[OPE-L:2604] Re: Re: Re: Critique

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sat Mar 25 2000 - 16:16:46 EST

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My reply will be much shorter than your question: The 1892 bloody class
warfare between Carnegie/Frick and the steel workers in Homestead, PA (to
use just one example) was NOT because dead labor dominated living labor,
but rather that the LIVING capitalist wished to greatly strengthen
domination over living steel workers by a change in productive methods.
The actor force was those SOB capitalists and the reactive force was
workers who gave the Carnegie/Frick a good run. Frankly, if you told
those workers that they were subject to fetishism, well, ...

Marx knew such things; if his life's work is about machines and workers we
can play around with Ricardo for the rest of our lives and never face the
wrath of the LIVING capitalists.

Furthermore, it is capitalists who decide the exact TYPE of machinery
(e.g. see Gartman, David, 1986, *Auto Slavery: The Labor Process in the
American Automobile Industry, 1897-1950,* New Brunswick and London:
Rutgers University Press), and EVEN condition the research work (Hewitt de
Alcantara, Cynthia, 1976, *Modernizing Mexican Agriculture: Socioeconomic
Implications of Technological Change 1940-1970,* Geneva: United Nations
Research Institute for Social Development).

Regarding 12 pages on fetishism in *Capital*, it's kind of like what I
sometimes must tell students: "Yes, I give you a lower limit on your paper
because it simply is necessary". If any 12 pages can a book make, then a
book 57 times longer could have as many as 57 themes. How about the
following theme: Chapter X, Section 5, "The Struggle for a Normal
Working-day, Compulsory Laws for the Extension of the Working-day from the
Middle of the 14th to the end of the 17th Century" -- it is 12 pages; or
the longer next section on English Factory Acts of 1833 to 1864; both
illustrations of production of absolute surplus value (122 pages).

By the way, paraphrasing "Theses on Feuerbach", "who decide which themes
in Marx are important"?

On your citation to Hegel, I don't know enough to respond.

None of the above is meant to deny the importance of theory, but rather to
help ensure that our theory connects.


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