[OPE-L:4298] Re: Reorganizing ope-l

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 07:02:16 -0800 (PST)

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There is no need for "reorganizing."

Let me suggest a practical solution (followed by some substantive

I. We should maintain the principle that listmembers have the right to
bring up any subjects for discussion that they believe are important --
whether they concern "Capital" topics or "Post-Capital" topics.

II. We should begin to have more discussion on "Post-Capital" topics. This
doesn't require that we cease discussing "Capital" topics -- only that we
begin to focus more on the "Post-Capital" subjects.

I believe the above is, on the one hand, flexible enough to meet the
varying interests and perspectives of listmembers. On the other hand, it is
a means for us to at least re-focus some of our discussions and move
forward. In moving forward, it should be recognized that this does not
imply agreement on what has been discussed beforehand and does not
preclude the possibility of either re-raising "Capital" topics that we
have already discussed or raising new "Capital" topics (or other subjects)
for discussion.

This seems fair, doesn't it?

III. While I am certainly in sympathy with Paul C's desire to discuss
Books 4-6 and work towards the development of outline(s), I think that the
position that we simply jump to Books 4-6 has important analytical

1) To begin with, it presupposes an understanding of what the subject
matter of _Capital_ is. I.e. our conceptions on what would be
"Post-capital" subjects imply a belief about what is or is not already
covered (and covered satisfactorily) in _Capital_. We can see just this
topic being discussed now in the threads on "Marx's unpublished writings",
"cost-price and all that", "Vol III", etc..

2) A jump to Book 4 implies that the subject matters of Books 2-3 were
incorporated (and incorporated satisfactorily) within _Capital_. Before we
make that "leap" we should discuss the implications of that assertion

3) Relatedly, if we accept that V2 and V3 are "drafts", then we have to
recognize the possibility (and liklihood) of analytical "gaps" in the

4) Relatedly, the suggestion that we jump to Book 4 suggests an uncritical
stance towards the subjects in _Capital_. I don't mean to imply that Paul
adopts an uncritical stance towards _Capital_, but note that this position
has important consequences (and problems).

5) Relatedly, if we view an outline in political economy as part of a
process of trying to conceptualize capitalism as an "organic system"
(something being discussed in another thread), then we have to explore the
inter-connections among all of the subjects and that includes "Capital"

In brief, I support Paul C's desire to move forward and think that we
should attempt to do so. BUT, in looking forward we need to look
"backwards" as well for the above reasons.

What do others think?

In solidarity, Jerry