[OPE-L:2677] Re: Proof from Marx that Hegel is NOT required to understand him?

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 14:39:22 EDT

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Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:2672]:

> Don't forget the compliment to Sieber in the Afterword to get a rounded
> picture of what Marx is conveying. Each taken separately could be
> explained away and ignored. But things start adding up when you read Marx
> repeating his same high opinion of Sieber 8 years later.

I is unclear based on the citations in question whether Marx had a "high
opinion" of Sieber's book. It is true that Marx said in the "Postface to
the Second Edition" of Volume 1 that it was a "solid piece of work", but
consider the context of the reference to Sieber shortly afterwards.

After the first reference to Sieber, there is a paragraph which reads:

"That the method employed in *Capital* has been little understood is shown
by the various mutually contradictory conceptions that have been formed
about it" (Penguin ed., p. 99).

That, I would submit, is the context for the next reference to Sieber.

Then, Marx briefly mentions some of these "various mutually contradictory
conceptions" that have been formed about his method which show that his
method *"has been little understood"*.

In order of presentation:

-- _Revue Positiviste_ charged that Marx treated economics metaphysically
   and confined himself to a critical analysis of the facts (rather than
   "writing recipes" for the "cook-shops of the future").

-- *Sieber* claimed that Marx employed "the deductive method of the whole
   English school".

-- Block wrote that Marx's method is analytic.

-- German reviewers complained about Marx's "Hegelian sophistry".

-- The "European Messenger" of St. Petersberg claimed that Marx's method of
   inquiry was "severely realistic" but his method of presentation was
   "unfortunately, German-dialectical".

Then, after quoting a lengthy review by Kaufman (who wrote the "European
Messenger" article also), Marx writes a few paragraphs about his own
method and its relationship to Hegel.

Consequently, put in context, one can make the claim that Marx is saying
that Sieber is one of many who "little understood" his method.

In solidarity, Jerry

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