[OPE-L:6520] Re: totality

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 17:15:28 EST

Dear Rakesh
Your point below is made in my 'Capital, Many Capitals and Competition' in
*The Culmination of Capital* eds Campbell and Reuten (Palgrave) just out.

Chris A

>In vol 3 Marx remains more interested in total surplus value produced
>by all the individual capitals, and it is only in terms of
>capital-as-a-whole that the total mass of surplus value can be
>defined, and the average rate of profit determined.
>Capital-as-a-whole is thus revealed to be itself a concrete unit with
>its own specific attributes.
>So even as Marx comes to appreciate fully individuality, as opposed
>to typical particularity, in the multiplicity of capitals, he is not
>ultimately interested in the the multiplicity or aggregate of
>individual capitals but with the concrete individual that is itself
>capital as a whole.
>Itself a concrete individual, capital-as-a-whole is thus not like
>say boats-as-a whole which is merely a *generalized concrete
>abstraction* for small open craft, ocean liners, battleships and and
>exchange carriers.
>In this latter case the members are of course more concrete than the
>abstract class.
>But in the case of capital-as-a-whole, the class itself has been
>concretized in that it alone has attributes that its members, as
>individuals *abstracted* from that class, do not.
>The capitalist *class* is not a not a mere plurality of capitals; it
>is itself a fairly concrete unit.
>I do not think we have here a  fallacy of misplaced concreteness or
>an error of hypostatizing.
>Though I do not know whether I am making sense either.
>And it may be that the fault should be put on capitalist social
>relations, not those social scientists who reject methodological
>individualism which seems only to accord concreteness to members, not
>classes. Such a stricture may be illsuited for the very society that
>produces the standpoint of the individualist.

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