Marx and Shit.

Anyone know of any studies of Marx’s use of the word shit? Zizek or someone must have written something but there’s some good ones:

In fact of course, this ‘productive’ worker cares as much about the crappy shit he has to make as does the capitalist himself who employs him, and who also couldn’t give a damn for the junk. Letter To Ruge

And this one

 

At last we have arrived at the forms of manifestation which serve as the starting point in the vulgar conception: rent, coming from the land; profit (interest), from capital; wages, from labour. But from our standpoint things now look different. The apparent movement is explained. Furthermore, A. Smith’s nonsense, which has become the main pillar of all political economy hitherto, the contention that the price of the commodity consists of those three revenues, i.e. only of variable capital (wages) and surplus value (rent, profit (interest)), is overthrown. The entire movement in this apparent form. Finally, since those 3 items (wages, rent, profit (interest)) constitute the sources of income of the 3 classes of landowners, capitalists and wage labourers, we have the class struggle, as the conclusion in which the movement and disintegration of the whole shit resolves itself. Letter to Engels

 

Which I got from this interview with Kuruma on Marx’s method:

Kuruma: Yes, I did. But when reading the various passages, we need to be aware of both the similarities between Hegel and Marx regarding the relation of a critique of categories to a theoretical system, while at the same time clarifying the essential differences between them.

As we can see in the first volume of Lexikon on method, Marx, in his afterword to the second edition of Capital, after raising the issue of the method of investigation and the method of presentation, writes: “Only after this work [of inquiry] has been done can the real movement be appropriately presented. If this is done successfully, if the life of the subject-matter is now reflected back in the ideas, then it may appear as if we have before us an a priori construction.” Because of how much this appears to be an priori construction, if only this is focused upon, one will be tempted to interpret the system in Capital as an application of Hegel’s system from the Science of Logic. Unlike Hegel, however, in the case of Marx the issue centers on elucidating the system of the capitalist society, which is a real historical entity, so the structure of his theoretical system that seems a priori at first glance is in fact premised on the investigative process, or so-called “descending path,” regarding actually existing thing. In the course of this descending path, Marx, unlike the formal abstraction of classical political economy, “appropriates the material in detail, to analyze its different forms of development and to track down their inner connection.” In other words, for Marx, the criticism of the economic categories that indicate the various relations of bourgeois production is originally carried out in the downward path (investigation), so the structure of the system via the criticism of categories – the structure of the system that appears at first glance to be a priori and to develop on its own through the internal contradictions of the categories – is in fact not a priori but rather what could be called the reverse side of the process of investigation. Thus, if the method of investigation is not correct, the descriptive method in the upward path, and the structure of the theoretical system, will not fare well. This was the also case for Ricardo, who occupies the pinnacle of classical political economy, not to mention vulgar political economy which confines itself to the world of phenomena. For more on this, the reader can consult subheading 8 (“Scientific Insufficiency of Ricardo’s Method of Inquiry, and the Mistaken, Structure-less Method of Presentation in his Principles that Stems from This”) in the first volume of Lexikon on method, particularly entry [10] in the first volume of Lexikon on method. Our discussion in the insert for this first volume may also be useful for coming to a deeper understanding of this.

Kuruma: There is another fundamental difference between Hegel’s system and Marx’s system. Part One (Logic) of Hegel’s Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences concludes fortuitously with the Absolute Idea, and the Encyclopedia as a whole ends with the Absolute Spirit (see subheading 37 “Contradiction between Method and System in Case of Hegel: Method is Sacrificed for System” in the first Lexikon volume on the topic of method). Compared to this, Marx ends Book [volume] One of Capital with a chapter entitled “Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation” (for more on the problems raised there see entries [139] and [140] in the first volume of Lexikon on method as well as chapter 25 of Capital entitled “The Modern Theory of Colonization” which was added to the end following the chapter just mentioned); and Book [volume] Three ends with a chapter entitled “Classes,” although according to Engels’ preface to this work, “there only exists the beginning” of this final chapter, and he notes that the original plan “was to treat of the three major classes of developed capitalist society — the landowners, capitalists and wage-laborers — corresponding to the three great forms of revenue, ground-rent, profit and wages, and the class struggle, an inevitable concomitant of their existence, as the actual consequence of the capitalist period.” And according to an April 30, 1868 letter Marx wrote to Engels, “since those 3 items (wages, rent, profit (interest)) constitute the sources of income of the 3 classes of landowners, capitalists and wage laborers, we have the class struggle, as the conclusion in which the movement and disintegration of the whole shit resolves itself.” So Marx had intended to discuss this, and his overall system for a “critique of political economy” ends with “world market and crisis,” which each, despite the difference viewpoints stemming from their different dimensions, deal with a criticism of capitalist production itself, and a demonstration of its necessary collapse due to its internal contradictions. In his letter to Lasalle quoted earlier, Marx, after saying that “the work I am presently concerned with is a Critique of Economic Categories or, if you like, a critical exposé of the system of the bourgeois economy,” he adds, “it is at once an exposé and, by the same token, a critique of the system,” and this is no empty statement.

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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