[OPE-L:7139] Re: Re: Frederick Engels at Highgate Cemetary -- March l7, l883

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 08:29:54 EDT

Re Jerry's 7133
>Re Chris's [7l30]:
>> strongly supports the GLA solution, which shows increasing wealth at one
>> pole and increasing misery at the other, as its result.
>Hi Chris.
>Given Marx's planned structure for _Capital_,  how could the "economic
>law of motion of modern society"  have been revealed in Volume One?
>That is,  how could Marx have thought that  the "law of motion"   would be
>revealed at the level of abstraction of Volume One  where the process of
>capitalist production is considered prior to an exposition of the process of
>capitalist circulation and the process of capitalist production as a whole?
We must distinguish two issues. I was addressing what Engels at Highgate
probably considered the general law.
However, I think Marx probably did too.

>_If_ Marx _did_ think that the "law of motion" could be revealed in Volume
>One then that might strongly suggest that _Capital_ was a less consistent
>systematic dialectical presentation than even most VFT writers  have
>suggested, no?
Obviously there is a complicated issue of method here. I haven't time to do
it now but I think important results can be stated at the level of capital
in general abstracting from circulation and reproduction of departments as
long as what is abstracted from does not negate it when addressed. I do not
deny that LFRP is almost as important, Incidnetally in a recent paper I
suggested the three volumes could have been written in a different order
('Capital in General and Marx's Capital' in The Culmination of Capital eds
Campbell and Reuten (Palgrave )

>> 1. the chapter on colonies in V1 is an anti-climax, almost certainly to
>> confuse the censor.
>What is the evidence that the chapter on colonies was so placed for
>that reason?  I'm guessing that you must be aware of some pretty strong
>evidence otherwise you wouldn't have written that it was included and
>become the last chapter of VI "almost certainly"  to confuse the [German]
No - not very strong evidence. Only various letters where Marx worries
about the censor and internal evidence - namely that 'the colonies' clearly
goes along with the stuff about getting labourers off the land rather than
following the downfall of capitalism.
Rubel made the same point ages ago. In the first edition the whole part on
original accumulation was seamless so that the historical tendency section
was well buried.

>> 2. The true climax is brought forward to V1,namely the historical tendency
>> stuff.
>The "historical tendency stuff" ?  That's not _a_ [singular] climax.
The expropriation of the expropriators is pretty singular.

>> 3. Marx's method is not linear but involves transitions to more concrete
>> and detailed explorations of what had already been done abstractly. So it
>> is not clear in these circumstances where any 'climax' is.
>On the whole, I agree.
>> Lukacs said the  whole of Capital is in ch 1 sec 4.
>Do you agree with Lukacs that the "whole of Capital" is in the section on
>"The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret"?

No this was just an example

>> So I think the details after the LFRP do not contain any sort of climax.
>The "details after the LFRP" include the greater bulk of Volume 3. If
>it is misleading to call the LFRP a  "climax", then  isn't it even _more_
>misleading to suggest that the remainder of Volume 3 -- which concerns
>mostly the distribution of surplus value -- "details"?
Personally I think it is details however important for some economic
disputes over rent etc.

>Moreover, I think also that an  argument could be made that since a rather
>large purpose in writing _Capital_ was to critique political economy that
>Part Seven -- Chapters 48-5l was a "climax" of sorts.
Strongly argued by Patrick Murray in his chapter in the above mentioned book.

Of course, the actual
>ending, Ch. 52,  was *very* anti-climatic but I have suggested previously
>how  that  Chapter should be viewed not as a "climax" but as a "transition"
>-- in  true Hegelian fashion -- to the next Book.
>In solidarity, Jerry
ditto Chris

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