[OPE-L:1468] Re: The audit of war

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 13 Oct 1999 10:14:13 -0400 (EDT)

Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:1467]:

> Are you sure of your facts here.

I'm not sure. I never claimed to be an authority on the kipper industry.

> Protein production was regulated in
> the war, but, proteins being in such short supply I have difficulty
> believing that Boyd Orr would have recomended eliminating smoked fish as
a source.

If you don't like the example of kippers, think of inexpensive dolls.
Prior to the war, were the workers who produced the dolls productive of
surplus value? I think we would have to say, "yes". Once the war starts,
though, doll production is not counted as "essential" by the government,
right? That doesn't transform productive labor into unproductive labor,

> >This is somewhat irrelevant, though, since workers -- *regardless of
> >whether they are productive of surplus value or not* -- are sent to the
> >"front" to be shot.
> No, the system of exempted labour categories was designed to ensure
> that, as far as possible, workers in the basic sector survived. A Sheffield
> foundary worker was less likely to be called up than a city of london bank
> clerk.

In the US, the criteria was "essential" _for the war effort_. Thus, ball
bearing production was "essential" but toys weren't. This is not the same
thing as the productive-unproductive labor distinction, though. Both toys
and ball bearings are ordinarily produced by productive labor.

> This is true enough, the war involved an increase in the effective labour
> force, since the unemployed and women who had not previously worked
> were liable to labour duties.

Right. In that case, prejudices about gender were at least partially put
off to the side for the war effort. Once the war was ended, then women
were told that their services were no longer required. Of course, this can
change and has changed in many parts of the world since the 1970's.

In solidarity, Jerry

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Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 09:52:02 -0400
From: Paul Zarembka <<zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu>
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To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Subject: [OPE-L:1469] Capital, Vol. II, IS AT A WEB SITE.
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A while ago I asked if Vol. II of Capital is on the Web, and no one
knowing of a site. Just now I ran across an excellent site. Paul
following message is forwarded to you by Paul Zarembka, supporting
IN POLITICAL ECONOMY (Stamford, CT: JAI Press) at ********************
http://gate.cruzio.com/~marx2mao/M&E/C2/C2.TC.html Content-Type:
charset=3Dus-ascii; name=3D"C2.TC.html" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline; filename=3D"C2.TC.html" Content-Base:
"http://gate.cruzio.com/~marx2mao/M&E/C 2/C2.TC.html"
"http://gate.cruzio.com/~marx2mao/M&E/C 2/C2.TC.html" >
finally edited by Frederick Engels after the death of Karl Marx. The
carefully checked with the manuscript edited by Engels and now preserved
at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the C.C., C.P.S.U. The few
misprints and inaccuracies in the text, in figures and bibliographical
elaborated in the Engels-authorised English translation of the first
 86 > CHAPTER III . > 89 > CHAPTER IV . > 103 > . > . > --- > --- >
 242 > CHAPTER XIV . > 252 > CHAPTER XV Effect of the Time of Turnover
 CHAPTER XVII . > 323 > I. > II. > . > . > 329 > 348 > > III THE
> V. > VI. > VII. > VIII. > IX. > X. > XI. > > > > > XII. > XIII. > . >
 . > 1. Replacement of the Wear and Tear Portion of the Value > . > . >
 510 > 514 > 518 > 523 > 526 > Name Index (not available -- DJR) 529 >
From owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 10:26:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>
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To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Subject: [OPE-L:1470] Re: Marx's ordering
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Re Jurriaan's [OPE-L:1466]:

> My understanding is that many Marxists have tackled the theoretical
> analysis of the state, foreign trade, the world market and crisis, and
> that there is a considerable valid literature on this subject nowadays.

The issue is not whether Marxists have written about the state, etc. The
question is whether Marxists have attempted to develop an *integrated
theory* for the subject realm that comprises capitalism.

To be frank, a theory of capitalism which doesn't have an integrated
analysis of the state, foreign trade, and the world market is at best a
*quasi-theory*. In other words, it is stunning in regards to its
incomplete character.

Indeed, a *systematic* dialectical presentation of the subject of
bourgeois society *requires* that one incorporate these subjects at a
lower level of abstraction which are non-contingently necessary for the
reproduction of capitalism.

btw, many of the authors that you mentioned (e.g. Altvater, Mandel,
Shaikh) recognize(d) this.
Oddly, despite all of the authors that you do mention, you didn't mention
Reuten (Gerrt)/ Williams (Mike W). Yet, their book is the only book that I
have seen to date that attempts to develop a theory which systematically
develops and integrates an analysis of the value-form with an analysis of
the state form.

> As to why Marxists haven't gone into a more serious analysis of these
> topics - you ought to remember firstly that very few "Marxists" up to the
> 1930s had actually read Capital Volume 3,

This is the major reason for the popularity of underconsumptionist and
disproportionality theories of crisis by the Bolsheviks and the
German-Austrian Social Democrats (and I think this tradition, btw, heavily
influenced Mandel's multi-causal interpretation of crisis theory).

More broadly, there has been a tendency by many Marxists up to the present
day to treat _Capital_ as if it were a finished work. Yet, _only_ Volume 1
was "finished". Volumes 2 and 3 (and what became _TSV_) were only very
sketchy and incomplete drafts. Additionally, there is the question of the
role of the *other 5 books* in the 6-book-plan. Only Mike L has attempted
to re-construct one of the remaining 5 books (the Book on Wage-Labour) and
no one has attempted to develop a theory that integrates all of these
subjects dialectically.

Perhaps one reason is that it is much *easier* to simply take whatever
Marx had to write about capitalism as the "last word" (or close to the
last word if one includes an analysis of imperialism) on theory. Then we
don't have to do the *hard work* ourselves of thinking *for ourselves*
rather than passively interpreting what Marx wrote.

> The theoretical development of Marxism really only
> got going again on a wider scale in the 1970s.

There has been much discussion since the 1970's (especially in comparison
to the doldrums of the 1950's), but I would not discount so quickly the
rich debates among Marxists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
(e.g. theoretical debates in German-Austrian Social Democracy). Moreover,
those debates took place among (mostly professional) revolutionaries in
mass working-class parties whereas the debates among Marxists from the
1970's forward have primarily been among academic Marxists divorced from
mass political movements of the working class.

> But another aspect is
> probably that the capitalist state, beyond a few general functions, can
> take all kinds of specific forms, and that its form changes also depending
> on the historical period of capitalist development we are talking about. In
> this I should include the very origins of the bourgeois state. For example,
> in Europe the bourgeois state often developed out of tax revolts by the
> ascendant bourgeoisie, which took over an existing feudal state apparatus
> and modified it. But in New Zealand by contrast a capitalist state was
> established by British imperialism under entirely diffent circumstances.

Capitalism itself emerged historically in different ways in different
nations. If one wants to understand those differences, then one analyses
what history is available on that subject. Yet, from the perspective of
developing a *theory* of the state then one must separate out what is
contingent from what is systematically required for the reproduction of
capitalist relations.

In solidarity, Jerry

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