Re: [OPE-L] capital in general as a real existence

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Tue Jan 18 2005 - 09:09:12 EST

> If we first leave the content completely aside: the logical structure 
> reminds me of that passage from the first edition of capital, Vol.1, 
> where - within the context of the value-form analysis - Marx 
> describes the money form as follows:
> "It is as if, besides lions, tigers, hares, and all other real animals, ... 
> also the animal existed, the individual incarnation of the whole 
> animal kingdom".

Hi Hanno, 

That is a decent analogy, I believe.  In the animal kingdom and the
kingdom of capital, there is simple unity ("the animal"; "capital-in
general" taking the money-form) and diversity ("lions, tigers ....";  
capital that takes specific forms within individual branches of 
production).  Both are "real" -- just as human society consists of unique 
individuals and collectivities (groups, classes, nationalities etc.).  _But_ 
what is missing in the mere contrast between simple unity and diversity 
is a dialectical grasp of  *unity-in-diversity*.  This unity-in-diversity is 
also real and constitutes an essential moment in the comprehension 
of the real nature of the subject.   Within the context of Marx's thought, 
the level of abstraction for grasping (reconstructing in thought)  
unity-in-diversity is *not* that of capital-in-general but rather is the 
*world market*:

"the world market the conclusion, in which production is posited as a
totality together with all its moments, but within which, all contradictions
come into play.  The world market, then, again, forms the presupposition
of the whole as well as its substratum.  Crises are then the general
intimation which points beyond the presupposition, and the urge which
drives towards the adoption of a new historic form." (_Grundrisse_, 
Penguin ed., pp. 227-28)

The road, though, to "the conclusion" is not a direct one from _Capital_.
On the contrary,  at the close of _Capital_ "the question to be 
answered next is: 'What makes a class?'" (Volume 3, Penguin ed., 
p. 1025).  Only after grasping the subjects of  landed property, wage-
labour, the state, and foreign trade can one begin the presentational 
reconstruction in thought of the 'conclusion'.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: the post that Rakesh re-sent was from a thread on "totality" from
February, 2002.   See

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