herr Cunow's waistcoat (Cunow is here confusing "raw materials" with all sorts of "objects of labor).9) Cunow completely forgets that a certain stage of technology must have been reached before wood, or, fibers, etc., may play the part of raw materials. Coal becomes a raw material only when technology has developed so far as to delve in the bowels of the earth and drag their contents into the light of day. The influence of nature, in the sense of providing materials, etc., is itself a product of the development of technology; before technology had conquered coal, coal had no "influence" at all. Before technology with its feelers had reached the iron-ore, this iron-ore was permitted to sleep its eternal slumber; its influence on man was zero.

Human society works in nature and on nature, as the subject of its labor. But the elements existing as such in nature are here more or less constant and therefore cannot explain changes. It is the social technology which changes, which adapts itself to that which exists in nature (there is no possibility of adapting oneself to empty space; it .is the cannon, and not the hole, that is manufactured). Technology is a varying quantity, and precisely its variations produce the changes in the relations between society and nature; technology therefore must constitute a point of departure in an analysis of social changes.10)

L. Mechnikov expresses this idea very stupidly: "Far be it from me to give support to the theory' of geographical fatalism, which is often opposed as a propagating principle of the all-determining influence of the environment in history. In my opinion . . . the changes must be sought not in the environment itself, but in the mutual relations arising between the environment and the natural capacities of its inhabitants for cooperation and team work of a social order (my italics, N. B.). It follows that the historical value of one geographical environment or another-even assuming that it remain physically unchanged under all circumstances - can and must vary with the degree of capacity of its inhabitants for voluntary team work" (Mechnikov, ibid., pp.27, 28). All of which does not prevent Mechnikov himself from overestimating "geography". (Cf. Plekhanov's criticism in the collection Criticism of Our Critics.) The passive character of the influence of nature is now recognized by almost all geographers, although bourgeois scholars of this type of course know nothing of historical materialism. Thus, John McFarlane (Economic Geography, London) writes concerning the "natural conditions of economic activity" (chap. i): "These physical factors " do not determine the economic life absolutely, but they do have an influence upon it, which is unquestionably more noticeable in the earlier stage of human history, but which is just as real in the advanced civilizations, after man has learned to adapt himself to his environment and to draw, more and more, an increased benefit from it." The role played by coal, and the dependence of our industry upon it, are well known. As the technique of winning and working peat changes, the significance of coal may decrease, and this would involve an immense dislocation of the industrial centers. The progress of electrification assigned a more important role to aluminium, formerly of subsidiary importance. Water as a form of power was once of great importance (the millwheel, then declining, and now again rising; turbines, "white coal"). Space relations in nature remain the same; but distances are decreased for men by the use of transportation devices; the development of aviation is changing the picture still more.

This influence of transportation (a very variable quantity, depending on technology) is of decisive importance even in the geographic location of industry. Extremely interesting observations on this point are to be found in Alfred Weber's "Theory of the Location of Industry", in his Industrielle Standortslehre in Grundriss, pp.58, 59, et seq., Section vi; also in Weber's Uber den Standort der Industries, part i: Reine Theorie des Standortes, 1909.

A poetic expression of the growing power of man over nature, his active power, is given by Goethe in his poem Prometheus"

Cover thy spacious heavens, Zeus,
With clouds of mist,
And, like the boy who lops
The thistles' heads,
Disport with oaks and mountain-peaks;
Yet thou must leave
My earth still standing;
My cottage, too, which was not raised by thee;
Leave me my hearth,
Whose kindly glow
By thee is envied.

(Translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring, The Poems of Goethe, New York, 1881, pp.191, 192.)

It is therefore obvious that the differences in the natural conditions will explain the different evolution of the different nations, but not the course followed by the evolution of one and the same society. The natural differences, when these nations combine into a society, later become a basis for the social division of labor. "It is not the absolute fruitfulness of the soil, but its differentiation, the manifoldness of its natural products, which constitutes the basis of the social division of labor, and which spurs man on, to the multiplication of his own needs, abilities, instruments and modes of labor, owing to changes in the natural circumstances in which he dwells" (Marx, Capital, vol. i).

Another group of objections to the conception of social development that we have advanced above is based on the decisive and fundamental importance of the growth of population. For the tendency to multiplication is ineradicably present in human nature, where it has existed since before the beginnings of history. This tendency is of animal, biological nature; it is older than human society. Does not this process stand at the beginning of the entire evolution? Does not the increasing fruitfulness and density of the population determine the course of social evolution?

Actually, this would be reasoning backward along a law of nature, for it is on the stage of development of the productive forces, or, what amounts to the same thing, on the stage of technical development, that the very possibility of a numerical growth of population depends. A more or less continuous increase in population is nothing more nor less than an extension and growth of the social system, which is possible only when the relation between society and nature has been altered in a favorable direction. It is not possible for a greater number of persons to live unless the bases of life are widened. On the other hand, an impoverishment of these bases of life will inevitably express itself in a smaller population. The question of how this happens is another matter whether it is by a lowering of the birth rate, or by its artificial regulation, or by a process of dying out, by an increase in the mortality from diseases, by a premature exhaustion of the organisms and a decrease in the average length of life; the fact remains that this fundamental relation between the bases of the life of society and the quantity of its population will express itself in one way or another.

Besides, it is entirely erroneous to represent the growth of population as a purely biological ("natural") process of multiplication. This process depends on any number of social conditions: on the division into classes, the position of these classes, and consequently, on the forms of the social economy. Now, the forms of society, its structure, as we shall show below, depend on the level reached in the evolution of its productive forces. It is quite clear that the relation between the growth of technology and the movement of population, i.e., alterations in its number, are not at all simple. Only naive persons could imagine that the process of multiplication proceeds as primitively and simply among human beings as among animals. For example, for an increase of population, in society, it is always necessary that the productive forces should be increased, otherwise, as we have already shown, the excess population will have nothing to eat. And, on the other hand, an increase in material well-being does not always and in all classes produce a more rapid multiplication: while the proletarian family may be artificially limiting the number of its children because of the hard conditions of life, a society lady may be renouncing motherhood in order not to spoil her figure, while a French peasant wishes to have no more than two children because he does not want his farms to be divided up. The movement of population is therefore a result of a number of social conditions, and is dependent on the form of society and on the situation of the various classes and groups within society.

We may therefore make the following statement with regard to population; an increase in the population indisputably presupposes an increase in the productive forces of society; in the second place, each epoch, each form of society, the varying situations of the various classes, result in special laws for the movement of population. "An abstract law of population exists for plants and animals only, and only in so far as man has not interfered with them"; " "every special historic mode of production has its own special laws of population, historically valid within its limits alone".11) But the historic mode of production, i.e., the form of society, is determined by the development of the productive forces, i.e., the development of technology. We thus see that the absence of natural law in the movement of population is a decisive factor, while the growth of the productive forces, and the uniformity of this growth (or decline), of themselves determine the movement of population.

The bourgeoisie has repeatedly attempted to replace the social laws by means of "laws" showing the necessity of the divinely ordained poverty of the masses, and that this condition is independent of the social order. It is to this effort that we must trace the overestimating of "geography", etc., in the doctrine of environment, natural phenomena being dragged in by the ears in order to explain historical events. Thus, Ernst Miller "proved" the dependence of historical evolution on terrestrial magnetism; Jevons "explained" industrial crises by means of sun-spots, etc. Here belongs also the famous attempt of the English clergyman economist, Robert Malthus, to explain the discomforts of the working class on the basis of man's sinful desire for multiplication. Malthus' "abstract law of population" is formulated in the thesis that population grows more rapidly than the means of subsistence; the latter increase in arithmetical progression while the population increases in geometrical progression. Among modern scientists, the conceptions of bourgeois scholars are undergoing radical changes, and Malthus' theory is now in disfavor; this is due to the fact that (first in France, then in other countries also) the increase in population is so slow that the bourgeoisie fears a lack of able-bodied soldiers (cannon-fodder), and therefore attempts to encourage the working class to produce more children.

The Physiocrats were already aware of the dependence of population increases on the stage reached by the productive forces. Le Mercier de la Rivière (L'ordre naturel et essentiel des sociétés politiques, 1767, pp.5, 6) says: "If men should nourish themselves with products furnished by the earth itself . . . without any preliminary labor, an immense extent of area would be required for the subsistence of even a small number of persons; but we know from experience that by reason of our natural constitution (l'ordre physique de notre constitution) we tend to multiply considerably. This natural property would be a contradiction, a discord in nature . . . if the natural order of reproduction of the means of subsistence did not permit them to multiply to the same extent as we do:" (My italics, N. B.) Further on, we read: "I am not at all afraid of the arguments that will be brought to bear against me, based on certain American tribes, in order to prove that the natural order of births makes cultivation unnecessary. I know there are some tribes that have practically no cultivation (ne cultivent point ou presque point) of the soil; yet, though soil and climate are equally favorable to them, they destroy their children, kill their old, and make use of medicaments to prevent the natural course of birth." Ernst Grosse (Formen der Familie and Formen der Wirtschaft, 1896, p.36) says among other things: "The Bushmen and the Australians are accustomed, for a good cause, to wear `hunger-belts'. The Patagonians suffer need practically always. And in the tales of the Eskimos, famine plays " a great role ". A population limited to such imperfect production can of course never become very numerous ". Therefore, primitive hunters usually see to it themselves that their numbers shall not exceed what can be fed with the available foodstuffs. Infanticide with this purpose is very common in Australia. A large child mortality takes care of the rest" - "We even hear, of tribes in the Polynesian Islands, that they have regulations permitting only a minimum of children to each family, a fine being imposed for violations." (P. Mombert: Bevölkerungslelare in Grundriss der Sozialökonomie, part ii, Tiibingen, 1914, p.62.) . Mombert mentions the following facts after describing the economic advance in the Carolingian Era (transition to the three-field system, etc.): "As a consequence of this great expansion in the production of foodstuffs, we meet with an exceptionally large increase of population in Germany" (p.64.). In the Nineteenth Century, Europe presents an immense advance in the field of agricultural production, "accompanied by a great increase in the European population, far exceeding any such increase in the past" (p.64). There ensues a period in which the increase in population, due to the above cause, moves faster than the increase in the means of subsistence. The result is: emigration to America. The same law may be observed in Russia (cf. the studies of M. N. Pokrovsky).

We must finally point out a number of other objections to the theory of historical materialism, namely, those theories that are known as "racial theories". These theories may be described as follows: society consists of men; these men do not appear always the same in history, but different; they have different skulls, different brains, different skin and hair, different physical structure, and consequently, different abilities. It is clear that at the banquet of history there will be many called but few chosen. Some races have shown themselves to be "historical", for the names of these races re-echo over the world, and the professors of all the universities concern themselves with them; other races, the "lower races", are by nature capable of nothing; they cannot produce anything of note; at bottom, they constitute a historical nonentity; these races are not worthy of the name "historical races". They may serve at best as a fertilizer for history, as the peoples of colonies, as "savages" of various kinds, tilling the soil for European bourgeois civilization. It is this difference of race that is the true reason for the differing evolution of society. Race must be the point of departure in the discussion of evolution. Such, in broad outline, is the race theory. On the subject of this theory, G. V. Plekhanov made the following perfectly correct observation: "In considering the question of the cause of a certain historical phenomenon, sensible and serious people often content themselves with solutions which solve nothing at all, being merely a repetition of the question in other forms of expression. Suppose you put one of the above mentioned questions to a `scholar'; ask him why certain races develop with such remarkable slowness, while others advance rapidly on the path of civilization. Your `scholar' will not hesitate to reply that this phenomenon is to be explained by racial qualities. Can you see any sense in such an answer? Certain races develop slowly because it is a racial quality with them to develop slowly; others become civilized very rapidly, because their principal racial characteristic is the ability to become civilized very rapidly."12)

In the first place, the race theory is in contradiction with the facts. The "lowest" race, that which is said to be incapable, by nature, of any development, is the black race, the Negroes. Yet it has been shown that the ancient representatives of this black race, the so called Kushites, created a very high civilization in India (before the days of the Hindoos) and Egypt; the yellow race, which now also enjoys but slight favor, also created a high civilization in China, far superior in its day to the then existing civilizations of white men; the white men were then children as compared with the yellow men. We now know how much the ancient Greeks borrowed from the Assyro-Babylonians and the Egyptians. These few facts are sufficient to show that the "racial" explanation is no explanation at all. It may be replied: perhaps you were right, but will you go so far as to say that the average Negro stands at the same level, in his abilities, as the average European? There is no sense in answering such a question with benevolent subterfuges, as certain liberal professors sometimes do, to the effect that all men are of course equal, that according to Kant, the human personality is in itself a final consideration, or that Christ taught that there are no Hellenes, or Jews, etc.13) To aspire to equality between races is one thing; to admit the similarity of their qualities is another. We aspire to that which does not exist; otherwise we are attempting to force doors that are already open. We are now not concerned with the question: what must be our aim? We are considering the question of whether there is a difference between the level, cultural and otherwise, of white men and black men, on the whole. There is such a difference; the "white" men are at present on a higher level, but this only goes to show that at present these so called races have changed places.

This is a complete refutation of the theory of race. At, bottom, this theory always reduces itself to the peculiarities of races, to their immemorial "character". If such were the case, this "character" would have expressed itself in the same way in all the periods of history. The obvious inference is that the "nature" of the races is constantly changing with the conditions of their existence. But these conditions are determined by nothing more nor less than the relation between society and nature, i.e, the condition of the productive forces. In other words, the theory of race does not in the slightest manner explain the conditions of social evolution. Here also it is evident that the analysis must begin with the movement of the productive forces.

There is great disagreement among scholars concerning race and race subdivisions. Topinard (quoted by Mechnikov, ibid., p. 54) correctly remarks that the designation "race" is being used for quite subsidiary purposes, far instance, we hear of an Indo-Germanic, Latin, Teutonic, Slavic, English, race, although all these designations mark accidental aggregates of the most varied anthropological elements. In Asia, the races were mixed so often and so thoroughly that the race which is characteristic of original Asiatic conditions is perhaps to be sought beyond the Pacific Ocean or at the Arctic Circle. In Africa, the same process was frequently repeated. In America, where a similar condition may be observed in historical times, we find no primitive races, but only the results of endless mixtures and cross-breedings. Eduard Meyer very convincingly observes: "As for the question of race, it is of course possible that the human race appeared at its origin in a number of varieties, or was subdivided into such at an early epoch; I am incompetent to judge of this. But it is absolutely certain that all the human races are constantly mingling " that a sharp line may not be drawn between them - the tribes of the Nile Valley are a typical example - and that so called pure racial types may be found only in places where certain tribes have been kept in a condition of artificial isolation owing to external circumstances, as, for example, on the islands of Borneo and Australia. But there is no justification for the assumption that we are dealing with primitive natural conditions of the human race even here; it seems far more probable that this homogeneity, on the contrary, is the result of isolation" (ibid., pp.74., 75). Professor R. Michels (Wirtschaft und Rasse, in Grundriss der Sozialökoromie, part ii, p.98 et seq.), gives a number of interesting examples, excellently showing the mutability of so called race traits, in the field of labor. For example: the power of resistance of Chinese workers is very high, enabling them to bear heavy burdens; thence the widespread use of Chinese coolies. But it is quite clear that the "burdens" imposed upon the coolies are a result, in part, of a semi-colonial enslavement. Negroes are considered poor workers, but a French proverb says: "I have worked like a negro" (j'ai travaillé comme un nègre). Negroes rarely became employers, perhaps because they were boycotted by the whites, etc. The examples in the domain of national differences are even more interesting: "When the first railroads were built in Germany, a German uttered the warning that railroads were of no value in view of the German national character, which - thank God! - was expressed in the splendid principle of festina lente ("make haste slowly"); railroads could be of use perhaps to a different race, a different mode of life, a different mode of thought. Kant rebuked the Italians for their practical-mindedness, for their highly developed banking system; yet today we know that other regions take precedence of Italy in this respect," etc. Michels draws the absolutely correct conclusion "that the degree of economic utility of any people is about equivalent to the degree of technical and moral-intellectual `civilization' attained by it at the given moment" (p.101).

The adherents of the race theory succeeded in making their most absurd statements during the World War, which they attempted to explain as a race conflict, although the absolute ridiculousness of this notion was manifest to any person in his sound mind; for the Serbs, allied with the Japanese, were fighting the Bulgarians; the English, allied with the Russians, were fighting the Germans. Gumplowicz is considered the principal advocate of the race theory in sociology.


The books named after the previous chapters; also: L. Mechnikov Civilization and the Great Historical Rivers (in Russian). P. Maslov: Entwicklungstheorie der Volkswirtschaft. P. Maslov: Die Agrarfrage, vol. i. P. Maslov: Kapitalismus. N. Bukharin: Die Oekonomik der Transformationsperiode, chap. vi. Cunow: Die Stellung der Technik in der Marxschen Wirtschaftsauffassung (Die Neue Zeit, vol. 39, part ii, no.15). Rosa Luxemburg: Die Akkumulation des Kapitals (on the process of reproduction). Karl Kautsky: Entwicklung und Vermehrung in Natur und Gesellschaft. Karl Kautsky: Are the Jews a Race?


1)Karl Marx: Capital, Chicago, 1915, vol. i., pp.198, 199.

2)Ibid., p.199.

3)Karl Marx's letters to Kugelmann, in Die Neue Zeit, 1901-1902, part ii, No. 7, p.222.

4)Capital, Chicago, 1915, vol. i, pp.197, 198.

5)Ibid., p.198.

6)Karl Marx: Capital, vol i, p.201.

7)Karl Marx: Capital, vol. i, pp.199-200.

8)Die Neue Zeit, Vol. 39, part ii, pp.350 et seq.

9)"If, on the other hand, the subject of labor has, so to say, been filtered through previous labor, we call it raw material. All raw material is the subject of labor, but not every subject of labor is raw material." (Capital, Vol. i, p. 199.)

10)Cunow's mistakes do not prevent him from raising a number of very appropriate objections to Gorter, P. Barth, and others, who confuse the method of production with technology. We shall discuss this subject later.

11)Capital, vol. i, p.693.

12)A Criticism of Our Critics (in Russian), St. Petersburg, 1906, p.283

13)Cf. for example, Khvostov, Theory of the Historical Process, p.247: "It is extremely probable that . . , the truth is on the side of the advocates of race equality."]