[OPE-L:1149] Re: TSS and GLCA

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Tue, 20 Feb 1996 08:51:30 -0800

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Andrew wrote on [OPE-L:1147]:

> I don't know that every proponent of the TSS interpretation has the same
> view of the General Law of Capitalist Accumulation (GLCA). If Jerry or
> anyone else tells me what they mean by GLCA, I'll be happy to give my
> thoughts on it. As Marx's specifies it on p. 798 (Vintage, Vol. I)
> the law is that the industrial reserve army and pauperization grow
> concommitantly with the growth of capital.
Yes, I mean the "absolute general law of capitalist accumulation"
specified in VI, Ch. 25.
> It seems to me that this law is conceivably compatible with many different
> interpretations of Marx's value theory. But perhaps Jerry was using
> GLCA to mean something more general. But I need to know what in order to
> answer.
I was thinking of 2-3 separate issues:

(1) You have repeatedly stressed that TSS is an _interpretation of Marx_
that is able to replicate _all_ of Marx's major theoretical conclusions.
If that is the case, then it should also be able to given an explanation
(or explanations) of the GLCA that make sense within the _whole_ of
Marx's work, right?

(2) If the TSS is an interpretation of Marx, then one could say that the
*subject* of investigation is Marx *rather than capitalism as such*. I
find this somewhat worrying. While we need to study Marx, shouldn't our
subject of investigation be capitalism ... and shouldn't we admit the
*possibility* that some of Marx's theories may either be contradictory or
incapable of explaining some aspects of present-day capitalism. This
means, in this instance, that we not only have to ask whether the GLCA
makes sense within the "whole" of Marx's theories, but also whether it
needs to be modified or rejected.

(3) The GLCA, since it relates to questions such as the increasing
organic composition of capital, the growth of the industrial reserve army
and "relative surplus overpopulation" and "pauperization", is clearly an
important topic in Marx that needs to be investigated *critically*. It is
also important since one's interpretation of the GLCA can lead to
important *political* conclusions about capitalism.

If you want to hold off on addressing this issue, that's OK. I realize
that your "plate" is rather full now given the number of responses by
list members regarding TSS. So, you shouldn't feel you have to answer
everything at once.

In OPE-L Solidarity,