Sunday, April 22, 2012
Wobbly times number 146
Michael R. Krätke - Why Could Max Not Complete Capital? from FastBodies on Vimeo.
I think Kraetke's assessment of the GRUNDRISSE is spot on. Marx wanted clarity and the GRUNDRISSE is Marx thinking in left Hegelian conceptual language. The GRUNDRISSE was never meant for generalised publication. I'd be wary though of distancing Marx too far from Hegel, as one can then miss the dialectical analyses which continue through CAPITAL and the THEORIES OF SURPLUS VALUE. The first chapter of the first volume of CAPITAL is a masterpiece; but if you can't discern the dialectical movement, the unity of opposites, the subject/object relationship, it may appear to be too difficult to grasp. I think this is what Lenin was getting at when he quipped that none of the Marxists had been able to grasp CAPITAL except in a very mechanical way...this was after his close reading of Hegel's LOGIC during his sojourn in Switzerland. Haw! But my critique of Lenin is that he didn't grasp the necessity for removing wage-labour from Soviet daily life. ;p I would be most interested in any expansion Marx made in his observations vis a vis the fetishism of commodities. I also find the general topic of fetishism which Kraetke indicates was of further interest to Marx fascinating.
The exploitation of the producers of wealth by the owning, ruling classes has been a world system since most of humanity left the classless hunting and gathering means of producing sustenance. Political States develop out of these producer/owner social relations. How to overcome exploitation inherent in class dominated societies and modes of production, this was the political project of communists like Marx, IMO. Marx was able to develop his critique of political-economy as he learned more about how the complexities of the system operated historically and were developing as he was alive. Obviously, Marx didn't repudiate the labour theory of value; but he was becoming more aware of how the price of commodities was being manipulated into reflecting much more value than they had through the development of promissory notes via various forms of credit--to Marx 'fictitious capital'.
State forms of development out of pre-agricultural classless society also caught his attention via Morgan's ANCIENT SOCIETY. The attempt to link calculus to Capital's boom/bust cycles is also fascinating. I never knew that Samuel Moore was a math consultant to Marx. Anyway, an interesting lecture given by a well informed academic.