[OPE-L:1598] Re: Lapides' Chapter 11

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 09:16:57 -0400 (EDT)

Two more points:

1) The Book on Landed Property

Kenneth L quotes Marx:

"I now propose after all to include in this volume an extra chapter on the
theory of rent, i.e. by way of illustration to an earlier thesis of mine
(CW41, 394)"

and then KL writes:

"Dealing with landed property in this way is further evidence that he was
not working according to the 6-book-plan".

Yet, it should be noted (and Kenneth L does not note) that:

a) Marx says that there is to be a chapter on rent. Yet, we can not infer
that the chapter on *rent* was to include the same subject matter as a
book on *landed property*.

b) The subject of this section of Volume III of _Capital_ (i.e. Part 6)
was part of an analysis of "capital in distribution" (which explains,
thematically, why this subject was preceded by Part 4 on merchant's
capital and Part 5 on interest and followed by the subject of revenues).
Yet, the subject of "capital in distribution" belongs logically to the
study of capital rather than being part of the subsequent two volumes on

c) Marx indicates that the chapter on rent will serve as an "illustration
of an earlier thesis of mine". Somehow, KL interprets a chapter which is
supposed to be an "illustration" as meaning the same subject matter as a
book on landed-property. This is a rather unconventional interpretation of
the meaning of the word "illustration". Moreover, one would have to infer
(that is, if KL's reading of this is accurate) that Marx thought that the
subject matter of landed property and landowners (one of "the three great
classes of modern society") could be dealt with by "illustration" rather
than a more thorough-going analysis.

KL goes on to quote Marx:

"the treatise on ground rent, the penultimate chapter, is in its present
form long enough to be a book in itself".

Then KL writes that this "indicated that he had abandoned the plan to
devote a book to landed property".

Yet, it indicates no such thing. All it "indicated" was the *length* of
the "chapter" on *ground rent*. Here KL makes the mistake of confusing
the the question of possible *length* of chapters and books with their
subject matter and logical ordering. And, once again, he claims too

2) The Evidence

Has Kenneth brought forward any *new* evidence in this chapter that wasn't
known to scholars previously?

I don't think so.

There are no new writings by Marx that had not previously been published.
No new letters by Marx. No new (secondary) evidence from associates of

So, how is it that Kenneth can review the *exact same evidence* that many
other scholars (including Mike L) have looked at and come to such a clear
conclusion about what the evidence has "convincingly shown"?

In other words, others have looked at the same evidence and come to
different conclusions. Doesn't this suggest that what Kenneth has "shown"
by examining what Marx wrote in chronological order is something less that
what he has claimed?

In solidarity, Jerry

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