[OPE-L:3075] Re: Simple Commodity Production

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 20:01:44 EDT

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On the beginning of *Capital* and value, I agree with Michael (below) and
earlier today (below that). The agreement is rather interesting to me
since Michael is sympathetic to Hegel and I, to Althusser.

Paul Z.

******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

"Michael Williams" <mike.williams@dmu.ac.uk> said, on 05/09/00 at 11:36

>I think two or three issues may be unhelpfully being conflated in this

>1. Did Marx start Capital with a pre-capitalist mode of production called
>'simple commodity production'?

>2. Did Marx allow that there could be commodity production and exchange
>in pre-capitalist modes of production?

>3. With respect to this second, there is a question as to whether such
>pre-capitalist commodities were in all essential respects the same as the
>Commodity that is the 'cell-form' for conceptualising capitalism.

>My take on these questions is No, Yes and No. So capitalism is the only
>commodity producing *system*; earlier production of commodities was not
>part of a system that could adequately be counted as dominated by
>commodity production. But whatever, these questions are usefully dealt
>with separately, and, of course 3. is no doubt a matter of degree.


>In order to discover something about a social category such as value, we
>need to 'look at' instantiations of it as interconnected elements within
>the social system of which they are elements. Of course, since we cannot
>'see' interconnected systems directly, we need the mediation of the
>abstraction and systematic conceptual presentation...

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