Professor em. Dr. Malte Faber:The Environmental Aspect of “Making People Rich as the Top Priority”: a Marxian Perspective
发布时间:2011-11-11       访问次数:14

Professor em. Dr. Malte Faber


Universität Heidelberg

Bergheimer Str. 20

D-6915 Heidelberg

Federal Republic of Germany

Email:  faber@uni-hd.de


The Environmental Aspect of “Making People Rich as the Top Priority”: a Marxian Perspective[1]

1. Introduction

During the last three decades the income distribution of the People’s Republic of China has become more and more uneven.  Expressed in statistical terms this has meant that the Gini-coefficient more than doubled from around 0.2 in the seventies of the previous century to about 0.46 which means that the income disparity increased dramatically. This development has even worse consequences for wealth distribution. It is well established in social sciences that a Gini-coefficient above 0.4 is dangerous for the social stability of a society and that a Gini-coefficient above 0.5 might be an indicator that there is a danger of social uproar. The saying of the Emperor Tai Zong (Tang-Dynasty, 7th century)


The water (meant is the people) which supports the "ship (of state) also overbalances the ship" is common not only in the public but also among politicians in China.


How does one accomplish “Making People Rich as the Top Priority”? The common answer during the last two centuries has been: economic growth. China had an exceptional annual growth of 10 per cent during the last three decades. But in general, fast growth can go hand in hand with an increasing income and wealth disparity. The deficits of this approach are evident and they are the reasons why  a central theme of this conference is not making some people rich as in the past, but making all people rich”.


This target contributes to social stability, which is a prerequisite for the peaceful development of a society. This in turn adds to justice, because an equalisation of income distribution makes goods and services available to everyone.


 So far I have used traditional economic arguments. In contrast to this I now want to adopt a different perspective. For this reason I want to ask what does it actually mean to “make people rich” within a market system? It is well known that the capitalistic system has a tendency to develop unequal income and wealth distribution. This implies that few people become very rich and a considerable part of the population remains poor or becomes poor. Hence, the objective of „Making people rich“ implies that politics may not abandon the market system to its own fate, but rather must strongly regulate the market conditions. For this reason major topics of this conference include the following:


·reforming the fiscal and taxation system

·rationalizing the national income and wealth distribution

·equalizing access to public services

·changing economic development models.


Only in this way will it be possible to assume political responsibility and


·to overcome poverty and

·to surmount the middle income trap.


To this end not only the market system has to be reformed but the government, too, as is acknowledged not only by the public but also by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party.


 How should politics approach this endeavor? To this end we have to ask what wealth actually means. This is a difficult and encompassing question. Answers may differ in different parts of the world. In the West, the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) set standards for answering this problem. His argumentation begins with the statement that most human beings misconceive wealth. For they believe that one possesses preferably many goods and that these even become more and more in the course of time. But this is not what wealth actually means. Contrary to this opinion richness means that human beings, but also society and the state, first find the right measure for their own needs and wants. Having discovered this happy medium then the necessary goods and services can be produced. Aristotle argues that true wealth has limits; too much of it is as bad as too little. The advantage of this kind of restrained wealth is that it ensures that the differences in income and wealth in a society do not become too great; since a human measure for the needs implies that no one will be privileged and no one will be discriminated.


To summarize “Making people rich” means in this spirit that one has to care first for those whose satisfaction of needs are below any human measure. There are many human beings in China who should be cared for.


Richness in this Aristotelian sense as defined above certainly implies access[2]  to



·health care and

·environmental services such as clean air and water.[3]


In this lecture, I shall be mainly concerned with the environmental issue.

2. The Development of Environmental Conditions in China

As mentioned above, justice does not only concern the consumption of private goods and services but also public services to which environmental services belong. To name perhaps the two most important ones: sufficient access to clean water and air. Comparing the environmental conditions which prevailed in 2007, when I first visited China, with the present Chinese environmental policy one immediately sees the dynamics in this area:


·Many laws and regulations have been enacted; among them is the influential circular (recycling) economy law.

·The spending for environmental protection has risen by (15 to) 20 % annually. This implies that expenditure has doubled within the last four years.

·Another impressive fact is the rapid annual growth of wind energy: this year the planned investment is twice as much as in the USA and five times as much as in Germany. Nevertheless, much remains to be done in the coming years.


The dynamics of the environmental policy we observe in China are similar to those in Germany’s past. From my experience in consulting German, European, American, and Chinese government offices during the last three decades I am confident that China will take up its great environmental challenge and succeed in solving the three great environmental issues, i.e. 


·supplying clean water,

·cleaning the air and

·dealing adequately with waste.


It is in this environmental perspective that the future in China looks bright.


3. The Development of Environmental Conditions in Germany

So far so good. Roughly spoken, according to this optimistic view, the future Chinese environmental perspective will then be similar to the one Germany had in the nineties of the previous century. At that time only a few environmental problems could be observed on the surface in Germany. While in earlier times pollution was seen, smelt, tasted, felt or heard this was not the case any more, since the air was clean and the water clear, waste was avoided, recycled or cleanly disposed of and the noise of traffic was considerably reduced by provisions such as building sonic walls and the development  of low noise machines.


Thus, the environmentally damaging effects of our production and consumption in Germany could no longer be felt and were thus no longer so obvious and therefore, not directly noticed any more. The consequences of this change were that the environmental issue was less and less present in the media and in the awareness of the public at large. While at the end of the eighties it had by far the highest priority of all issues, namely 89%, it dropped and instead, unemployment became the main theme while the environmental issue lost its popularity. As a result votes for the green party decreased considerably (by 10 to 30 % in the state elections). While in earlier times it was rather easy to engage people to be active for the environment this became more difficult.


4. The Complexity of the Environment

The environment, however, is a very complex system. There exist many dangers which one cannot immediately recognise. This statement holds even for experts as the history of the destruction of the ozone layer demonstrates. In particular, the length of time between the cause and the evidence of its effect is often very long. One of these dangers was dramatically and catastrophically actualised by the so called mad-cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (abbreviated BSE). This illness is transmitted to humans by eating the meat of an infected cow. It leads to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease, which is a very serious illness that affects the brain in a fatal way. For this reason


“In the United Kingdom, the country worst affected, more than 180,000 cattle have been infected and 4.4 million slaughtered during the eradication program” (Wikipedia)


Another example was SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome):


 “There was one near pandemic, between the months of November 2002 and July 2003”



which started in China in the province Shandong.  SARS  is a respiratory disease in humans and caused about1000 fatalities.


To give a third example: During the spring of this year Germany was affected by the Ehec virus (enterohemorrhagic E. coli). This is an antibiotic resistant pathogenic agent which is caused by excrement in the canalization system. The virus led to an epidemic: about 3000 people became seriously ill and 50 died.


To summarise our findings from our experience in Germany during the last two decades: If a country has solved its obvious environmental problems it becomes more and more difficult for laypersons to perceive that there are still essential environmental issues one needs to be attentive to. It is for this reason that as soon as one has cleared up the pollution and repaired the obvious environmental damages, one assumes that the natural living conditions are granted and that one no longer needs to take care of other environmental problems to the same extent. Instead politics and the public turn their attention towards issues of welfare, problems of justice and expanding the educational system. In contrast to these endeavours the environmental issues seem to be much less pressing. As mentioned above, if the immediate - i.e. the apparently visible, tangible, odorous - environmental problems are solved, then it becomes difficult to motivate people to engage for the environment.

However, nature is a very fragile system. It was the Chinese emperor who was held to be responsible for nature, i.e. the functioning of the natural living conditions throughout China. Today it is the Communist Party of China which has to shoulder this task.

How should their leaders deal with this difficult task? It may be helpful to see what Karl Marx (1818-1883) had to say on this issue, because he is –perhaps – the political economist who best understood the dynamics of the market system.


5. Marx’s View on the Environment

Why did Marx understand so well the dynamics of the capitalistic system? Marx had an eye for the unintended consequences of our actions. Our actions do indeed always have such unintended consequences, however, there are two areas, in which these unintended consequences organize themselves and become to a determining factor. These two areas are


1.the economy and

2.the environment.


5.1 The Economy

Let us first look at the economy, that domain for which Marx is mainly known. Marx recognized that the production of wealth always goes hand in hand with the creation of poverty and that this happens despite the actors’ best intentions; since poverty does not come into being because people rob others and throw them into poverty, but instead is an unavoidable consequence of the capitalistic system and its dynamics. This   connectivity was already observed by the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1821/1970) in his Philosophy of Right (Rechtsphilosphie) [4]. Marx has analyzed this connectivity in greater detail than Hegel, for he developed this idea into a „precision tool for the study of social change” (Elster 1986: 38-39).


It is for this reason that the Marxian analysis bears straight reference to the main theme of this conference “Making all people rich”. But on the other hand, this Marxian analytical instrument may be fruitfully employed to study the unintended repercussions of the capitalistic market system on nature, a topic to which we turn now.


5.2 The Environment

Let us now look at the second area of concern, nature. In this context it is useful to remember that Marx dealt extensively – at different points in his work – with environmental and resource problems (Kurz 1986, Baumgärtner 1999: 104-107. Baumgärtner, Faber, Schiller 2006: 114-116). He even discussed the possibility of recycling waste and regaining resources from the recycling process (Baumgärtner, Faber, Schiller 2006: 114-116). However, he thought that all environmental problems could and would finally be solved, since he assumed that human creativity and ingenuity would be able to transform all waste products, be it waste water, emissions into the air or solid waste, into valuable goods. Thus there would not only be no environmental problem but also no scarcity of resources. He, therefore, expected that all environmental problems and resource scarcities would be only of a temporary nature (Baumgärtner, Faber Schiller 2006: 116).


It should be emphasized that Marx`s perspective was singular and unique at his time. His particular awareness of the environmental and resource issue demonstrates Marx`s extraordinary ability to analyze the capitalistic system and to understand its dynamics. But Marx did not systematically integrate his view on the environment into his economic theory and downplayed it[5]. This is because he was too optimistic in his belief that every production process could be run in such a way that no environmental pollution would occur (Kurz 1986: 16-17).


As is proved by Baumgärtner, Faber, Schiller (2006, Chapter 3), however, this assessment is not valid. The reason is that it can be shown from a thermodynamic point of view that every production yields not only the wanted product but also so-called joint products. Examples are well known in the chemical industry. Thus every industrial production is characterized by joint products in the form of wastes and emissions. Hence, it is not possible to produce in an industrial way without waste. This statement also holds true for recycling processes.

One may also ask why Marx believed so much in progress. This may also be a consequence of the great admiration he had for the capitalistic bourgeoisie, which is documented in his Communist Manifesto (jointly published with Friedrich Engels in 1848: 62):


It (the bourgeoisie, M.F.) has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former exoduses of nations and crusades.

(The translation is taken from http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html)

“Sie (die Bourgeoisie, M.F.) hat ganz andere Wunderwerke  vollbracht als ägyptische Pyramiden, römische Wasserleitungen und gotische Kathedralen, sie hat ganz andere Züge ausgeführt als Völkerwanderungen und Kreuzzüge.”  


“The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.”

(The translation is taken from http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html)

„Die Bourgeoisie hat in ihrer kaum hundertjährigen Klassenherrschaft massenhaftere und kolossalere Produktionskräfte geschaffen als alle vergangenen Generationen zusammen.“ (Marx and Engels 1848: 63)


6. Marx`s View of the Dynamics of the Capitalistic System and Their Implications for the Global Environmental and Resource Problem

Even though Marx did not recognize a general environmental and resource problem in the way we described it, his view on the dynamics of the capitalist system can contribute a good deal to its present understanding. It is generally acknowledged that no social scientist has studied the dynamics of the capitalist system so well and contributed to its analysis so much as Karl Marx. In addition, he developed with his constitutive and fundamental books – in particular with his monograph Capital – and other papers a seminal research agenda, from which many theses have been developed. I want to turn to one of them which gives a decisive insight into the dynamics of our present and future environmental and resource problems. The Marxian economist Meghnad Desai (2002: 44) commented the development of capitalism after the fall of the Wall in Berlin in 1989 as follows:


„Capitalism had survived – not only survived, but become a dynamic worldwide phenomenon yet again, the first time since 1914. It showed a capacity for technological advance with promises of more to come. Across the world people abandoned socialism as a cure for their problems. Warts and all, it was capitalism they wanted. Capitalism had still a lot of potential; it was not yet ready to lie down and die.”


Desai was inspired to his diagnosis by the following central thesis of Marx (1859/1904: 21):


“No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed; and the new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself. Therefore, mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since looking at the matter more closely, we will always find that the task itself arises only when the material conditions necessary for the solution already exist, or are at least in the process of formation.”[6]


Marx’s reputation as prophet of socialism and communism has doubtless suffered. But Deasi is certainly correct in taking the development of the world after 1989 as an important indication that Marx`s assertion concerning the dynamics of the method of production is appropriate (true). If this is true, capitalism would have a splendid future lying before it: it has not yet reached its limits in the developed countries and more and more countries and economies are globally captured by capitalism. However in the past, this dynamic has been linked with an ever growing demand for environmental services and resources. Empirical evidence for this hypothesis is the increase in the consumption of energy and the corresponding increase of CO2. Since the environmental conference in Rio in 1992 both quantities grew by 40 percent and this tendency continues.


Against this background, the perspective for future safeguarding of the natural environmental conditions looks somber; the argument for this statement is twofold, because we have to consider that:

1. at least 3 billion of the world’s population have a considerable backlog demand to satisfy basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, clean water, health services and education. Even in China half a billion citizens are partly in need of these goods and services;

2. in addition, we have to recognize that the world population will grow, in particular in the emerging economies, by another 3 billion by 2050.


Keeping these two circumstances in mind it does not seem possible to maintain the natural living conditions globally – under the present dynamics of the capitalistic system –if the manner of our present production and consumption does not alter dramatically. In other words it does not seem possible


·to preserve globally the intake capacity of the environment for pollutants and

·to make available sufficient amounts of resources for the production and consumption of  9 billion people.


The resulting damage to nature and shortages of natural resources would be disastrous not only to nature, but would also be a permanent source of conflict.

It is, therefore, necessary to decouple economic growth and


·the use of exhaustible and nonrenewable resources as well as

·the depletion of the environmental capacity for disposing and cleaning up waste.


If it is not possible to decouple economic growth and the environmental strain, Karl Marx may well be right after all in his prediction that the capitalistic system will collapse, although in quite a different manner than he thought (see also Desai 2002: 9f).


7. Changes in the Picture of Humankind and in the Comprehension of Nature

One of the influential intellectual figures in Germany in the 20th century was Romano Guardini (1885 -1968). He postulated that the


`new human architect of the emerging world […] must know and agree that the import of the coming culture is not welfare but dominion [….]. The man we envision must unhesitatingly place security, utility, and welfare second; the greatness of the coming world image must be placed first´ [7][Guardini, 1965, (translation: Elinor C. Briefs (Google Books))].


This thesis implies two important changes in the picture of human kind (see also Faber, Petersen, and Schiller 2002):


1.The first is that individual freedom – a heritage of the liberal tradition – will no longer have the dominance it had in the 20th century, although – of course – it will and should further adhere to certain limits. These limits are given by responsibilities of the individual actors and of the politicians (see Baumgärtner, Faber Schiller in cooperation with Thomas Petersen, 2006, Part III, for an extensive analysis of this issue and the corresponding limits).

2.The second is that our comprehension and our understanding of nature have to change. Nature is no longer an unshakable resource; hence, we cannot trust in it as we have done in the past. Instead we are experiencing nature in its fragility. We, therefore, cannot depend on it any more, but instead we have to care for it.

8. Ethos of Power and Style of Government


Let us look closer at the implications of these two statements mentioned above. During the last two centuries, we have generally observed that Western man has been wielding power against nature in general and the environment in particular – unknowingly or knowingly – and has had a bad conscience about doing so. To alleviate his conscience for employing his power in such a selfish way he has put forward as a pretext



·utility and



For this reason Western man has neither developed


·a genuine ethos of governance nor

·a proper style of governance,


but instead retreated into anonymity. The human being who is required – now and in the future – will have to decidedly place


·security, utility and welfare second in his list of values and

·the right order of the coming gestalt of the world first,


as Guardini (1965) asserted.


What is meant by an ethos of governance and a style of governance? Answers to these questions can be found in the Chinese classical tradition. According to Confucius and Laozi, the good ruler seeks nothing for himself; he does also not privilege his own family or other groups of interest. Rulers, therefore, have to free themselves from


·all their selfish needs and private interest,

·but also from their sorrows and anxieties.


The ethos of governance persists in this Chinese classical tradition in as much as one orientates oneself to the order of heaven. This is by no means an esoteric or mystical attitude, but it means very concretely the ability to engage with the nature of things and in particular with the nature of humans. From this point of view, it follows that the beginning of every true governance is obedience in the sense of hearing; it is this allegiance in the form of listening to nature and to humans, by which the good ruler is characterized.   A disposer who understands nature and humans is able to design and shape the world without having to fear that he either brings about grief or acts destructively. For if one understands nature and humans one is acting in harmony with the forces of nature and with what drives human hearts.


Such an ethos of governance must be reinterpreted for each time. For our present time and the near future, I want to explain and represent three essential elements of such an ethos of governance in nature, listening to what drives human hearts and governance according to law.


(i) Nature

The first is: nature needs to be given very high priority as a policy issue. For China „making people rich” in this sense means sustaining or restoring


·the wealth of renewable natural resources such as water, air, soil, forests, and the wealth of environmental capacity to dispose of waste and emissions

·the abundance of plants and animals, i.e. biodiversity

·the beauty of the landscape


One of the great Chinese Chan masters Feng-hsüeh Yen-chao ( 896-973) gave an illustration of how highly the beauty of nature is esteemed in China. In koan 24 of the Wu-men-koan, Feng-hsüeh Yen-chao`s Speech and Silence) he quoted a line from one of his own poems:


“I always remember the spring in Konan,

Where the partridges sing;

How fragrant the countless flowers”.


„Konan is a district stretching south of the Yangtze River, between Nanking and Payang Lake, famed for the beautiful scenery.” (Sekida 1977: 85-86)


I consider it to be the greatest challenge of present-day Chinese politics to give nature such a high priority. I am well aware how difficult this endeavor is.


(ii) Listening to What Drives the Human Heart

While nature is the first element of a new ethos of governance, the second element consists in listening to what drives human hearts. As mentioned above, the ruler has to listen to them. At first sight this seems to be even more difficult than to give nature top priority in politics. Why is this task of listening so demanding? Men are not only very different, even an individual human being varies considerably in his/her interests and wishes in the course of time; sometimes they want this and sometimes that, since they  have often varying and yet contradictory interests; further we must have in mind that there are good and bad human beings.


It is for this reason that in the West the concept of individual freedom was developed and implemented politically. Freedom allows individuals to have as many opportunities as possible to realize these varying interests and wishes. During the last centuries this freedom accomplished a lot of good, since it allowed for creativity and responsibility, but it also set loose a lot of destructive forces both against nature and against human beings. It is well known that China also hosts an ongoing debate on the possibilities and limits of individual freedom; for individual freedom is – to a considerable extent – almost necessary in the wake of a market economy. But to listen to what drives the human heart means to go deeper inside this heart and constitutes finding that domain which is common to all human beings. The well-known English author Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936), who was not only a famous author of detective stories, but also a philosopher, said `


“It [the democratic emotion] is a certain instinctive attitude which feels the things in which all men agree to be unspeakably important, and all the things in which they differ (such as mere brains) to be almost unspeakably unimportant. “ [Chesterton (1905/2004: 232), original text, Project Gutenberg[8]].


 As mentioned above, to listen to what drives the human heart means to go deeper inside these hearts and to find out what is common to all human beings. As I interpret the great Chinese classical tradition a just order of the coming form of governance must be based on this point of view. It is this perspective of common ground which enables politicians to frame and organize society effectively.


(iii) Governance According to Law

All human beings share a common desire for law; not only for a written law, but for a law which is really enacted. This is – from my point of view – the third great challenge for Chinese politics. This perspective is actually not new, but was already formulated by the Chinese poet, Huan Kuan (90 to 40 B.C. Han Dynasty) in his disputation “Salt and Iron” more than 2000 years ago:


“The world’s sorrow is not that there does not exist a

law, but its sorrow is a law that does not need to be followed.”


This statement implicitly recommends guaranteeing the independence of law enforcement. Common to all people is a desire for just one law, a law which is valid for all human beings without respect to person. A contribution to the enforcement of such a law is also a considerable contribution to the objective of „making people rich.“




9.  Summary

The complexity of the capitalistic system is essentially owing to the individual freedom of its economic actors. Marx argues that this complexity is not controllable. In the present day, evidence for this hypothesis can be easily observed both in the world of finance in the USA and European Union and in the environment. If this state of affairs were to change drastically, extensive political provisions would be necessary for


·the preservation of economic and social stability and

·the protection of the environment.


This in turn would imply a considerable degree of administrative control of the economy and the environment. For this reason, restrictions to individual freedom should be considered. But what should these restrictions look like? It may well be, that actually we do not have to meditate on restrictions of freedom, but on new kinds of freedom. For, as a matter of fact, freedom is bound to responsibility (Baumgärtner, Faber, Schiller 2006 Part III). It is much easier to define responsibility for the financial system than for the environment: the financial market and its actors have to be subjected to stronger regulations.


Our considerations for the financial system can be applied to other policy areas, in particular to the environment and what bears relevance for the main theme of this conference, since they can be utilized also for the distribution of income and wealth. It is, however, very difficult to imagine the state restricting individual freedom to a more encompassing extent, even if we expect the state – as a matter of fact – to regulate more and more in the course of time.


The obvious limits to the scope available to the state mean that we must look for further solutions. We believe that the contemporary human being varies and cultivates other orientations, orientations in which his individual freedom no longer has the predominant position it held until now. Instead he has to develop an ethos of governance (Guardini 1965); he has to acknowledge that the preservation of social stability and the sustainability of natural living conditions belong to his most important tasks. Man has to take responsibility for the fulfillment of these duties, i.e. he must be willing to take on full responsibility and therefore commit himself to take the necessary steps.


Such a change cannot be ordered by governmental measures; it can only occur in freedom. However - if we see things rightly - such an alteration is already taking place right now. For we observe that the stability of nature is no longer simply taken for granted, but is considered as severely endangered. This in turn is leading more and more to the development of an attitude of caring for nature. It seems important to carefully observe these signs of the time.


10. Conclusions

The analysis given in this paper is of general nature. So one may as well ask


·What follows from it?

·What conclusions can be drawn from it?


These are legitimate questions. Those of you who are interested in concrete policy proposals might be disappointed that I did not offer more specific recommendations. But let me remind you of two great figures of the past, one is Sunsi or Master Sun (544-496 B.C.); the author of The Art of War, the other is Hercules, one of the great Greek mythic heroes.

Master Sun (2007: 60) noted that


“the wise commander or general, in his deliberations , will take into account both the favourable and the unfavourable factors. By considering the favourable factors when faced with difficulties, he will be able to accomplish great tasks - by considering the unfavourable factors when everything proceeds smoothly, he will be able to avoid possible disasters.”


In spite of many difficulties and hindrances, developments in China have progressed relatively smoothly during the last three decades. But it is – according to Master Sun – wise to consider the unfavourable factors when everything proceeds smoothly in order to be able to avoid possible disasters. For this reason I have described the dangerous consequences of the dynamics of the global market system for the environment and for the supply of resources.


Let me turn now to the other great figure I mentioned, Hercules. This great hero had to pass through 12 extremely dangerous adventures. On one occasion he had to fight with an oversized reptile with nine heads. The particular problem of fighting that animal was that when one of its heads was cut off, two others grew immediately at its place. This reminds me of my experiences as an environmental consultant during the last three decades. As soon as we had solved one environmental problem, such as waste water, two others immediately reared their heads, such as bad air and waste, and so on. These live experiences with the repercussions of concrete environmental policy issues taught me that it is expedient not only to deliberate over concrete policy problems but also to give some thought to general aspects of long-term developments at large.


Fortunately, I do not seem to be alone in this opinion.  When one observes the teaching and research programme of the Shanghai Party Institute (SPI) & Shanghai Administration Institute (SAI), which is perhaps the best known comprehensive base for cadre-training in China, i.e. an institution to train civil servants and their successors at the intermediate and senior levels, one notices the following: its program is very broad and general, because this obviously necessary for  the higher education for policymakers and civil servants, despite the fact that it is their profession to make concrete policy decisions and to administer in reality (see: http://www.libweb.sdx.sh.cn.)­


I hope I have contributed a little bit to this general task from my limited western point of view.


I thank you for your attention.



Baumgärtner, Stefan (2000) Ambivalent Joint Production and the Natural Environment. Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg, New York.


Baumgärtner, Stefan, Malte Faber, Johannes Schiller in cooperation with Thomas Petersen (2006) Joint Production and Responsibility in Ecological Economics. On the Foundation of Environmental Policy, Edward Elgar.


Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1905/2004): Ketzer. Ein Plädoyer gegen die Gleichgültigkeit. Frankfurt am Main. (English title: Heretics)


Desai, Meghnad (2002) Marx`s Revenge. The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Socialism, Verso, London, New York.


Elster, Jon (1986) An Introduction to Karl Marx, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


Faber, Malte, Thomas Petersen, J. Schiller, (2002) Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus. In Ecological Economics, Ecological Economics, 40: 323-333.


Fetcher, Iring, (1966) Marx-Engels III Studienausgabe, Geschichte und Politik, Fischer, Frankfurt a.M. Band III


Guardini, Romano (1965)  Die Macht6th Edition. Grünewald/ Schöningh, Mainz, Paderborn.


Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1821/1970) Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundrisse. Frankfurt am Main.


Jöst, Frank, Horst Niemes, Malte Faber und Kurt Roth (2006) „Begrenzen Chinas Wassereserven sein langfristiges Wachstum?“ Heidelberger Discussion Papers, No. 433


Kurz, Heinz-Dieter (1986), Neoclassical economists on joint production“, Metroeconomica, 38: 1-37.


Marx, Karl (1859/1904)  A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, originally published by Otto Meissner, Hamburg, translated by N. Stone, Charles Kerr, Chicago; end and  trans S-W. Ryazanskaya, ed. Maurice Dobb,  London 1971. [German original: Zur Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie(Marx Engels Werke MEW 13, 5-160)].


Marx, Karl (1867/1887)  Capital Volume 1: Capitalist Production, originally published by Otto Meissner, Hamburg, translated from the third German edition by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling in 1887,  Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co, London; Lawrence& Wishart, London 1974.


Marx, Karl (1885/1919)  Capital Volume 2: The Process of circulation of Capital, ed. By F. Engels, originally published in German  by Otto Meissner, Hamburg,  translated by N. Stone, Charles Kerr, Chicago.


Marx, Karl  und Friedrich Engels ()1848/1888) Communist Manifesto, first translated  by Helen Macfarlane, serialized in The Red Republican, November 1850. (translation is taken from: http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html)


Sekida, Katsuki (1977) Two Zen Classics. Momokan and Hekiganroku, Weatherhill, New York, Tokyo.

Sen, Armatya (1999/2002) Development as Freedom Alfred Knopf, New York (Deutsche Übersetzung  Ökonomie für den MenschenWege zur Gerechtigkeit und Solidarität in der Marktwirtschaft, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München).


Sunzi (2007) The Art of War, Foreign  Languages Press, Bejing.




[1] I am grateful to Thomas Petersen for valuable discussions as well as numerous hints and to Wilhelm Beermann, Isabel Edler, Marc Frick, Reiner Manstetten and Sun Yu  for helpful comments.

[2]A general theoretical framework of different dimensions of justice and freedom based on ideas of Aristotle has been developed by Armatya Sen (1999/2002) in his capability approach.

[3]See Jöst, Niemes, Faber and Roth 2006.


[4] “Das Herabsinken einer großen Masse unter das Maß einer gewissen Subsistenzweise, die sich von selbst als die für ein Mitglied der Gesellschaft notwendige reguliert – und damit zum Verluste des Gefühls des Rechts, der Rechtlichkeit und der Ehre, durch eigene Tätigkeit und Arbeit zu bestehen - ,bringt die Erzeugung des Pöbels hervor, die hinwiederum zugleich die größere Leichtigkeit, unverhältnismäßige Reichtümer in wenige Hände zu konzentrieren, mit sich führt.“ Hegel (1821/1970, § 244, Seite 398).

[5] Marx`s acknowledgement of the empirical relevance of joint production for the environment and his downplaying at the same time in respect to its theoretical relevance is most clearly formulated Capital Volume 2: The Process of circulation of Capital, Chapter 5, Section 4.

[6]„Eine Gesellschaftsformation geht nie unter, bevor alle Produktivkräfte entwickelt sind, für die sie weit genug ist, und neue höhere Produktionsverhältnisse treten nie an die Stelle, bevor die materiellen Existenzbedingungen derselben im Schoß der alten Gesellschaft selbst ausgebrütet worden sind. Daher stellt sich die Menschheit immer nur Aufgaben, die sie lösen kann, denn genauer betrachtet wird sich stets finden, dass die Aufgabe selbst nur entspringt, wo die materiellen Bedingungen ihrer Lösung schon vorhanden oder wenigstens im Prozess ihres Werdens begriffen sind.“ (MEW 13: 9 Zur Kritik der Poltischen Ökonomie 1859)



[7] [„Dieser [der kommende] Mensch muß wissen und bejahen, daß der Sinn der kommenden Kultur nicht Wohlfahrt, sondern Herrschaft ist; Vollstreckung des Auftrags, den Gott in das Wesen des Menschen gelegt hat. Was werden soll, ist keine Universalversicherung, sondern eine Weltgestalt, in der sich dieser Herrschaftssinn in seiner Größe ausdrückt. Ihn hat der Bürger nicht gewollt. Er hat sich davor gefürchtet. Ja er hat ihn im Grunde für unrecht gehalten. Darum hat er die Macht, die er tatsächlich hatte, mit schlechtem Gewissen ausgeübt und Sicherheit, Nutzen, Wohlfahrt vorgeschoben. Darum hat er weder ein echtes Herrschaftsethos noch einen echten Herrschaftsstil ausgebildet, sondern sich immer ins Anonyme zurückgezogen. Der Mensch, der jetzt gemeint ist, setzt Nutzen, Sicherheit und Wohlfahrt entschieden an die zweite Stelle; an die erste die Größe der kommenden Weltgestalt.“ Romano Guardini, 1965)]


[8] „die spontane demokratische Regung“ nennt: „Sie besteht in einer instinktiven Haltung, in dem Empfinden, das alles, worin sämtliche Menschen übereinstimmen, unsagbar wichtig, und alles, worin sie sich unterscheiden (wie etwa der bloße Verstand), fast unsagbar unwichtig ist.“


中央编译局 | 中国人民大学哲学在线 | 复旦大学哲学学院 |
epistemelinks.com | Marxists Internet Archive | Actuel Marx | Workers World | Marxist-De Leonist Literature Online


地址:上海市邯郸路220号复旦大学光华楼西主楼2602  电话:86-021-55665645  邮编:200433