Julie's Reviews > The Marx-Engels Reader

The Marx-Engels Reader by Karl Marx
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's review
Aug 09, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2008

Tucker breaks down difficult passages by Marx in clear prose explaining Marx's thinking. Tucker restates plainly but effectively that given the division of labor between capitalist and worker, exploitative behavior by the capitalist is logical and not at all 'unjust' by virtue of applying some outside moral criteria to condemn it. The Marxist system does not concern itself with issues of justice, in particular, that comes later, or co-develops by other thinkers, namely Marx's contemporaries. Tucker simply reiterates Marx's contention that when a capitalist has purchased a worker's labor he also has purchased and gets use of his 'surplus' as well. At the going rate this is as inevitable, natural and logical as could be, given the rewards built into selling human labor on the market like any other commodity. This, Marx would claim, does not make the capitalist herself, unjust, She's playing the rules presented her. Rather it's that the system which produces such workers, that offers them up for sacrifice in this way, that is evil. Tucker's book is a quick read and good companion for Marx's denser works.
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