Re: Marx's original manuscript of Volume 3

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Sun Jun 27 2004 - 13:50:55 EDT

         This is all fascinating, and I am delighted that you and Regina
have raised these matters on OPE-L. Getting an English-language publisher
certainly would be important. You mentioned that you were attaching your
introduction; I didn't receive that.
         in solidarity,

At 19:30 26/06/2004, you wrote:
>Recent new listmember Regina Roth (welcome, Regina!) mentioned in her
>self-introduction that she and I had co-edited an issue of the
>International Journal of Political Economy on Marx's original manuscript
>of what later became Volume 3 of Capital, written in 1864-65.
> > Recently, I wrote some articles on Marx's manuscripts
> > of the 1870s (in: Studies in Marxism) and on the  relationship between
> > the author Marx and the editor Engels (in: Rethinking Marxism), and,
> > together with Fred Moseley, I edited an issue of IJPE on "Marx, Engels
> > and the text of volume 3 of _Capital_" (in print)
>So I have attached a copy of our introduction to this issue, in case any
>listmembers might be interested.
>Most of you probably know that Marx's original manuscript of what later
>became Volume 3 was published for the first time in the early 1990s in
>German, as part of the new 150- volume authoritative Marx-Engels
>Gesamtausgabe (MEGA).  For the first time, Marxian scholars (who read
>German) have had the opportunity to examine Marx's actual manuscript, and
>compare it to Engels' edited version.  Unfortunately, this important
>manuscript has not and will not be included in the English 50-volume
>Marx-Engels Collected Works (MECW), published by International Publishers
>(I think obtaining a publisher for an English translation of this crucial
>volume should be a top priority for English-speaking Marxian scholars).
>The forthcoming issue of the IJPE presents four articles that discuss
>Marx's original manuscript, and the differences between Marx's manuscript
>and Engels' edited version.  All four articles are written by past or
>present editors of the MEGA.  Regina herself is now an MEGA editor.  I am
>very glad that she has joined OPEL.
>My own general conclusion from reading these articles is that, in terms of
>content, the difference between Marx's manuscript and Engels's edited
>version is not that great (with a few exceptions).  The main difference is
>that Engels made the manuscript look much more complete and finished than
>it actually was, especially by breaking the manuscript into chapters and
>sections, with titles, etc., especially in Part 3 and most of all in Part
>5 (much of which is little more than a collection of  excerpts); and in
>addition adding whole paragraphs and pages and even sections (most of
>which are indicated in the text as Engels' addition, but not all)
>One interesting thing that I learned from Regina in writing the
>introduction together is that there are several different versions of
>Chapter 1 of Volume 3.  In addition to the 1864 version, there are also 4
>other versions of the beginning of the chapter (ranging from 2 pages to 8
>pages long), dating from 1867-68.  There is an important conceptual change
>between the 1864 draft and the 1867-68 drafts - more emphasis is placed on
>the concept of COST PRICE in the latter draft.  Chapter 1 in the 1864
>manuscript (and in the previous drafts and outlines of "Volume 3") is
>entitled "Surplus-value and Profit".  The 1867-68 versions are entitled
>"Cost Price and Profit."  Engels selected a mixture of these different
>drafts, with emphasis on the later drafts, because Marx had emphasized to
>him the concept of cost price in a letter in April 1868.  (This letter by
>the way is very helpful for an understanding of Volume 3.  It lays out the
>overall logic of the volume, and presents a concise summary of each part)
>[A question for Regina: exactly when were the 1867-68 manuscripts
>written?  How close were the dates to the date of this important letter of
>30 April 1868?  I wonder if these drafts of Chapter 1 were the main
>impetus for Marx's letter?  The letter has always seemed to "come out of
>the blue", because I thought Marx was mainly preoccupied during this
>period with the publication of Volume 1 in late 1867.  I didn't know that
>Marx was also reworking Chapter 1 of Volume 3 during this period.  Regina,
>was Marx also working on other parts of Volume 3 during 1867-68, or only
>Chapter 1?]
>I think Marx decided to emphasize the concept of cost price more, because
>he had come to realize more clearly its importance for the determination
>of prices of production (prices of production  are equal to cost price +
>average profit).  So this is an interesting and important piece of the
>development and evolution of Marx's thinking.
>These alternative beginnings are scheduled to be published in the MEGA (in
>German) in 2005.  Unfortunately again, these alternative beginnings will
>not be included in the English MECW.  Regina and I are trying to figure
>out a way to have these alternative beginnings translated into English and
>published.  Unfortunately a third time, Paul Mattick is no longer editor
>of the IJPE, so that outlet is no longer open.  If anyone has any
>suggestion, I would very much appreciate hearing from you.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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