Translating Marx

John R. Ernst ernst at
Fri Sep 8 20:44:09 MDT 1995

On Fri, 08 Sep 1995 Lisa Rogers <EQDOMAIN.EQWQ.LROGERS at>
Well, I think you are close as evidenced by your translation. Based on
yours, my translation is

The ruling class in capitalist society differs from previous ruling classes
in that
a. the "authority"  is given them only because they own the means of
b. members of the ruling class relate to one as primarily as owners of
c. "complete anarchy reigns" in the world of these owners.
d: that anarchy generates something that seems like a natural law (the law
of value?)
    which prevails over "individual caprice."

I suppose my summary differs from yours in that you seem to stress Point A
and I see b-d as
points worth putting in the translation.

>------------------- MARXTRAN follows --------------------
>Marx, in Capital, vol III, p. 1021. Vintage:
>"Although on the basis of capitalist production the social character of
>production confronts the mass of immediate producers in the form of a
>governing authority, and the social mechanism of the labor process has
>here a completely hierarchical articulation--though this authority accrues
>its bearers only to as the personification of the conditions of labor
>labour itself, not to them as political or theocratic rulers as in earlier

>forms of production--the most complete anarchy reigns among the bearers of
>authority, the capitalists themselves, who confront one another simply as

>owners of commodities, and within this anarchy the social interconnection
>production prevails over individual caprice only as an overwhelming
>I'd like to take a shot at translating this, to see if I can, although the

>English teacher in me [from my mother's side] would like to mark it up and
>Karl a chance to rewrite before he receives a final grade.
>"Although capitalist production appears in a monolithic, hierarchical,
>form, the various capitalists are not actually united with each other.
>just look the same because each one has similar tendencies.  The
"authority" of
>capitalists is actually the result of the conditions of labor (i.e. they
>"owners", with all the legal support for their position, etc.)
>Am I even close?
>If you must comment, may I have it in a form that might help a sincere but

>struggling student of Marx, rather than a form which condemns me for not
>already knowing everything, and agreeing with every single one of you,
before I
>even joined the list, please?
>Lisa Rogers
>     --- from list marxism at ---
John R. Ernst

     --- from list marxism at ---


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