Keywords: Machine; Marx; Adam Müller; Franz von Baader.
The aim of the present essay is to define the role played by the ideas of 'machine' and 'machinery' in Marx's thought by adopting an archaeological method. After having described the anti-capitalist positions of romantic authors (above all, Adam Müller and Franz von Baader) and analysed Hegel's reflections on pauperism and accumulation of wealth, the author follows the evolution of the concept of machine throughout Marx's works. In this respect, special attention is paid to the "Manifesto of the Communist Party", in which the machines are regarded as elements of innovation and transformation which reveal the revolutionary and critical function of bourgeoisie from both a political and economic point of view, and to the first book of the "Capital", in which the machine industry is seen as the result of a long and articulated process. A decisive importance in this Marxian path is represented by the «system of machine», which marks the end of capitalism and the beginning of the «real history» of humanity.