[OPE-L:512] Re: Ric's reply to Mike L's, again

Riccardo Bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 07:30:20 -0800

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On Mon, 20 Nov 1995, Michael A. Lebowitz wrote:

> 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!).

Of course, I didn't expect you to be happy because I criticized Alan -
that definitely was not my goal. Rather, because the order in Marx's
writings I discovered looking at my books seemed to go towards your train of
thought. That is, I thought you would be happy because I found an argument
supporting your view *in itself*. The problem raised by Alan, in a sense,
is still there, and I'm not so sure he disagrees with us on the order -
maybe on more substantial issues.

BTW, Jerry is right in reminding us that Marx arrived at the critique of
political economy starting from a critique of (Feuerbach's, and Hegel's)
philosophy. But I do not understand very well the weight he accords to
this point. As one who has 'extensively' 8-) written on method, I agree on
the relevance of philosophy and method in economics. Still, I'm convinced
that from the Marxian point of view method and content cannot be divorced.
That is, Jerry: the critique of political economy has feedbacks on the
earlier, philosophical, critique, or not? I would answer in the
affirmative. I find in Capital echoes of arguments earlier put forward in
the 1844 Manuscripts relative to the 'essence' of the human being (the
Gattungswesen); but the different context changes almost completely the
meaning - and again, the difference cannot be appreciated without a
careful reading of the Grundrisse. If that is true, one cannot take as
definitive - i.e. representing his 'final word' on the topic - what Marx
wrote in the earlier writings on philosophy. The more Marx went one, the
more he was interested in the critique of capital(ism) *alone*, leaving
aside any 'general', transhistorical, discourse.

in solidarity


Riccardo Bellofiore e-mail: bellofio@cisi.unito.it
Department of Economics Tel: (39) -35- 277505 (direct)
University of Bergamo (39) -35- 277501 (dept.)
Piazza Rosate, 2 (39) -11- 5819619 (home)
I-24129 Bergamo Fax: (39) -35- 249975