Inicio > Economía marxista, Filosofía marxista > “The Universal and the Particulars in Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Capital”: Fred Moseley

“The Universal and the Particulars in Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Capital”: Fred Moseley

I have argued in a number of papers (please see References) that there are two main stages (or levels of abstraction) in Marx’s theory in Capital. The first stage has to do with the production of surplus-value and the determination of the total surplus-value, and the second stage has to do with the distribution of surplus-value and the division of the pre-determined total surplus-value into individual parts (equal rates of profit, commercial profit, interest, and rent). The total amount of surplus-value is determined at the first stage (the production of surplus-value) and then this predetermined magnitude is presupposed in the second stage (the distribution of surplus-value). This key quantitative presupposition of the prior determination of the total surplus-value is repeated many times, in all the drafts of Capital, as I have shown in my papers. Thus, there is a clear logical progression from the determination of the magnitude of the total surplus-value in the first stage to the determination of the individual parts in the second stage. Other authors who have presented similar interpretations of the production and distribution of surplus-value and the prior determination of the total surplus-value in Marx’s theory include Paul Mattick, Roman Rosdolsky, Enrique Dussel, David Yaffe, and Duncan Foley.

To take the most important example, in Marx’s theory of prices of production in Part 2 of Volume 3, the total surplus-value is presupposed, as already determined in Volumes 1 and 2, and the total surplus-value (S) is used to determine the general rate of profit (r = S / C), which is turn is a determinant of prices of production. As a result, the predetermined total surplus-value is distributed to individual industries in such a way that all industries receive the same rate of porfit.

This logical progression from the determination of the total amount of surplus-value to the determination of the individual parts of surplus-value follows directly from Marx’s labor theory of value and surplus-value. According to Marx’s theory, all the individual parts of surplus-value come from the same source – the surplus labor of workers. Therefore, the total amount of surplus-value must be determined prior to its division into individual parts. And the total amount of surplus-value is determined by surplus labor, and by surplus labor alone.

I have argued further that this distinction between the production of surplus-value and the distribution of surplus-value is the quantitative dimension of the two basic levels of abstraction in Marx’s theory: capital in general and competition (many capitals). Capital in general is defined by Marx as those properties which are common to all capitals and which distinguish capital from simple commodities or money and other forms of wealth. The most important common (or universal) property of all capitals, which is analyzed at the level of abstraction of capital in general, is the production of surplus-value (including absolute and relative surplus-value). Since this all-important property is shared by all capitals, the theory of the production of surplus-value at the level of abstraction of capital in general is concerned with the total surplus-value produced by the total capital of society as a whole. Other common properties of all capitals that are analyzed at the level of abstraction of capital in general include various characteristics of capital in the sphere of circulation (the turnover time of capital, fixed and circulating capital, etc.) and the appearance of surplus-value and the rate of surplus-value as profit and the rate of profit (including the falling rate of profit).

The main question addressed at the level of abstraction of competition is the distribution of surplus-value, or the division of the total surplus-value into individual parts. Another related question addressed at the level of abstraction of competition is ‘revenue and its sources’, or the critique of vulgar political economy’s explanation of these individual parts of surplus-value.

Therefore, I argue that the basic logical structure of Marx’s theory of capital in the three volumes of Capital is as follows:

MARX’S THEORY IN CAPITAL

I. Capital in general
1. Production of surplus-value (Volume 1)
2. Circulation of capital (fixed and circulating capital) (Volume 2)
3. Capital and profit (including the falling rate of profit) (Parts 1 and 3 of Vol. 3)
II. Competition, or the distribution of surplus-value
1. General rate of profit and prices of production (Part 2 of Volume 3)
2. Commercial profit (Part 4)
3. Interest (Part 5)
4. Rent (Part 6)
5. Reveune and its sources (critique of vulgar economics) (Part 7)

This paper argues that this logical structure of the two levels of abstraction of capital in general and competition was heavily influenced by Hegel’s logic of the Concept, and the first two moments of the Concept: universality and particularity. The first section will review the key features of Hegel’s logic of the Concept, and the following section will discuss Marx’s critical appropriation of Hegel’s logic in his own theory of the production and distribution of surplus-value. An Appendix to this paper discusses other prior interpretations of the relation between Hegel’s logic of the Concept and Marx’s theory, that have been presented by Felton Shortall, Chris Arthur, Mark Meaney, and Roberto Fineschi.

Artículo Completo

Fuente: http://www.mtholyoke.edu

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