[ show plain text ]
I have not the time now to respond to all of the issues raised in
Nicky's [OPE-L:2859], but I want to briefly address a couple of points.
> In my view, the crucial point of Marx's exposition is to be found in the
> metamorphosis of the commodity-form through the money-form to the fully
> developed capital-form. THIS IS THE REAL STARTING POINT OF HIS THEORY OF
> CAPITALIST VALUE.
This "metamorphosis" that leads to an explanation of the "mystery" behind
M-C-M' begins with the commodity- and money-forms. That is, to be able to
unravel the mysteries of the origins of surplus value and profit
pre-supposes the prior presentation of these forms. Thus, Part One on
"Commodities and Money" must logically precede a explanation for why M'>
M in the formula M-C-M'.
Rob Beamish, in his excellent work which I thoroughly recommend as one of
the better pieces of Marx scholarship in recent years, addressed this
question in terms of the 1861-62 Manuscripts as follows:
"...Marx went back to the opening theme of *Zur Kritik* --
'the commodity, as the most elementary form of wealth was our
departure point' -- and drafted a cursory summary of development
leading from the commodity to the division of labor issue. He
pointed out, among other things, that commodities and money are
'both the elementary means of the being-there [Daseinsweise],
means of existence of capital'. Capital formation takes place
on the basis of commodity production and circulation, and once
the commodity becomes the general form of all products, even
those goods needed for subsistence and for production assume the
form of commodities. Nevertheless, Marx emphasized, 'the
transformation of money -- which itself [is] only a
transformed form of the product -- to capital takes place as
soon as labor capacity (not the worker) is transformed into a
commodity.' He also noted within this cursory overview that
the social division of labor, which eventually produces and
mutually develops the capitalist division of labor in the
workshop, is presupposed by all these developments" (Rob Beamish
_Marx, Method, and the Division of Labor_, Urbana and Chicago,
University of Illinois Press, 1992, p. 91).
> AND CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD SIMPLY AS A DEVELOPMENT OF PRIOR
> METHODS OF EITHER PHILOSOPHY OR POLITICAL ECONOMY - OR AS AN EXTENSION OF
> THE TRANSHISTORICAL "COMMODITY" OF CLASSICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY.
I agree. It is worth recalling that the _real_ starting point for Marx was
his communist (="scientific socialist")/ revolutionary perspective.
In solidarity, Jerry
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 30 2000 - 19:59:44 EDT