Re: [OPE-L] Grundrisse. Help

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Tue Aug 01 2006 - 11:35:56 EDT

Hi Rakesh, I have not been following this thread, but I did happen to
notice your message on the reproduction schemes.  I have not read Kuhn's
article either, but I think there is a misunderstanding.

Marx first worked on the reproduction schemes in the Manuscript of
1861-63, in the section on the Theories of Surplus-value on Smith (Chapter
10).  The purpose of this discussion was to criticize what Marx called
"Smith's dogma", according to which the total price of the total commodity
product of the economy as a whole is "entirely resolved into revenue",
i.e. into wages + profit + rent, so that there is no separate component
for constant capital.  Marx's later work on the reproduction schemes show
that "Smith dogma" is incorrect - i.e. that the total price of the total
commodity product does indeed include a separate component for constant
capital, and Marx's analysis of reproduction shows how this constant
capital is recovered and reinvested in the two departments.

Please see Marx's letter to Engels of 6 July 1863, shortly after finishing
the Manuscript of 1861-63, in which Marx explains the reproduction schemes
to Engels, and clearly indicates that the purpose is to critique "Smith's

The critique of "Smith's dogma" continued to be the main purpose of Marx's
drafts of Part 3 of Volume 2 in the Manuscript of 1864-65 and in
Manuscript of 1870.  Chapter 19 on "previous discussions of the subject"
has four pages on the Physiocrats (most of which is actually about Smith)
and 27 pages on Smith, which is mainly about his "dogma".  There is
nothing about Sismondi.

I discuss this purpose of Marx's reproduction schemes at length in my
"Marx's Reproduction Schemes and Smith's Dogma", in Arthur (ed.)
The Circulation of Capital:  Essays on Volume 2 of Capital.

The Marxist tradition has somehow overlooked this original and main
purpose of Marx's reproduction schemes, and interpreted these schemes as a
theory of the dynamics of capitalism.  Almost all of the discussion
(including Grossman's I believe; please correct me if I am wrong) has been
about Chapter 21 on Expanded Reproduction.  But this chapter was written
very late in Marx's life, in 1878, in Marx's last manuscript on Volume 2.
I think this subject became interesting and important to Marx over the
years as he worked on the reproduction schemes, and as he began to realize
that the replacement of fixed constant capital was an important source of
instability in capitalism.  But the main purpose of the reproduction
schemes continued to be the critique of "Smith's dogma.

And I don't see anything in any of Marx's discussions of the reproduction
schemes about "how surplus-value can be measured independent of its forms"
(as you and Kuhn suggest).  I will try to read Kuhn's article soon.  In
the meantime please send me a few key references from Part 3 where Marx
discusses this subject.



P.S.  I don't know of any analysis of the reproduction schemes in the
Grundrisse.  Again, please send references.  Thanks again.

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