29 May 2011

“Capital”: Not a Doctrine, but a Critique

Philosophy and Religion, Part 7a

“Capital”: Not a Doctrine, but a Critique

In the year following the 150th anniversary of the 1848 “Communist Manifesto”, Cyril Smith took on Marx’s premier work, “Capital” in his “Hegel, Economics, and Marx's Capital” (linked below).

Smith showed how generations of Marxists have got it very wrong.

In particular, Smith shows us how “Capital” is not about “economics” or about what even Great Lenin mistakenly called “Marx’s Economic Doctrine”, but is really what it says it is: “A Critique of Political Economy”.

Equally mistaken, Smith shows, is the vulgar conception of the relation between Hegel’s work and Marx’s, and here Smith could have drawn support from E. V. Ilyenkov [Image, above].

Ilyenkov’s “The Dialectics of the Abstract and the Concrete in Marx’s Capital” was published in the Soviet Union in 1960.

No doubt, Smith is not the first to rediscover the real Marx, and he will not have been the last.

Apart from giving us a very good reminder to pay proper attention to what we are reading, Smith is also validating the CU policy of reading the original work more than the commentators and the analysts (see, e.g., the CU Generic Course on Capital, Volume 1).

The next post will deal decisively and comprehensively with Stalin and Stalinism. It will lift the Stalinist load from off the back of Karl Marx, and refresh Marx’s legacy.

The full Cyril Smith archive on MIA can be found here.

Please download the text and read.

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