[OPE-L:8326] Editions of Capital

From: Christopher Arthur (cjarthur@waitrose.com)
Date: Mon Jan 13 2003 - 09:38:08 EST

John writes:
>Paul, you wrote:
>‘What I was doing was challenging you to sustain your position by
>examining how
>Marx REVISED Volume 1 between 1867 and 1875.  I don't know the answer to
>my own
>question regarding value -- I was hoping you'd have explored that evidence
>(it's not
>in your book) as well as the Notes on Wagner which have a lot on value’.
>I do not think that the changes between the first and the second Editions of
>Volume 1 are significant regarding the discussed subject.
>The differences between the 1867 (first) and 1872-73 (second) Editions of
>Volume 1 are the following:
>a) A change in style: Marx labeled in Edition one the well-known Parts of
>1 as “Chapters”, and denoted them with Latin numbers (Seven
>Chapters[-Parts] in
>the German edition). The well-known Chapters of Vol. 1 where labeled as sub-
>chapters (eg. I.1, I.2, etc.).
>b) A change in content is to be found only in (I), i.e. in the first
>Chapter of
>Vol. 1 (which is our known Part I of the second and the following editions of
>Vol. 1).

There are very many changes in detail; just off the top of my head
1. two footnotes saying value just means exchange value are deleted
2. A couple of refs to Hegel are deleted
3. stuff on Russia is changed (see White)
4. The final paragraph serving as a transition to Volume 2 is deleted.
5. The Afterword is added
6. Money does not appear in first edition ch 1 although it does in the

Many of the differences can be traced in MEGA II 6 but we really need a
volunteer to supply all this stuff in English since  MECW saw fit to ignore
the problem thereby failing to be a complete collection of Marx's published

 >This change in content is due to the fact that Edition 1 contained
>an ‘Appendix to Chapter I.1. The Value-form’, [pp. 764-784 of
>Vol. 1 of the
>German first Edition, 1867]. In the second Edition of Vol. 1 Marx
>this Appendix in the text of Vol. 1 (Part 1).
>Both texts, i.e. the Appendix and the text of Chapter I (corresponding to the
>text of Part I of the following editions) have been translated into English:
>1) Two translations of the ‘Appendix’:
>-Value: Studies by Karl Marx, translated and edited by Albert Dragstedt,
>London, New Park, 1976.
>- Karl Marx, The Value-Form, Introduction and Translation by M. Roth and W.
>Suchting, Capital and Class, Spring 1978, pp. 130-150.
>2) One translation of Chapter I (1867):
>- Chapter One of Capital, first edition version, translated by Alex Davidson,
>Bulletin Marxist Classics Series, No. 1, New York, Labor Publications.

(2) is in fact also in Value:Studies identically; no doubt Alex D and
Albert D are the same person. Incidentally his translations are i) rough
ii) contain mistakes iii) have omissions
Roth and Suchting appears, slightly revised, in *Debates on Value Theory*
ed. Simon Mohun.

>Marx wrote the Appendix at the beginning of July 1867, after he had finished
>Vol. 1 (March 1867), and while he was correcting the galley-proofs of Vol. 1.
>In the Afterward of the second German Edition of Vol. 1, after informing the
>readers about the changes between the two Editions and added:
>‘Let me remark, in passing, that that double exposition had been
>occasioned by
>my friend, Dr. L Kugelmann in Hanover. I was visiting him in the spring of
>when the first proof-sheets arrived from Hamburg, and he convinced me that
>readers needed a supplementary, more didactic explanation of the form of
>In reality, Engels had also played an important role in Marx’s
>decision to
>write the ‘Appendix’.
>On June 16, 1867 Engels had read the first 5 proof sheets of Vol.1 and
>wrote to
>Marx (Marx-Engels-Werke [MEW], Vol. 31, pp. 303 ff.) that his [Marx’s]
>exposition should be more ‘historic’ and also more
>‘didactic’, like
>the ‘Hegelian Encyclopedia’. Marx responded to this letter on
>June 22, 1867,
>(MEW, Vol. 31, p. 306), writing to Engels that ‘I followed and not
>your advise to be more dialectic’: ‘1st, I wrote an Appendix,
>in which I
>present the same thing so simply as it is possible and so didactically as
>it is
>possible and 2nd, I separated, according to your advice, each part that
>forward some progress in the development of argument in paragraphs,

Very importantly Marx completely ignored Engels request for historical
illustration in his development of the value form. Two questions i) does
not this support the 'systematic' reading of the argument? ii) why did not
Marx explain to Engels why he ignored the request for hstory?

>In my co-authored book, we have translated and cited several passages from
>Chapter I (1867 Edition), which were later on omitted or differently
>by Marx in the second edition of Vol. 1, but which we regarded to be very
>elucidative for his argument. Here is one example that I like:
>‘Within the value relation and the expression of value immanent in
>it, the
>abstractedly general [i.e. value, J.M.] does not constitute a property of the
>concrete, sensorily actual [i.e. of exchange value, J.M.] but on the contrary
>the sensorily actual is a simple form of appearance or specific form of
>realisation of the abstractedly general (…) Only the sensorily
>concrete is
>valid as a form of appearance of the abstractedly general’ (MEGA II,
>5: 634).

Very very very important! I have been using this since 1976! Having picked
up on it from the New Park Publication. In spite of their sectarian
interjections between the texts they deserve thanks for taking the
initiative to attempt the translations. And STILL no one has done a proper
translation of ch 1.

 Chris A

>Ending this long mail I would like to make clear to you Paul, as well as to
>everybody else, that it was not my intention to call you an individualist,
>only to stress the point that individualism ‘quantifies’
>social relations.
>In solidarity,

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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