[OPE-L:22] political

paul burkett (ECBURKE@indst.indstate.edu)
Fri, 8 Sep 1995 19:15:57 -0700

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Mike's post has helped me think a bit less vaguely about the connection of
the critique/extension of Marx's outlines and Marx's political writings, in the
sense that I don't think we would want to, one-by-one, undertake an exhaustive
and detailed rereading of the political writings. Rather, we might just want
to be aware of the potential for strategic connections implied by the (sub-
merged?) nexus of Marx's critique of political economy WITH his more political
writings (including 'popularizations' like VALUE, PRICE AND PROFIT). The more
active, subjective development of the working class is one such potential
nexus to consider, but there might be others---e.g., the connections between
the development and socialization of productive forces on the one hand, and
the human-political requirements for some kind of post-capitalist society on
the other hand (here the political economy contained in THE CIVIL WAR IN FRANCE
might be a place to look, to just mention an example).
In any event, the point I am trying to make is that such political con-
nections could be developed naturally, as it were, out of our individual and
collective ruminations on the outlines. Which brings me to a question: How do
we get things going? Should we just start talking about the outlines (indivi-
dually or in terms of their development over time)? Presumably we want to do
more than continue the debate about whether Marx himself viewed his
project as embodying the earlier-projected book on wage labour (even though
this is an important issue of interpretation and extension as Mike has been
demonstrating for some time now). Or should we begin by raising certain issues
that we believe to represent a gap in Marx's outlines or that perhaps were
located or treated in some questionable fashion by Marx (or by subsequent
Marxists)? This is not a desparate plea; I am happy with the relaxed pace
at which things seem to be brewing up on this list (a relaxed pace which
obviously does not manifest Jerry's gargantuan efforts--along with Mike P.
and co.--at setting up the technical and conceptual infrastructure for the
project). Regards, Paul B.