[OPE-L:511] Re: Ric's reply to Mike L's, again

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 02:48:24 -0800

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In message Sat, 18 Nov 1995 06:35:23 -0800,
Riccardo Bellofiore <bellofio@cisi.unito.it> writes:

> Dear Mike,
> I fear there is still a problem in communication, mainly due to my
> insufficient mastery of English, and maybe to your 'hurry' 8-) in
> labelling my position as opposed to yours
> I was saying two things: (i) looking at my books I realized that the order
>4proposed by Alan was *wrong*; even starting from the 1861-63 Manuscript
> vol. IV is not the 'first' in the writing process, as he said, because it
> is preceded by the writing on topics pertaining to the first volume of
> Capital, not to the Theories of Surplus Value. I thought this would have
> made you happy! (ii) I fully accepted the Grundrisse as the 'starting
> point' of the making of Capital, BUT the 1857-58 Manuscripts were preceded
> by an in depth study of political and vulgar economy. Don't you agree that
> Marx never thought possible an *immediate* 'appraisal' and 'critique' of
> the capitalist mode of production?
Dear Riccardo,
We agree! The problem is as much my sloppy reading as anything else. Eg.,
we agree about the order in the 1861-3 Mss. It was late at night (and I was
determined to answer all the messages directed to me before I went to bed)
and I missed the nuance, ie., your critique of Alan's order. And, I *am*
happy (but not because you criticised Alan). Rather, it is because I find
our agreement quite exciting because it points to the merits of OPE ---
the potential for bringing together intellectually two people so otherwise
separated in such a manner (and so quickly!).

> Here - the qualitative, epistemological break of the Grundrisse, the
> Grundrisse as a turning point -is where we could not agree more!
> It is for *this* reason that the Grundrisse are the 'starting point',
> though Marx's project of a Critique was already there since the early
> '50s.
>>> Put in
>o> another way, the Marxian method is cut off from the content of the
>>> critique of the political economy? Is it possible that the object
>c>of the critique changes, and that the method stays there unscathed?
>>> This is a real question, I've not the answer (now) - but, again, I'm
>>> sympathetic with what Duncan's says of the connection between method
>>> and content in the critique of political economy in his OPE-L 422.

>> I accept that as an interesting question. Do you think that this
>> would lead to advances which application of the Marxian method as
>> applied to the real concrete (the real object of critique) would not?
>> If so, why?
> This is the real *big* question, to which I hope to answer through my
> participation in OPE-L. Too big to give a short and insufficient reply
> now.

I'm looking forward to your ideas on this question since I am fascinated
by it and do not approach it with a _parti pris_.
in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
Home: (604) 255-0382
Lasqueti Island: (604) 333-8810
e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca