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Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods

Re-reading Marx - New Perspectives after the Critical Edition

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Patrick Murray, Creighton Univ. - Omaha "The Place of the Results of the Immediate Production Process in Capital"

"The Place of the 'Results of the Immediate Production Process' in Capital"


The 'Results of the Immediate Production Process,' an unfinished manuscript originally intended by Marx to conclude Volume I of Capital and serve as a transition Volume II, was first published in 1933 in the Moskauer Institut's publication Marx-Engels-Archiv. The publication of the full text in German by Verlag Neue Kritik (Frankfurt) in 1969 began to make this neglected text more widely available. A complete Italian translation edited by Bruno Maffi, Il Capitale Libro I (Firenze), appeared in 1969. In 1971 a French translation appeared in Paris, Un Chapitre inedit du Capital, edited and translated by R. Dangeville. An English translation by Ben Fowkes appeared in 1976 as an Appendix to his translation of Capital I.
Why Marx did not finish the Results and publish it in Capital I, has been something of a mystery. In his introduction to the Results, Ernest Mandel writes, 'But why was the originally planned Part Seven discarded?...For the time being, it is impossible to give a definitive answer to that question, on the basis of the knowledge which we possess about the development of Marx's thought between 1863 and 1866' (Results, 944). In the Making of Marx's Critical Theory: A Bibliographical Analysis Allen Oakley comments, 'For some reason that is not clear, this vital concluding piece was left out of Capital, Book I, when it went to press' (96). One purpose of the present paper is to determine what can be learned from the new MEGA regarding the fate of the Results.
Further objectives of the paper are: (1) to explore the significance of the phrase 'immediate production process' and consider why that rubric is not more prominent in Capital I; (2) to compare the treatment of formal and real subsumption in the 1861-63 manuscripts with the treatment in the Results and to consider Marx's reasons for downplaying--without entirely eliminating--this terminology from Capital I; (3) to investigate why Marx chose to incorporate the material on the reversal of the bourgeois law of appropriation into Part VII of Capital I (on the accumulation of capital) rather than put it in the Results; (4) to consider why Marx chose to include only a very abbreviated treatment of productive and unproductive labor (at the beginning of the chapter on absolute and relative surplus value) in Capital I; (5) to consider Marx's effort to 'de-Hegelianize' his manuscripts for publication and assess whether that entered in to his dropping the Results; (6) to determine which points in the Results are already encompassed in Capital I and which are missing; and (7) to assess what light the Results can shed on the interpretation of Capital I.