[OPE-L:2778] Re: 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 - 11:21:03 EDT

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On Fri, 7 Apr 2000, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Fred, ok vol i, chap i analysis demonstrates that value or social labor can
> only be represented as other than it is--in monetary terms (Patrick
> Murray). This demonstration of the necessity of money (Fred Moseley) then
> casts doubt on any modelling of capitalist society that takes as its givens
> or presuppositions physical quantities (see Fred Moseley again). A theory
> of capitalist society has to be one of monetary production. Brilliant.
> Now what does Hegel have to do with this? Keynes recognized the last point
> without knowledge of Hegel; indeed James Galbraith has argued that Keynes
> was inspired by Einstein's use of non Euclidean geometry in breaking with a
> two dimensional classical economics in his development of a monetary theory
> of production. Riccardo and others of course could speak to this.
> Even if turns out the value form conforms to the the peculiar Hegelian
> logic of essence or if the C-M-C circuit has the properties of the Hegelian
> syllogism, why should we treat this as anything more than a freaky
> coincidence? If a logic of essence is at work, it is not because of the
> superiority of Hegel's logic but because objective class relations--the
> private production of commodities by means of wage labor--mean that social
> labor can only be represented as money.

Hi Rakesh,

Thanks for your comments.

I agree with Martha that Keynes does explain the "necessity of money" -
nor can any other economic theory (including Sraffian theory). In
response to Riccardo in another post, what I mean by this is that Keynes
could not derive the logical necessity of money from his fundamental value
theory and therefore could not explain the "necessary connections" (as
Nicky has emphasized) between the determination of value and the nature of
money. Indeed, Keynes had no theory of value at all. And the
neoclassical theory of value, on the other hand, cannot explain the
necessity of money. At best, these other theories explain the necessity
of money in an ad hoc way, unrelated to any theory of value.

Marx, on the other hand, was able to explain the necessity of money from
his fundamental theory of value. Money is the "necessary form of
appearance" of abstract labor. I think (agreeing with Patrick
Murray) that this is an important aspect of the superiority of Marx's
theory over all other economic theories.

And I believe that Marx borrowed this emphasis on explaining the necessary
connections from Hegel.

> Fred, you have made such signal contributions to the clarifications of
> Marx's method (though I don't think I agree with the understanding of
> prices of production as centers of gravity, I hope that the monetary-macro
> method can be dynamized sufficiently that it's clear why such centers of
> gravity can be nothing more than vanishing points). At any rate, why do you
> want spoil your excellent expositional skills by a descent into a Hegelian
> mysticism?
> Yours, Rakesh

Thanks for the compliment, I guess. But what do you mean by my descent
into "Hegelian mysticism"? I am not saying that there is some mystical
"logic of essence" that is determining reality, but rather that Marx's
logical method used to explain capitalist reality was derived in some
respects from Hegel's logical method - explain the necessary connections,
posit the presuppositions, inversion of subject and object, etc. (I agree
with Riccardo on the importance of these latter two).

So please explain further what dangers I might fall into by exploring the
influence of Hegel's logic on Marx's logic.

Thanks very much.


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