[OPE-L:1556] Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 12:41:36 -0400 (EDT)

Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:1555]:

> 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.

I don't think I write "as if" I believe that Marx took Hegel's
philosophy "as is." Certainly, I don't believe that. Yet, there is a clear
Hegelian *influence* in Marx's theory, including _Capital_ (as even
Althusser recognized).

What I was trying to highlight was the dialectical way in which categories
are presented in _Capital_ and the implications of this for the "missing
book" interpretation. To give but one (more) example of how Marx was
concerned with the *transition* among subjects, see the Penguin ed. of
Volume 1, p. 949, 1st paragraph. Just as there was a logical sequence to
the categories in _Capital_ and the transition to different volumes in
_Capital_, so too we have to examine what Marx wrote in _Capital_ to
determine what was *not* written about yet is required for the further
logical development of the theory. Thus, as I said before, the analysis of
the state-form is required precisely because it wasn't examined in
_Capital_ yet is a form that arises necessarily out of a further
development of the commodity-form (thus the category of money implies the
state. But where is the analysis of the state?). More to the point, how is
"need" established for workers in _Capital_? The very one-sided way in
which this subject is assumed to exist at that level of abstraction cries
out for a further development at a more concrete level of analysis. It is
important, thus, when examining what Marx wrote to not only look what he
wrote but what he *didn't* write.

  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).

A curious interpretation, I might say. Especially so since those Marxists
who highlighted the influence of Hegel on Marx, like I.I. Rubin, were
summarily executed by Stalinists.

I doubt if you could find a Hegelian anywhere, or a Hegelian-Marxist, who
would support the interpretation of Hegel and/or Marx in Soviet Stalinist
theory. In fact, I don't even know of a Hegelian anywhere who has anything
good to say about Soviet philosophy under Stalin (and after). Can you
provide a counter example?

> 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.

And I have already responded to your interpretation of what Marx "may"
have been doing in the last chapter of _Capital_. In addition to not
responding yet to my response (which, of course, you have a right and as
you say the posts have been coming fast and furious and it's hard to keep
up) you have yet to offer a explanation for *why* Marx wanted to address
that topic there.

I should add that while the "starting point" was important from Marx's
(and Hegel's) perspective (see the "Introduction" to the _Grundrisse_), so
to is the "ending point". I have suggested an interpretation for *why* he
chose to end _Capital_ the way he did, yet your interpretation doesn't
offer a reason for why he ended _Capital_ in that manner.

In solidarity, Jerry

Return-Path: <glevy@pratt.edu>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 15:14:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>
X-Sender: X-Sender: glevy@acnet
To: John Ernst <ernst@pipeline.com>
Subject: [OPE-L:1557] Lenin and Hegel

Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 09:57:00 -0700
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
From: "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit@sfu.ca>
Subject: [OPE-L:1557] Lenin and Hegel

At 09:26 AM 10/23/1999, Paul wrote:

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

        I really do think you should read Lenin's Philosophical Notebooks
directly. I think you'll see there that Lenin's position on Hegel (among
other things) altered significantly in the course of reading the Science of
Logic (which he did in 1914 or 1915 in preparation of an encyclopedia
article. I'm away from my notes right now so can't give exact references by
I do recall that in 1922 he wrote very favourably about the 'Materialist
Friends of the Hegelian dialectic". I've tended to see a qualititative
shift in his writings after 1914 but I haven't explored that
systematically. In any event, do check out the volume because it includes
remarks that Lenin makes re Capital, too,--- although nothing, alas, about
a missing book.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: Phone (604) 291-4669
        Fax (604) 291-5944
Home: Phone (604) 872-0494
        Fax (604) 872-0485
Lasqueti Island: (250) 333-8810

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