Re: [OPE-L] glossary for V1 of _Capital

From: Dave Zachariah (davez@KTH.SE)
Date: Wed Jan 09 2008 - 09:23:30 EST

In reply to Paul Z and Dogan.

I'm fully aware of the very "formalist" definition of 'capital' that I
gave. I'm hoping that  Marxist economics can be put in a more precise
language. Established concepts, be they 'heat', 'information',
'phlogiston' or 'captial', have either to be made more precise along with
a theory or simply abandoned.

Capital, as "a sum of money used to obtain more money", is a formalist
concept and intentionally so: It is the "form of appearance" of an
underlying relation between economic agents. Rather than Dogan's
assertion, I would say that capital in general *expresses* a set of
possible exploitative social relations.

So I'm essentially in agreement with you both.

But if one says that capital *is* a relation, then "capital accumulation"
--- by definition a quantitative process --- loses its meaning and Marxist
economic theory will be obscured.

//Dave Z

> Marx's four volume work is called "Capital".  Is it about a sum of money?
> I don't think so.  It is about the social relationship of capitalists to
> wage-laborers.
> I would argue that Dave's comment is an example of classical/neoclassical
> conception penetrating marxist political economy (Marx himself had certain
> ambiguous formulations -- but they were not a dominant tendency in his
> work).
> Of course my argument cannot be reduced in a few emails, but consider the
> first couple of pages in the chapter "General Law of Capitalist
> Accumulation".  It summarizes the prior chapter "Conversion of Surplus
> Value into Capital".
> Paul Z.
> ************************************************************************
> (Vol.23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001  --  U.S. softcover forthcoming
>            video summary from Snowshoe Films at
> *********************

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