Re: [OPE-L] 'primitive' or 'original', etc.

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Mon Sep 11 2006 - 23:53:49 EDT

Ajit wrote:

Now, to write a book of the same nature
as CAPITAL from the wage-labor point of view, one will
first of all need to ask: what will be the 'surplus'
from the wage-labor's point of view?

I think Capital as written is pretty clear about 'surplus' from the
perspective of wage labor:  surplus appears as labor's own product, the
conditions of production in their aggregate, separated from actual workers
as the property of non-producers, leaving workers without capacity to
produce their own existence, forcing the sale of labor power for a wage, and
then in the process of production dominating workers, sucking living labor
from them, still as the property of non-producers, in order to enhance its
own being on an ever increasing scale.  Given the existence of wage labor (a
legitimate assumption if we're to adopt its point of view), the sufficient
cause for all these effects is the ongoing appropriation of the entire
product of labor by a class of non-producers.


----- Original Message -----
From: "ajit sinha" <sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] 'primitive' or 'original', etc.

> --- Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
> > Again did Marx abandon the 6 book plan? If so, why?
> > If not how much
> > of it did he finish? Only a section of the first
> > book? Three or of
> > the six books? I wished this debate could have
> > continued; Oakley
> > provides a great service in laying out the possible
> > positions.
> >
> > The assimilation of  the Physiocratic theory may
> > well have made him
> > overturn everything and abandon for theoretical
> > reasons the six book
> > plan.
> __________________
> Mike L and I had a long debate on this question on
> pen-l way back in 1991-92 (if my memory serves me
> right). I think Lapides' book on Marx's Wage Theory--a
> book I was quite critical of in my review in
> RRPE--makes some good points against the 6 book plan
> thesis. Now I'm not interested in Marxological debate
> on this question. But I think a more interesting
> question from theoretical perspective would be to to
> ask: what is surplus? From a purely objective
> scientific point of view, there cannot be any surplus
> as every effect must have a sufficient cause.
> 'surplus' is essentially a concept that can come into
> being only from some subject's point of view. From a
> purely technical point of view, the output over and
> above the minimum requirements of production must be
> declared surplus (Sraffa's position) but for Marx
> whatever happens to be over and above the physical
> (C+V) is surplus--this is a point of view of all the
> propertied class taken together. If we call the
> propertied class as the capitalist class, then Marx's
> surplus is defined from the capitalist point of view
> and since the surplus is the central concept of
> CAPITAL, one could, to some extent, agree with Mike
> that CAPITAL is written from the 'capitalist point of
> view' (I have not seen the 2nd edition and don't know
> if there has been any substantial changes). However, I
> don't think CAPITAL could be written from any other
> point of view. Now, to write a book of the same nature
> as CAPITAL from the wage-labor point of view, one will
> first of all need to ask: what will be the 'surplus'
> from the wage-labor's point of view?
> Note: Marx follows Quesnay closely in defining
> 'productive labor' as productive of 'surplus', this is
> not the case with Smith. The point that something
> fundamental might have changed in Marx's mind after
> reading Quesnay should be looked at seriously. Cheers,
> ajit sinha
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