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When I was in London last week for the Heterodox Economics and Value
Theory conferences (both of which I enjoyed and met a number on this
list), I found time to pursue N. Sieber's 1871 book in the British Library
near Kings Cross. With my wife's help on the Russian, I can now report
WHAT MARX READ which led Marx to make at least two favorable comments
a) 1873 "Afterword" to _Capital_: 'That which astonishes the
Western European in the reading of this excellent work, is the author's
consistent and firm grasp of the purely theoretical position'; and
b) 1881 "Notes on Wagner": 'Mr. Wagner could have familiarized himself
with the difference between me and Ricardo both from Capital and from
Sieber's work (if he knew Russian)'.
1871 Edition -- _David Ricardo's Theory of Value and of Capital_
Chapter I. About Value in General and Its Elements (48 pp.)
Chapter II. Theory of Value of Ricardo, His Predecessors and Some of His
Followers (58 pp.)
Chapter III. Cost of Production and Demand and Supply (46 pp.)
Chapter IV. Studies of Value and of Money of K. Marx (36 pp.)
Chapter V. A Concept of Capital (41 pp.)
Chapter VI. About the Origin and Increase of Capital (12 pp.)
Chapter VII. About Constant (Fixed?) and Working Capital (36 pp.)
278 pp. TOTAL
My Comments regarding the 1871 Edition:
The first edition was published in Kiev. Censorship was an issue at the
time and Sieber seems to have avoided it (even with Marx's name being on a
chapter title -- note that there is a quote from Malthus on Sieber's title
page regarding theory which may have helped).
If we are interested in what Marx was appreciating, we need to have
translated at least Chapter IV (there are other scattered references to
Marx in Sieber but this is the main material). Perhaps we need more to
get the full context.
IT SEEMS THAT MOST OF SIEBER'S FIRST EDITION CONCERNS ISSUES TYING INTO
PART I OF _CAPITAL, VOL. 1_. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN VERY INTERESTED IN
THESE ISSUES, I NOW THINK THAT THAT FIRST EDITION OF SIEBER MUST BE
STUDIED CAREFULLY, GIVEN MARX'S FAVORABLE CITATION.
If we are interested in Sieber in his own right then we have to move on to
the much longer 1885 Edition.
1885 Edition -- _David Ricardo and Karl Marx in Their Socioeconomics
Titles and contents for Chapters I, II, and V are the same as first
edition and Chapters III and VI are very close. The first 18 pages of
Chapter VII are also the same but the remainder is changed and the title
is quite distinct, becoming "About a Cause for the Origin of Pure Income
from Capital, or about the Value of Labor Power".
Chapter IV on Marx is MUCH expanded in the second edition from the first.
While the last 19 pages of it are the same in both editions, the
second-edition chapter has the first 17 pages changed from the 1871
edition and very much expanded by some 70 pages! Also, the 2nd edition
has sectioning of Chapter IV, which the first edition does not have.
Completely new Chapters VIII to XIII are also added -- 210 pages subtotal
(somewhat larger print, however, than the 1871 editon); translation of the
new chapter titles are as follows (provided to me by Fred Moseley from a
translation he had had done a number of years ago -- Thanks, Fred!):
Chapter VIII. Constant and Variable Capital. Simple and Complex
Chapter IX. Analysis of the Theory of Social Cooperation
Chapter X. Machines and Large-Scale Industry
Chapter XI. Analysis of the Theory of Machine Production
Chapter XII. Theory of the Accumulation of Capital and Capitalist Law of
Chapter XIII. Analysis of the Theory of Accumulation of Capital and
Refutation of the Theory of Malthus
If anyone can get a competent person to translate Chapter IV of the first
edition I offer the RESEARCH as the publishing outlet. Please let me know
as soon as possible, if interested.
Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY
Paul Zarembka <zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU> said, on 05/10/00:
>Recall the favorable references by Marx to the non-Hegelian, Russian
>political economist N. Sieber. I found both the original 1871 editon of
>his work and later editions at the British Library (not British Museum)
>in London under N. Ziber. Everything is in Russian.
>Marx refers to Sieber [Ziber] for an understand of his *Capital* (and in
>one of his letters seems to refer to Sieber as a "personal friend of
>mine", at least that's how the C.W. edition for his letter to Sorge, 5
>Nov. 1880 reads).
>I continue to consider this an important lead in supporting an argument
>for tendency by Marx to move AWAY from Hegel.
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