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We’ve known for a long time

Published by marco on

The post Two centuries and nothing has changed referred to the image below,

 Marx on Nature and Human Beings

It’s nicely put together, but it’s also not the original quote, which someone included in the comments in a giant wall of text from an English translation.

I found the original in German:

“Die kapitalistische Produktion entwickelt daher nur die Technik und Kombination des gesellschaftlichen Produktionsprozesses, indem sie zugleich die Springquellen alles Reichtums untergräbt: die Erde und den Arbeiter.”

The translation on the Reddit link is:

“Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth—the soil and the laborer.”

The side-by-side English translation from the link to the original is:

“Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the original sources of all wealth – the soil and the worker.”

I think a combination of the two would be more correct. The first one places the “only” in the wrong place whereas the second one invents “degree of” out of whole cloth.

After that preamble, here’s my translation:

The capitalist product therefore develops only the techniques and combination of social processes of production by undermining the two geysers of all wealth: the soil and the worker.

As with the Hegel quote going around, it’s not as sexy as the re-imagining in the poster.