[OPE-L:1528] Re: Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Thu, 21 Oct 1999 22:39:50

On 10/21/99 at 07:52 PM, Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said:
>a number of authors from that tradition [Italian zerowork]
>emphasize the way in which workers in _Capital_ are treated as
>if they were vampire-like (i.e. corpse-like, walking dead) subjects
>without subjectivities. If one then takes the position that this is
>because the subject of _Capital_ was what capital struggles to impose,
>then the next logical step is to ask how workers with subjectivity can
>resist this imposition and fight for (to use a term common in autonomist
>literature) self-valorization.


I am not familiar with those authors. Perhaps it would be better if I
withdrew my reference to zerowork as it wasn't essential to my point. My
essential point was that Capital as theory has revolutionary implications
for the exploited class (more so than, say, the Communist Manifesto) and
thus to disagree that Capital "de-emphasizes" class struggle (cf. ope-l
1515 and ope-l 1518; i.e., the position of Mike L. and, I believe,

The citations to the last chapter of Volume III are interesting. I don't
know how any position in this discussion is thereby strengthen or
weakened, particularly given that that chapter is arguably the most
fragmentary passage of significance ever seeing the light of day from
Marx. For example, reading the material before and after "What
constitutes a class?" one can easily defend the proposition that Marx is
leading off a discussion of why "physicians, officials, splits within
social labor, owners of vineyards, farm owners, owners of forests, mine
owners and owners of fisheries" [listing drawn from that fragment] are NOT
distinct CLASSES.

If Marx would make a right-wing philosopher proud, I get nervous.


>Thus Marx begins *the last chapter of _Capital_* as follows:

> "The owners of mere labour-power, the owners of capital and the
> landowners, whose respective sources of income are wages,
> and ground rent - in other words wage-labourers, capitalists
> and landowners - form the three great classes of modern society
> based on the capitalist mode of production" (Penguin ed., p.
> 1025).
>Well, this is quite a "coincidence", isn't it? It _just so happens_ that
>he introduces the subjects of the three classes right before ending
>_Capital_. If only Marx had told us what the next question to be answered
>was ...
>Well, he did! In a manner that would have made G.W. Hegel proud, he
>introduces the next subject to be addressed:
> "The question to be answered next is: 'What makes a class?',
> and this arises automatically from answering another question:
> 'What makes wage-labourers, capitalists and landowners the
> formative elements of the three great social classes?' (Ibid,
> pp. 1025-1026).
>Note that he doesn't attempt to answer in the remaining two paragraphs of
>Capital_ the questions that he said are to be "answered next".

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