northanger (northanger) wrote,

1873. Afterword to the Second German Edition


Marx has a strong command of his text: it's been published, discussed, restructured, translated, refuted, misunderstood, clarified… he's grumpy, but kinda funny :)

N. Sieber is interesting: Professor of Political Economy in the University of Kiev, in his work “David Ricardo’s Theory of Value and of Capital,” referred to my theory of value, of money and of capital, as in its fundamentals a necessary sequel to the teaching of Smith and Ricardo. That which astonishes the Western European in the reading of this excellent work, is the author’s consistent and firm grasp of the purely theoretical position.

Sieber wrote the Russian translation of Capital. it took 130 years for Sieber to be translated from Russian, but Marx learned Russian to read Sieber. (see: here, here, here, here, here).

Paul Zarembka (with Rashika Desai), one of the editors of Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism (includes above papers on Sieber); also wrote: Marxist Political Economy without Hegel: Contrasting Marx and Luxemburg to Plekhanov and Lenin discussing Hegel's role in Marx & what Sieber did with Marx's Hegel (removed it entirely w/o Marx's objection). also noting Engels warned Marx about his Hegelianisms—Marx notes in this Afterword they were criticized (plus, he already dealt with Hegel anyway)—and half of Hegelianisms in the first edition were removed in future editions.

Afterword also brings up the role of metaphysics in Marx: Marx is accused of treating economics metaphysically, but Sieber sets things straight on that one too.

"rational egoism" is a key concept in Chernyshevsky's What Is To Be Done? from Arneson's Marxism and Secular Faith:

It has been argued by Mancur Olson and others that Karl Marx’s theory of revolution is logically defective in that from its premises one cannot draw Marx’s conclusion that workers will unite to revolt against capitalism. Workers who might wish for large social changes are confronted with a collective action problem that Marx fails to appreciate—so runs the criticism… The human nature assumptions I have ascribed to Marx are very far from constituting a testable theory. At best these loose assertions form a vision or proto-theory from which a theory might be constructed. But hardly any progress has been made in producing nontrivial theories of human motivation from a nonegoist starting point, so in this respect Marx’s analysis has not been superseded. The assumption of rational egoism that he eschews, despite its clarity and elegance, is at variance with established facts of political behavior that any political theory must comprehend. There is spadework yet to be done on the conceptual territory Marx begins to survey.


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