Homework Assignment III

“…that which mediates my life for me, also mediates the existence of other people for me.”


“What, man!  confound it, hands and feet
And head and backside, all are yours!
And what we take while life is sweet,
Is that to be declared not ours?
     Six stallions, say, I can afford,
     Is not their strength my property? 
     I tear along, a sporting lord,
     As if their legs belonged to me.” 
                                 (Mephistopheles, in Faust
From Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844


ASSIGNMENT: To what substance, precisely, does Marx refer which “mediates (his) life for (him)…?”  Give three other descriptions/names Marx uses to call this substance.  How does Marx use this passage from Goethe to illustrate his argument?  Do you personally find Marx’s argument about this persuasive?  Why or why not?  


4-5 pages, double-spaced.  


Extra Credit Opportunity:  Much has been written about Marx’s rhetorical style.  Based upon your reading of the text, do you personally think the man was probably an asshole?  Or was he just pissed off?  Provide at least 3 quotations.  1 page, double-spaced.  Thoughtful responses will add 10 points to the final grade. 


For the curious, previous Homework Assignments are here (Shakespeare) and here (Orwell)


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