[OPE-L:531] Marx's Method of Triangulation

Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Tue, 21 Nov 1995 18:10:26 -0800

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Here is my intervention on the discussion of the historical
versus Hegelian approach:

I agree with Tony Smith. Yes, Marx had a Hegelian approach. He
wanted to express the totality of relations all at once, but how
could he achieve that level of abstraction while still communicating
about the real world.

As Paul Z. noted, Marx used the entry point of the commodity. Once you
understand the totality of the relations that make up the commodity you
have achieved a Hegelian level of abstraction.

But how do you communicate all the relations that make up the commodity?
Remember Marx's note about how the beginnings are hardest. How do you
pack everthing into a pararagraph, a page, or even a book so that a
reader can grasp what is going on?

Here is where I think that history enters into the picture: Marx's
historical approach allows him to give concrete material that gives
us a toe hold into his analysis.

-- Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 916-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu