(OPE-L) The last years of Karl Marx

From: rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU
Date: Mon Apr 28 2003 - 20:04:31 EDT

Paul Bullock writes:

For Rakesh: If I remember well enough Marx made a comment
during this later
time that he had 'finished with all that ***  ' when refering to the
of Capital,  meaning that he had solved the basic problems.

His studies of the Turkish material on Rent, his learning of Turkish
doesn't indicate  a search for an easier task to me! Remember the
metres' of material on the topic found by Engels after Marx's
wanted to trace back the
historical origin of rent  as a 'turkish' form.

The "Turkish" form would be (Marx draws here from Richard
Jones) ryot rent or tax, right?   Here the state is claimed to be
landlord, and this is  of course the claimed basis for the putative
uniqueness of the East.

 Jones  underlined that in Turkey the rate of ryot rent differed
according to religion--one seventh of the produce where the
cultivator was a Turk, one fifth where he was a Christian. True?

All this raises the questions of whether there was an absence of
landed property in the so called Asiatic Mode of Production and
whether  the appropriation of surplus in the form of tax separated
such modes of production from those in which the surplus took
the form of rents--whether labor, metayer or cottier.

These questions are taken up in John Haldon's The State and
Tributary Mode of Production.

It is important to remember (I believe) that Marx points to the
difference between ryot rents or taxes and other forms of rent just
before enunciating what can perhaps be called the central dogma
of historical materialism: "The specific economic form in which
unpaid surplus labour is pumped out of the direct producers
determines the relationship of domination and servitude,, as this
grows directly out of production itself and reacts back on it in turn
as a determinant. On this is based the entire configuration of the
economic community arising from the actual relations of
production, and hence also its specific political form. It is each
case the direct relationship of the owners of the conditions of
production o the imediate producers--a relationship whose
particular form naturally corresponds always to a certain level of
development of the type and manner of labour, and hence to its
social productive power--in which we find the innermost secret, the
hidden basis of the entire social edifice, and hence also the
political form of the relationship of sovereignty and dependence, in
short the specific form of the state in each case." Capital 3,
Vintage. p. 927.

It's perhaps not surprising that Marx spent many of his later years
researching his theory of the specific economic forms in which
surplus labour has been pumped out across time and space?

Thanks to Michael P for sending me Mattick's review of Strachey's
Nature of Capitalist Crisis; it is very interesting indeed.

All the best, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 30 2003 - 00:00:01 EDT