Thursday, January 28, 2010

I haven't had time this week to write anything pertaining to last week's discussion, but I thought these two links might be of interest. Firstly, this is a link to collection of Marx and Engels' own comments on literature and art. They don't all relate to the issue of value - some are more to do with aesthetics, others touch on ideology - but it would be worth having a look through.

Secondly, as regards the issue of aggregations of socially necessary labour time, I'd reccomend this:
it's The Incomplete Marx by Felton Shortall, and it's a text that I found very useful when reading Capital. This chapter in particular may be worth a look - - as it raises this issue:

“Against any labour theory of value that suggests that labour is the substance of value it may be objected that labour is not homogeneous -- that there exists a vast array of different types of labour -- and that therefore labour cannot serve as the single substance of the value of all commodities. To overcome such an objection it is necessary to demonstrate how the multiplicity of different labours that enter the production of commodities can be reduced to particular expressions of some universal labour-in-general which may then itself serve as the homogeneous substance of value.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Humphrey McQueen

A readable essay by the ever entertaining Humphrey McQueen makes some good points

Friday, January 15, 2010

Really good documentary on chaos theory:
What do these ideas do to theories about the freedom and self-determination of the individual subject (e.g. those pertaining to Marx and Marxism)?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Here are a few links to some of the texts discussed in the lecture and seminar today.

Firstly, this is a link to David Harvey's website which includes a series of lectures on Capital:

John also mentioned Michael Hardt's notes on Capital (Volumes 1 - 3), but I'm having trouble finding a readable version. This one seems to have lots of items that can't be displayed properly, so I'll have a look for a better version when I have time.

We also spoke briefly about the Francis Wheen 'biography' of Das Kapital, which may be of interest as regards considering Marx as a writer. Wheen argues that Capital is a gothic novel in this excerpt; if you like it, maybe track down the book itself.

Also, John mentioned an essay by Nicole Pepperell called 'When is it Safe to ead Capital'. The essay looks at the first chapter of Capital in relation to Hegel's Phenomenology and Logic, and it can be found in the book of essays that he mentioned in the lecture. The essay is also available on Nicole's blog:

Finally, this text might be of interest in relation to the mode of presentation / mode of analysis ideas that we spoke about: (scroll down to section 3, entitled 'On the Method of Political Economy'). The analsysis / presentation issue is also raised in the afterword to the second German edition of Capital, which can be found in the Penguin edition. The relevant quotation is on p.102, but it's worth reading the whole thing (see in particular Marx's comment about 'coquetting' with Hegel on p.103).