[OPE-L:1551] Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Fri, 22 Oct 1999 23:39:26

Jerry and Mike both respond to the same sentence of mine concerning the
Grundrisse relative to Capital. Mike asks "Do you think that the
Grundrisse was simply notebooks in a building process toward Capital?"
[OPE-L 1549]. Jerry's reaction is below my signature.

Jerry, you earlier wrote that there is no "smoking gun" to be used to
defend a six-book interpretation and Marxists have to live with the
ambiguity (i.e., I though you could respect Lapides' argumentation to the
contrary). Now you write as if it is fact that Marx was writing a
sequence of books.

Mike, the Grundrisse are notebooks, they were NOT published by Marx nor
even intended for publication, and the subject matters discussed almost
always appear somewhere in Capital (4 volumes). How is it possible to
think these notebooks are not a building process toward Capital? Jerry,
actually, has a better formulation I think, namely, that the subject
matter is treated "substantively different from the way it was treated in
Capital". Now that gets us somewhere because Jerry seems to be giving
priority to an earlier, unpublished work to a later published (Marx
himself, for Vol. 1) work on the same subject.

If I may offer an intepretation, I think the Mike and Jerry sense that
Marx is progressively jettisoning Hegel as he climbs theoretically and are
calling "Marx, come back" [allusion to the old movie "Shane"]. I notice
that the chapter in Mike's book Beyond Capital "The One-sideness of
Capital" STARTS from Lenin's famous quote on the importance of reading
Hegel to understand Marx (reading this quote with its obvious rendering,
without recognizing that Lenin may very well have seen what Marx was
struggling AGAINST).

So, let's raise the temperature of this discussion a bit (even for Volume

"In theoretical work as in art, I value only the simple, the tranquil and
the bold. This is why, for example, the famous first volume of Marx's
Kapital, with its profuse rococo ornamentation in the Hegelian style, now
seems an abmondation to me (for which, from the Party standpoint, I must
get 5 years' hard labor and 10 years' loss of civil rights....)"
    -- Rosa Luxemburg, 3/8/17 from prison.


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

On 10/22/99 at 05:29 PM, Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said:
>> 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

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