RE: [OPE] The English sub-titling of 'Capital'?

From: Anders Ekeland <>
Date: Tue May 26 2009 - 16:09:32 EDT

Hi Paul Z

At 21:24 26.05.2009, Paul Zarembka wrote:
>Another major issue in marxist economics, Anders, regards the role,
>or lack thereof, of Hegel.

Really? As you point out, Hegel in a transformed way is always there
in Marx, a bit more here/early a bit less there/later - and so what?

Marxist economics are still struggling with the fundamentals, the
transformation problem(= how to understand value), heterogeneous
labour, money, LTFRP, crisis theory - I cannot see where the role of
Hegel is decisive. The dialectics are nicely summed up in dynamic
systems, chaotic, non-linear, contradictory, ever-evolving etc. etc.

>In any case, I think Jerry makes a good point in asking us to think
>about any other major scientific advance defined significantly by
>a 'critique' - in this case, of classical political economy. I
>could ask whether 'critiquing' (which is, in fact, thinking about thinking)
>is not a form of idealism.

For us Germanic language speakers there are many works called "Zur
Kritik.., "Kritische Darstellung" etc. etc. - so besides the problem
of translating Kritik to English I frankly cannot see even this as a
major/good point. The Germanic verb kritizieren (Nordic:
kritisere/kritisera) can be translated as critiquing, but is often
translated otherwise.

I think that my basic point, besides checking the French version
whenever one argues what Marx meant with the aid of quotations (which
of course is often necessary) that idea that Engels, Progress and
other translators in any sense "biased" Marx thinking is to avoid
squarely confronting one self with the well-know and fundamental
problems of Marx' economics and which are completely independent of
what edition/translation you prefer to read.

I am fully in favour of studying every scrap of paper that Marx and
Engels, and later Marxists wrote because - often one can return to
those ideas/solutions that they had "Unterwegs" - which might give
some valuable hints.

In that type of context the role of Hegel might be interesting. I
would say that Marx is basically dialectical, but he wants to prove
his understanding of capitalism inside a Ricardian, static,
"positivist" framework which means that he (becomes) can be
interpreted "inconsistent", although I see Marx mainly as a Heglian
TSSI economist, having a equilibrium deviation at times. So I agree
with Kliman that there is a myth of inconsistency - but that the
transformation problem remains to be solved - confronted with the
stylized facts of 200 years of experiences with capitalism.


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Received on Tue May 26 16:16:25 2009

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