Re: [OPE-L] Grundrisse. Help

From: Fred Moseley (fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU)
Date: Sun Aug 06 2006 - 09:48:51 EDT

On Fri, 4 Aug 2006, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Marx does say about this latter plan that the third volume is a
> study of the "capitalist process of a production taken as a WHOLE".
> The whole has been theorized, not only part of it with fifteen more
> books waiting to be written!

Rakesh, you put a lot of weight on the word "whole", which you interpret
to mean all the original six books.  I think this is a stretch of
speculation for which there is no textual evidence.

Rather, it is clear from the passage you quote (the first paragraph of
Volume 3, see below), and also from earlier drafts of this paragraph in
the Grundrisse and the Manuscript of 1861-63, that the meaning of "whole"
is the "unity of production and circulation OF CAPITAL".  Marx analyzed
the production of capital in Volume 1 and the circulation of capital in
Volume 2.  And he begins Volume 3 by stating that we must now analyze the
concrete forms of appearance that "grow out of the movements OF CAPITAL as
a whole"  (that have already been analyzed in the first two volumes).
"Whole" refers to the whole of capital, not to the whole of capitalist
society, including wage-labor, landed property, the state, and "world
market and crises".  The new forms that grow out of the movement of
capital as a whole (i.e. as the unity of the production and circulation of
capital) and that are analyzed in Volume 3 are profit, average profit,
commercial profit, interest, rent, and revenue.  These concrete forms are
forms of appearance of surplus-value and capital; they are not concrete
forms that have to do with wage-labor, the state, etc.  Surely there is
much more that needs to be said about these latter topics than is in


> In Book I we analysed the phenomena which constitute the process of
> capitalist production as such, as the immediate productive process,
> with no regard for any of the secondary effects of outside
> influences. But this immediate process of production does not exhaust
> the life span of capital. It is supplemented in the actual world by
> the process of circulation, which was the object of study in Book II.
> In the latter, namely in Part III, which treated the process of
> circulation as a medium for the process of social reproduction, it
> developed that the capitalist process of production taken as a whole
> represents a synthesis of the processes of production and
> circulation. Considering what this third book treats, it cannot
> confine itself to general reflection relative to this synthesis. On
> the contrary, it must locate and describe the concrete forms which
> grow out of the movements of capital as a whole. In their actual
> movement capitals confront each other in such concrete shape, for
> which the form of capital in the immediate process of production,
> just as its form in the process of circulation, appear only as
> special instances. The various forms of capital, as evolved in this
> book, thus approach step by step the form which they assume on the
> surface of society, in the action of different capitals upon one
> another, in competition, and in the ordinary consciousness of the
> agents of production themselves.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Aug 31 2006 - 00:00:03 EDT