Re: [OPE-L] Lawrence Krader on objective and subjective value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Mon Nov 12 2007 - 23:04:17 EST

Oh just some editorializing...

>>I am just raising the hoary question of what role  Marx's specific
>>understanding of dialectic (logical and historical) and especially
>>contradiction play in or distinguish his theory.
>It seems that you are saying a very important one, no?
>Well, yes.

My hero Grossman downplayed influence of Hegel on Marx in 1943,
saying that Marx's understanding of the historical dialectic depended
on Condorcet, Sismondi, Jones. Though if I remember correctly there
may be a favorable and hidden footnote on the importance of Hegel's
logic for Marx's categorial analysis. And there is that fabulous,
key, perhaps though not coherent quote in which Marx says that JS
Mill, comfortable with logical contradictions, is at bay with real
dialectical contradiction whose source is Hegel.

And certainly when Grossman in 1941 insists that Marx did not
complete but actually revolutionized Ricardo's value theory, he seems
to suggest (with nowhere the clarity of Ilyenkov who himself is vague
often enough) the importance of Marx's ability to grasp the unity of
opposites--in the commodity itself and as externalized in the value
form, in the accumulation process as a unity of technical and value
processes, in the opposite use value and unit value effects of rising

To put it roughly would you say your sense of dialectical logic is
close to Levins and Lewontin's (just ordered their new book from
Monthly Review)?
Lukacs would of course put emphasis inter alia on Marx's ability to
theorize capitalism as a totality, in terms of  carefully specified
connections or what (according to Chris Arthur) Ollman would call
inner-action among parts.

Marx himself put great emphasis on the aesthetic wholeness of
Capital, as I have underlined in discussion with Fred. I think he
means here not only the exhaustive specification of the parts of the
totality (a pure and idealized bourgeois mode of production) and
their interconnections as spelled out in a layered way but the
dramatic history he gave of this totality (the drama of its origins,
rise and fall--such a drama contrasted here to episodic histories of
parts, which Foucault would do much to resurrect the respectability

The drama however is a fictional one. Society is not the capitalist
totality, and the parts specified were either not necessary
(commodity money) or  exhaustive (missing book on the state?market in
govt debt? limited liability corporation?).

And Marx may or may have abstracted from the background of the world
market. I don't think so (as I, along with Kenneth Lapides, do think
Marx more or less finished the book he intended to write after he
dumped the six book plan), but most people (Michael Heinrich
prominently) on this list do think Marx did abstract away from the
world market.

But one can say the method of analyzing the totality remains
defensible? Of course one could say that and say that there is
nothing specifically Marxist about such a method.

But the most important point: Rick Kuhn won the Deutscher prize for
his marvelous book on Grossman.


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