From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sun Jan 29 2006 - 13:08:45 EST
I meant distinction, not discussion: Yes, I think we should obliterate this DISTINCTION even though Marx was committed to it. In fact I don't think your or Marx's macro theory is macro enough! Surplus value is not first produced at the level of individual capitals or even individual branches. Surplus value is a macro-economic magnitude produced by the transindividual subject the working class. In a recent message I wrote: To my mind, surplus value is not produced at the level of individual capitals or even branches. For this implies that if one were to take away some individual capitals or a whole branch, then surplus value would be reduced accordingly. But the capitalist totality is more than a sum of its parts (it is not a Cartesian totality, to use Stephen Cullenberg's term), for said taking away may not just reduce surplus value but destroy the system as such--there would be no surplus value at all. Just as we say that moving a heavy table is not the work of the individuals Jim and Bob but of the collective or transindividual subject Jim-and-Bob, surplus value is not produced by separate workforces at individual capitals. Surplus value is produced by the collective working class. It is a macro phenomenon produced by a transindividual subject (I think Lucien Goldmann's theory of the transindividual subject may be one of the most important contributions to Marxist philosophy); surplus value is appropriated at the level of the totality. Marx's social ontology is based on the reality of transindividual subjects. Methodological individualist Marxism is an impossibility.
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