[OPE-L:4911] RE: two questions re V3, Ch. 10

Michael_A._Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Mon, 5 May 1997 00:41:20 -0700 (PDT)

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In message Wed, 23 Apr 1997 21:04:13 -0700 (PDT),
Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu> writes:

> II. "The special study on competition" and wage-labour
> ==================================================
> Q: Why did Marx suggest that topics such as:
> -- labor mobility (and laws relating to same);
> -- "indifference of the worker to the content of his work";
> -- reduction to simple labour;
> -- "disappearance of all prejudices of trade and craft among the
> workers";
> -- "subjugation of the worker to the capitalist mode of production"
> "belong in the special study of *competition*?
> Q: What is the relation between the contents of Marx's planned book on
> competition and his planned work on Wage-Labour (Book 3 in the
> "6-book-plan")?

I think this is a very interesting question, Jerry. It is hard to know
what Marx thought the relation was. We know that Marx argued that "a
scientific analysis of competition [of capitals] is possible only if we can
grasp the inner nature of capital". In the same way, I would suggest that
the scientific analysis of the competition of wage-labourers requires that
first grasp the inner nature of wage-labour (which means we must consider
the worker explicitly as a subject--- rather than as object). In this
respect, the entire discussion of market phenomena and contingent factors
would seem to logically follow book 3 (existing, perhaps, as a prelude to
consideration of book 4 on the state); to move directly from consideration
of capital to competition would reinforce the apparent one-sidedness of

in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5A 1S6
Office (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
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