[OPE-L:6539] Re: * poll: who has advanced political economy since Marx? *

From: glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 10:39:22 EST

Re Andy's [6536]:

Thanks for your even-tempered reply to my questions. I will, in
turn, comment briefly on your questions and remarks:

> ii) It is nothing to do with 'my reckoning': it is a cast iron 
> fact that, say, on this list, and in the broader debate, there 
> are a host of  different, *mutually incompatible* interpretations 
> of value and surplus value. One fruitful question is: why?

I think that the differences in interpretation of value have *always*
been linked to differences in methodology and philosophy.  As for your 'cast iron fact', I think that there are some interpretations of value which are mutually incompatible and others which are broadly similar but different in nuance and emphasis.

> Yes, that is part of the reason. Another, is that he left Engels 
> to do the more philosophical aspects of their joint project, and 
> Engel's philosophy has been ridiculously cut off from Marx and 
> deemed nothing to do with Capital.

There was, no doubt, a division of intellectual labor between M&E but I don't think that Marx ever agreed that E should be assigned by mutual agreement the 'more philosophical aspects of their joint project'. 

As for Marxists 'ridiculously' cutting of Engels philosophy from _Capital_, I think that for most of the history of Marxism the tendency has been the *reverse*: i.e. the traditions of both German-Austrian social democracy, Bolshevism, and latter-day 'diamat' in the USSR all emphasized an essential line of *continuity* betweeen M&E. The relative separation of M from E has been a more recent trend.

> Why not? Perverse appearances *can* be comprehended. If you
> don't believe that, you end up collapsing to scepticism.

Yet, there is no reason to believe -- especially given Marx's material conditions -- that he was uniquely situated and talented such that he alone could penetrate those appearances.

>   But given his own theory and practice I suppose he would
> have been disappointed but not particularly surprised.

I think he would have been greatly surprised  (and disappointed) by a great number of developments since his death. 

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Mar 02 2002 - 00:00:04 EST