DIALECTICS: Sayers; Bhaskar

Hans Despain DESPAIN at econ.sbs.utah.edu
Sat Apr 8 17:58:48 MDT 1995


Hello Ralph,

Thanks for your summary, it seems you have found your sunshine in
Sayers.

I haven't had a chance to read Sayers as of yet, except for your
summarizes.  I am a little concerned with his seemingly heavy
relience on the *German Ideology*.  This phase of Marx's dialectic
relies too much on historical necessity.  But, I would agree with
your summary that it is especially here Marx distances from Hegel,
or materialism from idealism comes out in colors.  But, by the time
*Capital* is published I think that it distorts Marx's conception of
dialectic.  There seems to be a return to a more Hegelian conception
of thought.  I have in mind here Hegel's notion that civil society's
universality, must allow for the development and expression of
individuality, or personality.  For Marx the universality is Capital,
both the Market and the State, which dominates individuality,
foremost during the production process.  Further, it retards the
growth of individuality.  For example in the exchange process all
are forced to be egoistic, hence, never realizing a universality. Marx
remains committed to a notion of *materialism*, and there remains a
distinction between materialism and idealism, but it wouldn't be put
in the same place, and the distinction may become a bit more blurred.

>From the *German Ideology* history has a necessity against the,
reformulated Hegelian, notion of "estrangement."  Which in *Capital*
is reformulated to "commodity fetishism," which has almost ahistorical
presentation.  Take a look a *Grudrisse* the section on
method, Marx states that it would be mistaken to order the categories
as they occer historically.  In the *German Ideology* I read
contrary to his statements in *Grudrisse*, he presents and grounds
everything historically, and communism is no longer a moral
philosophical struggle, but in fact is historically on its way.
Anyway I think that jones/bhandari's mention of Little is also
getting at this.

Howie, I think you are correct to point out that Sayers may have a
"real(ist)" leaning in Ralph's summary, and to find a similarity with
Bhaksar.  Personally I wouldn't press this too far.  Based mostly on
what I have stated above.  I think Bhaskar is much more interested in
attempting to institute an "objective standard" (my term, borrowed
from H. Putnam) that is rooted in ethics.  For him to do this Hans E.
is correct to point to, and it should be emphasized, the value/fact
distinction is a very poor one.  But at the same time Bhaskar also
seems to argue for a bit of historical necessity, but I think it fits
much more to such things as *internal laws of Capital*, in chapter 25
of *Capital*, volume two *disportionality*, and volume three,
*falling rate of profit*, these phenomena must be overcome
historically based on inner-contradictions and manifesting into
crisis, but instituting emancipation does not necessarily have such a
base for Bhaskar, as I understand him.

Ralph I was wondering if you could possiblly expand on Sayers
reference to Murray, how does he present the conception of Marx's
use of "Essence Logic?"

Hans Despain
University of Utah
despain at econ.sbs.utah.edu


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