Sunday, April 04, 2021


Zoom study group December 2020 to April 2021

Thursdays from 10 December 2020, skipping 24 Dec, 31 Dec, and 7 Jan.

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Register on Zoom here

Study schedule

Click here to download all the Powerpoint presentations for the 15 sessions as a single pdf file

References to the Grundrisse are given both to the "Analytical Contents List" and to the page numbers of the Penguin edition (Nicolaus translation). The page references to the McLellan book of excerpts are to the Paladin edition, 1973. That very different quantities of reading are assigned for each section is deliberate.

Section 1: Introduction

pp.83-111 - "Introduction (Notebook M)"

McLellan excerpt 1, p.26ff.

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

The method of inquiry and the method of presentation. What do historical materialism, the primacy of the mode of production as a determinant, and dialectics mean? The arts and material development (pp.109-11). (In this connection it may be useful also to look at Marx's short 1873 Afterword to Capital volume 1, and his even shorter Preface to "A Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy", the other texts where Marx said he was discussing methodology).

Section 2: Bastiat and Carey

pp.883-893 - "Bastiat and Carey"

McLellan excerpt 2, p.58ff.

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

In the 17 December 2020 discussion we referred to Marx's Speech on the Question of Free Trade. That is posted here.

Free-trading and protectionism. Bastiat and Carey.

Section 3: "Free credit" and Proudhonist socialism


"Darimon's theory of crises"

"Gold export and crises"

"Convertibility and note circulation"

You may also want to look ahead at pp.161-2 on money and pp.248-9 on Bastiat and Proudhon

No excerpts included in McLellan.

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

Critique of Proudhonist socialism as represented by Darimon. "The foolishness of those socialists (namely the French, who want to depict socialism as the realisation of the ideals of bourgeois society articulated by the French revolution) who demonstrate that exchange and exchange value etc. are originally (in time) or essentially (in their adequate form) a system of universal freedom and equality, but that they have been perverted by money, capital, etc..."

Section 4: "Labour-money"


Sections of the Chapter on Money from "Value and price" through to "Distinction between planned distribution of labour time and measurement of exchange values by labour time"

McLellan excerpt 3, p.70ff; 4, p.76ff; 5, p.81ff; 6, p.86ff.

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

Critique of those socialists who advocated that workers should be guaranteed the full fruits of their labour by being paid in "labour-money" (money representing so many hours of labour rather than so many dollars), and then being able to buy goods and services representing exactly as many hours. "This demand can be satisfied only under circumstances where it can no longer be raised".

Section 5: Money becomes the "real community"


Sections of the Chapter on Money from "Distinction between planned distribution of labour time and measurement of exchange values by labour time" through to the end

No excerpts in McLellan.

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

Money as the "god among commodities" and the "real community" of capitalist society. "Wage labour on one side, capital on the other, are therefore only other forms of developed exchange value and of money". Accounting money and hard cash. Circulation and the other functions of money. Crises.

Section 6: From money to capital


Sections of the Chapter on Capital from "Nothing is expressed...." through to "Product and capital. Value and capital. Proudhon"

McLellan excerpt 7, p.89ff.

Key passages

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Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion

What is capital? The difference between a trading economy and capitalist production.

Section 7: Capital and labour


Sections of the Chapter on Capital from "Capital and labour. Exchange value and use value for exchange value" through to "The two different processes"

No excerpt in McLellan

Key passages for sections 7-10

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2006-7 discussion on sections 7-10

Notes from 2020-1 discussion on section 7

Section 8: More on capital and labour


Sections of the Chapter on Capital from "Capital and modern landed property" through to "Theories of surplus value (Ricardo...)"

McLellan: Excerpt 8, p.89ff (=pp.278-9)

Excerpt 9, p.93ff (=pp.304-310)

Excerpt 10, p.100ff (=pp.325-326)

Excerpt 11, p.102ff (=pp.331-2)

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes from 2020-1 discussion on section 8

Section 9: Labour productivity and surplus value: "realising" surplus value


Sections of of the Chapter on Capital from "Surplus value and productive force..." through to "The determination of value and of prices"

McLellan: Excerpt 12, p.104ff (=pp.359-364)

Excerpt 13, p.111ff (=pp.409-410)

Excerpt 14, p.113ff (=pp.415-6)

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Notes on our 2020-1 discussion of section 9, and especially on the "Hegelian" usages in the Grundrisse

Section 10: How capital reproduces capitalism


Sections of the Chapter on Capital from "The determination of value and of prices" through to "Chief result of the production and realisation process"

Excerpt 15, p.115ff (=pp.450-6)

Excerpt 16, p.122ff (=pp.456-8)

Excerpt 18, p.139ff (=pp.487-8)

Right-click to download Powerpoint

How capital becomes productive. How the exchange-relation between the capitalist and the worker, formally free and equal, is in fact a relation of exploitation. "Labour is absolute poverty as object, on one side, and is, on the other side, the general possibility of wealth as subject and as activity... Instead of... considering the worker to owe a debt to capital for the fact that he is alive at all, and can repeat certain life processes every day... these whitewashing sycophants of bourgeois economics should rather have fixed their attention on the fact that, after constant repeated labour, [the worker] always has only his living, direct labour itself to exchange..."

"Capital is productive, i.e. an essential relation for the development of the social productive forces... Those who demonstrate that the productive force ascribed to capital is a displacement, a transposition of the productive force of labour, forget precisely that capital itself is essentially this displacement, this transposition, and that wage labour as such presupposes capital... The demand that wage labour be continued but capital suspended is self-contradictory".

The difference, however, between capitalist and pre-capitalist exploitation: "The sphere of [the worker's] consumption is not qualitatively restricted, only quantitatively. This distinguishes him from the slave, serf, etc.... [The] essential civilising moment... on which the historic justification, but also the contemporary power of capital rests..."

The "great civilising influence of capital; its production of a stage of society in comparison to which all earlier ones appear as mere local developments of humanity and as nature-idolatry"; and simultaneously its limitedness, its propensity to crises.

"Capital in general, as distinct from the particular real capitals, is itself a real existence".

Section 11: Pre-capitalist formations and capitalism (pages 459-514); section 12: Turnover, transport, utilities, "positing" (p.514-533)

Sections of the Chapter on Capital from the heading "Original Accumulation of Capital" through to "Transport to market...", plus some of the final pages of section 3 of the Chapter on Capital ("Capital as Fructiferous"), plus the section near the end entitled "Value"

McLellan excerpt 17, p.125ff (=pp.459-471)

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint for section 11

Right-click to download Powerpoint for section 12

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion: section 11

Notes from 2020-1 discussion: section 12

Extra note: The "civilising influence of capital"

Extra note: productive and unproductive labour

Extra note: more on "why the working class"

Extra note: Geography and historical materialism

The historical emergence of wage-labour from pre-capitalist trading economies. The distinction between capitalist wage-labour and e.g. medieval day-labourer relations.

Capital, circulation, public works, and privatisation. "The separation of public works from the state, and their migration into the domain of the works undertaken by capital itself, indicates the degree to which the real community has constituted itself in the form of capital".

Section 13: the universalising tendency of capital; labour and labour-power; labour in capitalism and in the future


From the heading "Credit, the temporal moment of circulation" in the Chapter on Capital through to "Influence of fixed capital on the total turnover time of capital"

Key passages

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

Notes from 2020-1 discussion of section 13, 2020-1

McLellan excerpt 19, p.141ff (=pp.539-542)

Excerpt 20, p.145ff (=pp.610-4)

Excerpt 21, p.150ff (=pp.649-652)

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Section 14: General intellect

pp.690-743 (especially 701-712)

From the heading "Fixed capital. Means of labour. Machine" in the Chapter on Capital through to the end of "section 2" of the Chapter on Capital


Excerpt 22, p.154ff (=pp.692-704)

Excerpt 23, p.164ff (=pp.704-6)

Excerpt 24, p.167ff (=pp.708-711)

Excerpt 25, p.171ff (=pp.711-2)

Key passages

Right-click to download Powerpoint

Extra note 2006: crises

2006: Three questions arising from pages 690-743: 1. Whose is "the general intellect"? 2. Increasing alienation as a revolutionary force? 3. Who or what "breaks down" capitalism?

Extra note, 2006: revolutionising education

Note from discussion, 2020-1

Section 15: "Capital as fructiferous". Tendency of rate of profit to fall


From the start of section 3 of the Chapter on Capital through to the end (other than the sections on Value and on Bastiat and Carey studied already)


Excerpt 27, p.176ff (=pp.748-750)

Excerpt 26, p.173ff (=pp.831-833)

Right-click to download Powerpoint for section 15

Notes from 2006-7 discussion

"Capital as fructiferous". Tendency of rate of profit to fall. Interest and profit. Money and precious metals. Alienation.

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Saturday, April 03, 2021


Note on discussion of section 14, pages 690-743

From our week 14 discussion (pages 690-743), I offer notes here only on the passage on p.705, saying that with advanced technology:

"… labour-time ceases and must cease to be its measure [the measure of wealth], and hence exchange value {must cease to be the measure} of use-value".

"... muss aufhören die Arbeitszeit sein Mass zu sein und daher der Tauschwert [das Mass] des Gebrauchswerts".

Some hold that this means that the labour theory of value breaks down with advanced technology.

That makes no sense to me. For the flow of Marx's argument, a statement that with advanced technology a lot of good stuff becomes available with little labour time will do at that point. And it's true. You can buy a watch for £5, more reliable than the expensive ones available in 1857, and a mobile phone for £18. Clothes are, relatively speaking, much cheaper today than in 1857.

Marx's formulation says something different. It doesn't need to for the flow of the argument. And it makes no sense. None of Marx's arguments for (his) labour theory of value depend on low technology.

Exchange-value never was the measure of use-value, even with low technology. Adam Smith asserted that from the start.

"Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarce any thing; scarce any thing can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any value in use; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it…"

In that case, exchange-value cannot "cease" to be the measure of use-value

Use-value can be measured on no linear scale. A hundred apples do not have more use-value for you than one. An apple is useful for eating and a pen for writing; an apple is useless for writing and a pen for eating; but there is no way of telling how much food one "unit" of writing (or keeping warm, or getting medications, or whatever) "equals" in use-value.

When we read something that makes no sense from a respected writer, there is a temptation to think that the passage is especially deep and to construct convoluted meanings. That approach may even make some (limited) sense when the passage is in a text finished and polished for publication. Maybe the writer was making a particularly deep argument, and was driven to paradoxical or odd working by the difficulty.

The approach makes little sense, though, in a text which was only ever written as rough notes, for the later use of the writer themselves. In such rough notes, the writer may well put down something which they know almost immediately to be wrongly-worded, but not bother to correct it, because they know they will come back to the issue under discussion later for any published writing.

Better to read the passage as a bit of over-convoluted writing produced by hurried scribbling late at night, rather than as a special profundity.

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Saturday, March 27, 2021


Pasquinelli; Negri; Postone-Reinicke; Bellofiore and others; and Arthur, on the Grundrisse and on translations into English

Thanks to Bruce for these readings on the Grundrisse:

On the Origins of Marx's "General Intellect", by Matteo Pasqinelli 

Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons on the Grundrisse, by Toni Negri

On Martin Nicolaus's Introduction to the English translation of the Grundrisse, by Moishe Postone and Helmut Reinicke

In Marx's Laboratory: Critical Interpretations of the Grundrisse, a collection of contributions edited by Ricardo Bellofiore, Peter Thomas, and Guido Starosta

A guide to English translations of the Grundrisse, by Chris Arthur

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Friday, March 26, 2021


Notes on discussion of section 13, pages 534-690


We had a lot of reading for this session, and some of it is obscure because it's scrappy and jumps from topic to topic. There is even a section where, unusually for Marx, he goes into quite a lot of algebra, instead of arithmetical examples. (It's about turnover. In my view, he hadn't fixed the fundamental error of his arithmetical examples on turnover, so the algebra is largely beside the point).

These are, after all, rough notes, and these pages are rougher than others in the Grundrisse. I think it is better not to puzzle too much about the "rougher" passages. Better to focus on those where Marx gives "first drafts" of thoughts later developed in Capital (sometimes the "first drafts" are more vivid than Marx's final writing-up, or give extra insight), or where he develops substantial threads of argument (not unfinished scraps, as on turnover) not redeveloped in Capital.


Lev asked about Marx's comment: "The assertion that free competition = the ultimate form of the development of the forces of production and hence of human freedom means nothing other than that middle-class rule is the culmination of world history – certainly an agreeable thought for the parvenus of the day before yesterday." Middle-class rule? Isn't the Marxist view that the petty bourgeoisie or middle classes can't become the ruling class: it's either the bourgeoisie or the working class?

By "middle class" in that passage of the Grundrisse, Marx means the bourgeoisie. Apparently it was common usage in England then to refer to the bourgeoisie as the "middle class", the class midway between the working class on the one hand and the landed aristocracy (who then still held a very large part of wealth) on the other. In that passage of the Grundrisse, written in German, Marx nevertheless uses the English term "middle-class", indicating that he is adopting that English usage of the time. (The translator notes the use of the English term in an earlier sentence on that same page of the Grundrisse, but not this second use).

In the USA, confusingly, "middle class" is often used as a term for the working class, presumably the class midway between the bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat. In Europe, anyway, it usually denotes the social miscellany between the bourgeoisie and the working class: tiny-scale business-people and self-employed, farmers, lawyers, dentists, accountants, middle managers, and so on.

Marx writes about that social miscellany in Theories of Surplus Value, there using the German term "Mittelklassen". He writes of:

"… the constantly growing number of the middle classes, those who stand between the workman on the one hand and the capitalist and landlord on the other. The middle classes maintain themselves to an ever increasing extent directly out of revenue, they are a burden weighing heavily on the working base and increase the social security and power of the upper ten thousand" - Theories of Surplus Value vol.2 p.573.

"The analysis of free competition"

"The analysis of what free competition really is, is the only rational reply to the middle-class prophets who laud it to the skies or to the socialists who damn it to hell".

One thought about this was that the mere abolition of free competition, without abolishing capitalist relations in the workplace, leads only to state capitalism and the worsening of the oppression of the working class through the unification of political oppression and economic exploitation in a single hand. That, I think, is a valid thought, one developed by the German Social Democrats in the late 19th century against so-called "state socialism"; but I don't think it is what Marx has in mind here.

Marx had pointed out earlier in The Poverty of Philosophy that under capitalist conditions, competition breeds monopoly, and also monopoly breeds competition. But I think in this passage of the Grundrisse he is referring to capitalism as a society overall characterised by a greater degree of free competition (even in its more monopolised and statised forms) than societies where the individual's economic life is set by tributary and clan relations, often fixed hereditarily.

So I think the sentence really means more like: "The analysis of what capitalism really is, is the only rational reply to the middle-class prophets who laud it to the skies or to the socialists who damn it to hell".

What is wrong with the socialists "who damn it to hell" is that they neglect the analysis which shows the contradictions and struggles incubated by capitalism and which point beyond it to a new society. Instead they deal with capitalism by just counterposing their own ideal social blueprint.

I think Marx's thought here is similar to what he had written in The Poverty of Philosophy:

"The [bourgeois] economists want the workers to remain in society as it is constituted and as it has been signed and seal by them in their manuals.

"The socialists want the workers to leave the old society alone, the better to be able to enter the new society which they have prepared for them with so much foresight.

"In spite of both of them, in spite of manuals and utopias, combination [i.e. workers' organisation] has not ceased for an instant to go forward and grow with the development and growth of modern industry…

"The last word of social science will always be: 'Battle or death; bloody struggle or extinction. Thus the question is inexorably posed'."

Work and life

In a socialist society, work will be directed towards human need, not towards profit. Marx is also saying more than that, I think.

He is saying that capitalism creates the foundation for a flourishing of diverse needs and for work to be creative, innovative, and relatively (though never absolutely) free of drudgery.

A hunting-and-gathering society, or a society dominated by small peasant landholding with light state taxes, will both have work directed towards needs. But towards only very basic needs, and work which is repetitious and little-changing, with a high quota of drudgery.

In fact, the alienated labour of capitalist society is a step forward from that production for need, a stage of development with greater potentialities for emancipation.

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Saturday, March 20, 2021


Notes on discussion of section 12, pages 514-533

Advance of capitalism promotes privatisation? Or statism?

In Capital Marx would develop an argument about the concentration and centralisation of capital (not sketched at all in the Grundrisse) and conclude:

"The relative extension and energy of the movement towards centralisation is determined, to a certain degree, by the magnitude of capitalist wealth…

"In any given branch of industry centralisation would reach its extreme limit if all the individual capitals invested there were fused into a single capital. In a given society this limit wouild be reached only when the entire social capital was united in the hands of either a single capitalist or a single capitalist company".

Engels, in Anti-Dühring (which Marx read before publication and contributed a chapter to) extended this argument, writing that the "rebellion of the productive forces… forces the capitalist class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions". Thus joint-stock companies, "trusts", and then "conversion into state property".

In the Grundrisse, we find Marx sketching the opposite tendency: public utilities being more and more undertaken by private capital as capital flowers and grows. Marx must have had in mind the great expansion of private railway-building in Britain especially in the 1840s. (In fact the "canal mania" which had preceded the "railway mania" had also been in the hands of private capital).

From Anti-Dühring on, Marxists took it as solid fact that the dominant tendency was to more statisation. The flood of privatisations world-wide since the 1980s tells us that it is not so simple.

In the discussion we came up with these thoughts on the conundrums.

• There is an element of false dichotomy here. The privatised industries under neo-liberalism are run under heavy state regulation, while in the 1950s and 60s the nationalised industries were pushed to operate as profitable enterprises in the market.

Both trends operate. Which is most salient depends on other factors.

In an epoch of protectionism and relatively high transport and communication costs, capitalist states are concerned to build up relatively integrated national industrial complexes (their own steel industry, their own machine-tools industry, their own airline, etc.) which compete on the world market on the basis of each having a safe space in its "own" home market.

In an epoch of reduced transport and communication costs (containerisation, internet), capitalist states guide policy by the aim of making their countries attractive perches for mobile global capital.

Reduced transaction costs due to microelectronics make such things possible as the British electricity market, where prices and contracts are renegotiated every half-hour.

There is also a political dimension. Privatisation and outsourcing are policies to divide workforces and break up union organisation.

Is transport labour productive?

Marx argues yes. Some of us were doubtful. But Marx's argument seems convincing if you think of an industry like sand-mining. In that industry, all the labour is "transport" labour, moving the sand from somewhere like North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Queensland, where it is not a commodity, to a site where it is a commodity.

"Annihilation of space through time"

We didn't have much time to discuss Marx's phrase, made famous by David Harvey taking it up - "annihilation of space through time". (Or "by time", as Nicolaus translates it: the German is Die Vernichtung des Raums durch die Zeit, and durch is a pretty exact equivalent of "through" in English).

I'm still not convinced that there's anything very profound or enlightening about. Doesn't it just mean "moving" or "transport"? You reduce the space separating items by moving them in time? Perhaps the more startling development is the "annihilation of space" in timespans too short to register, as where my flatmate can do her job being the director of an art foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, from a flat in London...


These pages include patches where Marx frequently adopts the Hegelian usage "posit" (in German, the very everyday word setzen, set, put, sit). As far as I can see, there is no special warping of the argument here.

The twist to Hegel's use of setzen, "posit", is that for him cause posits effect and equally effect posits cause. Cause and effect are identical; they are parts of a circular logic. Hegel rules it out on principle that small causes can produce big effects. (Science of Logic vol.1 §3 ch.3; shorter Logic, §153, §154).

But Marx had not forgotten his critique of Hegel's drive to "harmonise" everything into a perfect circle, and as far as I can see the word "posit", in English translations of the Grundrisse can generally be read as "set" or "establish" with no trouble.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Notes on our discussion of section 11, p.459-514

Just three comments from our discussion on pages 459-514, mostly concerned with "precapitalist economic formations".

1. Not a rigid scheme

Marx's off-hand comment in the Preface to the 1859 Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy has sometimes been read as mandating a rigid categorisation of all societies into one or another of only a very few "modes of production".

"In broad outline, the Asiatic, ancient, feudal and modern bourgeois modes of production may be designated as epochs marking progress in the economic development of society".

In fact, in its heyday Stalinist orthodoxy made the scheme even tighter, eliminating the "Asiatic mode" from the sequence.

In the Grundrisse itself Marx discusses yet another ("Germanic") mode. He points to wide differences within the "Asiatic" mode. (Perry Anderson, in Lineages of the Absolutist State, argues in detail that there were in fact several substantially different "Asiatic" modes).

There is no indication in the Grundrisse that Marx considers the rough categorisation discussed there to be exhaustive.

Marx would have been aware of the gaps in his knowledge, as Eric Hobsbawm discussed them in his introduction to the separate translation of this section of the Grundrisse published under the title Pre-capitalist Economic Formations in 1964:

"The general state of Marx and Engels' historical knowledge [at the time]… thin on pre-history, on primitive communal societies and on pre-Colombian America, and virtually non-existent on Africa… not impressive on the ancient or medieval Middle East, but markedly better on certain part of Asia, notably India, but not on Japan… good on classical antiquity and the European middle ages… outstandingly good on the period of rising capitalism…"

2. Contradictions in feudalism

Why did capitalism emerge first in areas why feudalism had come to dominate, in Europe and Japan?

In the Grundrisse Marx attempts no discussion at all of the transition from one mode of production to another. He would give a four-sentence comment in the 1859 Preface, which to my mind confuses as much as it enlightens, but in any case was not a summary of longer or detailed investigation in the Grundrisse itself or anywhere else:

"At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure".

But on page 479 he offers the idea, in tune with his whole approach to history, that the fruitful element in feudalism was the contradictions embedded in it:

"The history of classical antiquity is the history of cities, but of cities founded on landed property and on agriculture; Asiatic history is a kind of indifferent unity of town and countryside (the really large cities must be regarded here merely as royal camps, as works of artifice erected over the economic construction proper); the Middle Ages (Germanic period) begins with the land as the seat of history, whose further development then moves forward in the contradiction between town and countryside…"

3. Alienation as progressive

In line with that comment on the social fertility of contradiction is another passage where Marx says again that the alienated relations of capitalist society also encapsulate its progress relative to pre-capitalist societies.

"The most extreme form of alienation, wherein labour appears in the relation of capital and wage labour, and labour, productive activity appears in relation to its own conditions and its own product, is a necessary point of transition – and therefore already contains in itself, in a still only inverted form, turned on its head, the dissolution of all limited presuppositions of production, and moreover creates and produces the unconditional presuppositions of production, and therewith the full material conditions for the total, universal development of the productive forces of the individual…" (p.515).

I've mentioned before Lucien Goldmann's idea that socialism will be "a synthesis at a higher element of the positive elements of three great preceding forms of society: 1. the classlessness of primitive society; 2. the qualitative relations of man [meaning human] to man, and of man to nature of pre-capitalist society; 3. the rationality of capitalist society and values of universality, equality and freedom".

(The passage is from Socialism and Humanism, a contribution to a book edited by Erich Fromm, Socialist Humanism. It is indeed quoted in Miriam Glucksmann's New Left Review 56 article on Goldmann: thanks to Matt for the pointer).

Marx's idea is certainly not Goldmann's. His idea is that socialism will emerge from the contradictions and conflicts within capitalist society, taking from it emancipatory elements of course, but not as a synthesis of the supposed "good sides" of previous societies. The human-to-human relations of precapitalist societies, enclosing each individual in a web of clan and tributary dependencies, were more cramping, less productive of conditions for fuller development and of fruitful struggles, than the alienated relations of capitalist society.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2021


Notes on our discussion of section 9, pages 333-433, and especially on the "Hegelian" usages in the Grundrisse


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