chapter  4
14 Pages

The most sublime of fetishists

In the passages quoted from the early writings of Karl Marx in the previous chapter, it is not too difficult to see the imprint of his two acknowledged influences: the Scottish Enlightenment, on the one hand, and Hegel, on the other. It is well known that the notion of the correspondence between socialeconomic forces and legal-political forms comes from the endeavours of the Scottish writers, struggling to understand ‘naturally’ the appearance of legal forms. Marx, a lawyer himself and well placed in the Persönlichkeit debates of his time, would have had no problem understanding the language of Adam Smith, Ferguson and John Millar. In fact, the language of On Freedom of the Press sounds remarkably like that of John Millar.