[OPE-L:5241] Re: was Marx an economist?

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 17:22:33 EST

Re the debate between Nicky and Andy, I endorse everything Nicky says about
my view* and about  how to read Marx. With regard to the issue of abstract
labour and money I think we all agree that abstract labour can only appear
in money and that money represents abstract labour. The issue is the
conceptual priority of each term. For a value form interpretation it is
only the money form of value that creates the conceptual space for the
abstract concept of labour to become separate from and opposed to its
concrete reality. Furthermore it is only as thus abstracted that capital
can cognise labour; for its concrete cognizance capital has to rely on
managers etc. I do not see any other way of giving an account of abstract
labour specific to  capital. Of course one could argue it is not specific
to capital; thus the 'physiological' definition does not sound specific;
Uno explicitly denies it is specific but he is clearly confusing it with
general concrete labour in which the element of separatness and opposition
is not present. In an artcle in the old CSE Bulletin and subsequently I
have admitted that labour must be concretely general in the sense of
adaptable for the law of value to work but equally I argued this is only a
precondition of the possibility of taking this, stripping out the
variation, and treating it as ontologically abstract. To be charitable to
Marx one could  argue the first few pages are an ungrounded anticipation.
But I think the real problemis that he has already silently assumed only
products are to be considered in the first place.
Chris A

*If anyone does not have access to C&C I have offprint of my piece
available or I could send a pdf attachment.

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Apr 02 2001 - 09:57:29 EDT