[OPE-L:2728] Re: Summary of Sieber by Andrzej Walicki

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 15:13:42 EDT

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Quoting Walicki, Paul Z noted:
> Ziber's main emphasis was on the evolutionary inevitability of capitalism.
> Social formations, he wrote, aye not a matter of choice but the inevitable
> result of natural development

Yet it was the great critic of Ricardo Richard Jones whose sense of
capitalism's place in social evolution decisively influenced Marx
as evident from the chapter in Theories of Surplus Value.

It seems to me that Marx's theory of value is not influenced by Ricardo
while his understanding of historical evolution and the role changing
relations of production play in it derives greatly from Jones--however
much Marxists other than Grossmann may want to ignore this.
Lapides also has an excellent discussion of Jones in his book on
wage theory.

Moreover, the Korschian principle of historical specificity was developed
by Marx through study of Jones' cross-historical and -cultural survey of
rent systems. Relations of production and historical specificity are at
least as important to Marx's project as the logical principles mentioned
by Fred. I think we can safely say that no one has understood Marx until
she has read Richard Jones (I would include Babbage and Ure as well).

 Of course Marx added the class struggle theory as
the mechanism by which to achieve evolution. So Marx was a social
evolutionist without a commitment to evolutionism. But Marx's social
evolutionism was materialist, not idealist as Hegel's.

The forgotten English political economists Babbage and Jones--hardly
covered in any of the great histories of economic thought (the latter gets
a little attention from Wesley Mitchell and Eric Roll)--are the keys to
unlocking the secret of Marx.

YOurs, Rakesh

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