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

From: John Holloway (johnholloway@PRODIGY.NET.MX)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 19:02:52 EDT

Very, very many thanks for all the replies. That is very helpful.


El 19/6/07 22:47, "Rakesh Bhandari" <bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU> escribió:

>> 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.
>> John
> 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
> line! 
>> 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 chapters.
>> 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

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