glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Tue, 31 Oct 1995 07:16:24 -0800

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We began this month with 17 members, we now have 29.

September ended with OPE-L #175. This post will be OPE-L #378 [?]

I will attempt to summarize the events of this month, especially, for the
benefit of newer members. I offer apologies in advance to all those who
feel that the description below is incomplete. As can be seen from the
above, we discussed quite a bit this month.

I. Continuation of discussion on Marx's Plans
We began the month with a continuation of a critical discussion of Marx's
plans for _Capital_, especially the "6-book plan." More specifically, we
discussed the following issues (which were begun in mid-September):

* the book on wage-labour

* the book on landed property

* the logic of the 6-book plan

* the question of order and the 6 book plans (e.g. see #229; 951009)

During this period we also had digressions on:

* abstract labour (e.g. see 195; 951003 and #203; 951005)

* the growth in real wages in advanced capitalist nations. This began
as a response to a question posed by Duncan in #206 (951005).
This discussion ultimately led to Duncan's decision to join the
list (#250; 951012).

During this time we also decided procedurally what to do next (see #208;
951006). Essentially, it was agree to finish the discussion on Marx's
plans, allow two weeks for "brainstorming", and then decide what to do
next. It was later decided to begin the brainstorming on 10/9 (#223; 951009).

II. Brainstorming and Procedural Discussions [10/9--10/29]

The original plan was to spend two weeks submitting "brainstorms" and
then have a discussion about what to do next, i.e. how to begin the
"listing." As it turned out, we had both discussions at the same time and
also had broader discussions about list goals and procedure.

Brainstorming posts included: Jerry [#237; 951010];
Iwao [#276; 951017]
John [#279; 951017]
Paul C. [#290; 951019]
Mike L. [#293; 951020]
Paul B. [#302; 951020]

Some of the above posts also tackled procedural questions.

Alan submitted three "mega posts" [#240-242; 951011] which he asked to be
considered as his brainstorm. He discussed questions such as critique,
order of enquiry vs. order of presentation, subject of enquiry, etc.
Following the "mega posts", we had a renewed discussion of procedure and
list goals in which most members participated.

During this period as well we had a number of digressions, including:

* natural and social laws [see #251; 951012]

* a rather unhappy non-discussion on the "general (f)law of capitalist
accumulation" that was a carry-over from the PEN-L list.

* money and the conceptualization of money.

* empirical and theoretical transformation issue (beginning with #309;
951021). This was basically a discussion on Paul C's empirical work
and reactions to it.

* gold and the value of money (initiated by Chai-on in #313-314; 951022).

We were also invited by Mike L. to attend the HES meeting is late June,
1996 (#299; 951020).

After much discussion, we agreed to adopt a modification of Mike L's
"Working through CAPITAL" procedure. My proposal from last week met with
wide support (#328; 951025). As modified, it was agreed to begin
discussing and asking questions (and offering answers) on themes that
emerge in the "Prefaces" (especially method) and "Part 1" of _Capital_
starting 10/30.

III. Working through _Capital_

We have only just begun this process. Chai-on delivered his promised post
on method [#369; 951030] and we have the beginnings of a
possible digression on money markets of contemporary capitalism [#374;

It is anticipated that this procedure will keep us occupied for some time
to come.

IV. Miscellaneous

a) We reached a tentative agreement on list size [#235; 951010].

b) Our archives were made operational on 10/12. All OPE-L posts are now
available to list members. (See #258 & #260 -- 951012 -- for
descriptions on how to use the archives). This was a major
technical advance for us this month.

c) Unresolved issues:

i) assimilate and involve new members.

ii) increase participation rates.

iii) a number of people who have been asked to join have not
responded yet. Consequently, there may still be some
additions in the short-term.

iv) see how the modified "working through CAPITAL" plus
digressions procedure works in practice.

I believe that list members should feel good about what we did this
month. We had a number of very meaningful discussions and tackled some
very thorny procedural questions. We have emerged from the discussions on
Marx's plans and the brainstorming/procedural discussion united. We have
dealt with each other in good faith and have made decisions collectively
when decisions had to be made. We are still in the process of "becoming."
Yet, there is every reason (I assert) to believe that progress will
continue so long as we continue to focus our activities, decide
matters collectively, and really listen to each other with respect.

In OPE-L Solidarity,