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

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 01:19:57 EDT


Of course Marx limits his study, and makes that clear. But what preceeded
capitalism? If I stress the historical development of the 'cell form' then
clearly I do not regard it as 'trans-historical', but itself an historically
developing form. That form has to reach a certain maturity before capitalism
itself  develops. Thus Marx's considerable efforts to assess the
'polarisation of the market for commodities' ( Part VIII)... briefly, by
force. It seems to me that much of the discussion on these matters seems to
start from the 'idea' and not from the facts, and once stuck with an idea
there seems to be no way out, only a fruitless argument about its
applicability. (as for Meek, if he agrees/d with me then OK. I do not of
course accept that such a society as a 'simple commodity economy' ever

Best regards

Paul Bullock

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald A. Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>
Sent: Saturday, April 03, 2004 1:59 AM
Subject: [OPE-L] (OPE-L) Re: the economic cell-form and form-analysis

> 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
> categories)?
> > The  'cell form'  is necessary for the existence
> > of capitalism, but in the form of a  product it is not itself
> > 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

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