“Marx on Aristotle” by Harvey Mansfield

Mansfield, Harvey C. “Marx on Aristotle: Freedom, Money, and Politics.” The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 34 (1980), pp. 351–367.


Marx’s debt to Aristotle is acknowledged in part 1 of Capital, admittedly the most difficult and, as will be argued, the most fundamental part of his principal work. His principal work is the one which establishes that the labor theory of value holds not only in the state of nature, as for Locke, nor only in primitive society, as for Adam Smith, but also in the highest civilized society and, as against Ricardo, in such a way as to prove that the proletariat is and must be exploited but will and can never exploit. With the analysis and reduction of capital into labor, the possibility of freedom in this new meaning, which is merely asserted in the “humanism” of his earlier writings, is proven and secured with the necessity of science. In order to show that labor is the source of all value…