Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Oct 17 2005 - 01:28:51 EDT

At 3:17 AM +0200 10/17/05, Michael Heinrich wrote:
>Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
>>Michael H seems to be repeating Luxemburg's and Sternberg's false
>>charge that Marx excluded analysis of the world market from his magnum
>>opus, making it only
>>a torso of a work.
>>Grossmann long ago invalidated the claim.
>I am a little bit surprised about this. In which chapters in "Capital"
>can you find an analysis of the world market?

Many chapters, including from the fourth volume. See cites in excerpt
which I sent

>  You can find a lot of
>remarks relying to world market,

right. but they are more than remarks, like the world market looks
more complex today than it did yesterday.

>  and what Grossman gives are remarks of
>Marx that world market is important for an understanding of capital.

The quotes say much more than that!  Ways in which the world market
are  important for the fate of capital in general and invidivual
capitals are explicitly analyzed and theorized

>  But
>to state that something is important is not the same as to deliver an
>analysis of  it.

True but you don't show how those passages and Grossmann's
interpretation of them fall short of an analysis. A critique of
Grossmann's actual argument has not yet been made.

>  And if Marx gave such an analysis, why his repeated
>remarks, that the analysis of  world market is excluded from the
>presentation in "Capital"?

Yes foreign trade is certainly excluded at certain levels of the
analysis. But just as surely foreign trade, international cycles,
capital exports, the global formation of production prices are
analyzed at other points. Of course Grossmann's point is that we then
have to put these analyses together to understand the analysis of the
world market that Marx did indeed provide.
We have different versions of this argument: what did Marx accomplish
vis a vis the analysis of wage labor, the Rechtsstaat, foreign trade?
There has been a widespread tendency to exaggerate the incompleteness
of Marx's critiques. Grossmann (and following him Lapides) shows how
much there is in fact about wage labour; Grossmann (and Carchedi who
is close to him) shows how much Marx accomplished in regards to the
world market; Pashukanis shows the critique of Recht implicit already
in the chapter on exchange.

To be sure, much more needs to be done, but it can be done on the
basis of what Marx already accomplished.

>And do you really think, that an analysis of world market is possible
>without an analyisis of state?

Yes I think many aspects of the world market can be analyzed without
an analysis of the state. In fact Marx's analysis of the world market
allows us to understand state actions vis a vis on the one hand the
opening up of markets and the export of capital and and on the other
hand protectionism. Grossmann shows how this follows from his
analysis of the struggles that result from the shortage of surplus
value and from the formation of global production prices. You don't
speak to Grossmann's exact arguments.

>In his six book plan, Marx placed the
>book on state (with good reasons, I think) between the book on Capital
>and the books on Foreign Trade and on World Market. Or do you think that
>in "Capital" we not only can find an analysis of world market but also
>an analysis of  state?

The analysis of important aspects of the state does follow quite
naturally from the analysis of the world market already given.
I don't see how you have actually spoken to Grossmann's exact
arguments. It seems that his arguments deserve a little more
attention than they have actually been given.

Yours, Rakesh

>In solidarity

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