[Marxism] Marx and Dialectics
d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Wed Oct 7 12:34:59 MDT 2009
Marx was a profoundly nuanced, non-dogmatic thinker.
His thinking was made up of many strands, his insights into the concrete
workings of capitalism and its eventual breakdown (or lack thereof) were
Nevertheless, he was deeply aware of the contradictions between
appearences and reality, between exchange-value and use-value, between
the capitalist imperative to expand and the resistance of the working class.
He jeered at the farce of vulgar bourgeois economics, whose real agenda
has always been upholding the status quo.
But he never got down to finishing Capital and actually spelling out
which (out of the many) contradictions of capital, would ultimately lead
to its replacement by communism.
I suspect he never had the time to actually formulate a precise theory
of economic crisis. We are left, in Capital III, with the law of
diminishing profits due to increases in constant capital ( at the C-M
level), with a theory of disproportionality between sectors I and II (in
Capital II), with an understanding of the struggle over surplus-value
between workers and capitalists (Capital I). Marx doesn't seem to have
seriously subscribed to the underconsumptionist, Sismondian, Keynsian,
view that wages were insufficient to realize profits.
Anyway, Marx was a very subtle dialectician, always careful not to
ascribe one single, absolute, cause to any single phenomenon.
I myself find Marx's extant writings (both published and unpublished
during his lifetime) to be much closer to anti-authoritarian,
libertarian communism than to so-called Marxism-Leninism. I don't think
he quite envisioned "proletarian dictatorship" as individuals vying for
power by manipulating a political party or their influence in the armed
He thought that the working class should become the dominant class, and
that workers should emancipate themselves from the shackles of class
oppression. Had Marx had time to complete his work on the State, he
would probably have lambasted any notion that the State should become
the overseer of the working class and deny the working class any say in
the managing of its own affairs. As far as I am concerned, Lenin is
quite anti-marxist in this respect.
More information about the Marxism