Thursday, November 27, 2008

Notes on Wagner

Further to a conversation in the pub earlier this evening:

Towards the end of his life - in fact, I think this may have been one of the last things that he wrote - Marx made a collection of notes (for his own use) on a German political economist named Adolf Wagner. Wagner had had the temerity to summarise and explain Marx's theory of value, and predictably enough incurred Karl's wrath. A lesson to us all.

Anyway, the text is interesting, as in dismissing Wagner Marx also offers some useful comments about the account of value that he presented in Capital.

I also rather like this line:

"According to Mr. Wagner, Marx's theory of value is the cornerstone of his socialist system” (p. 45). Since I have never established a “socialist system,” this is a fantasy..."

I'm not going to be able to post a link to the essay on the transformation problem that we spoke about. If anyone wants a copy and didn't receive it via e-mail a few weeks back please send me a mail (


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