Re: [OPE-L] Samezo Kuruma An Inquiry into Marx's Theory of Crisis

From: Dogan Goecmen (dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Mon Apr 09 2007 - 03:15:48 EDT

 Rakesh, Marx's philosophical source of the concept of totality is certainly classical German philosophy - above all the philosophy of Hegel. In relation to wage labour Marx points out that physiocrats employ a very limited concept of labour - that of agricultural labour. In his manuscripts on surplus value (but also in Capital) he points to Adam Smith to have used the concept of labour as such for the first time in the history of political economy to refer to the source of value.
 I would be obliged if you could explore on this: "The source of inspiration here for the idea of totality was not Hegel but Quesnay."
 Thank you, Dogan
  -----Urspr├╝ngliche Mitteilung----- 
 Von: bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU
 Verschickt: Mo., 9. Apr. 2007, 6:04
 Thema: [OPE-L] Samezo Kuruma An Inquiry into Marx's Theory of Crisis
  In the section below I think Kuruma badly misunderstands Grossman's argument (as do Fred, Michael Heinrich, Ernest Mandel, Michael Lebowitz and many others). 
  Marx did succeed not in finishing the book on capital in general only but showing the place of forms and functions in the totality of the capitalist mode of production as a self-reproducing system, aimed at the expansion of value. Marx succeeded in finding the places and functions of and integrating the study of wage labor and landed property as elements of a self reproducing totality. Which is to say out of the constraints of such a tightly controlled study there are indeed many other significant things to say about wage labor and landed property. But to understand how wage labor and landed property are integrated in the three volumes of Marx's Capital we won't make headway unless we understand that Marx was not working in terms of a six book plan. 
   The source of inspiration here for the idea of totality was not Hegel but Quesnay. In other words, what Marx completed was not part of the original six book plan but based on a different plan altogether which resulted from the *slow* assimilation of the methodological significance of the Physiocratic model of reproduction. It's not that Marx did not know of the Physiocrats when he wrote the six book plan. 
  But this problem cannot be dealt with merely by indicating the carelessness of Grossmann. We need to advance further by providing a solution to the problem itself. That is to say, we need to consider whether the discussions of wage labor and ground rent in Capitalrepresent the special discussion of "wage labor" and "landed property."
 The key to solving this problem should of course be sought within Capitalitself. If we look at the crucial sections of the first and third volumes of Capitalregarding this, we can in fact come across the following passages. First, in part six ("Wages") in volume one, Marx writes:
 Wages themselves again take many forms, a fact not recognizable in the ordinary economic treatises which, exclusively interested in the material side of the question, neglect every difference of form. An exposition of all these forms however, belongs to the special study of wage labor, not therefore to this work. Still the two fundamental forms must be briefly worked out here.
 According to this, the explanation of the various forms of wages clearly lies outside the framework of Capital, belonging instead "to a special study of wage labor" (in die spezielle Lehre von der Lohnarbeit). (Regarding wages, we can also see the third volume of Capital.
 In the presentation of ground rent in volume three, we find the following:
 The analysis of landed property in its various historical forms is beyond the scope of this work. We shall he concerned with it only in so far as a portion of the surplus-value produced by capital falls to the share of the landowner?cFor our purposes it is necessary to study the modern form of landed property, because our task is to consider the specific conditions of production and circulation which arise from the investment of capital in agriculture. Without this, our analysis of capital would not be complete. (Capital, vol. 3, ch. 37)
 One of the big contributions of Adam Smith was to have shown that ground-rent for capital invested in the production of such agricultural products as flax and dye-stuffs, and in independent cattle-raising, etc., is determined by the ground-rent obtained from capital invested in the production of the principal article of subsistence. In fact, no further progress has been made in this regard since then. Any limitations or additions would belong in an independent study of landed property, not here. (Capital, vol. 3, ch. 37)
 The interest on capital incorporated in the land and the improvements thus made in it as an instrument of production can constitute a part of the rent paid by the capitalist farmer to the landowner, but it does not constitute the actual ground-rent, which is paid for the use of the land as such-be it in a natural or cultivated state. In a systematic treatment of landed property, which is not within our scope, this part of the landowner's revenue would have to be discussed at length. (Capital, vol. 3, ch. 37) We can find other similar passages, but from the passages cited above alone, we can see that various problems concerning "landed property" were not "within our scope" in Capital, and that separate from the study of ground rent in Capital there is an "independent theory of landed property" and that the "systematic treatment of landed property that is outside the realm of the plan" in Capital is preserved within a plan for the future. 
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