[OPE-L:1573] Re: Lapides and Marx's wage theory

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 09:08:18 -0400 (EDT)

Re Paul Z's [OPE-L:1562]:

> >... 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?).
> I used to work intimately with a Marxist addressing precisely this
> question: Juan Pablo Perez Sainz, "Capital, State and Fetishization",
> RiPE, Vol 4, 1981, pp. 129-145. He never argued in public nor privately
> for a "missing book". He just went about theoretizing the state in
> capitalist society. Whether he succeeded with his attempt is separate
> story.

What else did Perez Sainz write? What was the thrust of his theory? Are
you still in contact with him ... and where is he now?
> Of course. But silences do not "missing books" make.

Of course. Silences *alone* do not missing books make. I don't think that
Mike L or I suggested otherwize.

> Suppose that you
> just dropped the idea that Marx himself intended to write FIVE more
> "books" after Capital. What difference would it make? You could still
> write exactly the same book you would otherwise have written. We don't
> NEED Marx's implicit permission to go forward.

Of course -- we don't need Marx's permission. And he is, in any event,
unlikely to grant us permission from his grave in Highgate Cemetery.

Nonetheless, I think it is an important question -- for various reasons.
Not the least of which is how we interpret _Capital_ and understand the
legacy that Marx has given to us.

It is also suggestive of a research agenda. I.e. one route to research
is to ask how the world has changed. Another route is to ask whether the
existing theory needs to be developed to further explain the subject
matter. In practice, I think that both routes are necessary.

There is also the question of the role of "critique" in theory. If we
believe that critique is a route towards further comprehending the world
in thought, then our critique must extend to *all*, including Marx. This
is what helps to distinguish Marxism from religion.

> Final note: Jerry, you read "Classes" in Vol. 3 one way, while I consider
> it a "fragment" open to many interpretations, perhaps interpretations
> which neither of us has even thought of. By the way, I did respond to
> your interpretation--by offering another. But I cannot go further without
> knowing certain basics--like, did Engels put that fragment where it
> belonged. Engels' editing has been subject to controversy.

Well, maybe some of our Marx scholars like Michio and Hans can help us
with that question.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: I've got to slow down on writing so many posts!

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