The Logical Influence of Hegel on Marx. Rebecca Cooper 1925


Owing to the peculiar historical circumstances under which the Marxist theory was first elaborated conjointly by Marx and Engels, it is not feasible to assign certain specific parts of the system definitely to one or the other of its originators. No attempt, therefore, will be made in the following work to distinguish between the respective contributions of Marx and Engels. The theory as a whole is due to these two men, so that a general reference to either carries with it the implication of the other’s influence. Thus, for example, they admittedly collaborated on the Communist Manifesto, which is an epitome of the whole Marxist system. Engels’ rough draft shows that though the theory is always called “Marxist,” Engels, too, had all the essential ideas worked out. And there is plenty of proof, in letters and biographies, of their subsequent close collaboration.

Regarding the relation of the Marxist theory to the doctrines of Hegel’s system, the plan in general adopted is evident from the following explanation. Hegel having developed in single works systematic philosophies of history and of politics, it is convenient first to give a digest of the ideas therein which ate relevant to the present treatment, and to follow this immediately by a discussion of the Marxist theory in its Hegelian reference. On the other hand, Hegel has nowhere elaborated a theory of economics. The emphasis of the economic discussion is therefore in the direction of Marx. The Marxist view is thus presented first, and this is followed by chapters tracing the connections of the Marxist theory with principles stated by Hegel.

Rebecca Cooper
University of Washington. April, 1925