[OPE-L:8187] Re: Re: Marx's Notes on Wagner available on MIA

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Mon Dec 16 2002 - 08:36:54 EST

Re Jerry's 8177
>> ***(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.
>Michael answered:
>> The quote in question is not on MEW19:375. I found it on MEW19:382:
>I re-checked Rubel/Manale and I correctly transcribed what appeared in
>their book as the page number. So: either R/M made a mistake here with the
>page number or they were referring to a _different_ passage.
>Michael continues:
>> "Dunkelmann schiebt mir unter, dass 'der von den Arbeitern _allein_
>> produzierte  _Mehrwert_ den kapitalistischen Unternehmern
>> _ungebuehrlicher_  Weise verbleibe'  (N. 3 p.114). Nun sage ich das
>> direkte Gegenteil; naemlich,  dass die  Warenproduktion notwendig auf
>> einem gewissen Punkt zur 'kapitalistischen'  Warenproduktion wird, und
>> dass nach dem sie beherrschenden _Wertgesetz_  der  'Mehrwert' dem
>> Kapitalisten gebuehrt und nicht dem Arbeiter." (MEW19:382
>> emphases in the original).
>> The problematic words here are "ungebuehrlich" and "gebuehren".
>> "ungebuehrlich"  usually means "improper", "unseemly" etc. "gebuehren"
>> means "to be due to", "to  deserve", "to be owing to".
>> Thus, in rough, literal translation, Wagner attributes to Marx that
>> "'the surplus-value produced _solely_ by the workers remains
>> _undeservedly_/_improperly_ in the capitalist enterprises' (N. 3 p.114).
>> But I  say the complete opposite, namely, that at a certain point,
>> commodity production  necessarily becomes 'capitalist' commodity
>> production   and that, according to the   _law of value_ that rules it,
>> the  'surplus-value' is  properly owed to the  capitalist and not to the
>> worker."
>> The translation provided in the summary seems off the mark.
>The translation in the _CW_/MIA is:  "In fact I say the exact opposite:
>that the production of commodities must necessarily become 'capitalist'
>production of commodities at a certain point, and that according to the
>_law of value_ governing it, the 'surplus-value' rightly belongs to the
>capitalist and not the worker".
>So I agree -- *if R/M were referring to this passage* -- then they were
>off the mark ... significantly.
>Thanks for the translations and interpretation, Michael!
>In solidarity, Jerry

If we pay attention to the words 'due' and 'rightly' it seems clear Marx is
guilty of a slip of the pen; instead of 'law of value' it should say 'law
of appropriation' which according to Marx remains unchanged in juridical
form from that implicit in simple circulation of commodities to the
inversion concealed in the circulation of capitalistically produced
Chris A

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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