[OPE-L:3155] Re: Re: Re: Marx's starting point

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 13:49:32 EDT

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Ajit's is the Althusserian understanding: there is a "break" in Marx's
thought which began in 1845, was mostly completed before 1867 (with Part I
containing most of the residuals) and finally completed after the Paris

Hegel represents a "detour" in Marx's thought: all thinkers, even great
ones, lean on others at the beginning and, to believe otherwise is
idealist (theory does not drop into one's head from Heaven). To this
extent, Marx was always indebted to Hegel.

'Process without a subject' -- not any easy concept to grasp -- appears in
all three Spinoza, Hegel, and Marx.

Althusser does NOT say to skip Part I in the sense of not reading it.
Rather, says Althusser, "the greatest difficulties, theoretical or
otherwise, which are obstacles to an easy reading of Capital Volume One
are unfortunately (or fortunately) concentrated at the very beginning of
Volume One, to be precise, in its first Part, which deals with
'Commodities and Money' [so that] it is impossible to begin (even to
begin) to understand Part I until you have read and re-read the whole of
Volume One, starting with Part II" (Althusser, 1969, pp.79-80). After
reading later parts, "begin to read Part I (Commodities and Money) with
infinite caution, knowing that it will always be extremely difficult to
understand, even after several readings of the other Parts, without the
help of a certain number of deeper explanations" (p.85). While most of
the few references to alienation in Volume 1 are in Part I, Althusser
mentions other difficulties with an Hegelian origin: the use of the word
value in use-value, negation of the negation, fetishism (pp.90-92).

Incidentally, I am not at all sure I agree with Ajit about any break
between Part I and Part II and have noted by opinion that I have agreed
with Michael Williams on the points he has made in this regard.

Paul Z.

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

"Fred B. Moseley" <fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu> said, on 05/12/00 at 12:30 PM:

>Ajit, I don't see any evidence of a shift in Marx's "problematic" between
>1859 and 1867. What evidence do you have?

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