[OPE-L:5663] Re: Reduction (hegelians)

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Fri May 25 2001 - 08:42:09 EDT

>Allin Cottrell wrote:
>> On Wed, 23 May 2001, Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:
>> > >If you believe that commodities can be resolved into labour and
>> > >labour alone, then you believe in magic.
>> >
>> > But Steve no one is saying that; of course there will remain some
>> > natural residue which is not objectified labor. Marx never said
>> > otherwise. In fact in both Capital 1 and the the Critique of the
>> > Gotha Programme he emphasized that wealth is the product of both
>> > labor and nature...as you surely know
>> Agreed.  The non-labour residue is composed of the materials supplied
>> gratis by nature, which are crucial to a commodity's use-value but
>> have no bearing on its value.
>> Allin.
>Allin, the point here is not about "materials supplied gratis by nature".
>That is always a part of production process. The commodity residue is
>about the residue that will always remain of the *produced means of
>production*. It ultimately strikes at the *originary* method of
>reasoning, that is, the essence of something could be understood by
>reducing it to its origin. The commodity residue argument is showing that
>this is simply not true. If you want to understand *capitalist
>production* or the nature of production in capitalism, you simply cannot
>go back to the imaginary origin of production with the imaginary first
>man/woman who had to produce something without any aid of produced means
>of production. Once you begin with capitalist production, where the class
>of capitalist exists only on the basis of control over the produced means
>of production, then there is no logical way of reducing this state of
>affair to the imaginary state of affair where no produced means of
>production existed. I think this is a serious methodological issue, which
>the Hegelian Marxists are dealing with by simply closing their eyes to.
>Cheers, ajit sinha

I only have time to write one line: it is absolutely foreign to Hegelian
methodology to go back to such an originary condition. When we get to the
capital form we just take C coming in with an already given value and go
from there.

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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