[OPE-L:1507] Re: Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 20 Oct 1999 09:13:25 -0400 (EDT)

Paul Z wrote in [OPE-L:1503]:

> <snip, JL> (actually I don't recall this
> ever coming up on this list <snip, JL>

Yes, in our long history of controversy, I also don't recall a similar
charge being made on OPE-L.

> If it is being suggested that a book on wage labor, outside
> Capital, remained in Marx's work place into the mid-1860s and beyond,
> well, I open to discussion.

And who could ask for anything more?

As much as the question of what Marx wrote on the possibility of a
separate book on "Wage-Labour" is interesting:

a) I don't think it can be answered decisively. I.e. there is no "smoking
gun" where Marx said after publishing Volume One of _Capital_, that he
either planned to write such a book or had decided not to. Thus, the *best
we can do* to answer this question, as a history of thought question
interpreting Marx, is to situate this question in terms of what he had to
write about his overall "project" and examine what he did write to
determine which interpretation makes the most sense.

b) Thus, what I think all would find more interesting and less "pedantic"

       i) the theoretical status of the subjects related to "Wage-Labour"
           in Marx, and;

       ii) whether we are satisfied with i) or need to develop and
           integrate *our* theory more.

And I'm afraid that this is going to be the way the matter will stand in
the sense that hopes of finding missing letters and/or manuscripts where
Marx decisively answers the question about his intentions to write a book
on Wage-Labour are -- imho -- a idealistic fantasy. What a pity for us --
we will have to use our own brains rather than relying on Karl to give us
-- from his grave -- *the* answer.

In solidarity, Jerry

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