Re: [OPE-L] Ricardo and Marx on embodiment

From: Christopher Arthur (arthurcj@WAITROSE.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 04:19:25 EDT

In support of my view that all physicalist metaphors are no more than that
may I point out that using the English translation involves the physicalist
prejudices of the translator eg: (From my last piece in Historical
All English translations are defective in offering Œembodiment¹ as the
translation of 'Darstellung' in the context of Marx¹s first chapter. Very
occasionally Marx does speak of Œembodied labour¹, but nearly always the
term is Darstellung. The labour of the worker is Darstellung in the value
of the product, that is, Œpresented there¹. ŒRepresentation¹ is inadequate
here because it suggests a mere appearance form of something going on
elsewhere. But Œpresentation¹ I think avoids this. Value does not just
represent abstract labour, it is the mode in which it becomes socially
objective, i.e. really present. In the same way money is the mode in which
value as universal is presented, not represented as if it already exists
somewhere else.
What we have is a social objectivity but not a physical objectivity.

>1. Go to
>Go to the "Search Using Local Htdig database".  Under "Select
>Archive to Search", select "Capital and Economic Mss" then
>enter the word "embodied".  Hit the "Search!" button.   I got 75
>matches.    Doesn't this suggest that  "embodiment" was a
>concept (or a metaphor) that Marx  also employed -- at least
>at times?   Doesn't this suggest that there isn't quite as strong
>a contrast between Marx ("congealment") and Ricardo
>("embodiment") as you are suggesting above?
>2.  What meaningful difference is there between saying that
>value is SNLT "embodied" in a commodity versus  saying
>that value is SNLT  "congealed"  in a commodity?  As far
>as I can tell, "embodied" and "congealed" (and "crystallized")
>all mean the same thing in this context.
>In solidarity, Jerry

17 Bristol Road, Brighton, BN2 1AP, England

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