Marx, Hegel and the Value-Form.

A new paper on Chris Arthur’s site further laying out the project of the systematic dialectic:
‘It is generally recognised that of all the chapters of Marx’s Capital it is the first chapter of Volume I in which the subterranean influence of Hegel’s Science of Logic, and of its categories, is easily detectable. However, this observation has not been much supported by detailed accounts of just which categories are relevant. The present chapter reconstructs the dialectic of the value-form in order to show how Hegel’s categories illuminate it. After an initial analysis of the commodity, using Hegel’s categories of ‘Being’ (quality, quantity and measure), the remaining categories deployed are drawn from Hegel’s Doctrine of Essence because the oppositions characteristic of its structure are suited to a study of the doubling of the commodity into commodities and money. These comprise: essence and appearance; reflection and the determinations of reflection (namely: identity, difference, contradiction and ground); positing the presupposition; the inverted world; force and expression; actuality, together with its modal categories; and substance.This present discussion of Marx’s first chapter is part of a broader project of mine to provide a systematic-dialectical reconstruction of the categories of his Capital.1 Systematic dialectic is a method of exhibiting the inner articulation of a given whole. Science in treating such a totality must elucidate a set of categories, capturing the forms and relations constitutive of the totality, in an ordered presentation. There is a significant homology between the movement of exchange, generating a system of pure forms of value, abstracted from the natural specificity of commodities, and the movement of thought, generating Hegel’s system of logical categories, abstracted from the real material world. Moreover the form of value as such, which springs from exchange as a process of ‘abstraction’, may be analysed regardless of any labour-content. Indeed theoretical priority must be accorded to ‘form-analysis’ because it is the practice of exchange that establishes this necessary form of social synthesis in the first place before labours expended are commensurated in it. Here, then, I analyse the value-form as such, ‘bracketing’ the origin of the objects of exchange.’


About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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