[OPE-L:4718] Ricardo and Marx

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 02:38:57 EST

re 4717

>At 12:44 18-12-00 +0000, Paul Cockshott wrote:
>>Why should we be worried about Marx following on from Ricardo?
>>The differences between them are relatively minor when compared to
>>the differences between the two of them and most other economists.
>Of course this depends on what you consider most important in Marx. If that
>would be the awareness of value-form and its impact, the differences
>between Ricardo and Marx are much greater than that between Marx and e.g.
>>From that same perspective of value-form there is reason to be worried
>precisely because  Marx *also* to considerable extent indeed followed
>Ricardo. His break from Classical Political Economy was incomplete (which
>inevitably is the fate of all "breakers").
>Rounding this, even if Keynes, in contradistinction to Ricardo, was aware
>of the value-form of capitalism, Ricardo and Keynes shared a committment to
>capitalism. Because Keynes was aware of the VF his is a more subtle.
>Geert Reuten

Because Ricardo's categories of value are the expression--if one 
sided--of concrete reality, namely the valorization process, they are 
taken over by Marx in their basic principles and developed further. 
However, at the same time he modifies them by complementing their 
exclusively abstract value character with the material aspect, and 
elaborates their dual character. Marx's critique of Ricardo's 
categories of value, and the changes he made, closely resemble Marx's 
critique and transformation of Hegel's dialectic. Both exhibit the 
same basic feature, being directed agains tthe abstract and final 
character shared by Ricardo's categories of value and Hegel's 
dialectic, because each of these abstracts from 'real characteristic 
form.' In his critique of Hegel's dialectic Marx compares, in 
characteristic fashion, the logic with which Hegel begins the 
Encylopaedia, with money and value: it is the logic of 'money of the 
spirit' and the 'conceptual value' of people and of nature, because 
it is 'utterly indifferent to all real forms' and has become 
'abstract thought, abstracting from nature and real people.' This is 
similar to the way in money represents the 'least real' form of 
capital, and how capital has reached the pure fetishistic form in 
interest bearing capital, in which all the different forms are 
obliterated, and it exists as indepedent exchange value.

This crucial philosophical position is also brought into play by Marx 
within political economy: the abstract study of value obscures the 
'real forms', the qualitative content of the concrete labor process, 
which expresses the specific differentiating features of the 
capitalist mode of production...

[For example] what then characterises manufacture and machino 
facture, large scale industry as two different phases of capitalist 
production? Both have a capitalist character, both are are based on 
wage labour, both are governed by
the search for profit. However since the technical labor process is 
completely different in each, manufacture represents a productive 
mechanism whose organs are human beings, in contrast to which is 
modern large scale industry is based 0n machines. this differences 
serves to distinguish the different phases of capitalism. The example 
example of the derivation of these objective tendencies of capital 
from the analysis of the concrete labour process and its 
instruments--machinery--is intended to illustrate the key distinction 
between Marx and other theoretical tendencies in the study of 
economic processes; additional consequences for the problem of crises 
and dynamics arise from this method of study.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Dec 31 2000 - 00:00:04 EST