[OPE-L:8186] Re: Re: Marx's Notes on Wagner available on MIA

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Mon Dec 16 2002 - 08:24:33 EST

>***(2):  What is the rendering of the last quote about how the s "is due
>not to the working man but to the capitalist" in the original German
>and in the _CW_ translation?   This quote, it seems to me, has
>relevance for some recent writings by Chris, and comments by Nicky
>on OPE-L.
Right Jerry - but in the following excerpt from my just published book I
use a different quote:
"  From the premise that in capitalism a class of non-workers appropriate
under the form of value some of what the workers produce it might be
concluded that there is exploitation in much the same sense as in
pre-capitalist formations. For example, Ernest Mandel argued that
surplus-value has Œa common root with all other forms of surplus product:
unpaid labour¹; this Œdeduction theory of the ruling classes¹ income¹, as
he called it, is ipso facto  Œan exploitation theory¹.
It is worth remembering that Marx warned us that the expression Œunpaid
labour¹ is scientifically worthless, no matter how attractive as a Œpopular
expression¹. (1976 Capital Volume I, p. 671.) This has not stopped most
Marxists using it without Marx¹s health warning! Why is Œunpaid labour¹ a
fraudulent notion? ‹ Because as the source of value labour cannot itself
have a value, and therefore there can be no question of its being Œpaid¹ or
Œunpaid¹. What is paid for is labour-power. Marx¹s tremendous achievement
was to show that even when the capitalist pays the full value of all the
inputs to production  a surplus-value can still emerge from it. It is
misleading, therefore, to call this a Œdeduction¹ theory. In his notes On
Wagner Marx stresses that the capitalist Œnot only ³deducts² or ³robs² but
enforces the production of surplus value, thus first helping to create what
is to be deducted¹. (Marx, K. 1989 ŒOn Wagner¹, p. 535) F. Engels showed
great insight into the specificity of Marx¹s value theory when he
illustrated it by using the analogy of the modern theory of combustion (see
his Preface to Capital Vol. II). Whereas previously it was thought the
element undergoing combustion lost something, the scientific revolution in
this field occurred when it was understood that something was added to it.
In the same way Marx¹s breakthrough was to see that capital gained
surplus-value through adding a new value to those in play in its circuit.
Engels may have drawn on Marx¹s own use of this analogy in Capital Volume
III (Marx, K. 1981, p. 130)."

Chris A

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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