[OPE-L:2669] Re: Proof from Marx that Hegel is NOT required to understand him?

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 01 2000 - 18:23:16 EST

[ show plain text ]

Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:2668]:

Before I turn to your interpretation, let me note that Marx met the
Russian economists Sieber and Kablukov in January, 1881. During this same
period (1881-82), Marx was reading quite a lot of books on Russia,
especially on the subject of rural communes. See Maximillien Rubel _Marx:
Life and Works_ (NY. Facts on File, Inc., 1965, reference to Sieber is
on, p. 118) and Hal Draper _The Marx-Engels Chronicle_ (NY, Schocken
Books, 1985, reference to "Ziber" meeting is on p. 216). And, of course,
Marx's interest in Russian affairs is discussed at length in Teodor Shanin
ed. _Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and 'Peripheries of Capitalism'_
(NY, Monthly Review Press, 1983).

> a. Marx thought the Russian economist N. Sieber "excellent" and a
> SUBSTITUTE for reading *Capital*.
> 'As early as 1871, N. Sieber, Professor of Political Economy in the
> University of Kiev, in his work 'David Ricardo's Theory of Value and of
> Capital', referred to my theory of value, of money and of capital, as in
> its fundamentals a necessary sequel to the teaching of Smith and Ricardo.
> That which astonishes the Western European in the reading of this
> excellent work, is the author's consistent and firm grasp of the purely
> theoretical position. (Marx, *Capital, Volume 1*, Progress,

The Penguin edition (p. 99) refers to "this solid piece of work" rather
than this "excellent work". Less praise there, don't you think? Note
well, furthermore, that Sieber, according to Marx, views _Capital_ as "a
necessary sequel to the teaching of Smith and Ricardo". Yet, Marx I think
clearly believed that _Capital_ was more than a "sequel" to classical
political economy.

Note also that the next reference to Sieber, a quotation, is: "In so far
as it deals with actual theory, the method of Marx is the deductive method
of the whole English school, a school whose failings and virtues are
common to the best theoretical economists". Marx quoted this in response
to the charge that he was treating economics metaphysically (by _Revue
Positiviste_). Note, again, how Sieber makes Marx out to be a classical
economist. Do you really think that Marx is saying here that he agrees
that he is employing the same method in _Capital_ as that employed by the
whole English school? I don't think so. I think he was simply quoting
Sieber favorably because Sieber had reviewed _Capital_ favorably.
Furthermore, I don't think that the rest of the "Preface to the Second
Edition" supports your interpretation of the relationship of the Hegelian
method to Marx's method. But that's another story, isn't it?

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 30 2000 - 19:59:42 EDT