[OPE-L:1543] Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 17:29:55 -0400 (EDT)

Paul z wrote in [OPE-L:1542]:

> If Capital is a later theoretical statement of Marx's than the
> Grundrisse--which are notebooks in a building process toward Capital and
> do not contain substantial subject matter distinct from Capital, then are
> you claiming that Marx increasingly "de-emphasized" class struggle as he
> grew older?

No, I claim that the manner in which Marx dealt with this subject in the
_Grundrisse_ was substantively different from the way it was treated in
_Capital_. On that point, Toni Negri, Mike L, and myself are in agreement.
(Indeed, _Marx beyond Marx_ and _Beyond Capital_ discuss this difference
at length. Indeed, one could even argue that the publication of the
_Grundrisse_ served as an inspiration for both books). The problem here
from my perspective is *not* that Marx de-emphasized class struggle as he
grew older. Rather, the problem is that _Capital_ de-emphasized class
struggle *precisely because* of the role of that book as only one book in
a sequence of books that Marx unfortunately did not live to complete. The
problem, in other words, isn't with Marx. We can not blame him for his
bad health and early death and, thus, his inability to complete all of the
tasks that he had set for himself. The problem is with *the Marxists* who
interpret _Capital_ in a one-sided manner.

[btw, I have absolutely no doubt that had Marx not lived to write *any* of
the manuscripts that became _Capital_ (indeed, had he not lived to write
any drafts for _Capital_, including the _Grundrisse_), there would *still*
be Marxists who would claim that his -- and our -- theory is "complete".]
> Regarding "the one-sided way in which wage-labour is treated" maybe we
> should start with...Kenneth Lapides, *Marx's Wage Theory in Historical
> Perspective*. Ajit doesn't like Chapter 12 on increasing misery, but
> likes Chapter 11 on "missing book"; Mike doesn't like Chapter 11. But
> both are subsidiary to the substance of the book--Chapters 1 to 10. So,
> we have a "missing discussion" in any step toward "further analysis".

If you want to initiate a discussion on chapters 1-10, go right ahead.
What are the issues there that you would like to see us miss not?

In solidarity, Jerry

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