Re: [OPE-L] Lawrence Krader on objective and subjective value

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Tue Nov 13 2007 - 01:31:10 EST

I am not sure I follow all of your 'editorializing'.  I give an
account of dialectical connection (a bit like Ollman's, I guess, but
also sharing something in common with Levin and Lewontin - the
original version of "The Dialectical Biologist" came out in 1985, I
suppose the new one is revised) in Ch 4 of my book "Analytical and
Dialectical Marxism",

>Oh just some editorializing...
>>>I am just raising the hoary question of what role  Marx's specific
>>>understanding of dialectic (logical and historical) and especially
>>>contradiction play in or distinguish his theory.
>>It seems that you are saying a very important one, no?
>>Well, yes.
>My hero Grossman downplayed influence of Hegel on Marx in 1943,
>saying that Marx's understanding of the historical dialectic depended
>on Condorcet, Sismondi, Jones. Though if I remember correctly there
>may be a favorable and hidden footnote on the importance of Hegel's
>logic for Marx's categorial analysis. And there is that fabulous,
>key, perhaps though not coherent quote in which Marx says that JS
>Mill, comfortable with logical contradictions, is at bay with real
>dialectical contradiction whose source is Hegel.
>And certainly when Grossman in 1941 insists that Marx did not
>complete but actually revolutionized Ricardo's value theory, he seems
>to suggest (with nowhere the clarity of Ilyenkov who himself is vague
>often enough) the importance of Marx's ability to grasp the unity of
>opposites--in the commodity itself and as externalized in the value
>form, in the accumulation process as a unity of technical and value
>processes, in the opposite use value and unit value effects of rising
>To put it roughly would you say your sense of dialectical logic is
>close to Levins and Lewontin's (just ordered their new book from
>Monthly Review)?
>Lukacs would of course put emphasis inter alia on Marx's ability to
>theorize capitalism as a totality, in terms of  carefully specified
>connections or what (according to Chris Arthur) Ollman would call
>inner-action among parts.
>Marx himself put great emphasis on the aesthetic wholeness of
>Capital, as I have underlined in discussion with Fred. I think he
>means here not only the exhaustive specification of the parts of the
>totality (a pure and idealized bourgeois mode of production) and
>their interconnections as spelled out in a layered way but the
>dramatic history he gave of this totality (the drama of its origins,
>rise and fall--such a drama contrasted here to episodic histories of
>parts, which Foucault would do much to resurrect the respectability
>The drama however is a fictional one. Society is not the capitalist
>totality, and the parts specified were either not necessary
>(commodity money) or  exhaustive (missing book on the state?market in
>govt debt? limited liability corporation?).
>And Marx may or may have abstracted from the background of the world
>market. I don't think so (as I, along with Kenneth Lapides, do think
>Marx more or less finished the book he intended to write after he
>dumped the six book plan), but most people (Michael Heinrich
>prominently) on this list do think Marx did abstract away from the
>world market.
>But one can say the method of analyzing the totality remains
>defensible? Of course one could say that and say that there is
>nothing specifically Marxist about such a method.
>But the most important point: Rick Kuhn won the Deutscher prize for
>his marvelous book on Grossman.

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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