Re: [OPE-L] Ch. 7 as starting point for reading Capital???

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 08:09:03 EDT

Hi Rakesh, I see this only now, somehow it went 
"back" in the list of the messages. Thanks for 
both suggestions, and especially for the Korsch's 
paper. He has been one of my first "love" in 
Marxian theory, especially the Korsch of the book 
"Karl Marx".


At 20:47 -0700 19-06-2007, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
>>A request for help.
>>I think someone on this list (Rakesh, perhaps?) made a comment once about
>>Althusser advising people to start reading Capital from ch.7. Is this right?
>>Does anyone have a reference, or even a quote?
>>Many thanks if you can help me on this.
>If I said that I was mistaken. Althusser 
>recommends beginning with Part II, chapter 4. 
>Korsch  said to begin with Chapter 7, though it 
>would not serve as a good description of a wafer 
>production facility or an automated assembly 
>>That is why I want to recommend to the beginner 
>>an approach that diverges somewhat from Marx's 
>>advice on a suitable start for the ladies 
>>(wherein we may sense a certain deference to 
>>the prejudices of his own time!). I hope that 
>>the approach I recommend will enable the reader 
>>to attain a full understanding of Capital just 
>>as readily, or even more readily than if he 
>>were to begin with the difficult opening 
>>It is best, I think, to begin with a thorough 
>>perusal of Chapter 7 on 'The Labour Process and 
>>the Process of Producing Surplus-value'. There 
>>are, it is true, a number of preliminary 
>>difficulties to be overcome, but these are all 
>>internal to the matter in hand, and not due, as 
>>are many difficulties in the preceding 
>>chapters, to a really rather unnecessary 
>>artificiality in the presentation. What is said 
>>here refers directly and immediately to 
>>palpable realities, and in the first instance 
>>to the palpable reality of the human work 
>>process. We encounter straightaway a clear and 
>>stark presentation of an insight essential for 
>>the proper understanding of Capital - the 
>>insight that this real-life work process 
>>represents, under the present regime of the 
>>capitalist mode of production, not only the 
>>production of use-values for human eventually 
>>through the difficult parts as well as the 
>>simpler passages of the book should save this 
>>part up until he really does come to the end of 
>>Part 7, for Part 8 was intended by Marx as a 
>>final crowning touch to his work.
>Now that all this is all on line I can see that 
>I spent way too much of my limited resources 
>buying copies of all these books!
>In the course of our discussions Fred Moseley 
>said I think that chapter 7 is the most 
>important chapter. Obviously an intriguing 
>position but he did not elaborate.
>Yours, Rakesh

Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
UniversitÓ di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
direct    +39-035-2052545
secretary    +39-035 2052501
fax:      +39 035 2052549

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