Re: [OPE-L] Capital in General

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Oct 20 2005 - 11:09:56 EDT

At 10:03 AM -0400 10/20/05, glevy@PRATT.EDU wrote:
>In assuming that S = D in  _Capital,  Marx was not accepting
>Say's Law.

Don't get the point: if he assuming at points S=D why is he is not
accepting that supply is creating its own demand?

>  That is a red herring.

Perhaps, but I think Shoul makes a good case for it.

>  The issue here is one of the
>logical ordering of Marx's presentation.   In Volume 2, Say's Law
>is _denied_ in order to demonstrate the abstract, formal possibility of

Say's Law is denied in the first part of Capital, volume I.

>  In Volume 3, in the section on the law of the tendency
>for the general rate of profit to decline (LTGRPD),  S is assumed to
>equal D in order to demonstrate how capitalist crisis can occur
>because of the inner nature of capital itself _even with this

Yes. That is Shoul's argument in 1957. She calls "even with this
assumption" provisional acceptance of Say's La while underlining as I
have that Marx was a brilliant critic of Say's Law.

>   A  complete theory of crisis can not be systematically
>developed at the level of abstraction of _Capital_.   A complete
>theory requires an analysis "in which production is posited as a
>totality together with all its moments, but within which, at the same
>time, all contradictions come into play" (_Grundrisse_,  Penguin ed.,
>p. 227).  Marx stated repeatedly and at no point ever denied that
>an analysis of crisis was linked to the subject of the world market:
>indeed, he often refers to Book VI in the 6-book-plan was "World
>Market and Crisis."    This is not a subject which can be pieced
>together by collecting the asides of Marx on the world market;

Why not if the asides are good enough?

>it is a subject which is essential to the subject matter (capitalism)
>and requires _systematic_ analysis.

How is that different from rigorous and profound analysis?

>  To do that, one has to keep the
>_subject itself_ in focus rather than what Marx wrote.

  Marx was focused on the world market at different points in his
analysis of capital. Just because he did not write one focused
chapter on it does not mean he was never focused on it.

>  Reading Marx's
>tea leaves or Grossmann can not substitute for this analysis.

As with Michael, this is not actually a critique of Grossmann's
analysis. Of course your sense of analysis may be much more profound
than poor old Grossmann's but I would like to be shown how.Moreover,
the Marx quotes collected by Grossmann are hardly in the form of tea
leaves. This is a very strange characterization. My sense is that
neither you nor Michael H has ever really seriously considered
Grossmann's argument. there has surely not been a serious counter
argument presented on this list. He may well have been wrong; I wish
someone would show me why.

>Furthermore, if we are to seriously consider the world market we can
>not consider this question only abstractly:  we have to consider the
>world market as it exists in late capitalism and that requires some
>empirical/statistical analysis if we are to reconstruct in thought
>a real subject

a different point of course; not one I or obviously Grossmann a
statistician disagreed with.

>(a point I think Jurriaan would agree with).
>Additionally, an analysis of classes, the state, and foreign trade is
>_required_ for us to more fully and concretely comprehend the nature
>of capitalist crisis.

Where is it exactly that Grossmann's analysis failed? It was
empirical, it was systematic, it was based almost entirely on Marx's
theoretical analyses of the world market. It deals with state and
obviously foreign trade.

Obviously it will not suffice now largely in part because of the
monetary disorder that has resulted from fiat currencies. But this
was not something Marx had truly anticipated (I do not think) and
thus could not have been part of what he had hoped to cover in the
sixth book.


>In solidarity, Jerry

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