[OPE-L:1555] Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Sat, 23 Oct 1999 09:26:05

On 10/22/99 at 09:23 PM, "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit@sfu.ca> said:

>Given that when Marx wrote those notebooks, they were part of the 6-book
>project (no one disputes this!), when I asked if you thought they were
>part of a ilding process _simply_ toward Capital, I was asking if you
>believed there was nothing in the Grundrisse that related to anything
>_other_ than Capital. Sorry if I was obtuse.

I think I understand Jerry's formulation better and responded to that.

> Nice allusion, Paul, but I think if you read Lenin's Philosophical
>Notebooks (Volume 38 of the Collected Works), you'll see that Lenin's
>famous "aphorism" was a conclusion and summing up rather than an isolated
>aphorism. In fact, for you to make this statement makes me wonder if you
>have read this volume.

See Louis Althusser, "Lenin and Philosophy". What amazes me about Lenin
is that I can read page after page after page of his works and never feel
a Hegelian influence. Then we have this difficulty of what he actually
thinks about Marx's relation to Hegel (for example and ONLY an example:
reading your citation contrasted to Lenin's 1894 statement RE: "the
absurdity of accusing Marxism of Hegelian Dialectics", in "What the
'Friends of the People' Are"). I have some ideas but they in such an
infant stage that it is not worth bringing it up.

>>"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.
> A very nice quote. What's the source? Also, what's your point--- that
>revolutionaries shouldn't read Vol.I?

Letter from prison to Hans Diefenbach in "Letters of Rosa Luxemburg", p.
185. Neither she nor I mean jettison Capital (I teach it to students at
my university) but rather the ornamentation. Rococo has various
definitions but one is "superficial elegance" and another is "antiquated,
outmoded". Both of these fit.

Mike, there is another message you wrote yesterday, but I haven't gotten
to it. New messages come faster than the time for responding to older
ones. I read Kenneth Lapides' response to your charges and notice that he
DID respond to your book after reading it something like three times--did
you ever see that review?


On 10/23/99 at 05:34 AM, Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said:

>A "smoking gun" would be a clear, definitive statement by Marx -- one way
>or the other. As is the case in so many debates about Marx, the search
>for the "smoking gun" often proves to be futile.

>However, I believe *in context*, and examining all of the evidence, that
>Marx had not abandoned the 6-book-plan. And, indeed, I have tried to show
>you some of the evidence, relating to the logic that Marx used in the
>structure of _Capital_, to make this point.

See Lapides, pp. 216-235, for an alternative reading of the evolution of
Marx's project after examining the evidence. By the way, have you written
a paper in which you review the evidence from your point of view--if so,
can you send it to me? Thanks.

On the remainder of your reply, I would only need to say that 1) I think
everyone on this list agrees that development of Marxist thought is
necessary (or they won't have joined the list) so no one here is saying
that Marx wrote everything that ever needed to be written about class
analysis and I certainly do not say such a thing. In fact, the paper I
posted is in part critical of Marx for an ambiguity. 2) You (and Mike)
write as if a right-wing philosopher can be easily be turned on his head
and the "dialectical unfolding of categories" (your phrase) is unaffected
and usable as is. 3) you do not seem aware that the Soviet Stalinist
interpretation of Marx leans heavily on Hegel (yes, this is a new thread
but I never thought of you as any type of Stalinist, so now I wonder why
this connection doesn't seem to have occured to you). 4) I have already
responded RE: the ending of Vol. 3 of Capital by offering a completely
different intepretation of what Marx MAY have been doing there.


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