Re: [OPE-L] Grundrisse. Help

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sun Aug 06 2006 - 12:15:06 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.

No I think Marx abandoned the six book plan.

>  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".

But Marx did not just write about capital as he had planned to do in the
six book plan; the three volumes of the work which he did write does
analyze wage labour, landed property, credit, share capital, crises and
even the world market. So no Marx is not talking about only the whole
of capital, narrowly conceived.

>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.

Yes but all this did not belong to the analysis of capital as
originally conceived,
and now alas it does. Something changed. What?

>  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

No one is denying that.

>>  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.

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