Marx's Manuscript

miyachi miyachi9 at
Fri Feb 22 07:12:48 MST 2002

[ converted from Word document and complicated character set. some
errors may lurk beaneath. Les ]

I present summary of article "Engels' Edition of the Third Volume of
Capital and Marx's original Manuscript"by Micchael Heinrich in
"Science&Society" vol60 no.4(1996-1997;TheGuilford Press)

He point out that in 1993, Marx's manuscript of 1864-65,used by Engels
as the basis for Volume III of capital, became available as Part of
New MEGA.  And he analyse this manuscript compared with forth edition.

Although Engels wrote" I tried my best to preserve the character of
the first draft whenever it was sufficiantly clear", there are large
number of transpositions,additions, contractions, and alteration.

1. In overview of Engels' Textual Modification, He summarize the
"modification" into 6 points.

a. Design of titles and headings Engels turned the title From "
Gestaltungen des Gesasamptproyesses(Formations of the Process as a
Whole) into "Der Gesamptprozess der Kapitalistischen Produktion(The
Processs of Captalist Production as a whole). I think probably that
Marx wanted to describe from essence of capital to appearance form of
capital, but In Engels edition, this point became obscure.

Engels also made a detailed segmentation of the text. The original
manuscript was divided into only seven chapters with few or no
subdivisions. Engels turned the seven chapters into seven parts with
52 chapters and a number of subparagraphs. Marx's text consists of 34
headings(and five construction points which are only numbered),while
Engels' edition contain 92 headings. By putting this material together
into chapters and inserting headings, this draft character is
concealed. The reader can no longer tell at what point in the
manuscript" "presentation" turns into " inquiry" The difference
between presentation and inquiry is of central importance for Marx's
own methodological understanding. To Marx "presentation" does not just
mean the moiré or less skillful assembly of final results. The
factural correlation of the conditions presented should be expressed
by the correct presentation of the categories, by" advancing from the
abstract to the concrete". To Marx, the search for an adequate
presentation isn an essential part of his process of inquiry. But this
difference is concealed by Engels.  Additionally, Engels tried to
strengten the coherence of the text, so readers do not learn that a
large part of Marx' manuscript is open and undicided.

b. Textual transpositions- Engels transposed large number of
pieces. The transposed pieces consists of part of a sentenc,and the
rearrangement of whole text complex ass in th fifth chapter(Part V in
Engels edition) At this stage, a serious error of Engels has to be
mentioned. Marx wanted to begin his seventh chaptert,"
Revenues(Income)and their Sources" with"1) The Trinity Formula",
Engels nelieved he had gound three independent fragments concerning
this point, two smaller ones which he labaled I and, II and a longer
one labeled III. This last fragment also had a gap, which Engels
pointed out to the readers. But in fact, these are not three
independent fragments. The fragments labeled I and II by Engels form a
continuous text which exactly fills the gap in fragment III.

c. Text omission- Engels made a number of deletions of single
words. Part. And sentence. For example, the reflections on the
transition from chapter I to II (MEGA II 4,2 282-83)

d. Text conversions- Engels changed the relevalence of many text
passages. Footnotes were integrated into main text, many brackets in
the main texts were omitted. Most of Marx´´s emphases were
deleted. Such differentiations disappear in Engels´ presentation. For
example, the famous passage on the poverty of the mass as the
"ultimate reason for all real crisis( Capital III 484),which ia often
quoted as a proof of the existence of an underconsumption theory in
Marx´s work,happened to be inside such a bracket and was integrated
into the main text by Engels.. And replacement exists For example
"mode of production by " production"

e. Insertions and textual extensions- They concerns single words or
parts, sentences,. Even relativitation of and reservations to Marx´´s
texts can be found. The alteration of marx´´s methodological remarks
is especially critical to the understanding of the text.

f. Modification of minor importance- These consist of textual
condensations, terminological alterations, stylistic change,
alteration, replacement of mathematical example.

Heinlich continues as " interpretatory handicaps caused by

a. crisis theory-Marx did not structure the third chapter pf his
manuscript, which deal with the " Law of the tendency of the Rate of
Profit to Fall" Engels divided the corresponding part of his edition
into three chapters(Chapter XIII o XV)ö the first two chapters follow
Marx´´s argumentations, which is adequately elaborated in the
original. Later, Marx´´s chapter passes into a large mass pd
remarks,additions, and argumentative approach , in unelaborated and
incomplete form. At this point, Marx´s presentation is no longer a
systemic one. Due to Engels giving this material a problematic chapter
heading("Exposition of the Internal Contradiction of the Law"),
introducing additional substructure, inserting headings and increasing
the coherence of the text by deleting paragraphs and omitting
brackets, the material in the original manuscript is considerably
upgraded.  And this chapter XV-created by Engels -has been considered
a vastly complete "Crisis theory" based on the law of the tendency of
the rate of profit to fall. It is not even clear whether the material
adapted by Engels was actually to constitute an independent
paragraph. Several option were possible for later elaboration- Marx
could have tried to turn this material into an independent chapter in
direct relation to the presentation of the law of the falling tendency
of the rate of profit. He could have tried to formulate an independent
paragraph on capitalist crises, integrating further material from the
sphere of the credit system, for instance, he could also have
distributed the presentation of the various crisis phenomena mentioned
into different chapters, avoiding an autonomous crisis theory, or
perhaps he would not have wanted to use a larger part pf what he had
written about crisis within the three volumes of Capital. Engels also
directly interfered with Marx´´s text whenever it contradicted the
interpretation he himself favored. For instance, Marx wrote on the
overproduction of capital( which Engels calls "overaccumulation of
capital" at this point) -"Die nähere Untersuchung darüber gehört in
die Betrachtung der erscheinden Bewegugs des Capitals, wo Zinscapital
etc Credit etc entwickelt(the closer analysis pf this issue belongs to
the studz of the appearing movement pf capital, where interest-bearing
capital etc credit etc will be presented) and we agree editor of MEGA
who argue in the annotation that " ersheinende Bewegung des
Capitals"(appearing movement of capitals) does not belong to the
matters dealt with in Capital(MEGA II 4,2 1255). Engels, however,
turned Marx´´s remark into opposite. He ommited Marx´´s text and wrote
instead "its closer analysis follows later"(Capital III 251)

In fact, some remarks on overproduction, or overaccumulation, of
capital actually follow. Marx thought the subject cannot be negotiated
on the given level of abstraction. This turned into the opposite by

b-Credit theory- a similar situation arises in the fifth chapter of
Marx´s original manuscript. Here at least Engels gave an idea, in the
preface ,of the extent of the transpositions he had made. In this
chapter too Marx´s presentation soon changed into the protocol of a
research process containing a large amount of not fully accomplished
reflections. By Engels´´editing, the impre3ssion is again given the
elementary problems have been solved to a vast extent and that it is
merely a questions pf a not quite completed presentation. In fact the
emphasis in the fifth chapter was to be interest-bearing capital. Marx
divided this chapter into six subchapters. The first four points
correspond to the first four chapters of Part V in the Engels
edition(Chapter XXI to XXXV in Capital III). Marx titled point V
"Credit, fictitious Capital"(MEGA II 4,2 469). Engels composed his
chapters XXV to XXXV from this material. In doing this, he made many
textural rearrangements, put footnotes into text, distributed a whole
chapter(" The Confusion"),introduced a fair number of transitional
remarks and thus obscured the passage where Marx´s text was no longer
a mature presentation but a " process of inquiry" or sometimes even
just an excerpt. Thus Marx´´s point VI (" pre-capitalist
Relationship") corresponds to the last chapter of Part V in Engels
Edition. The structure lists credits as the last subpoint in the
presentation of interest-bearing capital. Engels designs 11chapters
from this fifth point. Not just because of its size but also owing to
the structuring of the material, the impression arises that the
presentation of interest-bearing capital is just ana introduction to
the discussion od credit. This also prevails in the terminology-Part V
is often called the "Part on Credit" ,even though credit is not even
mentioned in the title.

In this chapter, Engels also made textual changes as soon as the
original text got in the way of his own interpretation. Marx
introduced the point 5 " Credit,, fictitious Capital" with the
following sentence" As analysis of the credit system and of the
instruments which it cerates for its own use,like credit-money
etc. lies behind our plan(MEGA II 4,2 469). Engels introduced the word
"exhaustive" here. An exhaustive analysis pf the credit system and of
the instruments which it creates for its own use(credit-money etc)
lies beyond our plan"(Capital III 400) he had made a similar
alteration earlier on. In the first chapter of Marx´s manuscript, the
following remark folloews under the subtitle" Appreciation,
Deprecation, Release and Tie-up pf Capital" the phenomena analysed in
this §require for their full development the credit systen and
competition on the world-market.... These more definitive forms of
capitalist production can 1. onlz be presented ,however, after the
general nature of capital is understood, and 2 . they do not come
within the scope of this work and belong to its continuation(MEGA II
4,2 178)

Thus, although Marx repeatedly declares that the presentation of the
credit system lies beyond his plan, Engels introduced the word "
comprehensively" into thr second sentence.

Although Heinlich remains credit system analysis unsolved in his own ,
we are nearly to solve " credit problem" from Marx´´s manuscript We
will show this problem practically important after suspension of
specie payment between dollar and gold, because it was unclear that
why and how dollar circulate as if money.

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