[OPE-L:2776] Re: Re: (5 end) Partial Reply to Fred's on Althusser, concluding with CLASS STRUGGLE

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 08 2000 - 11:02:08 EDT

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On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Paul Zarembka wrote:

> Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 14:05:37
> From: Paul Zarembka <zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu>
> Reply-To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject: [OPE-L:2770] Re: (5 end) Partial Reply to Fred's on Althusser,
> concluding with CLASS STRUGGLE
> >Part 1 is not just the Contribution inserted into the beginning of Vol.
> >1. Marx rewrote Chapter 1 extensively and several times (more times it
> >appears than any other chapter). So, if his alleged "epistemological
> >break" made any difference with respect to the logic of the
> >starting-point of his theory, then surely Marx would have made those
> >revisions. But it is remarkable how similar the overall logical
> >structure of Chapter 1 in its final oft-written version is to the first
> >version in the Contribution. This suggests to me that whatever
> >"epistemological break" there may have been between 1859 and 1872, this
> >did not affect the logic of the starting-point of Marx's economic theory
> >in Capital. If Marx's starting point in 1859 was Hegelian (and I think
> >it was) then it remained Hegelian in 1872, and not just as a "Hegelian
> >residue", but as Marx's best attempt and mature thought.
> I do not see a reason to oppose the ordering of the chapters, Althusserian
> or Hegelian, i.e., I do not see a reason to oppose "the starting point",
> but I could be persuaded otherwise. Regarding the substance of Chapter 1
> specifically, I'm not knowledgeable enough on Marx's reworking of it, but
> the very fact of it does suggest that Marx himself was struggling with a
> problem.

But the basic logic remained the same throughout the various revisions.
So sign of an "epistemological break".

> >Questions 5 and 6 are of course the long-standing main controversies over
> >Marx's theory. If Marx's "epistemological break" had no effect on these
> >two issues, then this "epistemological break" has very little relevance
> >to Marx's economic theory.
> A reduction of Marx's economic theory to "determination of prices of
> production in Part 2 of Vol. 3", and "the derivation of the falling rate
> of profit in Part 3 of Vol. 3?" (Questions 5 and 6) is not acceptable to
> me. (In fact, it blows away any interest in accumulation of capital
> except to the extent it could be pulled under the rubric of a falling
> tendency of profits. It blows away any interest in production of relative
> surplus value as determined by capitalist social relations of production
> -- not excluding the green revolution, except to the extent... It blows
> away any interest in the struggle between merchant capital and industrial
> capital, in the role of banking capital, in absolute and relative ground
> rent). In sum, I reject reduction of Marx's economic theory to those two
> issues. Maybe you don't mean a such a reduction, but I don't think I'll
> try an answer from this starting point.

I was not trying to reduce Marx's theory to these two issues, but only to
stress their importance and to ask what effect Marx's alleged
"epistemological break" had on his logic with respect to these issues.

I am also interested in the other issues you raise and wonder as well
what effect Marx's "epistemological break" had on Marx's treatment of
these issues.

Thanks again.


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