[OPE-L:5263] Re: x+a = revenue

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Sat, 14 Jun 1997 16:12:01 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

A reply to Jerry's ope-l 5262.

Jerry: "Since you go on to say that 'statements Marx makes must be understood
in relation to the whole of his work', could you please tell us how your
interpretation of Marx's perspective on revenue fits in with what he wrote
*later* on this subject, e.g. in a) *Volume 1*, Chapter 24, Section 3, p.
738-739 [note, also, footnote 21]; and *Volume 2*, various pages, including
pages 383 (quote from V1), 459-61, 464?"

Sure, I'll be glad to tell you. The passages you cite are not "on this
subject." This was what I meant about "understood in relation to the whole of
his work, not read as decontextualized 'definitions.'" The word "revenue" is
the same, but either the *meaning* of the word is different, as in most of the
Vol. II passages, and/or the *subject* is different (e.g., p. 738-739 and
note). Fred's mistake was to read a discussion of the two things that
capitalists can do with surplus-value as definitions of "capital" and
"revenue." By the same reasoning used with respect to "revenue," one would
have to maintain that Marx held that capitalists could never disinvest in
value terms: new capital is a PART of surplus-value, so it can never be a
negative quantity!! And so the whole theory of crisis goes down the toilet.

Instead of collecting definitions, people should spend more time trying to
understand the theoretical problems Marx is addressing with his concepts. For
instance, anyone who cared to understand the theoretical problem Marx was
addressing in the discussion of Torrens passage that the simultaneists try to
explain away would realize that their attempts to do so dissolve the whole
meaning of the passage as well as Marx's resolution of this very important

But why am I wasting my breath?

Andrew Kliman