In reply to Paul Zarembka's OPE-L 5001. He wrote: "I'm at a loss, Andrew. Where does Marx "prove" that Ic (means of production in Dept. I? -- please confirm the meaning of the symbol) is not limited by the extent of the market (without referring to 'stretching out' of the Illustration 1 in Marx)? Note that I'm still not interested in extended reproduction, only the issue of what constitutes "proof"." Yes, by Ic I meant the means of production (c) of Dept. I. Paul's question is very intriguing to me, and not easy to answer. I've had to go through the last part of Vol. II again, and I really should go through the discussion of reproduction in the TSV, but I haven't yet. The main problem is that Marx doesn't say his intention is to prove that Ic is not limited by the extent of the market for consumer goods. It is rather that the schemes themselves prove this, IMO. The proof is accomplished by Marx's division of the social product into means of production and articles of consumption; by his decomposition of the different parts of the product in terms of their components; and by his tracing the destinations of the various components. The tracing of the destinations of the various parts of the total social product reveals that neither workers, nor capitalists as individuals, buy Ic for purposes of personal consumption. Nor do the capitalists who produce consumer goods buy Ic as means of production. As far as Ic is concerned, Department I buys from itself and sells to itself. The extent of its demand for its own stuff is thus what sets the limit to how much of its own stuff it supplies to itself. The most relevant passages in Vol. II are the discussion of the constant capital in Dept. I in Ch. 20 and the additional constant capital in Ch. 21. But it is the construction as a whole that I think constitutes the proof. But is it really a proof? I think so. By proof here, I mean deductive proof. I do not see that anything more needs to be said, nor do I see a possible way of challenging Marx's deduction that demand for Ic comes from Dept. I itself, not consumers. But is it really Marx's proof? I'd prefer to say no, because I think that conveys a sense that it was his intention to prove this. Is it the proof of those who recognized the implications of the schema? Again, I'd prefer to say no -- this is not quite the same as the phlogiston case that Engels and Althusser discuss. I'd prefer to say that the proof was "recognized" rather than "discovered" by later commentators. And so I'd prefer to say that "Marx's work" or "Marx's reproduction schema" or "the reproduction schema" or "Vol. II" prove the point. I had written that the existence of political motivations "doesn't mean we can't apply objective and rational methods to assess arguments and evidence. It seems to me that people's motives have nothing to do with whether their arguments, theories, etc. are true or false." Paul responded: "I have no such overriding confidence in intellectuals; how come I cannot convince my colleagues to learn Marx?. Nor do I think there is an "absolute" truth that is knowable (Lenin comes to mind here)." I didn't mean to express confidence, and in fact I have no such confidence. I only meant that we *can* (in principle) apply rational and objective methods, not that we *do* so. I was reacting to the argument one hears frequently that none of us is objective (right) and therefore none of us can act in an objective manner (wrong). I don't understand the reference to Lenin. And when you deny that "absolute" truth "is knowable," do you mean "will be known" or "can in principle be known"? Ciao Andrew ("Drewk") Kliman Dept. of Social Sciences Pace University Pleasantville, NY 10570 USA phone: (914) 773-3968 fax: (914) 773-3951 Home: 60 W. 76th St. #4E New York, NY 10023 USA "The practice of philosophy is itself theoretical. It is the critique that measures the individual existence by the essence, the particular reality by the Idea."
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