W. E. B. Du Bois: “Marxism and the Negro Problem”

(1933)

Document Text

There are certain books in the world which every searcher for truth must know: the Bible, Critique of Pure Reason, Origin of Species, and Karl Marx’s Capital.…

The task which Karl Marx set himself was to study and interpret the organization of industry in the modern world.…

The gist of that philosophy is that the value of products regularly exchanged in the open market depends upon the labor necessary to produce them; that capital consists of machines, materials and wages paid for labor; that out of the finished product, when materials have been paid for and the wear and tear and machinery replaced, and wages paid, there remains a surplus value. This surplus value arises from labor and is the difference between what is actually paid laborers for their wages and the market value of the commodities which the laborers produce. It represents, therefore, exploitation of the laborer, and this exploitation, inherent in the capitalistic system of production, is the cause of...


Source: Reprinted courtesy of the Crisis Publishing Co., Inc., the publisher of the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, material first published in the May 1933 issue of The Crisis.

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W. E. B. Du Bois (Library of Congress)

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