[OPE-L] Grundrisse. Help

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Jul 26 2006 - 13:27:03 EDT


I think it's mainly a fallacy, i.e. Marx shows evidence that he worked out
his concept of capital and its circulation process BEFORE his conspectus and
critique of Quesnay, and really Quesnay himself is not so important, as far
as Marx concerned, much more important is how Smith, Sismondi and Ricardo
etc. interpret Quesnay's insights, i.e. how they try to reconcile their
theory of industrial capital with the concept of the reproduction of

The historical significance of the Physiocrats according to Marx was that
"The Physiocrats transferred the inquiry into the origin of the surplus
value from the sphere of circulation into the sphere of direct production,
and thereby laid the foundation for the analysis of capitalist production."
They tried to get clear about the concept of the capital stock as such, and
Marx regarded the invention of the Tableau Economique as "brilliant".

Even so, Marx remarks in the "Resultate" (1864) that "There is nevertheless
a whole range of confused conceptions traditionally associated with [the]
distinction between gross and net product. These derive in part from the
Physiocrats (see Book IV) and in part from Adam Smith, who continues on
occasion to confuse capitalist production with production for the direct
producers." And: "Otherwise, the doctrine that the net product is the final
and highest goal of production is only a brutal, but correct expression of
the fact that the valorisation of capital, and therefore the creation of
surplus value, without any concern for the worker, is the driving force and
the essence of capitalist production. The highest ideal of capitalist
production - corresponding to the relative growth of the net product - is
the greatest possible reduction in the number of people living on wages, and
the greatest possible increase in the number of people living off the net
product." (Ben Fowkes translation).

BTW Ben Fowkes did accept the translation of "Verwertung" as "valorisation",
presumably because of the same kinds of reasons which I have cited - Marx
did not believe in Say's law, and thus the valorisation of capital and the
realisation of capital were semi-autonomous 'moments' in the accumulation


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