(OPE-L) Re: the economic cell-form and form-analysis

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Fri Apr 02 2004 - 19:59:28 EST

Hi Paul B.

> The importance of the historical
> development of the social form cannot be understated, the very
> 'categories'  are themselves maturing socially the more widely
> spread is exchange, until  the whole matter takes on a new
> significance when commodities become capitalistically produced.

If the historical development of the social form can not be understated,
then you presumably are endorsing the 'logical-historical' interpretation
of _Capital_ popularized by Meek (since he, perhaps more than any other
author, stressed the historical dimension in the progression of Marx's

> The  'cell form'  is necessary for the existence
> of capitalism, but in the form of a  product it is not itself  sufficient
> to transform into capital, what is necessary for this is that labour
> power  itself  be  forced to take on the commodity form as well.

The 'economic cell-form'  is not a trans-historical 'commodity'.  Indeed,
the very sentence in which this is written begins "But for bourgeois
society,  the commodity-form ....".  And 2 paragraphs on Marx again
explicitly limits the scope of the work:  "What I have to examine in this
work is the capitalist mode of production, and the relations of production
and forms of inter-course [Verkehrsverhaaltnisse]  that correspond to it."
The subject from the very beginning of Ch. 1 is thus capitalism and
_this_ is what can not be understated since failure to comprehend this
leads one to all sorts of erroneous interpretations, including the
interpretation of the meaning of 'simple commodity production'.

In any event, thanks for the response.  The lines of demarcation in
interpretation are now a bit clearer -- to me at least.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Apr 06 2004 - 00:00:01 EDT