[OPE-L:8534] Richard Jones

From: rakeshb@stanford.edu
Date: Sun Mar 02 2003 - 02:02:40 EST

Karl Marx, 1861-63 Mss, vol 33:

Jones was a professor of political economy at Haileybury and the 
successor Malthus. One can see here how the real science of 
political economy ends by regarding the bourgeois production 
relations as merely historical ones, leading to higher relations in 
which the antagonism on which they are based is resolved. By 
analyzing them political economy breaks down the apparently 
mutually independent forms in which wealth appears. This 
analysis (even in Ricardo) goes so far that 1) The independent 
material form of wealth disappears and wealth is shown to be 
simply the activity of men. Everything which is not the result of 
human activity, of labour, is nature and, as such, is not social 
wealth. The phantom of the world of goods fades away and it is 
seen to be simply a continually disappearing and continually 
reproduced objectivisation of human labour. All solid material 
wealth is only transitory materialisation of social labour, 
crystallisation of the production process whose measure is time, 
the measure of a movement itself. 2)The manifold forms of which 
the various component parts of wealth are distributed amongst 
different sections of society lose their apparent independence. 
Interest is merely part of profit, rent is merely surplus profit. Both 
are consequently merged in profit, which itself can be resolved in 
surplus value, that is, to unpaid labour. The value of the commodity 
itself, however, can only be reduced to labour time. The Ricardian 
school reaches the point where it rejects one of the forms of 
appropriation of this surplus value--landed property (rent)--as 
useless, in so far as it is pocketed by private individuals. It rejects 
the idea that the landowner is an agent of capitalist production. 
The antithesis is thus reduced to that between capitalist and wage 
labourer. This relationship however is regarded by Ricardian 
political economists as given, as a natural law, on which the 
production process itself is based. The later economists go one 
step further and like Jones admit only the historical justification for 
this relationship. But from the moment that the bourgeois mode of 
production and the conditions of production and distribution which 
correspond to it are recognized as historical, the delusion of 
regarding them as natural laws of production vanishes and the 
prospect opens of a new society, [a new] economic formation of 
society, to which the bourgeois mode of production is only a 
transition." p. 345-6

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