Draft Resolution on the Consequences of using Machinery under Capitalism Proposed by the General Council to the Brussels Congress

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that on the one side machinery has proved a most powerful instrument of despotism and extortion in the hands of the capitalist class;

that on the other side the development of machinery creates the material conditions necessary for the superseding of the wages-system by a truly social system of production.

Note from MECW :

The question of machinery and its effects under capitalism was raised by the General Council on January 28, 1868 and was to go on the agenda of the Brussels Congress. It was initially discussed by the General Council at its meetings of July 28 and August 4, 1868. The discussion was opened by Marx who put forward the basic ideas developed by him in Volume One of Capital, chapter “Machinery and Modern Industry”.

Summing up the discussion on August 4, Marx proposed that the General Council should record its conclusion in the form of a resolution. The resolution was drawn up by, Marx and adopted at the next Council meeting, on August 11.

At the Brussels Congress this resolution was moved by Georg Eccarius at the session of September 9, 1868, and became part of the preamble of the Congress resolution. At the same session, Friedrich Lessner read some extracts from Capital to substantiate Marx’s stand on this question.

The resolution was published in English in The Times, September 14, 1868, in Eccarius’ report of this Congress session; in The Bee-Hive, September 19, 1868, and in a special pamphlet published in London in 1869: The International Working Men’s Association. Resolutions of the Congress of Geneva, 1866, and the Congress of Brussels, 1868; in French it was printed in: a special supplement to Le Peuple Belge, September 11, La Liberté, September 13, La Cigal, September 20, La Tribune du Peuple, November 8, 1868 and L'Égalité, April 24, 1869; in German the resolution appeared in the Demokratisches Wochenblatt, September 19, 1868 and in the Arbeiter-Zeitung (New York), August 16, 1873. It was included in various other editions in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.