Re: [OPE-L] 3 crucial points?

From: ehrbar (ehrbar@LISTS.ECON.UTAH.EDU)
Date: Tue Jan 30 2007 - 08:53:34 EST


it seems the Penguin translation is wrong here.

A good explanation why the exchange between laborer
and capitalist is only "formal" can be found in chapter 24,
Penguin edition pp 729/30.  Here is the translation as I
have it in my Annotations:

 The exchange of equivalents, the original operation with which we
 started, has now become turned round in such a way that only the mere
 semblance of exchange remains.  This is owing to the fact, first,
 that the capital which is exchanged for labor-power is itself but a
 portion of the product of others' labor appropriated without an
 equivalent; and, secondly, that this capital must not only be
 replaced by its producer, but replaced together with an added
 surplus.  The relation of exchange between capitalist and laborer
 becomes a mere semblance appertaining to the process of circulation,
 a mere form which is foreign to the content itself {730} only
 mystifies it.  The ever repeated purchase and sale of labor-power is
 now the mere form; what really takes place is this---the capitalist
 first appropriates, without equivalent, a portion of the materialised
 labor of others, and then exchanges a part of it for a greater
 quantity of living labor.

In "Resultate", Marx says similar things too, for instance he says
that capitalist and laborer "sich scheinbar als *Warenbesitzer*
gegenuebertreten" ("scheinbar" means that this is what it looks like,
this is the form it takes, but this is not what is really the case).
Maybe one could translate it as: they confront each other as commodity
owners only in semblance.  Again the Penguin translation as "each
confronts the other apparently on equal terms as the owner of a
commodity" got the "apparently" wrong and added a phantasy "on equal
terms" which cannot be found anywhere in the German (MEGA II/4.1,
p. 64)


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jan 31 2007 - 00:00:05 EST