[OPE-L:3236] Re: Re: Re: Re: Spinoza

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 17:58:19 EDT

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Re Andrew K's [OPE-L:3235]:

Well, I never said I was infallible. I would have to agree that the
"expropriators are expropriated" can be seen as being a culmination
of Volume 1.

Yet, it is a conclusion which as presented in the text is explained
in a highly unconvincing manner. For example, we are told that
"...the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation and
exploitation grows; but with this also grows the revolt of the
working class ...." Even putting aside for now some issues in
the first part of that excerpt, there is no explanation for
*why* or *how* the revolt of the working class grows. The tacit
assumption seems to be that with expanding misery et al comes
expanding working class revolt. Moreover, what Marx says next
("...a class constantly increasing in numbers, and trained,
united and organized by the very mechanism of the capitalist
process of production....") while valid also suggests a
mechanistic explanation for class struggle. Then Marx concludes
this paragraph with:

         "The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the
          mode of production which has flourished alongside and
          under it. The centralization of the means of
          production and the socialization of labour reach
          a point at which they become incompatible with their
          capitalist integument. The integument is burst
          asunder. The knell of capitalist private property
          sounds. The expropriators are expropriated."

This sounds pretty coool and I must admit that I was greatly
impressed with such language when I was a teenager, but as
I read it again now it sounds *very* much like a re-statement
of part of his "general conclusion" that he presented in the
"Preface" to the _Contribution to a Critique ..._. Indeed, it
is so similar that it makes me wonder when Marx wrote Chapter
32 of Volume 1.

Are others also unconvinced by the logic of this section?

In solidarity, Jerry

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