Written from April through August 1844 in Paris, Marx’s early notes mark the first step, the process of self clarification, leading to the elaboration of the scientific Marxist world outlook. For the first time, he outlines the origins of scientific socialist thought: German idealist philosophy, French socialist thought, and English economic science.
Marx critiques the categories of capitalist economics — wages, profit, rent — from the standpoint of the working class. He demonstrates that at the root of capitalist production is the antagonism between the wage worker and the capitalist owners of the means of production. Under capitalism, labor has become a commodity and human relations have become reduced to money relations. The products of man’s labor appear as a power independent of the producer, i.e. the worker. These themes were more fully developed and corrected in his later economic writings.