Re: [OPE-L] Marx on Harrington

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Wed Mar 08 2006 - 20:52:45 EST

Paul Z,

In case you and others don't have the reference handy, here are the notes
to the article by Engels.

In solidarity, Jerry


                      by Frederick Engels

               Written in German before May 21, 1895
                      Published in _Neue Zeit_
                        etext version 1.01


1. Charlatan in _L'Elisir d'Amore_, a comic opera by Donizetti.

2. Somewhat later, the same gentleman "well-known through his fame" (to
use Hegel's phrase) also felt himself compelled to reply to my preface to
Volume III -- after it was published in Italian in the first number of
_Rassegna_, in 1895. The reply is printed in the _Riforma Sociale_ of
February 25, 1895. After having lavished upon me the inevitable (and
therefore doubly repulsive) adulation, he states that he never thought
of filching for himself Marx's credit for the materialist conception of
history. He acknowledged it as early as 1885 -- to wit, quite
incidentally in a magazine article.

But in return he passes over it in silence all the more stubbornly
precisely where it is due -- that is, in his book on the subject,  where
Marx is mentioned for the first time on page 129, and then merely in
connection with small landed property in France. And now he bravely
declares that Marx is not at all the originator of this theory; if
Aristotle had not already suggested it, Harrington undoubtedly proclaimed
it as early as 1656, and it had been developed by a Pleiad of historians,
politicians, jurists and economists long before Marx. All of which is to
be read in the French edition of Loria's book. In short, the perfect
plagiarist. After I have made it impossible for him to brag any more with
plagiarisms from Marx, he boldly maintains that Marx adorns himself with
borrowed plumes just as he himself does. Of my other attacks, Loria takes
up one concerning his assertion that Marx never planned to write a second
or indeed a third volume of _Capital_.

    "And now Engels replies triumphantly by throwing the second and third
     volumes at me... excellent! And I am so pleased with these volumes,
     to which I owe so much intellectual enjoyment, that never was a
     victory so dear to me as today this defeat is -- if it really is a
     defeat. But is it actually? Is it really true that Marx wrote, with
     the intention of publication, this mixture of disconnected notes
     that Engels, with pious friendship, has compiled? Is it really
     permissible to assume that Marx... confided the coronation of his
     work and his system to these pages? Is it indeed certain that Marx
     would have published that chapter on the average rate of profit, in
     which the solution, promised for so many years, is reduced to the
     most dismal mystification, to the most vulgar playing with phrases?
     It is at least permissible to doubt it.... That proves, it seems to
     me, that Marx, after publishing his magnificent (splendido) book,
     did not intend to provide it with a successor, or else wanted
     to leave the completion of the gigantic work to his heirs, outside
     his own responsibility."

So it was written on p.267. Heine could not speak any more contemptuously
of his philistine German public than in the words: "The author finally
gets used to his public as if it were a reasonable being". What must the
illustrious Loria think his public is?

In conclusion, another load of praise comes pouring down on my unlucky
self. In this, our Sganarelle puts himself on a par with Balaam, who came
to curse, but whose lips bubbled forth "words of blessing and love"
against his will. For the good Balaam was distinguished by the fact that
he rode upon an ass that was more intelligent than its master. This time,
Balaam evidently left his ass at home.

3. In medieval Germany (and England), the mark (or march) was a piece of
land held in common by the freemen of a community.

transcribed by report errors to that address

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