[OPE-L:7011] Re: Re: Capital & Class

From: howard engelskirchen (lhengels@igc.org)
Date: Wed Apr 17 2002 - 22:31:20 EDT

Recall "The Method of Political Economy" in the introduction to the

"It would seem right to start with the real and concrete, with the actual
presupposition, e.g. in political economy to start with population, which
forms the basis and subject of the whole social act of production.  Closer
consideration shows, however, that this is wrong.  Population is an
abstraction if, for instance, one disregards the classes of which it is
composed.  These classes in turn remain an empty phrase if one does not
know the elements on which they are based, e.g. wage labour, capital, etc.
These presuppose exchange, division of labour, prices, etc. . . . ."

That is, by chapter 52 "class" is no longer an empty phrase.


At 07:25 PM 4/17/02 +0200, you wrote:
>Jerry 7008.
>I see your search confirmed mine. And even the remainig uses of the term 
>class are often very 'loose' ones. And even if they were not 55 times in 
>2200 pages is very scarce. Relevant is also the Vol I number. (Engels may, 
>unconsciously, have plugged in the term in Vols II and III. For III we 
>could verify that, but I have not done it.)
>At 4/17/02Wednesday, gerald_a_levy wrote:
>>No, not the journal. The following search was
>>inspired by something that Geert wrote recently
>>and I decided to follow-up on.
>>I did a word search  at <http://www.marxists.org>http://www.marxists.org
>>for the 3 volumes of _Capital_   for "class".
>>Here's what I found:  in all 3 volumes there were 9l
>>references to "class".
>>Yet, in looking through the references, I saw that
>>25 meant "group" or  "classification"  and thus did
>>not refer to Marx's perspective on class.  So far, the net
>>is  then 66.
>>However, if we now deduct  ll references in the
>>"Prefaces" and "Afterwards" (most of these by
>>Engels), the table of contents (for V3), the study
>>guides at the site (not written by M&E), and
>>the "Synopsis" by Engels (which also showed-up
>>in the word search), then -- deducting ll from 66 --
>>there are *55 references to class in all three volumes
>>of _Capital_*.
>>In my view, this (along with the location of the extremely
>>brief and unfinished Chapter 52 in Volume 3 on "Classes")
>>is *strong* evidence that this subject of class was not
>>incorporated in a systematic way into the structure of
>>_Capital_  and consequently is a "post-Capital" subject
>>which Marx originally planned to incorporate into "Economics"
>>as Books 2-3 on "Landed Property" and Wage-Labour"
>>respectively.  This, in my view, says something very
>>important in terms of whether _Capital_ can be viewed as
>>a 'terminal' book or just l in a series of proposed books.
>>Do others agree?
>>In solidarity, Jerry

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