[OPE-L:4319] Re: Books 4-6 Revisited

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 8 Mar 1997 09:53:34 -0800 (PST)

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Mike W wrote in [OPE-L:4312]:

> I think this misrepresents the 'end-points' of a systematic dialectical
> presentation. Whilst the starting point may be a single (putatively the
> most fundamental and abstract) category (Commodity, or Value or
> Surplus-value, or ? according to perspective), the 'end-point' is not some
> particular theme ('the world market ...') but is, in principle, the
> reconstruction of the empirical as the concrete - the articulation of many
> abstract determinants.
> And this is the point that Marx makes in the quote you cite a bit later in
> the same post under (5)

Well ... I think we also have to consider the "end-point" from the
perspective of Marx's revolutionary politics.

E.g in the "second _Grundrisse_ plan" [see #4291] in the sentence
following the one you refer to above, Marx adds: "Crises are then the
general intimation which points beyond the presupposition, and the urge
which drives towards the new historic form."

Then, in the "third _Grundrisse_ plan" after "crises", Marx adds:
"dissolution of the mode of production and form of society based on
exchange-value. Real positing of individual labour as social and vice

Thus, I think the "end-point" was intended to be _more than_ the
"reconstruction of the empirical as the concrete." One might instead
suggest that the "end-point" was the "presupposition" of Marx's critique
-- i.e. the necessity of transforming the empirical as concrete through
revolutionary praxis.

In this connection, it is important to remember that the real "audience"
were not the "philosophers" or the "economists", but the working class and
socialist intellectuals of Marx's time. What else could have justified all
of the years of study and writing?

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: Since we have been talking about the starting point of V3, what about
the "end-point" ("Classes")? Wouldn't this topic serve well for the
transition to Book 2 (Landed-Property) and Book 3 (Wage-Labour)?