[OPE-L:6482] Re: RE: Marx and the bible

From: Patrick L. Mason (pmason@garnet.acns.fsu.edu)
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 13:13:30 EST


You are correct. The bible is not your area of expertise!!! :):):)

"Go forth and multiply" is not the proper interpretation of the Marxian 
text in question.

Further, you have twice quoted the reference to Moses and the Prophets from 
the book of Luke, which is in the New Testament, i.e., that part of the 
bible that is separate from the Hebrew bible. The Law of Moses, the 
Prophets, and the Writings represent the corpus of the Hebrew bible - all 
of which is accepted by Christians and Jews. In fact, I believe that the 
Hebrew bible is also accepted by Muslims (I am not certain of this).

Marx may have held bigoted opinions regarding Jews, but the statement in 
question does not reflect that bigotry.

peace, patrick

At 09:31 AM 1/30/02 -0500, you wrote:
>In [6464] Andy asked about the meaning of the biblical
>reference in Vol 1, Ch 24, Section 3:
>"Accumulate, accumulate! That is Marx and the prophets!"
>The bible is *not* my area of expertise, but the reference
>might be related to the command to "Go forth and multiply!".
>Some comments:
>1) Marx doesn't tell us why he used this reference.
>2) If my 'go forth and multiply' supposition is correct, then
>it is not a very good analogy, imo.  The biblical command
>to multiply was a command to reproduce *themselves*
>(i.e. have more children).  As an ethic, this is certainly
>something that not just in the bible but in many other
>societies pre-dates capitalism.  The capitalist ethic of
>accumulation is not a call to reproduce themselves as
>a class in greater numbers. Indeed, the meaning of the
>concentration and centralization of capital and
>proletarianization suggest that the capitalist class is
>*not* multiplied alongside the accumulation of capital.
>Perhaps the underlying problem has its origin in the
>character-mask assumption: i.e.  there is a distinction
>between capital and capitalists which is not observed
>in the 'capital personified' assumption.  In other words,
>if capitalists were only capital personified, then they
>would be driven to multiply themselves ('living capital'
>so to speak).  Yet, this is not the case.
>3) Never one to shy away from controversy, let me
>note that the above reference -- given the prevailing
>anti-Semitism in Europe in Marx's time and given a
>history by Marx  of making anti-Semitic comments in
>his personal correspondence  (of course this is known
>to us but was not known to the contemporary readers
>of _Capital_) --  is suggestive of a popular prejudice
>in Europe at the time: the identification of Jews with
>money-making, saving, and lending.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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