[OPE-L:3982] Re: 102 Years Later

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 11:50:54 -0800 (PST)

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John wrote in [OPE-L:3981]:

> Have things been worked out on the level of capital in general?
> That is, how do you deal with competition if you do not have
> agreement about matters on the "general level"? On this list,
> our discussions indicate that we have do not have agreement
> on basic concepts like abstract labor, value, technical change,
> depreciation, prices of production, the rate of profit, the falling
> rate of profit, etc. To move on to other topics would require some
> heroic assumptions about these matters. Works that do attempt
> to treat topics in the last 3 books of the 6 book plan implicitly
> or explicitly make such assumptions. No one is stopping anyone from
> moving ahead on that basis. Yet, it should be clear that given
> the assumptions such efforts may well not be a "systematic" way
> of proceeding.

Well ... you never get to the subjects of the other "books" unless you: a)
want to; and b) take concrete steps in that direction. As for a
"systematic" way of proceeding, doesn't one first have to identify the
areas related to capital in general that need further development? While
we may not agree on what those areas are, we should be able to
*individually* identify those areas. That is, since you identify the above
subjects (and perhaps others) as significant, then you should be able to
explain more specifically both the areas that need development related to
capital in general as well as "post-Capital" subjects. One aspect of a
"systematic" way of proceeding is to have an understanding of the
inter-connectedness of the totality that is capitalism. That being the
case, I would think that one must *first* identify the moments in the
analysis that need further concretization before attempting to dot the i's
and cross the t's of all subjects at a more general level of abstraction.
Otherwise, Marx would have never developed a plan -- 6 book or otherwise
-- before proceeding.

In solidarity, Jerry