working-class subjectivity [Re-try]

glevy at glevy at
Tue Feb 13 06:30:25 MST 1996

Justin Schwartz wrote:

> In regard to the the incompleteness of Marx's woirk, there's a story,
> probably apocryphal, that someone asked the (old) Marx when his complete
> works would be published. "When they are finished," he is supposed to have
> replied. When I used to tell this story to students, when I had students,
> I'd comment that he was wrong about that. They were published before they
> were finished. --Justin

In a letter to Engels dated 7-31-1865, Marx stated that his published
writings represent a "artistic whole, and this can only be achieved
through my practice of never having things printed until I have them
before me in their entirety." Judging by the evidence, and the fact that
the drafts for what became V2, V3, and TSV were very incomplete in
nature, one could argue based on the above, that _Capital_ by no stretch
of the imagination was a "artistic whole" according to Marx. This is not
to say that Engels shouldn't have edited and published V2-3. Nor does it
mean that Kautsky should not have edited and published what became TSV.
What is does suggest, though, is that *we* can not view _Capital_ as a
completed work either.


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