[OPE-L] re the 6 book plan

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Mon Sep 11 2006 - 10:01:44 EDT

At 07:01 11/09/2006, Ajit wrote:
Hi Ajit,
         Good to hear your 'voice' again.
>Mike L and I had a long debate on this question on
>pen-l way back in 1991-92 (if my memory serves me
>right). I think Lapides' book on Marx's Wage Theory--a
>book I was quite critical of in my review in
>RRPE--makes some good points against the 6 book plan
>thesis. Now I'm not interested in Marxological debate
>on this question.

         I'm not either these days, Ajit. Far more interesting to me
is the question of possible implications of missing books--- whether
or not Marx planned them. In the 2nd edition of Beyond CAPITAL, I end
my chapter on the question of the missing book on wage-labour with
the explicit statement, 'The central issue is not at all whether Marx
intended to write a book on wage-labour. If he had not mentioned it,
we would still need to write it' (50).

  (I have not seen the 2nd edition and don't know
>if there has been any substantial changes). However, I
>don't think CAPITAL could be written from any other
>point of view.

The changes are very substantial, and I'd like to recall all existing
copies of the 1st edition. In particular, there are several new
chapters, and the new Chapter 6, 'Wages', is particularly significant
and introduces important points from the 1861-63 Economic
Manuscripts. On the question of the implication of the assumption in
CAPITAL (and particularly Ch 12 on the concept of relative surplus
value) of a given standard of necessity, you should see now my 'The
Politics of Assumption, the Assumption of Politics', my Deutscher
Lecture now published in the latest Historical Materialism; I
consider this an important piece, which develops substantially my
argument 'about the inadequacy of Marx's formulation of relative
surplus value' which Tony Smith (or his evil twin John) called 'a
major contribution to Marxian thought.' (I think you would agree that
this raises significant questions about CAPITAL itself.) As for the
political implications, developed further in the two new concluding
chapters, you'll be able to see them set out in my forthcoming
response to points raised in the Historical Materialism symposium on
Beyond CAPITAL also in the current issue.
         in solidarity,

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
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(58-212) 573-4111
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