[OPE-L:6177] colletti

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Tue Nov 13 2001 - 19:24:10 EST

sorry if i have sent multiple copies of this message; having a bit of trouble 
with my account. rb

i should read again tony smith's critique of colletti before noting that 
colletti has had an important influence on me.  

first and foremost, colletti was important in resisting the emasculation of 
marx's theory of value: his writings checked the tendency to decouple value and 
money (last pages of Marxism and Hegel in which colletti so brilliantly notes 
the structural similarity between marx's critique of hegel's phil of right and 
marx's critique of the money form, as riccardo's work has reminded us), to 
reduce the law of value to an equilibrium mechanism (theory of crash), to treat 
value as a convenient fiction (bernstein essay); moreover, colletti was clear 
that the sraffian attempt to save marx's value theory implied its destruction, 
not its rehabilitation. 
i do not think colletti was successful in saving marx's theory of value from 
its misinterpretation and dilution but his were important salvoes in the 
defense of marx's most important theoretical efforts.

 i also find important colletti's attempt to separate marxism from putatively 
radical critiques of reason or instrumental reason (such as it is embodied in 
technology); so for example the critiques of vitalism in marxism and hegel and 
marcuse in from rousseau to lenin seem to me to be important interventions 
against the new left, though  colletti suffered from a positivist conception of 
science (yet i think he made a positive reference in the mid 70s or later to 
such a post positivist philosopher as mary hesse; and one wonders what he would 
have thought of a dudley shapere). 

colletti's reflections on the meanings of equality in rousseau's social 
contract and marx's critique of the gotha programme are also very insightful, i 


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