[OPE-L:1566] Re: Re: Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 20:47:49 -0400 (EDT)

Re Jurriaan's [OPE-L:1564]:

> Seems to me that
> Marx succeeded in isolating the main, non-contingent and enduring systemic
> properties of capitalism quite well, what more can you ask ?

To begin with: how about a theory of wages which incorporates all of the
determinations for that subject?

This would seem, after all, to be a rather significant -- and practical --
question. After all, if a worker was to ask you "What determines the
wage?", how would you be able to non-simplistically answer that question?

And where did Marx answer that basic theoretical political-economic

> Let us remember also Marx's
> own book is about "Capital" and not about "bourgeois society".

Let us remember that Marx states that the "aim" ultimately of "this work"
is to reveal the economic law of motion of "modern society". And let us
remember that capital is not the same thing as capitalism. Rather, the
examination of capital is only a moment in the analysis of capitalism as a
mode of production. Moreover, the category of capital is necessarily and
intimately associated with the category of wage-labour. But, where is the
analysis of wage-labour? Hell, there isn't even a systematic theoretical
presentation of what determines wages or an examination of the subject of
trade unions. Indeed -- as has been remarked on this list by others -- it
is almost as if "horses" could take the place of workers. Yet, workers --
unlike horses -- have a subjectivity which allows them to act upon the
world and change it. Thus, the very fact that workers wear character masks
in _Capital_ requires an analysis where those masks are stripped-off and
they are capable of thus becoming a class-for-themselves.

In solidarity, Jerry

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