Re: [OPE-L] 'primitive' or 'original', etc.

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Sep 11 2006 - 02:57:37 EDT

>  > The development of markets occurred
>>  hand-in-hand with the development of public authorities and contracting
>>  institutions that defined/protected property rights, thus, state and
>>   market  were "twins" from the very start.
>  Hi Jurriaan:
>  I agree that the original/primitive accumulation of capital was a process
>in which the state played an essential role.  So, too,  with the
>accumulation of capital proper.  Capital and the state continue as "twins"
>to this very day! One consequence of  Marx's inability to write the proposed
>book on The State in the 6-book-plan

Again did Marx abandon the 6 book plan? If so, why? If not how much
of it did he finish? Only a section of the first book? Three or of
the six books? I wished this debate could have continued; Oakley
provides a great service in laying out the possible positions.

The assimilation of  the Physiocratic theory may well have made him
overturn everything and abandon for theoretical reasons the six book

Drawing on HG, William J Blake noted: The Physiocrats' "valiant
attempt to depict the whole process of production, income,
circulation and reproduction was the last political economy of the
agricultural system of Europe. It seems old-fashioned to us, but then
it preceded the first great inventions of the machine age. But its
infuence on Marx was striking. Here was an attempt not to describe
empirically wages, rent, interest, etc. as though they were isolated
'subjects' or different chapter headings; here was an attempt to
integrate the whole movement of society by way of classes, to discuss
what led to more wealth, how wealth was extended, who exploited, who
appropriated, who reproduced, what everyone got, to whom he paid it,
and how it all got started again. Political economy under Smith and
Ricardo was painfully aware of the limitations of the Physiocrats,
but it dared not imitate their bravery. Hence until Marx political
economy turns into a fragmentary science--that is a study of specific
interactions, but no attempt is made to integrate the entire
system..." Elements, pp. 604-5.

Such integration could not have been achieved in the 6  book plan
even if completed but was what the four volume book did set out to
theorize. And Marx succeeded brilliantly.

>is that it  reinforced an unfortunate
>tendency among Marxists to downplay the theoretical and historical role of
>the state within the cmp.

I agree that there has been such a tendency.

Yet Pashukanis, Neumann, Mattick, Poulantzas, Miliband, Yaffe, Cogoy,
Jessop, and Holloway and Piciotti!

At any rate, what did Marx intend to write about the state? What is
explicit and (perhaps more importantly--see Tony Smith) implicit in
what he did write about the state?

Marxists also have grounds for "downplaying" a specifically Hegelian
or Keynesian role of the state in the reconciliation of
contradictions within civil society. For that reason, I consider
Mattick Sr's main book the closest in spirt to what Marx would have
wanted from a critique of the state.

>  This has had unfortunate political consequences
>as well, including an unnecessarily wide divide among (most) anarchists
>and (most) Marxists.  Yet another consequence of the "one-sided Marxism"
>which Mike L subjected to critique in his book _Beyond Capital_: we must
>go "beyond capital"   not only to consider the subject (capitalism, not
>merely  capital) from  the standpoint of wage-labor but also to
>consider the role of the state,  trade, and the world market.  Maybe Mike is
>going to write the sequels?  Probably not -- he's already got a full plate,
>a hectic schedule, and other commitments.  Geert and Mike W took a shot at
>with their book _Value-Form and the State_ and Tony S has been working
>on the subject of the world market for some time.

Jerry,yes, but Tony has attempted to INTERPRET the theory of the
world market already
implicit in Capital: "the world market is implicit in the portions of
Marx's systematic project that have come down to us." at

This is of course what Grossman attempted as well.

And it would be interesting to compare their two interpretations of
the theory of the world
market implicit in the four volume book Marx did write.

At the very least, one leaves Tony's article with the knowledge that
Marx did indeed write much about the relation between the capitalist
mode of production and the world market.


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