[OPE-L:1518] Re: Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Thu, 21 Oct 1999 13:11:37


I think my disagreement with you is profound. Apart from meeting enough
un-famous Marxists in "out of the way" parts of the world who have read
Capital, I think Capital Volume 1 on its own (yes, even only Vol. 1) is
revolutionary to the core without having to read the Communist Manifesto,
etc. In fact, I think Vol. 1 is MORE revolutionary than the Communist
Manifesto because it reflects a DEEPER understanding of the capitalist
mode of production to which workers are subjected.

I don't know what to make of your sentence "to the extent that class
struggle is discussed in _Capital_, it is discussed in a one-sided
manner". The Italian zero-work school would say that Capital is about
what capital struggles TO IMPOSE, but labor resists at multiple levels,
therefore, Capital is not about what capital actually ACHIEVES. To the
extent that this is correct, I'm not convinced that what workers would
want to achieve is understandable within the epistemological of Capital,
"missing book" or no "missing book".

Anyway, I guess you are joining Mike in believing that Capital
"de-emphasizes" class struggle, which is the context for my ope-l 1515.


Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY web site
******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka

On 10/21/99 at 07:12 AM, Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said:

>Paul Z wrote in [OPE-L:1515]:

>> Thanks for answering my "what is at stake" question on the issue of the
>> "missing book", namely, that class struggle would be "de-emphasized" if
>> one does not recognize the "missing book". But, haven't there been
>> thousands upon thousands of revolutionaries (I don't at all mean famous
>> people now, altho I also include many of them) who could not be accused of
>> "de-emphasizing" class struggle, yet who did not find something "missing"
>> in Marx; i.e., they got the point?

>And what percentage of those thousands upon thousands of revolutionaries
>ever read _Capital_? Even today, a significant percentage of Marxists
>haven't read Marx (and Engels) beyond _The Communist Manifesto_. To the
>extent that they have read works by Marx on political economy, then they
>are much more likely to have read popular pamphlets like _Value, Price,
>and Profit_ and _Wage-Labour and Capital_ than _Capital_ (and/or other
>works like the _Grundrisse_, the _Contribution to a Critique of Political
>Economy_, or the _Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844_). Moreover,
>those who do read _Capital_ are more likely to read only Volume One (and
>this was, of course, the case for all of those revolutionaries who lived
>during Marx's time prior to the publishing of Volumes 2 and 3 by Engels).

>Furthermore, one could argue that it is precisely because of the decisive
>role of class struggle in _The Communist Manifesto_ and other writings by
>Marx (and Engels) that we know that there *IS* something "missing" in
>_Capital_. Rather than negating the point, it proves it. Who can imagine
>that a critique of political economy and an attempt to lay bare the law
>of motion of capitalism by Marx would not incorporate a *decisive* role
>for class struggle? Yet, to the extent that class struggle is discussed
>in _Capital_, it is discussed in a one-sided manner. While there are some
>tales of workers' struggles in _Capital_, they are examples of what might
>be called "picture-thinking" or "imaginative representation"
>[Vorstellung], imo, rather than an integral part of the theoretical

>So, whether revolutionaries "got the point" about the importance of class
>struggle is neither here nor there, IMO. the question is whether the
>theory, that attempts to reconstruct capitalism in thought,
>systematically incorporates and critically discusses that subject matter
>and relates it to the other subjects being presented.
>In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon Jan 03 2000 - 12:18:32 EST