Class 1 Chinese

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Class 1

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NEIL SMITH: 我們今天有好東西要和你们分享

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我們將和David Harvey聊聊

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他教授的的課程

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我想到現在已經有四十年了

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關於《資本論》这部著作。我是Neil Smith。

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我在紐約城市大學教授人類學和地理學。

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从我来到这里,David一直是我的同事

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但在他來到這所大學之前,大概三十年以前

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我是David在約翰霍普金斯大學的學生,也是在那裡

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我第一次

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意識到資本論不只是一本書,且那也是我第一次念完它

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當然是在David的指導下讀完。David,是什麼啓發你

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開始在1970年代早期

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想要回頭讀《資本論》?

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» DAVID HARVEY:那是

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一个历史性的时刻

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会让人感觉正是合适的时刻

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我从英国来

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在1969年的夏天下船

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我抵达巴尔的摩

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那座城市曾于1968年爆发暴力事件

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在马丁路德金被刺杀之后

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the civil rights questions in the city were
城市里的民权问题是

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公开的,城市里的种族歧视是明目张胆的,

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越战正在持续当中,

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所有的反战者

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越发激烈

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那是一段非常,非常令人感到迷惑的时刻

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我记得

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我想应该是69年的12月

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福瑞德.汉普顿在芝加哥被杀

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黑豹党的领袖

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在那之后不久

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70年5月

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在肯特州立大学发生屠杀事件

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大量学生罢课,从全国各地来的学生

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纷纷罢工,然后就是杰克逊州立大学发生屠杀

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所以,这是一个令人非常不安的时刻。

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而我想

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对我来说,不论如何,我意识到我们不是很清楚如果去把握,或者

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如何去解释这些

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而且我已经被训练成一种社会科学家的思维去考虑问题,所以我找不到一种框架来

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真正囊括这所有一切正在发生的事情。

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所以我对一些研究生说:“喂,我们干嘛不读一下资本论?”

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“反正我们从来没读过这本书”

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”或许我们能从中找到一些东西“

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“管用的东西”

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所以我们坐下来,组成了一个读书小组开始读它

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这就是所有的一切是怎么开始的。然后我们就发现人们一次性的彻彻底底的

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彻彻底底的误解了这本书

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彻底的误解了它,现在我回过头去看,

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我耻于去听那些我们第一年曾经说过关于这本书的一些话

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你知道,那是盲人带着盲人去阅读这本广阔的书,你明白的

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而且我们不明白我们正在干什么,然后我们想:“既然我们已经读了一遍”

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“那我们最好再去读一遍,因为很明显的我们还没有真正吃透它的意思”

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不过那时我确实已经认识到一件事:

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那就是,只有当你读到最后你才会真正开始理解资本论

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起步是非常困难的

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» NEIL SMITH:是的

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» DAVID HARVEY: 清楚的明白

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所以第二年我们又一次阅读了它

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下一年再一次进行了阅读

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我对自己说,嗯

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这真的很有趣,而现在,我开始意识到这个框架是怎么构建起来的了

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它能帮助我理解正在发生的事物,所以我想,嗯,我应该继续下去

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还有其他的人像我一样

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觉得他们需要这个思维框架

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所以,逐渐地

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我开始觉得,嗯,我们每年都这么做吧

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但自然而然地,当你开始做这件事的时候

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你突然发现自己被称作马克思主义者

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我不知道什么马克思主义者,而我不认为自己是这样的人

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我也不关心这件事,但当你因为开始读这本书

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而开始严肃地对待它

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你想要知道更多关于如何通过这种角度去理解世界的事情的时候

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你突然发现自己陷入了一个政治角落,过了一会儿,你想说的是

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我想如果这就是我,那就这样吧,所以……

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» NEIL SMITH: 喔,我想着对于接下来的课程

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是会有很大帮助的

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如果你能给我们一些概况

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和一些讨论性想法

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关于你觉得资本论卷一的重要观点

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» DAVID HARVEY: 我认为去阅读资本论很好的

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一个理由,是

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我从教授这门课中收获了快乐

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参与到课程中的人很少会上与马克思有关的课程

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或者是与韦伯,涂尔干有关的课程
他们或许读过关于他们所写的著作的摘要

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但他们从来没有把它(资本论)当做一本书来认真地阅读

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它有着非常精妙的文体构造
所以,我想指出

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一件很重要的事

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它是一本很好的著作!

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一旦你克服了语言带来的障碍,
并抓住了所有的概念去解读它

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你就会发现它是一部极具生命力的作品,(逻辑)极为流畅

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这种流畅从开头就显现出来了
虽然那里只是在讲述关于商品的一些简单想法

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You go into a supermarket, you find a commodity,
you buy the commodity, you take it home, you eat it,
你进入超市,寻找一件商品,继而买了商品并带回家,你吃了,

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or wear it, or whatever, and,
或穿了,或各种方式的使用,并且,

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and just beginning with that thing, which we
all know about, it takes you step by step by step
就这样与它开始了联系,正如众所周知的,它一步步征服了你

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right the way through,
正是通过这种形式,

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unraveling how a capitalist economy works.
显现资本主义经济是如何运转的。

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And then it builds around that sort of
insights, stunning insights, as to why we have
从那样的令人震撼的见解里它(资本论)延伸出为什么我们有

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unemployment, or why there is a struggle over
失业、为什么时间不够用

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time, why is it that
为什么

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capitalists are always trying to
资本家们总是尝试

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snatch time away from you,
偷走你的时间

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why do we live a life where our world
为什么在我们的人生里

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is kind of
世界似乎

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orchestrated around a
certain kind of concept of temporality,
是围绕着一种暂时性的理念编排起来的

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and what the oppressions are
which exist with all of that. So, I think it's
以及什么是存在于所有这些事中的压迫。所以我认为

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incredibly revelatory in what it does.
资本论极其有启发性。

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So, the aim of this course is to
這堂課的目的是

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get you to read this book,
讓你讀這本書

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and to do it as well as
you can in Marx's own terms,
從馬克思的觀點念資本論

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which may sound a bit ridiculous because,
可能聽起來有點荒謬

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since you haven't read the book,
既然你沒有念過這本書

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you won't know exactly what his
你根本不知道什麼叫做
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terms are.
馬克思的觀點
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But one of his terms is that you read,
但他的其中一个观点是你只要读书,

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and therefore you'll get a lot
more out of this class
你会从这堂课得到更多

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if you read the assigned readings
如果你在来上课之前

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before you come to class,
than if you just come along and listen.
读了布置的阅读,相比如果你只是来课上听。

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There's another reason
for that, which is that
这里还有另一个原因,就是

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You have to struggle, always,
你必须要永远的奋斗着

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with understanding something.
来理解事物。

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And in struggling with it yourself
而当你在与这阅读抗争的过程中,

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you can come to your own
你可以得出你自己

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understanding of what Marx stands for
对马克思理论的理解

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and what it means to you. So it's an
engagement between you and this book,
以及对你的意义。所以这使你融入这本书

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you and this text,
融入原文

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that I want
这是我想要

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to encourage.
鼓励你去做的。

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In doing that, however,
但是这样做的话,

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there is a complication
which arises from the fact that
事情就复杂了,因为你如果没有一些预先形成的看法

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it's very hard to approach this without
some preconceived ideas. Everybody has
这会很难理解。每个人都

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heard of Karl Marx
听说过卡尔马克思

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and everybody knows the
term Marxism and Marxist,
并且,每个人都知道这个词马克思主义和马克思主义者

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and there all kinds of connotations that go
以及各种和这些词相关的含义。

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with those words.

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So, what I have to ask you at the
beginning is to try to lay aside a lot of those
所以,有必要先请您把许多先入之见

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preconceptions, a lot of those
以及许多你所知道关于马克思的知识

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things you think you know about
Marx and just try to read the text,
放在一边。
只要去读资本论的文字。

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to find out what it really
was he was trying to say.
去发现马克思真正想要表达的意思

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And that, of course,
当然

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is not easy for a bunch
of other reasons, which
由于种种原因,这样做并不容易。

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I want to talk about by way of introduction.
我想谈下入门。

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One of the other preconceptions
with which we tend to
我们尝试去了解一本书的

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approach a text of this kind is
一个方法是

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out of our particular kind of
intellectual history, and our own particular
脱离我们自己个人的知识领域

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intellectual formation,
及知识形态

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and for people who are
graduate students, for example,
比如,对于研究生来说,

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this intellectual formation is very often
governed by disciplinary apparatuses,
他们的知识形态时常被惩戒性的机构组织

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disciplinary considerations,
出于惩戒的考虑所限制。

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disciplinary concerns.

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And so the tendency is
这就导致人们从他们约束性的学术观点

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to sort of read it from
your disciplinary standpoint.
出发而研读书籍。

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Well, one of the great things about Marx is
he would never have got tenure in any discipline,
当然,马克思难能可贵的一点就在于他从来不被任何一种学术规范所限制住。

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and if you want to read him right, then
you've got to forget about getting tenure
所以,如果你想要读懂他的书,你必须抛下一自己既有的

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in your discipline;
学术规范。

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not in the long run of course but at
least for the purposes of this course.
这个要求也许不是长期性的,但至少是为了读资本论而做到的。

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You have to think about
你一定要深思

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what it is
马克思到底在讲些什么。

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that he is saying, independent of
独立于学术规范,

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the disciplinary apparatus with
which you start to think about things.
开始独立思考。

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Now, the other reason for saying that
is actually this turns out to be an astonishingly rich
现在,我们谈下另一个这样说的原因是

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book in terms of its references.
资本论引用了莎士比亚,希腊,巴尔扎克的文字,还引用了

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References to Shakespeare,
to the Greeks, to Balzac,

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references to all of the the
political economists, to philosophers,
许多政治经济学,哲学,人类学

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to anthropologists and all
the rest of it. In other words,
及其他学术资料

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Marx draws upon
总之,马克思使用了大量

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an immense array of sources,
知识资源

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and as he does so it might be really
exciting for you to kind of figure out
所以去了解这些引用的资源会是非常有帮助的。

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what some of those sources are,

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and actually some of them quite hard to track
down, and I've been looking at this for a long time.
其实,查询一些引用的资源是很辛苦的。

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But it really is kind of
very exciting when you start to see
但当你看到这些资源和资本论的联系时是十分激动不已的。

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some of the

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connections. For instance, when I first
started reading this, I had not read many
例如,当我第一次读资本论时,我之前还并没有

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of Balzac's novels, then I'm reading
Balzac's novels and I say to myself:
读过巴尔扎克的许多小说。之后,我就去读这些小说,惊叹道:

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'Oh that's where Marx got it from!'
”原来小说中的这个部分正式马克思思想的源泉。”

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and then you kind of suddenly see all the
ways in which he's drawing upon a whole
然后,你突然发现了马克思借助这种种知识经验

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experiential world,
所构筑的一个完整的世界。

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full of Goethe, full of
Shakespeare, you know, all the rest of it.
这个世界里充满了歌德,莎士比亚,还有一些大家耳熟能详的人物。

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So, it's a very
所以,这些正是资本论信息丰富的所在。

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rich text in that kind of way,
and you start to appreciate it,
你会开始欣赏资本论。

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I think, more

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if you stop saying to yourself: 'Well,
也许有时你会停下来问,“那么,资本论引用了那位名人的话?”“资本论

0:10:08.860,0:10:11.660
who is he referring to in history?', or 'Which
引用了那位经济学家的话?”

0:10:11.660,0:10:14.380
economist is he talking about?' and so on.

0:10:14.380,0:10:17.260
And the other thing that will come
across, if you read it that way, is you'll
另外,如果你用这种方式阅读,你一定会

0:10:17.260,0:10:19.930
actually find this a very interesting book.
发现这是本有趣的,

0:10:19.930,0:10:22.460
It's a fascinating book,
迷人的书

0:10:22.460,0:10:25.980
and here of course we come across
another set of preconceptions, because
现在让我们讲讲另外的一个先入之见。

0:10:25.980,0:10:28.660
many of you will already have encountered
那就是我们中的许多人可能已经读过马克思的文字。

0:10:28.660,0:10:31.020
some of Marx in your reading.

0:10:31.020,0:10:34.620
Maybe you read the Communist
Manifesto in high school.
也许你在高中读过共产党宣言

0:10:34.620,0:10:37.710
Maybe you went through one of those
wonderful courses which is called
也许你曾经上过这样一门很精彩的课叫“介绍社会理论”,

0:10:37.710,0:10:40.880
'Introduction to social theory',
where you spent two weeks on Marx,
在这门课上你可能花了两周时间学习马克思的理论,

0:10:40.880,0:10:46.460
you know, two weeks on Weber, a few
weeks on Durkheim and all the other kind of characters.
你也许学过两周韦伯,几周涂尔干,还有其他一些人的理论。

0:10:46.460,0:10:48.910
And maybe you read
some excerpts from Capital.
另外,你可能读过资本论的摘录。

0:10:48.910,0:10:54.000
But reading excerpts from Capital is
entirely different from reading it as a book,
但是,读资本论的摘录和读资本论这本书是完全不同的。

0:10:54.000,0:10:58.269
because you start to see these bits and
pieces that are excerpts as, somehow or other,
因为你开始发现这些碎片的摘录事实上

0:10:58.269,0:11:02.270
playing into a much grander
and broader narrative, and what I think
形成了一个更为宏大的叙事,并且

0:11:02.270,0:11:05.430
I'd like you to really try to
get out of this, is some sense
我希望你真正从中获得的是一种

0:11:05.430,0:11:11.170
of what that grander narrative is, and what that
grander conception is, because that is, if you like,
大局观,因为我认为这种大局观正是

0:11:11.170,0:11:14.040
how Marx, I think, would
want to be read. He would hate it
马克思希望我们理解的。他不会喜欢
0:11:14.040,0:11:15.230
if somebody said:
有人说:

0:11:15.230,0:11:19.000
'Hey, you've got to excerpt this chapter',
or 'You've got to do this chapter', and you can
“嗨,你必须摘录下这一章节”或者“你必须看看这一章”这样你才能

0:11:19.000,0:11:20.080
understand Marx that way.
真正理解马克思。

0:11:20.080,0:11:23.680
And he would certainly hate it if he knew he
was being given three weeks in an introduction
同时,如果马克思知道他在社会理论课的介绍上获得了三个星期,

0:11:23.680,0:11:25.290
to social theory class.
他一定不会高兴。

0:11:25.290,0:11:27.440
And I think you should hate that, too,
我想你们大概也不会高兴,

0:11:27.440,0:11:30.280
because you get a certain
conception of Marx from that,
因为你从中会得到一种新的观念,

0:11:30.280,0:11:32.070
which is radically different
这种观念与你从读
0:11:32.070,0:11:35.290
from the kind of
conception you get from reading
马克思的《资本论》那种书中获得的观念

0:11:35.290,0:11:38.600
a book like Marx's Capital.
完全不同。
0:11:38.600,0:11:43.120
Now the other thing that happens,
of course, from the disciplinary standpoint

0:11:43.120,0:11:49.320
is that very often people
start to re-orchestrate their understandings

0:11:49.320,0:11:52.930
around that disciplinary
standpoint. That is, you say:

0:11:52.930,0:11:56.380
'Well, I'm not a good economist, I don't
get the economics in here at all, so I'm not

0:11:56.380,0:11:59.190
going to be bothered to
follow the economic argument,

0:11:59.190,0:12:00.200
I'm just going to follow

0:12:00.200,0:12:01.819
the philosophical argument'.

0:12:01.819,0:12:02.819
And actually,

0:12:02.819,0:12:04.830
it's very interesting reading

0:12:04.830,0:12:07.460
Marx in that perspective.

0:12:07.460,0:12:11.290
Now, I've taught this course
now every year since 1971,

0:12:11.290,0:12:12.780
except one.

0:12:12.780,0:12:17.240
Some years I've taught it twice,
some years I even taught it three times.

0:12:17.240,0:12:20.880
And in the early years I
used to teach it to all kinds of

0:12:20.880,0:12:22.310
different groups.

0:12:22.310,0:12:23.670
One year it was

0:12:23.670,0:12:27.430
the whole philosophy department
from what was called Morgan State

0:12:27.430,0:12:29.949
College at the time, Morgan
State University. Another time

0:12:29.949,0:12:33.690
it was all of the graduate students in
the English program at Johns Hopkins.

0:12:33.690,0:12:34.579
Another year

0:12:34.579,0:12:38.960
it was economists, and this kind of thing.
And actually, what was fascinating to me was,

0:12:38.960,0:12:43.170
each time you read it with a different
group, they saw different things in it.

0:12:43.170,0:12:46.540
And actually, I learned a great deal about
the text from going through it with these

0:12:46.540,0:12:49.670
very different disciplinary groups.

0:12:49.670,0:12:52.680
Sometimes it drove me
crazy, but I learned a great deal.

0:12:52.680,0:12:55.100
One year, for example,

0:12:55.100,0:13:00.930
I ran it with a group of people from
the comparative literature program at Johns Hopkins,

0:13:00.930,0:13:03.630
about seven of them.

0:13:03.630,0:13:07.290
And we got onto chapter one,

0:13:07.290,0:13:11.040
and we spent the whole semester on chapter one.

0:13:11.040,0:13:14.710
It drove me nuts. I was saying: 'Look, we've got
to get onto the working day', you know, and things like

0:13:14.710,0:13:17.029
that, very important issues
of this kind, and they'd say:

0:13:17.029,0:13:20.690
'No, no, we've got to get this right, we've got
to get this right', you know. 'What does he

0:13:20.690,0:13:23.870
actually mean by value? What is
actually this money commodity? What

0:13:23.870,0:13:26.070
is fetish about? What is this really all about?'

0:13:26.070,0:13:27.270
And it turned out…

0:13:27.270,0:13:30.830
I said: 'Why are you doing all of this?'
They said: 'Well, we're working very much in the

0:13:30.830,0:13:33.679
tradition of…' somebody I'd never
heard of at the time, and thought

0:13:33.679,0:13:37.430
was obviously an idiot, because
he was producing this kind of thing,

0:13:37.430,0:13:39.980
a man called Jacques Derrida,

0:13:39.980,0:13:44.240
who spent a lot of time at
Hopkins during the late 1960s, early

0:13:44.240,0:13:47.460
1970s. And so actually

0:13:47.460,0:13:50.890
was very influential in the
comparative literature program.

0:13:50.890,0:13:53.100
Now, one of the things I actually afterwards

0:13:53.100,0:13:55.150
thought about this was…

0:13:55.150,0:14:00.080
What they taught me was to pay
very careful attention to Marx's language;

0:14:00.080,0:14:05.040
what he says, and how he says it, and what
he means, and maybe what he's missing out,

0:14:05.040,0:14:08.160
and that is also terribly important.

0:14:08.160,0:14:12.800
And so, actually, I learned…
and I'm very grateful to that group now,

0:14:12.800,0:14:16.530
apart from the fact that I no longer
sound myself like an idiot for saying I don't…

0:14:16.530,0:14:19.270
I've never heard of Jacques Derrida, you know.

0:14:19.270,0:14:23.380
So it was just very influential

0:14:23.380,0:14:28.170
to have a group of that kind sort of take
me through just chapter one

0:14:28.170,0:14:30.100
with a fine-toothed comb,

0:14:30.100,0:14:33.360
going through almost every word,
every sentence, every connection with the

0:14:33.360,0:14:34.910
sentences, and so on.

0:14:34.910,0:14:38.860
Yes, indeed, I want to get you to the
working day. Yes, indeed, I want to get

0:14:38.860,0:14:41.629
you through the volume, so we're
not going to spend all of the time

0:14:41.629,0:14:43.090
on chapter one, but

0:14:43.090,0:14:46.580
this is the kind of thing that different
disciplinary perspectives can open up.

0:14:46.580,0:14:51.300
Because Marx actually wrote this text

0:14:51.300,0:14:55.890
from those many different
standpoints that I've indicated.

0:14:55.890,0:14:56.610
And I think that

0:14:56.610,0:14:58.280
we have to recognize

0:14:58.280,0:15:03.330
how those different standpoints
intersect within the text.

0:15:03.330,0:15:06.130
There are in fact three major

0:15:06.130,0:15:08.430
areas of inspiration

0:15:08.430,0:15:10.550
for this work,

0:15:10.550,0:15:13.790
and they're all powered forward by

0:15:13.790,0:15:18.940
a deep commitment, in Marx's case, to

0:15:18.940,0:15:22.540
critical theory, to a critical analysis.

0:15:22.540,0:15:27.890
When he was relatively young he wrote a little
piece to one of his sort of editorial colleagues

0:15:27.890,0:15:30.070
at a German journal.

0:15:30.070,0:15:35.360
The title of the piece is :
'For a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing'.

0:15:35.360,0:15:40.440
A very modest piece, and I
suggest that you actually go read it,

0:15:40.440,0:15:42.780
because it's fascinating.

0:15:42.780,0:15:45.640
What he does there is, he doesn't say

0:15:45.640,0:15:46.680
everybody

0:15:46.680,0:15:50.800
is stupid, I'm going to trash everybody,
I'm going to criticize everybody out of

0:15:50.800,0:15:51.790
existence. No.

0:15:51.790,0:15:53.760
What he says is,

0:15:53.760,0:15:57.050
there are a lot of serious people
who really thought about the world

0:15:57.050,0:15:58.760
very hard.

0:15:58.760,0:16:04.830
And they've seen certain things about
the world, and what they have seen is our resource.

0:16:04.830,0:16:09.540
What the critical method does
is to take what they have seen, and

0:16:09.540,0:16:15.080
to work on it and to transform
it into something different.

0:16:15.080,0:16:18.200
And one of the things he later said,
which I think captures his method

0:16:18.200,0:16:19.750
admirably, is:

0:16:19.750,0:16:24.220
he says the way in which you
do that transformation is you take

0:16:24.220,0:16:26.699
radically different conceptual blocks

0:16:26.699,0:16:32.370
and you rub them together,
and you make revolutionary fire.

0:16:32.370,0:16:36.790
And that is in effect what he's doing.
He is taking very, very different traditions,

0:16:36.790,0:16:38.340
pushing them together,

0:16:38.340,0:16:39.800
rubbing them together,

0:16:39.800,0:16:43.960
and creating a completely
new framework of knowledge.

0:16:43.960,0:16:47.790
And as he says in one of his introductory

0:16:49.670,0:16:52.350
prefaces, he says: if you're trying to
create a new system of knowledge, then

0:16:52.350,0:16:55.790
you've got to reshape the whole conceptual apparatus.

0:16:55.790,0:17:00.590
You've got to reshape the whole method of inquiry.

0:17:00.590,0:17:04.939
Now, the three conceptual blocks
that he rubs together in Capital

0:17:04.939,0:17:07.110
are really these:

0:17:07.110,0:17:09.579
First there is the conceptual block

0:17:09.579,0:17:12.180
of political economy.

0:17:12.180,0:17:17.640
Eighteenth century, early
nineteenth century political economy.

0:17:17.640,0:17:20.010
This is mainly English.

0:17:20.010,0:17:22.600
Not solely English, but it's

0:17:22.600,0:17:28.070
from Locke and Hobbes and Hume to, of
course, Adam Smith and Ricardo and Malthus.

0:17:28.070,0:17:32.180
And a host of other figures,
like Steuart, and minor figures.

0:17:32.180,0:17:35.880
And he subjected all of these people

0:17:35.880,0:17:39.730
to a deep, deep criticism, in

0:17:39.730,0:17:45.040
three volumes called 'Theories of Surplus Value'.

0:17:45.040,0:17:48.240
He didn't have a photocopying machine
and he didn't have the web and all those kinds

0:17:48.240,0:17:51.240
of things, so he
laboriously copied out by hand

0:17:51.240,0:17:52.980
long passages from Adam Smith,

0:17:52.980,0:17:54.770
and then wrote a commentary on them.

0:17:54.770,0:17:59.290
Long passages from Steuart,

0:17:59.290,0:18:03.390
again, long sort of commentaries on them.

0:18:03.390,0:18:07.990
In fact what he was doing there
was what we now call deconstruction.

0:18:07.990,0:18:10.210
And one of the things I learned

0:18:10.210,0:18:12.950
from going through 'Theories of Surplus Value' was

0:18:12.950,0:18:16.170
how to deconstruct arguments this way.

0:18:16.170,0:18:18.340
In effect, what he does is to say:

0:18:18.340,0:18:19.979
'Adam Smith makes this argument.

0:18:19.979,0:18:22.770
What is he missing out?

0:18:22.770,0:18:25.030
What is the absence? What is the missing

0:18:25.030,0:18:26.400
piece in this,

0:18:26.400,0:18:28.299
that really helps pin it all together,

0:18:28.299,0:18:32.390
and when we put it in there,
transforms the argument?'

0:18:32.390,0:18:34.470
So political economy

0:18:34.470,0:18:37.750
is really quite strong

0:18:37.750,0:18:38.540
as one of the..

0:18:38.540,0:18:42.760
…one of the pieces in the story.

0:18:42.760,0:18:46.429
Now, I know political economy pretty well.
I've read a lot of that stuff and I feel

0:18:46.429,0:18:50.140
fairly familiar with it. Maybe it's
because I come out of the English

0:18:50.140,0:18:53.260
tradition and all the rest of it,
that I feel fairly comfortable with it.

0:18:53.260,0:18:56.080
And so when we're going through,

0:18:56.080,0:18:58.960
I'll give you quite a bit of

0:18:58.960,0:19:00.850
the materials coming
out of that, in terms of

0:19:00.850,0:19:02.960
where Marx is getting his inspiration from,

0:19:02.960,0:19:05.240
because he doesn't always cite it in Capital.

0:19:05.240,0:19:06.789
An idea comes up,

0:19:06.789,0:19:08.830
which is clearly taken from one place,

0:19:08.830,0:19:10.400
and is very significant,

0:19:10.400,0:19:14.410
but Marx doesn't always cite it.

0:19:14.410,0:19:15.820
There are, of course,

0:19:15.820,0:19:21.420
also some other theorists, even in
the United States, but primarily French.

0:19:21.420,0:19:25.230
So there was a French tradition of
political economy, too, rather different.

0:19:25.230,0:19:29.370
Marx makes reference to that, but that
is one, if you like, one of the big areas

0:19:29.370,0:19:32.920
of his…of his discussion.

0:19:32.920,0:19:36.460
The second area

0:19:36.460,0:19:39.770
is German classical critical philosophy,

0:19:39.770,0:19:41.870
which stretches back to the Greeks.

0:19:41.870,0:19:45.660
Now, Marx wrote his dissertation

0:19:45.660,0:19:50.040
on Epicurus, so he was very, very
familiar with Greek thought,

0:19:50.040,0:19:52.750
and of course the
way in which Greek thought

0:19:52.750,0:19:56.230
came into the German
philosophical critical tradition,

0:19:56.230,0:20:01.340
Spinoza, Leibniz, and of course Hegel,

0:20:01.340,0:20:04.390
and many others,

0:20:04.390,0:20:08.470
that kind of tradition
is also extremely significant,

0:20:08.470,0:20:13.390
and so in many ways he's using
the German critical philosophical tradition

0:20:13.390,0:20:17.310
in relationship to political
economy. He's putting them together.

0:20:17.310,0:20:19.200
And he also drew heavily,

0:20:19.200,0:20:21.980
in lots of ways, upon Kant.

0:20:21.980,0:20:23.760
So that tradition

0:20:23.760,0:20:27.660
is also very significant. I'm not

0:20:27.660,0:20:31.320
very familiar with that tradition. I'm not
deeply trained in that tradition, so those

0:20:31.320,0:20:32.590
of you who

0:20:32.590,0:20:36.620
have a deeper training in that tradition than I do,
will probably spot things that I'm going to miss.

0:20:36.620,0:20:38.970
This is one of the things I learned when I

0:20:38.970,0:20:41.900
worked with a group of philosophers who were

0:20:41.900,0:20:45.600
steeped in Hegel, and all that
kind of stuff, so I got a very Hegelian kind

0:20:45.600,0:20:49.720
of view, of how Marx is
proceeding. I know some of it, but I'm not

0:20:49.720,0:20:50.870
so strong on it

0:20:50.870,0:20:53.140
as I would want to be.

0:20:53.140,0:20:57.170
And I have to say, early
on I had some sympathy with the

0:20:57.170,0:21:00.700
British economist Joan Robinson when
she said she really objected to the way in

0:21:00.700,0:21:06.880
which Hegel was putting his nose
in between her and Ricardo in Marx's work.

0:21:06.880,0:21:09.130
I had sympathy with…

0:21:09.130,0:21:11.870
…with that, and so some of the…

0:21:11.870,0:21:15.929
…the problems I have with sort of
becoming familiar with Hegel, I kind of have,

0:21:15.929,0:21:19.340
I have some sympathy with.

0:21:19.340,0:21:23.760
In fact, I jokingly say, and I probably shouldn't
say it, and I'll upset all the Hegelians around,

0:21:23.760,0:21:27.530
actually, one of the best things
about reading Hegel before you read Marx,

0:21:27.530,0:21:32.730
is it makes reading Marx pretty easy.

0:21:32.730,0:21:37.270
So get yourself a dose of Hegel before
you do Marx and everything will be okay.

0:21:37.270,0:21:38.990
The third tradition

0:21:38.990,0:21:41.750
that he uses, and appeals to a lot,

0:21:41.750,0:21:46.070
is the utopian socialist tradition.

0:21:46.070,0:21:48.570
Now, this is primarily French,

0:21:48.570,0:21:52.460
although there's Robert Owen, and some of the
British, and of course Thomas More, in the

0:21:52.460,0:21:54.100
British tradition,

0:21:54.100,0:21:57.570
who crops up every now
and again in the text,

0:21:57.570,0:21:59.900
but the big socialist thinkers - there was

0:21:59.900,0:22:10.180
this tremendous burst of utopian
thinking in the 1830s and 1840s in France.

0:22:10.180,0:22:15.510
People like Etienne Cabet, who created a
group called the Icarians, who came here and settled

0:22:15.510,0:22:19.050
in the United States after 1848.

0:22:19.050,0:22:25.490
Proudhon. Saint-Simon. Fourier.

0:22:25.490,0:22:28.810
Marx was very, very familiar -
he spent some time in Paris -

0:22:28.810,0:22:30.169
very familiar with their works,

0:22:30.169,0:22:37.210
and if you read the Communist Manifesto,
you find that he's a bit frustrated with their works.

0:22:37.210,0:22:40.780
He doesn't like the way in which

0:22:40.780,0:22:46.800
the utopians are actually configuring some
ideal society over there, without any idea

0:22:46.800,0:22:51.080
of how to get from here to there.

0:22:51.080,0:22:54.810
For Marx, what he wants
to do is to try to convert

0:22:54.810,0:22:58.270
the socialist project
from an utopian socialist project

0:22:58.270,0:23:02.930
into a scientific socialist project.

0:23:02.930,0:23:06.220
But in order to do that,
he just can't take

0:23:06.220,0:23:09.490
English empiricism, English
political economy, those kinds of things.

0:23:09.490,0:23:14.760
He has to recreate, reconfigure

0:23:14.760,0:23:17.870
what scientific method is all about.

0:23:17.870,0:23:21.970
And his scientific method is therefore

0:23:21.970,0:23:25.780
predicated very much on this

0:23:25.780,0:23:29.490
interrogation of, if you like,
the mainly English

0:23:29.490,0:23:32.190
tradition of classical political economy,

0:23:32.190,0:23:36.000
with the mainly German
tradition of critical philosophy,

0:23:36.000,0:23:39.500
with, if you like,
the utopian impulse,

0:23:39.500,0:23:42.559
asking: what is communism?
What is a socialist society?

0:23:42.559,0:23:44.970
How can we critique capitalism?

0:23:44.970,0:23:49.660
as, if you like, the third
strain which is impelling him forward.

0:23:49.660,0:23:52.710
I'm pretty familiar with

0:23:52.710,0:23:56.549
the French socialist tradition,
particularly of that period, of the utopian

0:23:56.549,0:23:58.440
tradition of that period,

0:23:58.440,0:24:02.560
and have even written about it so, so… You know,
I've read a lot of those people, like Fourier,

0:24:02.560,0:24:08.559
Saint-Simon, and, and Proudhon,
in particular, and I think, actually,

0:24:08.559,0:24:14.280
what happens is that Marx often draws
from them more than he wants to acknowledge,

0:24:14.280,0:24:18.940
since he kind of wanted
to distance himself

0:24:18.940,0:24:22.030
from that overt utopian tradition

0:24:22.030,0:24:25.440
that was there in the 1830s and
1840s, in which he, in many

0:24:25.440,0:24:31.330
ways, saw as part of a chronic
failure of the revolution of 1848 in Paris.

0:24:31.330,0:24:35.330
Since he wanted to distance himself
from all of that, what he did was to say:

0:24:35.330,0:24:39.820
'Okay, I'm not going to acknowledge them very
much at all', but in fact he makes a great

0:24:39.820,0:24:44.049
deal of use,
particularly of Saint-Simon,

0:24:44.049,0:24:50.390
but also, by negation, Fourier.
In fact, a lot of his ideas

0:24:50.390,0:24:52.490
are kind of the negative of Fourier.

0:24:52.490,0:24:55.820
So you can't really understand him
without understanding who he's negating,

0:24:55.820,0:24:57.850
and he's negating Fourier, in the same way

0:24:57.850,0:24:59.570
that he negates

0:24:59.570,0:25:03.470
several of the political economists kind
of outright, particularly Malthus, who

0:25:03.470,0:25:05.220
he had a particularly

0:25:05.220,0:25:09.740
hard time accepting.

0:25:09.740,0:25:15.940
So, those are, if you like, some of the main
threads that come together in this book

0:25:15.940,0:25:18.610
I suggested however
that we should be reading it

0:25:18.610,0:25:23.550
in Marx's own terms but that also poses

0:25:23.550,0:25:28.220
a whole set of difficulties and Marx
himself was aware of this.

0:25:28.220,0:25:31.510
He interestingly commented

0:25:31.510,0:25:33.850
in one of his prefaces,

0:25:33.850,0:25:41.900
particularly the preface to the French edition,

0:25:41.900,0:25:46.029
when there was a suggestion that the
French edition should be brought out

0:25:46.029,0:25:51.140
as a serial - you know the French
like to publish things as feuilletons,

0:25:51.140,0:25:55.170
that's sort of - a paper comes out
and it's the first two chapters…

0:25:55.170,0:26:00.370
and the next week…sort of a serialized kind of publication.

0:26:00.370,0:26:04.220
And what Marx writes (this is in 1872),

0:26:04.220,0:26:08.270
(He) says, "…I applaud your idea of publishing
the translation of Capital as a serial…

0:26:08.270,0:26:11.570
…In this form the book will be more
accessible to the working class…

0:26:11.570,0:26:17.540
…a consideration which to
me outweighs everything else.

0:26:17.540,0:26:20.460
That is the good side of your suggestion.

0:26:20.460,0:26:22.940
But here is the reverse of the medal.

0:26:22.940,0:26:26.120
The method of analysis which I have employed…

0:26:26.120,0:26:29.799
…and which had not previously been
applied to economic subjects…

0:26:29.799,0:26:31.960
makes the reading of the first chapters

0:26:31.960,0:26:37.310
rather arduous and it is
to be feared that the French public…"

0:26:37.310,0:26:38.770
(and that will include you)

0:26:38.770,0:26:42.690
"…always impatient to come to a conclusion,
eager to know the connection between

0:26:42.690,0:26:44.110
general principles

0:26:44.110,0:26:47.040
and the immediate questions
that have aroused their passions

0:26:47.040,0:26:51.870
may be disheartened because they will
be unable to move on at once.

0:26:51.870,0:26:54.659
That is a disadvantage I am
powerless to overcome,

0:26:54.659,0:26:57.840
unless it be by forewarning and forearming

0:26:57.840,0:27:00.850
those readers who zealously seek the truth.

0:27:00.850,0:27:04.490
There is no royal road to science and only
those who do not dread the fatiguing

0:27:04.490,0:27:06.759
climb of its steep paths

0:27:06.759,0:27:08.150
have a chance of gaining

0:27:08.150,0:27:12.710
its luminous summits."

0:27:12.710,0:27:15.399
So since you're all here zealously concerned

0:27:15.399,0:27:17.830
to pursue the truth,

0:27:17.830,0:27:20.019
I have to warn you, yeah, indeed

0:27:20.019,0:27:25.870
the reading of the first few chapters is
particularly arduous. It's particularly difficult.

0:27:25.870,0:27:28.740
And there are a number of reasons for that.

0:27:28.740,0:27:32.320
One of the reasons is his method,
which we'll talk about in a minute.

0:27:32.320,0:27:35.640
The other reason has to do

0:27:35.640,0:27:40.010
with the particular way in
which he's setting up his project.

0:27:40.010,0:27:42.700
His project is to understand

0:27:42.700,0:27:48.650
how a capitalist mode of production works.

0:27:48.650,0:27:55.159
And he has in mind that this
is going to be a huge, huge project.

0:27:55.159,0:27:59.290
In order to get that project underway,

0:27:59.290,0:28:05.850
he has to develop a conceptual
apparatus which is going to help him understand

0:28:05.850,0:28:11.860
all the complexity that exists under capitalism.

0:28:11.860,0:28:16.900
And, again, in one of his introductions he talks about

0:28:16.900,0:28:20.050
how he's going to go about that.

0:28:20.050,0:28:28.320
He says: "The method of presentation",

0:28:28.320,0:28:31.610
and we're now dealing
with the method of presentation,

0:28:31.610,0:28:34.450
this is in the post-face
to the second edition,

0:28:34.450,0:28:40.200
"The method of presentation must
differ in form from that of inquiry.

0:28:40.200,0:28:43.230
"The latter", that is,
the process of inquiry,

0:28:43.230,0:28:47.210
"has to appropriate the material in
detail to analyze these different forms of

0:28:47.210,0:28:52.510
development, and to track
down their inner connection.

0:28:52.510,0:28:57.580
Only after this work has been done can
the real movement be appropriately presented.

0:28:57.580,0:28:59.950
If this is done successfully,

0:28:59.950,0:29:01.900
if the life of the subject matter",

0:29:01.900,0:29:04.380
that is, the capitalist mode of production,

0:29:04.380,0:29:08.090
"is now reflected back in the
ideas then it may appear as if we have

0:29:08.090,0:29:13.910
before us an a priori construction."

0:29:13.910,0:29:15.809
What Marx is talking about here

0:29:15.809,0:29:21.120
is his method of inquiry is
different from his method of presentation.

0:29:21.120,0:29:26.440
His method of inquiry starts with
everything that exists- everything that's going on.

0:29:26.440,0:29:29.169
You start with reality
as you experience it,

0:29:29.169,0:29:31.500
as you see it, as you feel it.

0:29:31.500,0:29:33.660
You start with all of that.

0:29:33.660,0:29:36.440
You start with descriptions of the reality

0:29:36.440,0:29:40.669
by the political economists,
by novelists, by everybody.

0:29:40.669,0:29:42.919
You start with all that material

0:29:42.919,0:29:46.559
and then you search in that material

0:29:46.559,0:29:49.020
for some simple concepts.

0:29:49.020,0:29:51.380
This is what he calls
the 'method of descent.'

0:29:51.380,0:29:53.040
The method of descent from

0:29:53.040,0:29:54.980
the reality which you find,

0:29:54.980,0:29:57.020
going down, looking for

0:29:57.020,0:30:00.440
some foundational, fundamental concepts.

0:30:00.440,0:30:06.060
And once you've uncovered and
discovered those fundamental concepts,

0:30:06.060,0:30:09.970
you then come back to the surface

0:30:09.970,0:30:13.060
and you look at what's going
on around in the surface and you see

0:30:13.060,0:30:16.980
that behind the world of
appearance that you started out with

0:30:16.980,0:30:22.670
there is another way to
interpret what's going on.

0:30:22.670,0:30:26.070
In effect Marx is a
pioneer in a method which if you,

0:30:26.070,0:30:30.860
you know, if you're familiar with
psychoanalysis you would also, I think, understand.

0:30:30.860,0:30:34.490
That you start with surface behaviors
and you look for some,

0:30:34.490,0:30:37.380
you look for conceptual
apparatus like Freud did.

0:30:37.380,0:30:40.710
You come up with a conceptual apparatus
and then it brings you back and you could

0:30:40.710,0:30:46.210
explain, 'Ah! That person is acting that
way and it looks like this but in fact it's a

0:30:46.210,0:30:48.100
representation of that.'

0:30:48.100,0:30:51.549
Marx is doing the same sort of
thing. In fact Marx is pioneering

0:30:51.549,0:30:54.510
this method in social science:

0:30:54.510,0:30:58.120
Start with the surface appearance;
find the deep concepts.

0:30:58.120,0:31:03.330
In Capital he's going to start with
the deep concepts. He's going to start

0:31:03.330,0:31:07.950
with the conclusions of his inquiries.

0:31:07.950,0:31:11.580
'What are my basic concepts?'

0:31:11.580,0:31:14.480
And he lays these basic concepts out,

0:31:14.480,0:31:18.029
very simply, very directly,

0:31:18.029,0:31:21.860
and indeed it looks like an a priori
construction. When you first read it

0:31:21.860,0:31:23.010
you say,

0:31:23.010,0:31:25.540
'Where is all this stuff coming from?'

0:31:25.540,0:31:29.720
'Where'd he get it from?
Why is he doing that?'

0:31:29.720,0:31:35.880
And half the time you have no idea what
he's talking about with these concepts.

0:31:35.880,0:31:37.780
But then bit by bit,

0:31:37.780,0:31:44.340
as you move on, you start to see how these
concepts are illuminating things going on around us.

0:31:44.340,0:31:47.250
So after a while you start to say, 'Ah!

0:31:47.250,0:31:49.759
'So that's what 'value theory' really means.'

0:31:49.759,0:31:52.390
'That's what the value argument is all about.'

0:31:52.390,0:31:56.799
'Ah! That is what this
fetish is all really all about.'

0:31:56.799,0:31:57.720
'That is what these

0:31:57.720,0:32:00.440
concepts are doing for me.'

0:32:00.440,0:32:04.110
But in effect you only
understand how these concepts work

0:32:04.110,0:32:08.250
by the time you get
to the end of the book.

0:32:08.250,0:32:10.460
Now that's a very unfamiliar strategy.

0:32:10.460,0:32:14.050
I mean, we're familiar with strategies
where people people hammer into you:

0:32:14.050,0:32:17.600
'Get the concept straight and then you go
on to the next one.' It's like you build

0:32:17.600,0:32:21.240
brick by brick by brick by brick.

0:32:21.240,0:32:23.250
Marx is more like,

0:32:23.250,0:32:26.540
you know, dissecting an onion.
I use this metaphor and it's an unfortunate one

0:32:26.540,0:32:27.960
because as somebody pointed out,

0:32:27.960,0:32:31.530
you know, when you dissect an
onion it usually reduces you to tears.

0:32:31.530,0:32:35.320
But what he does in effect is
to start from the outside of the onion,

0:32:35.320,0:32:38.610
go to the center of the onion, find
out what makes the onion grow, and then

0:32:38.610,0:32:41.210
come back to the surface.

0:32:41.210,0:32:45.020
So you only understand, at
the end of the day, what he's about,

0:32:45.020,0:32:48.380
when he comes back to the surface.

0:32:48.380,0:32:52.310
And his argument about what makes it
grow… when you start from the

0:32:52.310,0:32:54.880
inner and you work outwards
in these sort of layers…

0:32:54.880,0:32:58.280
and that's what you do.
You perpetually enrich the concepts.

0:32:58.280,0:32:59.910
Something that seems like

0:32:59.910,0:33:03.029
a very stark and very abstract concept

0:33:03.029,0:33:06.780
gradually gets richer and
richer and richer as you go on.

0:33:06.780,0:33:08.890
It's an expansion

0:33:08.890,0:33:11.430
of these concepts.

0:33:11.430,0:33:15.290
It's not a brick by brick approach at
all, and most of us are not used to that, so

0:33:15.290,0:33:19.520
one of the things you've got to
get used to is that this is what's going on.

0:33:19.520,0:33:21.770
What that means for you is

0:33:21.770,0:33:25.540
you've got to hang on like crazy
for the first three chapters, at least,

0:33:25.540,0:33:29.940
because you probably won't really get the
sense of what it's all about very well

0:33:29.940,0:33:31.039
until you get

0:33:31.039,0:33:33.790
further on down into the text,
and then you start to see

0:33:33.790,0:33:34.950
how these concepts

0:33:34.950,0:33:37.570
are working, and how they… and then,

0:33:37.570,0:33:39.129
if you like, the proof of

0:33:39.129,0:33:42.550
the pudding is in the eating,
that by the time you start to actually

0:33:42.550,0:33:45.440
derive some of the consequences

0:33:45.440,0:33:49.150
that Marx lays out then, of course,

0:33:49.150,0:33:54.250
you get somewhere.

0:33:54.250,0:33:57.270
Included in this is his
choice of starting point.

0:33:57.270,0:33:59.629
As you will see, he starts
from the standpoint…

0:33:59.629,0:34:04.040
from the concept of the commodity.

0:34:04.040,0:34:07.680
Now, this is a very
strange starting point. I mean

0:34:07.680,0:34:10.970
most of you, when you think of Marx,
will think of phrases like 'all history is the

0:34:10.970,0:34:13.089
history of class struggle'.

0:34:13.089,0:34:17.499
So you think: 'Well, Capital
should start with class struggle'.

0:34:17.499,0:34:21.789
I don't know, it takes to about page 300
before you get to any class struggle in Capital.

0:34:21.789,0:34:24.589
Very frustrating for those
of you kind of really want to

0:34:24.589,0:34:27.889
get in there and think about the class struggle.

0:34:27.889,0:34:30.789
Why doesn't he start with money?

0:34:30.789,0:34:33.349
Actually, in his early
preparatory investigations, he

0:34:33.349,0:34:36.089
wanted to start with money,

0:34:36.089,0:34:40.809
but then he found it was more
and more impossible to start with money.

0:34:40.809,0:34:44.269
Why didn't he start with labor?

0:34:44.269,0:34:47.739
You know, he could have started in all
kinds of different places, but he decides

0:34:47.739,0:34:49.109
to start with the commodity.

0:34:49.109,0:34:54.359
And if you go back and you read his preparatory
writings, you see there was a long period,

0:34:54.359,0:34:57.519
about 20 or 30 years, where he
was struggling with the question.

0:34:57.519,0:34:58.859
What's the best starting point

0:34:58.859,0:35:00.479
to really go after this?

0:35:00.479,0:35:03.439
What's at the centre of this
onion, if you want to call it that,

0:35:03.439,0:35:05.190
when I analyze it,

0:35:05.190,0:35:06.449
it really allows me

0:35:06.449,0:35:09.579
to understand how the whole thing works?

0:35:09.579,0:35:11.640
And he decided to start with the commodity.

0:35:11.640,0:35:13.859
It's an arbitrary starting point.

0:35:13.859,0:35:17.249
You don't get its logic. He doesn't
explain it. He doesn't even bother to

0:35:17.249,0:35:19.779
try and persuade you about it.
He just says:

0:35:19.779,0:35:23.639
'This is where I start. This is how I
start to think about it. These are the concepts

0:35:23.639,0:35:27.249
I'm going to use.'

0:35:27.249,0:35:31.979
Very cryptic kind of beginning to the whole
thing. He doesn't attempt any kind of persuasion at all.

0:35:31.979,0:35:35.619
At that point you kind of say: 'Well, you know, if
there's no justification for this, why don't I

0:35:35.619,0:35:37.069
lay the text aside?'

0:35:37.069,0:35:39.420
Then the thing starts to
get a little complicated.

0:35:39.420,0:35:44.209
By the time you get to chapter three, which
is where most people who read Capital stop reading it,

0:35:44.209,0:35:46.230
if they're trying to read it on their own,

0:35:46.230,0:35:49.970
by the time you get to chapter three,
you kind of say: 'This is impossible. This is not

0:35:49.970,0:35:50.909
going anywhere.'

0:35:50.909,0:35:55.239
So it's really hard,
for those kinds of reasons.

0:35:55.239,0:36:00.309
The other reason it's hard is because,

0:36:00.309,0:36:04.179
as I suggested, the
conceptual apparatus is meant

0:36:04.179,0:36:07.039
not just to deal with Capital Volume 1.

0:36:07.039,0:36:08.549
It's meant to

0:36:08.549,0:36:13.519
take him all the way, in terms of all the
other things he wanted to think about.

0:36:13.519,0:36:18.009
Now, you'll be distressed to know
that there are three volumes of Capital.

0:36:18.009,0:36:21.189
So if you really want to
understand the capitalist mode of production,

0:36:21.189,0:36:24.109
you have to read the three volumes of Capital.

0:36:24.109,0:36:28.229
Volume 1 is just one particular perspective on

0:36:28.229,0:36:30.199
the capitalist mode of production,

0:36:30.199,0:36:36.019
but even worse, the three volumes of Capital
are only about an eighth of what he had in mind.

0:36:36.019,0:36:39.849
Here's what he wrote in
a text called the Grundrisse,

0:36:39.849,0:36:44.389
which is a preparatory text, where
he's setting out various designs for Capital.

0:36:44.389,0:36:45.649
He says: 'Okay,

0:36:45.649,0:36:50.229
what I'm going to do is to go through

0:36:50.229,0:36:51.719
the analysis as follows:

0:36:51.719,0:36:55.999
We're going to deal with: "1) The general
abstract determinants which obtain more

0:36:55.999,0:37:01.049
or less in all forms of society.

0:37:01.049,0:37:04.599
2) The categories which make up the
inner structure of bourgeois society,

0:37:04.599,0:37:08.079
and on which the fundamental
classes rest: capital,

0:37:08.079,0:37:12.899
wage labor, landed property, their interrelation.

0:37:12.899,0:37:14.669
Town and Country.

0:37:14.669,0:37:17.409
The three great social classes;

0:37:17.409,0:37:19.299
exchange between them.

0:37:19.299,0:37:20.519
Circulation.

0:37:20.519,0:37:22.599
The credit system."

0:37:22.599,0:37:24.489
Good topic right now.

0:37:24.489,0:37:27.759
"Private.

0:37:27.759,0:37:31.650
3) Concentration of bourgeois society in
the form of the state,

0:37:31.650,0:37:34.249
viewed in relation to itself.

0:37:34.249,0:37:36.909
The unproductive classes.

0:37:36.909,0:37:38.160
Taxes,

0:37:38.160,0:37:39.499
State debt.

0:37:39.499,0:37:41.059
Public credit.

0:37:41.059,0:37:42.709
The population.

0:37:42.709,0:37:44.180
The colonies.

0:37:44.180,0:37:47.699
Emigration.

0:37:47.699,0:37:50.969
4) The international relations of
production,

0:37:50.969,0:37:52.869
international division of labor,

0:37:52.869,0:37:54.589
international exchange,

0:37:54.589,0:37:56.039
export and import,

0:37:56.039,0:37:57.230
rate of exchange,"

0:37:57.230,0:38:01.359
another good topic.

0:38:01.359,0:38:02.209
"Fifth," excellent topic,

0:38:02.209,0:38:07.759
"The world market and crises.'"

0:38:07.759,0:38:08.440
So this is, if you like,

0:38:08.440,0:38:12.330
the panorama he laid out in the
Grundrisse of what it was he wanted to do.

0:38:12.330,0:38:14.799
This is what he had in mind,

0:38:14.799,0:38:17.779
that he was going to do,

0:38:17.779,0:38:20.489
when he wrote Capital.

0:38:20.489,0:38:22.279
He never finished it.

0:38:22.279,0:38:24.259
He never took up

0:38:24.259,0:38:26.390
most of those topics.

0:38:26.390,0:38:27.940
So what you have in Capital

0:38:27.940,0:38:29.999
is the beginning

0:38:29.999,0:38:33.449
of this massive kind of project,

0:38:33.449,0:38:35.639
a massive project which

0:38:35.639,0:38:37.360
he hinted at in lots

0:38:37.360,0:38:41.950
of places about, you know, how to
understand the state, how to understand

0:38:41.950,0:38:46.849
civil society, how to understand
emigration, how to understand

0:38:46.849,0:38:52.759
currency exchanges, and things like that.

0:38:52.759,0:38:56.979
So, here too, we have to understand both that

0:38:56.979,0:39:00.109
the conceptual apparatus

0:39:00.109,0:39:02.119
at the beginning, is…

0:39:02.119,0:39:06.709
he's really trying to design it in such
a way that it bears the burden of all of that,

0:39:06.709,0:39:08.890
but in fact, what it then does,

0:39:08.890,0:39:12.699
is it provides the
framework within which Volume 1

0:39:12.699,0:39:14.020
operates, and Volume 1

0:39:14.020,0:39:17.569
is just one single piece of this whole

0:39:17.569,0:39:19.719
puzzle that he's laid out.

0:39:19.719,0:39:24.229
Volume 1 is really essentially
looking at the capitalist mode of production

0:39:24.229,0:39:27.839
from the standpoint of production,

0:39:27.839,0:39:29.659
not of the market,

0:39:29.659,0:39:34.279
not of global trade, but
the standpoint of production.

0:39:34.279,0:39:37.149
So you're going to have to recognize
that what you're going to get out of this

0:39:37.149,0:39:41.190
course is an analysis, by Marx,

0:39:41.190,0:39:46.949
of a capitalist mode of
production from the perspective of production.

0:39:46.949,0:39:50.459
Volume 2 does the perspective of exchange.

0:39:50.459,0:39:55.099
Volume 3 does materials about crisis formation,

0:39:55.099,0:39:59.959
and also rules of distribution,

0:39:59.959,0:40:02.829
interest, rent, taxes,

0:40:02.829,0:40:08.419
those kinds of issues.

0:40:08.419,0:40:10.929
But then comes the method,

0:40:10.929,0:40:12.839
the other part of the method,

0:40:12.839,0:40:18.259
which is very important in terms of the
method of presentation and the method of inquiry.

0:40:18.259,0:40:23.809
And that is Marx's use of dialectics.

0:40:23.809,0:40:27.999
What he says, again in his preface,

0:40:27.999,0:40:32.190
is that in dialectics we find

0:40:32.190,0:40:34.999
a completely different

0:40:34.999,0:40:38.189
concept of analysis.

0:40:38.189,0:40:45.189
You'll find hardly any causal language
in Marx. Marx doesn't say, 'This causes that.'

0:40:45.219,0:40:47.119
He nearly always says that

0:40:47.119,0:40:51.679
'This is dialectically related to that.'

0:40:51.679,0:40:55.119
And a dialectical relation

0:40:55.119,0:40:56.529
is an inner relation,

0:40:56.529,0:41:01.069
not a causative external
relation. It's an inner relation.

0:41:01.069,0:41:05.259
And he talks about this dialectical method

0:41:05.259,0:41:09.509
again in the postface
to the second edition.

0:41:09.509,0:41:11.619
He says: 'Okay,

0:41:11.619,0:41:21.209
I took up some ideas from Hegel.

0:41:21.209,0:41:24.900
"But," he says, "my dialectical
method is, in its foundations, not only

0:41:24.900,0:41:29.479
different from the Hegelian,
but exactly opposite to it."

0:41:29.479,0:41:31.029
There are ways in which, I think,

0:41:31.029,0:41:34.579
we're going to find that's not exactly true.

0:41:34.579,0:41:38.109
That, in fact, Marx revolutionized

0:41:38.109,0:41:42.269
the dialectical method;
he didn't simply invert it,

0:41:42.269,0:41:45.189
as is sometimes said.

0:41:45.189,0:41:49.069
He then goes on to say this: "I criticized
the mystificatory side of the Hegelian

0:41:49.069,0:41:53.160
dialectic nearly thirty years ago."

0:41:53.160,0:41:58.689
What Marx is referring to here is

0:41:58.689,0:42:01.719
his tract called A Critique
of Hegel's Philosophy of Law,

0:42:01.719,0:42:05.159
Critique of Hegel's Philosophy
of Right, whichever the title is,

0:42:05.159,0:42:06.989
and I think that that critique

0:42:06.989,0:42:09.999
played a very foundational

0:42:09.999,0:42:12.819
moment in which Marx

0:42:12.819,0:42:17.169
defined his relationship to the Hegelian dialectic.

0:42:17.169,0:42:19.959
So he goes on talking about

0:42:19.959,0:42:22.809
this mystificatory aspect.

0:42:22.809,0:42:27.739
And the way in which this
mystified form of the dialectic

0:42:27.739,0:42:29.789
as purveyed by Hegel,

0:42:29.789,0:42:34.729
became the fashion in Germany,

0:42:34.729,0:42:39.759
and why it was that he had to reform it

0:42:39.759,0:42:43.619
in such a way as so it could take account

0:42:43.619,0:42:50.619
of every historical developed
form as being in a fluid state, in motion.

0:42:51.039,0:42:53.779
He had to re-figure it
so that it could grasp

0:42:53.779,0:42:59.910
the transient aspects of
a society as well.

0:42:59.910,0:43:04.859
And he then goes on to
talk about this as being,

0:43:04.859,0:43:09.099
"This dialectical method does not
let itself be impressed by anything, being

0:43:09.099,0:43:14.749
in it's very essence critical and revolutionary."

0:43:14.749,0:43:18.999
Now, what he's talking about here is,

0:43:18.999,0:43:22.639
he's going to use a
version of dialectical method

0:43:22.639,0:43:27.679
to establish relations between

0:43:27.679,0:43:29.979
elements within his system.

0:43:29.979,0:43:32.479
but he is going to do it in such a way

0:43:32.479,0:43:37.299
as to capture fluidity and motion.

0:43:37.299,0:43:41.959
Marx above all is incredibly, incredibly

0:43:41.959,0:43:44.419
impressed with the fluidity

0:43:44.419,0:43:48.739
and the dynamics of capitalism.

0:43:48.739,0:43:51.939
Now this is very weird,
because Marx is often

0:43:51.939,0:43:53.959
talked about as if he is a

0:43:53.959,0:43:57.979
static, structural analyst.

0:43:57.979,0:44:03.309
The weird thing is, when you read Capital,
you realize he sees the motion.

0:44:03.309,0:44:06.369
He sees the movement all of the time.

0:44:06.369,0:44:09.609
He is constantly talking about

0:44:09.609,0:44:14.939
that movement and that
movement is a dialectical movement.

0:44:14.939,0:44:16.710
So one of the ways in which

0:44:16.710,0:44:22.729
also you have to read Marx in Marx's
own terms is to try to grapple with

0:44:22.729,0:44:26.119
what he means by dialectics.

0:44:26.119,0:44:28.589
Because the problem is he never wrote

0:44:28.589,0:44:31.939
a tract on dialectics.

0:44:31.939,0:44:33.259
He never said:

0:44:33.259,0:44:35.499
'Okay, this is my dialectical method'.

0:44:35.499,0:44:36.630
There are hints of it.

0:44:36.630,0:44:38.800
If you really want to
understand his dialectical method,

0:44:38.800,0:44:42.259
you read Capital.

0:44:42.259,0:44:45.739
That's the best place to get it.

0:44:45.739,0:44:49.469
And when you've read
Capital very carefully you will come out

0:44:49.469,0:44:53.140
with a sense of how dialectical method works.

0:44:53.140,0:44:56.769
But again, this is going
to be a bit confusing because

0:44:56.769,0:45:01.249
you're probably not yet used
to dialectical reasoning, and the curious thing about

0:45:01.249,0:45:04.009
academia is that the more
well trained you are in a discipline,

0:45:04.009,0:45:06.549
probably less used you are

0:45:06.549,0:45:08.280
to dialectical method.

0:45:08.280,0:45:10.329
In fact young children are very dialectical.

0:45:10.329,0:45:12.449
They see everything in motion.

0:45:12.449,0:45:15.709
They see contradiction everywhere
and they are quite contradictory about everything.

0:45:15.709,0:45:18.609
Every contradiction goes
into everything else and

0:45:18.609,0:45:19.649
your kids say all kinds of

0:45:19.649,0:45:22.469
wondrous contradictory things to you.

0:45:22.469,0:45:25.819
And you kind of say 'Now you stop
thinking about that. You have to think rationally'.

0:45:25.819,0:45:28.619
So, actually, we train people

0:45:28.619,0:45:33.460
out of being good
dialecticians almost from day two.

0:45:33.460,0:45:38.519
But in fact dialectical method
is intuitively very, very powerful.

0:45:38.519,0:45:42.489
And in a sense what
Marx is doing is recovering

0:45:42.489,0:45:48.069
that incredibly intuitive
dialectical method and putting it to work,

0:45:48.069,0:45:51.400
both in terms of an
analytic schema, as we will see,

0:45:51.400,0:45:53.900
but also in terms of understanding

0:45:53.900,0:45:56.440
that everything is in process.

0:45:56.440,0:45:58.759
Everything is in motion.

0:45:58.759,0:46:01.889
Everything is defined in those terms.

0:46:01.889,0:46:03.879
He doesn't talk about labor.

0:46:03.879,0:46:07.900
He talks about the labor process.

0:46:07.900,0:46:09.289
Capital is not a thing;

0:46:09.289,0:46:13.549
it is a process; it is in motion.

0:46:13.549,0:46:18.209
Value does not exist unless it is in motion.

0:46:18.209,0:46:22.589
When things stop, value disappears,

0:46:22.589,0:46:27.269
and the whole system comes tumbling down.

0:46:27.269,0:46:28.769
And those of you who

0:46:28.769,0:46:32.410
remember very well what
happened in the aftermath of 9/11.

0:46:32.410,0:46:38.619
Most things stopped. Motion stopped.

0:46:38.619,0:46:41.869
Planes stopped flying. You
couldn't get through the bridges,

0:46:41.869,0:46:43.770
everything, and then in three days

0:46:43.770,0:46:47.099
suddenly everybody realized that
capitalism would collapse

0:46:47.099,0:46:50.420
if things didn't get in motion again,
so suddenly, you know, Giuliani

0:46:50.420,0:46:51.099
comes on and says:

0:46:51.099,0:46:54.299
'For god's sake, get out
your credit cards and go shop.

0:46:54.299,0:46:58.019
Go back to Broadway. Go back
and do this kind of stuff; go back.'

0:46:58.019,0:47:01.599
Bush even appeared on a TV
ad for the airline industry, saying:

0:47:01.599,0:47:04.509
'Get back and start flying.

0:47:04.509,0:47:07.719
Get back in motion.' You know.

0:47:07.719,0:47:12.919
In other words, capitalism is, as
Jack Kerouac would say, 'perpetually on the road.'

0:47:12.919,0:47:17.069
And if it's not always
on the road, then it's nothing.

0:47:17.069,0:47:21.650
So Marx is incredibly
appreciative of that. And it's very

0:47:21.650,0:47:25.559
strange to find him so
often depicted as this static

0:47:25.559,0:47:30.119
figure who's got it all worked out.
No, it's in motion and it's changing,

0:47:30.119,0:47:33.929
perpetually in motion.

0:47:33.929,0:47:35.609
So here, I think, too,

0:47:35.609,0:47:39.699
what Marx is trying to do
is to find a conceptual apparatus

0:47:39.699,0:47:44.640
that would help you to understand that motion.

0:47:44.640,0:47:47.329
And so, some of his concepts

0:47:47.329,0:47:49.539
are formulated in such a way

0:47:49.539,0:47:55.450
that they're about relations;
they're about transformative activity.

0:47:55.450,0:48:00.459
This is like this at this moment;
and it's like that in the next moment.

0:48:00.459,0:48:03.369
And this can get quite confusing,

0:48:03.369,0:48:06.599
but what he's trying to do is to get
behind the confusion, come up with a

0:48:06.599,0:48:08.130
conceptual apparatus,

0:48:08.130,0:48:10.089
a deep structure, if you like,

0:48:10.089,0:48:12.180
which is going to help you understand

0:48:12.180,0:48:15.959
all of that motion which
is going on around us perpetually.

0:48:15.959,0:48:20.029
And, particularly, the way in which motion is

0:48:20.029,0:48:27.029
actually instantiated within a
capitalist mode of production.

0:48:27.569,0:48:29.579
So, one of the ways
in which I think you have to

0:48:29.579,0:48:33.119
try to understand Marx is by appreciating

0:48:33.119,0:48:37.209
his dialectical method.

0:48:37.209,0:48:44.069
Now there are a lot of people, including
many Marxists, who really don't like his dialectics.

0:48:44.069,0:48:45.430
There is a whole sphere

0:48:45.430,0:48:48.189
called 'analytical Marxism,' for example,

0:48:48.189,0:48:50.819
which kind of says:
'You know, all of that dialectics…'

0:48:50.819,0:48:52.699
They actually like to call themselves

0:48:52.699,0:48:55.479
'no bullshit Marxists,'

0:48:55.479,0:49:02.599
because they just basically say:
'All that dialectics is just B.S.'

0:49:02.599,0:49:04.030
And then there are actually

0:49:04.030,0:49:09.390
other people who want to somehow or other
take something that's very dialectical and turn it into

0:49:09.390,0:49:12.809
a causative structure.

0:49:12.809,0:49:20.749
And in fact there's a whole positivist version
of what Marx says; that is, strip away the dialectics.

0:49:20.749,0:49:23.959
Now, this may be perfectly correct; I mean,
I'm not making an argument, saying, you know,

0:49:23.959,0:49:27.579
the analytical Marxists are wrong.

0:49:27.579,0:49:31.049
I'm not going to make an argument,
saying that people who turn it into

0:49:31.049,0:49:34.109
a positivist mathematical model are wrong.

0:49:34.109,0:49:36.779
Maybe they're right.

0:49:36.779,0:49:41.029
But what you have to do if you're
going to understand Marx's text in Marx's terms.

0:49:41.029,0:49:45.759
you're going to have to
grapple with the dialectic.

0:49:45.759,0:49:49.139
And it's fine afterwards
if you want a say 'Marx is wrong

0:49:49.139,0:49:52.239
the dialectic is wrong, I don't like it,
it doesn't work', this kind of thing.

0:49:52.239,0:49:53.309
That's fine.

0:49:53.309,0:49:57.619
But before you say that you've got to
understand what it is and how it is working.

0:49:57.619,0:50:01.410
So part of what we want to do

0:50:01.410,0:50:05.229
is to spend some time

0:50:05.229,0:50:08.659
recognizing that dialectical aspect of Marx,

0:50:08.659,0:50:14.269
and seeing how it works.

0:50:14.269,0:50:16.189
Now there is one

0:50:16.189,0:50:19.259
final point before we get to the break.

0:50:19.259,0:50:25.709
I asked to try to read Marx in
Marx's own terms but obviously I am your guide.

0:50:25.709,0:50:27.259
And so you going to read it

0:50:27.259,0:50:32.119
with my help and my terms
are going to be very important.

0:50:32.119,0:50:37.669
So one of the things I want to
say here is that of course my interest

0:50:37.669,0:50:41.339
in urbanisation, in uneven
geographical development, imperialism

0:50:41.339,0:50:44.059
and all those kinds of things,

0:50:44.059,0:50:48.549
that my interests have actually

0:50:48.549,0:50:53.529
become very, very important in terms of

0:50:53.529,0:50:55.659
affecting the way in
which I read this text.

0:50:55.659,0:50:56.549
In other words,

0:50:56.549,0:51:01.529
I've been through 30 odd years
of dialogue between me and this text.

0:51:01.529,0:51:04.949
And one of the reasons
I like to teach it every year is:

0:51:04.949,0:51:09.309
every year I ask to myself: 'How I'm
going to read it differently this year?

0:51:09.309,0:51:15.549
What about will strike me
that I didn't notice before?'

0:51:15.549,0:51:19.439
And new things strike me because
new events crop up, that is history

0:51:19.439,0:51:22.910
and geography change.

0:51:22.910,0:51:27.109
And so, there are certain things which arise,
and I can come back and I can look at Marx and say:

0:51:27.109,0:51:30.400
'Well, does he have anything to say about this?',
and sometimes you find something really acute

0:51:30.400,0:51:32.369
which he has to say about it,

0:51:32.369,0:51:35.239
sometimes not at all.

0:51:35.239,0:51:38.289
So, I have been through a long dialogue

0:51:38.289,0:51:41.849
and I used this way of thinking

0:51:41.849,0:51:47.949
many of these conceptional
apparatuses all of the time in the work I do.

0:51:47.949,0:51:54.159
And in the process, of course, I changed
the way in which I understand the text.

0:51:54.159,0:51:58.079
I suspect that if you could
get a recording of this class

0:51:58.079,0:51:59.759
from twenty five years ago,

0:51:59.759,0:52:01.130
you would find me saying

0:52:01.130,0:52:05.379
very different things
from what I'm saying now.

0:52:05.379,0:52:07.419
For a variety of reasons both

0:52:07.419,0:52:11.259
the historical climate has changed,
the intellectual climate has changed.

0:52:11.259,0:52:15.109
All sorts of issues have cropped
up which didn't exist before. Therefore,

0:52:15.109,0:52:17.289
you read it in a different way.

0:52:17.289,0:52:19.199
Interesting point:

0:52:19.199,0:52:23.649
in one of the prefaces Marx talks
about that process,

0:52:23.649,0:52:25.890
about how bourgeois theory

0:52:25.890,0:52:29.559
understood the world in a certain way
and then history moved on to make that

0:52:29.559,0:52:31.950
theoretical formulation redundant,

0:52:31.950,0:52:34.569
and that therefore ideas had to change

0:52:34.569,0:52:39.769
as circumstances change.

0:52:39.769,0:52:43.179
Or ideas had to be reconfigured.

0:52:43.179,0:52:44.690
So you're going to get

0:52:44.690,0:52:47.269
some of my reading in it, too.

0:52:47.269,0:52:49.370
And there's no way you
can avoid that, but

0:52:49.370,0:52:50.849
at the end of the day,

0:52:50.849,0:52:54.669
what I want you to do, is to come
to your own reading of it,

0:52:54.669,0:52:59.959
that is, engage with the text in
terms of your experience, both intellectual,

0:52:59.959,0:53:03.189
social, political,

0:53:03.189,0:53:05.599
and have a good time talking to the text,

0:53:05.599,0:53:08.130
and letting the text talk to you,

0:53:08.130,0:53:11.340
and appreciating the way
in which Marx tries

0:53:11.340,0:53:12.499
to understand the world.

0:53:12.499,0:53:17.020
Because above all I think this text is a
wonderful, wonderful exercise

0:53:17.020,0:53:19.149
in seeking to understand

0:53:19.149,0:53:21.299
what appears almost

0:53:21.299,0:53:24.039
impossible to understand.

0:53:24.039,0:53:25.900
So from this standpoint

0:53:25.900,0:53:30.919
you have to engage with the text.
And okay I'm going to be in your way a little of the time,

0:53:30.919,0:53:33.139
but I hope not too much
because at the end of the day

0:53:33.139,0:53:37.869
it is your business to really translate

0:53:37.869,0:53:40.089
what's going on in this text into

0:53:40.089,0:53:42.299
meaning in your own life.

0:53:42.299,0:53:43.490
That's what this book

0:53:43.490,0:53:46.490
is so great at. I think it will
speak to you in some way. Probably not in the

0:53:46.490,0:53:49.329
same way to you as it does to me.

0:53:49.329,0:53:52.219
And that is perfectly valid

0:53:52.219,0:53:54.420
and perfectly reasonable.
And I'd like therefore for you

0:53:54.420,0:53:58.549
to confront it in that kind of spirit.

0:53:58.549,0:54:03.799
Okay that's all I want to
say by way of introduction.

0:54:03.799,0:54:06.949
What I thought would be very useful
to do is just to read through this first

0:54:06.949,0:54:10.579
section with you and
try to give you an idea

0:54:10.579,0:54:17.809
what I mean about method and all the rest of it.

0:54:17.809,0:54:20.709
Okay, he starts off simply saying:

0:54:20.709,0:54:23.989
"The wealth of societies in which
the capitalist mode of production prevails

0:54:23.989,0:54:27.299
appears as an immense
collection of commodities;

0:54:27.299,0:54:28.739
(…)individual commodity(…)"

0:54:28.739,0:54:30.079
(…)elementary form.

0:54:30.079,0:54:31.699
Our analysis therefore begins

0:54:31.699,0:54:34.339
with the commodity."

0:54:34.339,0:54:36.099
Okay, this is the a priori

0:54:36.099,0:54:38.889
beginning point which
we've already mentioned.

0:54:38.889,0:54:40.789
But notice something

0:54:40.789,0:54:43.889
about the language: "appears".

0:54:43.889,0:54:48.549
Always watch out when
Marx uses the word "appear".

0:54:48.549,0:54:51.349
"Appears" is not "is",

0:54:51.349,0:54:53.889
"appears" means that
something else is going on,

0:54:53.889,0:54:58.410
and you better watch out and figure
out what that "something else" is.

0:54:58.410,0:55:02.899
And notice also that

0:55:02.899,0:55:05.259
he is exclusively concerned with

0:55:05.259,0:55:08.839
the "capitalist mode of production".

0:55:08.839,0:55:12.439
He's not concerned with ancient
modes of production or socialist

0:55:12.439,0:55:14.339
modes of production or

0:55:14.339,0:55:18.559
even hybrid modes of production.
He's going to be concerned with

0:55:18.559,0:55:20.329
a capitalist mode of production

0:55:20.329,0:55:23.589
in a pretty pure form.

0:55:23.589,0:55:26.670
And I think that is a very important

0:55:26.670,0:55:32.279
thing to remember when
we're reading through this text.

0:55:32.279,0:55:34.519
So this is a beginning point.

0:55:34.519,0:55:36.579
Now, when you think about it,

0:55:36.579,0:55:44.579
it's actually a very good beginning point.

0:55:44.709,0:55:46.209
Why? …How many of us

0:55:46.209,0:55:53.059
in this room have never had
any experience of a commodity?

0:55:53.059,0:55:56.949
Everybody has experiences of commodities.

0:55:56.949,0:55:59.509
Did you see one today?

0:55:59.509,0:56:01.579
Did you see one yesterday?

0:56:01.579,0:56:08.819
Are you constantly shopping for them?
Are you constantly wandering around looking at them?

0:56:08.819,0:56:13.529
The thing there is that
of what he's done is to really choose

0:56:13.529,0:56:16.509
a common denominator,

0:56:16.509,0:56:18.569
something that is common to us all,

0:56:18.569,0:56:20.619
something we know about.

0:56:20.619,0:56:24.219
We go into the shop, we buy it

0:56:24.219,0:56:27.639
and it's absolutely
necessary for our existence.

0:56:27.639,0:56:31.239
We can't live without consuming commodities.

0:56:31.239,0:56:35.169
We have to buy
commodities in order to live.

0:56:35.169,0:56:38.429
It's a simple relation as that,
so we start with that, and the other great

0:56:38.429,0:56:41.309
thing about it is,

0:56:41.309,0:56:44.439
and again I'll probably get
some flack for saying this, is:

0:56:44.439,0:56:48.119
it doesn't matter whether you're a man
or a woman or a Japanese or an ethnic

0:56:48.119,0:56:51.689
or a religious or
whatever it is, in other words:

0:56:51.689,0:56:52.699
this just very

0:56:52.699,0:56:57.619
simple kind of economic
transaction which you are looking at.

0:56:57.619,0:57:00.949
And then he says: Well, what kind of
economic transaction is it?

0:57:00.949,0:57:02.729
Well, the commodity is

0:57:02.729,0:57:08.199
something, he says,

0:57:08.199,0:57:11.849
which meets a human want or need.

0:57:11.849,0:57:13.200
and he says: I'm not

0:57:13.200,0:57:17.599
interested… and this is the cryptic
form of that … he says in the next paragraph…

0:57:17.599,0:57:20.119
OK, something external to us

0:57:20.119,0:57:24.920
which we then make ours in a way.

0:57:24.920,0:57:28.729
And it "satisfies human needs of whatever
kind. The nature of these needs whether

0:57:28.729,0:57:34.679
they arise, for example from the
stomach, or from the imagination, makes no difference."

0:57:34.679,0:57:38.159
In other words: he is not really interested in
psychologizing about it, he's laying it all aside.

0:57:38.159,0:57:42.439
Saying: I'm not really interested

0:57:42.439,0:57:47.269
in why people buy commodities.
They can buy it because

0:57:47.269,0:57:50.429
they want it, they need it, they desire it.

0:57:50.429,0:57:53.789
I can buy it for fun or
out of necessity or whatever. I'm not

0:57:53.789,0:57:56.900
interested in talking about all of that.
All I'm interested in is the very fact

0:57:56.900,0:58:01.599
of simply somebody buying a commodity.

0:58:01.599,0:58:04.279
And he then goes on and says: Well look at this.

0:58:04.279,0:58:09.159
How many commodities are there in the world?

0:58:09.159,0:58:12.269
Well, there are millions of them,
all made up of different qualities,

0:58:12.269,0:58:16.739
and we all kind of assess them in
terms of different quantitative measures.

0:58:16.739,0:58:20.549
And he again shunts this aside
and says: "The discovery of these ways

0:58:20.549,0:58:27.199
and hence of the manifold uses
of things is the work of history.

0:58:27.199,0:58:30.689
So also is the invention of socially
recognized standards of measurement for the

0:58:30.689,0:58:33.639
quantities of these useful objects.

0:58:33.639,0:58:36.749
The diversity of the measures for commodities

0:58:36.749,0:58:43.239
arises in part from the diverse nature of
the objects to the measured, and in part from convention.

0:58:43.239,0:58:46.419
The usefulness of a
thing makes it a use-value."

0:58:46.419,0:58:51.549
First big concept: use-value.

0:58:51.549,0:58:55.149
It's useful to you. I'm not interested in
discussing how it's useful to you. I'm not

0:58:55.149,0:58:59.249
interested in discussing
the history of use-values

0:58:59.249,0:59:02.669
or anything of that kind, or the way in which they
measure this kind of thing. All I'm interested in

0:59:02.669,0:59:04.429
is the concept of use-value.

0:59:04.429,0:59:10.919
Notice how he's abstracting very fast.

0:59:10.919,0:59:15.389
And he talks in one of the prefaces about

0:59:15.389,0:59:19.469
the problem for a social scientist, like himself,

0:59:19.469,0:59:24.789
is that you can't go into a laboratory
and isolate things and run experiments.

0:59:24.789,0:59:28.049
So what you have to do
in order to run an experiment

0:59:28.049,0:59:31.499
is to use what he calls:
'The power of abstraction.'

0:59:31.499,0:59:33.789
And you see immediately:

0:59:33.789,0:59:36.789
the commodity is central.

0:59:36.789,0:59:41.459
I'm abstracting from human
wants, needs and desires.

0:59:41.459,0:59:45.219
I'm abstracting from any
consideration of this specific

0:59:45.219,0:59:46.879
properties of things.

0:59:46.879,0:59:48.949
I'm just going to home in on the fact that

0:59:48.949,0:59:51.199
in some sense this commodity

0:59:51.199,0:59:58.199
has something called a use-value.

0:59:59.180,1:00:03.150
And this then immediately leads him into,

1:00:03.150,1:00:05.279
by the middle of

1:00:05.279,1:00:07.929
page hundred and twenty-six,

1:00:07.929,1:00:11.620
he says: "In the form of society
to be considered here" - i.e.

1:00:11.620,1:00:15.669
within a capitalist mode of production -

1:00:15.669,1:00:21.699
"they are also the material
bearers of exchange-value."

1:00:21.699,1:00:24.929
Again… watch this word "bearers",

1:00:24.929,1:00:27.549
a commodity is a bearer of something.

1:00:27.549,1:00:30.529
It's not to say: it "is" something.

1:00:30.529,1:00:36.259
It is a bearer of something

1:00:36.259,1:00:38.819
which we have yet to define.

1:00:38.819,1:00:41.169
And how do we think about it?

1:00:41.169,1:00:43.150
Well, when we look at exchange

1:00:43.150,1:00:48.939
processes, geographically, temporally,

1:00:48.939,1:00:52.679
what we find is an enormous kind of

1:00:52.679,1:00:56.589
process of exchange, of market exchange.

1:00:56.589,1:00:59.519
We see different ratios occurring

1:00:59.519,1:01:03.489
between shirts and shoes depending
upon the time, depending upon the place.

1:01:03.489,1:01:10.529
We see different quantitative
relations between bushels of wheat and

1:01:10.529,1:01:14.079
pairs of shoes and tons of
steel and that kind of thing.

1:01:14.079,1:01:19.849
So the first sight, what
we see in the world of exchange

1:01:19.849,1:01:26.709
is exchange-values which are
incoherent, they're all over the place.

1:01:26.709,1:01:30.400
As he says: "exchange-value

1:01:30.400,1:01:35.569
appears to be something
accidental and purely relative,

1:01:35.569,1:01:40.079
and consequently an intrinsic
value, i.e. an exchange-value that is

1:01:40.079,1:01:42.539
inseparably connected with the commodity,

1:01:42.539,1:01:50.890
inherent in it, seems to be a contradiction in terms."

1:01:55.159,1:01:56.689
We noticed something

1:01:56.689,1:01:58.990
about this world of exchange. That everything

1:01:58.990,1:02:04.869
is in principle exchangeable
with everything else.

1:02:04.869,1:02:11.089
And what this immediately implies,
as he says at page hundred and twenty-seven,

1:02:11.089,1:02:14.459
is that you are always in a position
having exchanged something for something else to

1:02:14.459,1:02:18.069
then exchange what you've
just got for something else.

1:02:18.069,1:02:19.209
In other words: You can just

1:02:19.209,1:02:21.409
keep on exchanging.

1:02:21.409,1:02:24.839
So a thing can keep on moving.

1:02:24.839,1:02:29.279
So it can be exchanged for all
the other commodities at some point.

1:02:29.279,1:02:32.649
And if that's the case, he then says

1:02:32.649,1:02:35.049
on hundred and twenty-seven,

1:02:35.049,1:02:40.049
"It follows from this that, firstly,
the valid exchange-values of a particular commodity

1:02:40.049,1:02:43.630
express something equal

1:02:43.630,1:02:47.669
and secondly, exchange-value cannot
be anything other than the mode of expression,

1:02:47.669,1:02:53.799
the form of appearance of
a content distinguishable from it."

1:02:53.799,1:02:56.349
That is: if I have a commodity in my hand,

1:02:56.349,1:02:58.559
I can't dissect it

1:02:58.559,1:03:03.469
and find out that element
inside of it that makes it exchangeable.

1:03:03.469,1:03:07.789
It's something else.

1:03:07.789,1:03:11.059
No. It is exchangeable for something else
and I can't find out what makes it exchangeable

1:03:11.059,1:03:13.189
just by looking at the commodity.

1:03:13.189,1:03:15.150
I have to look at the commodity

1:03:15.150,1:03:21.099
in motion. This is where
we start to get in motion, in movement.

1:03:21.099,1:03:24.029
I have to look at it.

1:03:24.029,1:03:24.859
And as it moves,

1:03:24.859,1:03:27.909
it is obviously expressing something

1:03:27.909,1:03:29.180
about exchangeability,

1:03:29.180,1:03:33.139
a commensurability in exchange.

1:03:33.139,1:03:36.479
It means that all things
are commensurable in exchange.

1:03:36.479,1:03:40.640
Why are they commensurable?
And what is that commensurability

1:03:40.640,1:03:42.459
made up of?

1:03:42.459,1:03:44.669
Where does it come from?

1:03:44.669,1:03:47.319
How is it defined?

1:03:47.319,1:03:51.849
And the commodity is the
bearer of that something.

1:03:51.849,1:03:54.409
But it is not inside of the commodity.

1:03:54.409,1:03:57.390
It is borne by the commodity.

1:03:57.390,1:03:58.870
It's a relation

1:03:58.870,1:04:00.379
inside of the commodity,

1:04:00.379,1:04:03.399
not a material thing.

1:04:03.399,1:04:06.569
He then goes through corn and iron

1:04:06.569,1:04:11.919
and gets into one of his geometrical examples,

1:04:11.919,1:04:14.360
but says crucially right
by the middle of the page:

1:04:14.360,1:04:18.769
"Each of them, so far as it is exchange-value,

1:04:18.769,1:04:24.789
must therefore be reducible to
this third thing," whatever it is.

1:04:24.789,1:04:28.809
And "this common element cannot
be a geometrical, physical, chemical or other

1:04:28.809,1:04:33.569
natural property of commodities,"
he says further down the page.

1:04:33.569,1:04:36.869
We're hitting something
here that is rather significant.

1:04:36.869,1:04:38.410
Marx is often

1:04:38.410,1:04:43.239
depicted as some sort of grubby materialist.
You know: Everything has to be material.

1:04:43.239,1:04:50.909
But here what we're seeing immediately: he's not
talking about the materiality of the thing at all.

1:04:50.909,1:04:54.289
You can inspect the materiality of the
commodity all you like, and you won't

1:04:54.289,1:04:55.729
find out the secret of its

1:04:55.729,1:04:58.190
commensurability and its exchangeability.

1:04:58.190,1:05:04.549
You won't find it.

1:05:04.549,1:05:08.869
And then he goes on to the
next page, hundred twenty-eight, to say:

1:05:08.869,1:05:12.689
"As use-values,

1:05:12.689,1:05:15.380
commodities differ above all in quality,

1:05:15.380,1:05:19.130
while as exchange-values they
can only differ in quantity,"

1:05:19.130,1:05:22.779
that is: how much of this
exchanges for how much of that,

1:05:22.779,1:05:27.939
"and therefore do not
contain an atom of use-value."

1:05:27.939,1:05:33.709
The commensurability that
he's talking about is not constituted

1:05:33.709,1:05:39.189
out of the utility of something.

1:05:39.189,1:05:42.999
Then he goes on to say: "If then we
disregard the use-value of commodities, only one

1:05:42.999,1:05:46.869
property remains…" and here
we're going to have another a priori leap.

1:05:46.869,1:05:48.379
What's the property?

1:05:48.379,1:05:52.079
They are all products of human labor.

1:05:52.079,1:05:55.919
That is what they have in common

1:05:55.919,1:06:04.369
and what exchange- and use-values
are bearers of is that quality

1:06:04.369,1:06:09.229
of being products of human labor.

1:06:09.229,1:06:11.599
But, he then immediately goes on to say:

1:06:11.599,1:06:14.159
What kind of labor is it?

1:06:14.159,1:06:16.899
Well, it can't be

1:06:16.899,1:06:20.599
based on the fact that
if I'm lazy and I take,

1:06:20.599,1:06:25.239
you know, fifteen days to make a shirt,
then indeed, you should pay, you know, the equivalent…

1:06:25.239,1:06:27.789
should be fifteen days of your labor,

1:06:27.789,1:06:32.079
when I can go and find somebody who has made a
shirt in three days, you know, I would exchange it

1:06:32.079,1:06:34.900
with somebody for 3 days of labor.

1:06:34.900,1:06:37.339
So he says on the bottom of that passage:

1:06:37.339,1:06:40.339
"They can no longer be distinguished,

1:06:40.339,1:06:43.999
but are all together
reduced to the same kind of labor,

1:06:43.999,1:06:46.739
human labor in the abstract."

1:06:46.739,1:06:50.559
Well, this is moving very fast, very cryptic.

1:06:50.559,1:06:51.349
Use-value,

1:06:51.349,1:06:52.659
exchange-value,

1:06:52.659,1:06:54.889
human labor in the abstract.

1:06:54.889,1:06:56.769
And here it comes:

1:06:56.769,1:06:59.660
"Let us now I look at the residue of the
products of labor. There is nothing left

1:06:59.660,1:07:01.000
of them in each case

1:07:01.000,1:07:03.999
but the same phantom-like objectivity;"

1:07:03.999,1:07:06.609
Marx loves all this stuff about phantoms and

1:07:06.609,1:07:10.009
werewolves and all that kind of
stuff. So you're gonna get a lot of that.

1:07:10.009,1:07:13.969
He's a great admirer of Shelley and
Frankenstein and all the rest of it,

1:07:13.969,1:07:16.779
so you'll get a lot of
that kind of language. It's great.

1:07:16.779,1:07:22.639
"they are merely congealed
quantities of homogeneous human labor,

1:07:22.639,1:07:26.459
human labor-power expended without
regard to the form of its expenditure.

1:07:26.459,1:07:29.989
(…)As crystals of this
social substance which is common to them all,

1:07:29.989,1:07:39.369
they are values, commodity values."

1:07:39.369,1:07:45.420
Okay, he's taken four pages to lay out

1:07:45.420,1:07:46.959
three fundamental concepts.

1:07:46.959,1:07:53.619
Use-value, exchange-value, value.

1:07:53.619,1:07:55.619
Value is what is passed on

1:07:55.619,1:07:58.909
in the process of commodity exchange.

1:07:58.909,1:08:05.629
It's the hidden element in a commodity that makes

1:08:05.629,1:08:13.819
all commodities in principle
exchangeable with each other.

1:08:13.819,1:08:19.309
So he then goes on to say:
Well, having abstracted from use-value

1:08:19.309,1:08:22.999
then we go back and
look again at exchange-value.

1:08:22.999,1:08:26.929
We then see exchange-value, as he says,
on the bottom of page hundred and twenty-eight,

1:08:26.929,1:08:29.289
"as the necessary mode of expression,

1:08:29.289,1:08:34.219
or form of appearance, of value."

1:08:34.219,1:08:37.650
Appearance, form of appearance; but
this time you're looking at it the other way.

1:08:37.650,1:08:42.049
That is there is something mysterious about
the exchangeability of all of those commodities.

1:08:42.049,1:08:47.759
There is something mysterious
about the way in which

1:08:47.759,1:08:52.639
all of those commodities could
be commensurable with each other.

1:08:52.639,1:08:56.389
And the mystery is that they're values,

1:08:56.389,1:08:58.560
But values are represented now

1:08:58.560,1:09:01.330
by exchange-value, so exchange-value,

1:09:01.330,1:09:03.069
i.e. how much you are actually get for

1:09:03.069,1:09:04.549
the product in the market,

1:09:04.549,1:09:06.250
is a representation of value,

1:09:06.250,1:09:10.749
is a representation of labor.

1:09:10.749,1:09:13.909
Now, when you go to the supermarket,

1:09:13.909,1:09:17.859
can you see the labor in the commodity?

1:09:17.859,1:09:21.719
But it has an exchange-value, right?

1:09:21.719,1:09:22.859
Again, Marx's point is:

1:09:22.859,1:09:26.969
Yeah, they are products of
labor but you can't see the labor,

1:09:26.969,1:09:29.499
you can't see the labor on the commodity.

1:09:29.499,1:09:34.949
But you get a sense of what it is
because it is represented by its price.

1:09:34.949,1:09:36.659
So that is, if you like,

1:09:36.659,1:09:42.269
exchange-value is a
representation of something else.

1:09:42.269,1:09:47.670
Now again: to say something is a
representation of something is not to say "is".

1:09:47.670,1:09:48.830
Because, as anybody would

1:09:48.830,1:09:52.170
quickly tell you, the difference
between the representation and what

1:09:52.170,1:09:55.710
actually something is, there can be quite a gap.
And Marx is going to spend quite a bit of

1:09:55.710,1:09:59.400
time talking about the nature of that gap between

1:09:59.400,1:10:06.400
value and its representation.

1:10:08.659,1:10:12.329
On hundred twenty-nine he says:

1:10:12.329,1:10:15.659
"A use-value, or useful article,

1:10:15.659,1:10:19.959
therefore, has value only because
abstract human labor is objectified

1:10:19.959,1:10:26.959
or materialized in it."

1:10:26.959,1:10:30.910
Objectified - a very important kind of concept.

1:10:30.910,1:10:37.619
A process, in fact a labor process,
becomes objectified in a thing.

1:10:37.619,1:10:42.630
This is an idea that's going to
become very important in Marx.

1:10:42.630,1:10:44.659
You have a thing

1:10:44.659,1:10:46.659
and then there is a labor process.

1:10:46.659,1:10:48.360
What's the relationship then

1:10:48.360,1:10:51.370
between the process and the thing?
This is going to come up

1:10:51.370,1:10:56.809
again and again and again in the text.

1:10:56.809,1:10:59.250
Processes and things,

1:10:59.250,1:11:05.409
the thing is a representation of the process.

1:11:05.409,1:11:07.849
You want a simple example of that?

1:11:07.849,1:11:10.369
If I set an examination right now,

1:11:10.369,1:11:13.909
I made you write out little
paper about what these concepts mean.

1:11:13.909,1:11:15.169
And then I graded you.

1:11:15.169,1:11:19.030
I'll be grading you on the thing.

1:11:19.030,1:11:23.790
What would it have to do with the
process that's going on in here?

1:11:23.790,1:11:28.150
I mean you might feel very, very outraged

1:11:28.150,1:11:33.849
when I graded you C or D or F, or something
like that, because you haven't quite got it yet.

1:11:33.849,1:11:37.149
When in fact you're struggling in the process,

1:11:37.149,1:11:41.909
the intellectual labor-process of trying
to command on what the hell is going on in this text.

1:11:41.909,1:11:43.959
It's a very important thing.

1:11:43.959,1:11:48.719
But if I try to test it as a thing…and actually,

1:11:48.719,1:11:52.119
education is full of this kind of problem.

1:11:52.119,1:11:54.249
Education is about a process,

1:11:54.249,1:11:58.599
it's about people learning things,
it's about process, thinking, all this kind of stuff.

1:11:58.599,1:12:02.149
And we are constantly testing how good
people are in terms of that process by the

1:12:02.149,1:12:04.029
things they make.

1:12:04.029,1:12:09.360
Dissertations, essays, papers,

1:12:09.360,1:12:12.669
multiple choice questions, all the rest of it.

1:12:12.669,1:12:16.320
So what Marx is doing here
is to say: Well, the representation,

1:12:16.320,1:12:18.469
i.e. the exchange-value,

1:12:18.469,1:12:21.960
is something which you can
really see, but it is

1:12:21.960,1:12:25.419
representing something which is value.

1:12:25.419,1:12:32.389
And as we will see, value is always in motion.

1:12:32.389,1:12:37.900
And that means that a
process is objectified in a thing.

1:12:37.900,1:12:40.980
A labor process, a potter making a pot

1:12:40.980,1:12:44.150
is finally objectified in a thing. And
it's the thing which is sold in the

1:12:44.150,1:12:47.000
market, not the process.

1:12:47.000,1:12:51.119
But the thing would not
exist without the process.

1:12:51.119,1:12:54.479
So the process has to be objectified.

1:12:54.479,1:12:58.059
There are some people who would
love to write a dissertation without ever

1:12:58.059,1:13:01.260
actually producing the thing.

1:13:01.260,1:13:03.449
You may come an say: Oh the process is great!

1:13:03.449,1:13:07.179
…Ah, yeah okay, PhD immediately…

1:13:07.179,1:13:09.560
…but of course, no, you've got to objectify it…

1:13:09.560,1:13:12.550
And as everybody knows who's
gone through this to some degree,

1:13:12.550,1:13:15.889
you can have great ideas and think it is
fantastic, and when you try to objectify it on paper

1:13:15.889,1:13:20.780
you say:
good god, what nonsense this is!

1:13:20.780,1:13:22.150
And so, you've got to…

1:13:22.150,1:13:25.130
so Marx is talking about that relationship.

1:13:25.130,1:13:26.159
That's right in…

1:13:26.159,1:13:27.989
that's implied in this, immediately in this

1:13:27.989,1:13:30.280
notion of objectification.

1:13:30.280,1:13:34.699
Human labor is objectified, materialized in

1:13:34.699,1:13:37.989
this thing called a commodity.

1:13:37.989,1:13:41.849
But then inside of that thing, the quantity

1:13:41.849,1:13:47.849
is measured by the duration
of the labor which is put into the thing. But…

1:13:47.849,1:13:51.969
And that itself has measures, which he said…

1:13:51.969,1:13:57.219
scale of hours, days etc.

1:13:57.219,1:13:59.199
Again, there's a reference here,

1:13:59.199,1:14:02.349
a coded reference,
if you like, to the the way in which

1:14:02.349,1:14:07.830
capitalist mode of production
sets up a certain notion of temporality.

1:14:07.830,1:14:14.570
Time, how does the capitalist mode
of production structure time?

1:14:14.570,1:14:18.060
And Marx is going to make an argument,
saying: you've got to understand that

1:14:18.060,1:14:24.280
a lot of it has to do with
the fact that time is money.

1:14:24.280,1:14:27.420
Time is connected to value in
a certain kind of way, and therefore even our

1:14:27.420,1:14:30.710
measures of time start to take on

1:14:30.710,1:14:33.950
a certain kind of allure, simply

1:14:33.950,1:14:40.950
because of the way in
which it capitalist mode of production works.

1:14:43.630,1:14:50.089
He then comes, down this paragraph, to say this:

1:14:50.089,1:14:56.039
"I'm really looking at
the total labor power of society

1:14:56.039,1:15:03.039
which is manifested in
the values of the world of commodities."

1:15:03.729,1:15:10.729
Now, where does this society exist,
and where does this world of commodities prevail?

1:15:11.469,1:15:12.850
Here you're not looking at

1:15:12.850,1:15:19.519
just one particular place, you're
actually looking at a global situation.

1:15:19.519,1:15:22.429
The world of commodities,

1:15:22.429,1:15:25.889
where is the world
of commodities right now?

1:15:25.889,1:15:29.690
It's in China, it's in Mexico, it's in Japan,

1:15:29.690,1:15:32.190
it's in Russia…

1:15:32.190,1:15:34.959
It's a global thing.

1:15:34.959,1:15:36.780
And he's looking at

1:15:36.780,1:15:39.429
society, in a sense,

1:15:39.429,1:15:42.820
the whole of the capitalist world.

1:15:42.820,1:15:47.679
So he's looking at the notion of labor,

1:15:47.679,1:15:50.639
and the measure of value,
if you like, is going to be

1:15:50.639,1:15:56.110
judged against that whole world,
it's not the specific

1:15:56.110,1:16:02.580
activity of a particular labor in a
particular place and time, now it's a whole world.

1:16:02.580,1:16:05.979
A global situation, even at this point,

1:16:05.979,1:16:08.499
and actually, there's a brilliant

1:16:08.499,1:16:11.719
sort of description of globalization, if
you want to call it that, in the

1:16:11.719,1:16:13.869
Communist Manifesto.

1:16:13.869,1:16:17.599
Where Marx talks about the impulsions
of the Bourgeoisie to create the world market

1:16:17.599,1:16:20.389
and the consequence of making that,

1:16:20.389,1:16:24.589
in which old industries get destroyed,
new ones get created, there's tremendous

1:16:24.589,1:16:26.189
kind of fluidity.

1:16:26.189,1:16:31.469
Marx was writing this in a context
where the world was opening very fast-

1:16:31.469,1:16:35.149
through the steamship and
the railways and all this kind of stuff

1:16:35.149,1:16:39.449
to a global economy.

1:16:39.449,1:16:43.159
And he understood very well the
consequences of that, which meant that

1:16:43.159,1:16:46.059
value was not something that was
determined in our backyard, but was

1:16:46.059,1:16:52.039
something which was determined
in the world of commodities.

1:16:52.039,1:16:55.439
And the result of that
is that we end up as he says:

1:16:55.439,1:16:58.340
"Each of these units,"

1:16:58.340,1:17:03.780
that is of homogenous labor-power,

1:17:03.780,1:17:07.289
"each of these units is the same as any
other to the extent that it has the

1:17:07.289,1:17:09.390
character of a socially average unit

1:17:09.390,1:17:13.109
of labor-power and acts as such(…)"

1:17:13.109,1:17:16.600
And here comes the crucial definition:

1:17:16.600,1:17:19.050
"Socially necessary labor-time

1:17:19.050,1:17:22.690
is the labor-time required to produce

1:17:22.690,1:17:27.209
any use-value under the conditions
of production normal for a given society and

1:17:27.209,1:17:32.569
with the average degree of skill and
intensity of labor prevalent in that society."

1:17:32.569,1:17:36.139
This is his first cut definition of value.

1:17:36.139,1:17:43.139
Value is socially necessary labor-time.

1:17:44.270,1:17:48.640
One of the reasons, I think, Marx thought
he could get away with this very cryptic presentation

1:17:48.640,1:17:52.249
of use-value, exchange-value and value

1:17:52.249,1:17:55.889
was because anybody who read Ricardo

1:17:55.889,1:18:00.409
would say: 'Yeah, this is pure Ricardo.'

1:18:00.409,1:18:08.499
And it is pure Ricardo, with however
one exceptional insertion.

1:18:08.499,1:18:15.019
Ricardo used the concept
of labor-time as value.

1:18:15.019,1:18:21.840
Marx uses the concept
of socially necessary labor-time.

1:18:21.840,1:18:25.420
And you should immediately
ask yourself the question:

1:18:25.420,1:18:28.420
What is 'socially necessary'?

1:18:28.420,1:18:31.699
How is that established?

1:18:31.699,1:18:34.550
He doesn't give any answer to it here.

1:18:34.550,1:18:38.429
And you only begin to get the
sense of the answer of that, when you are way on

1:18:38.429,1:18:40.969
the way through Capital.

1:18:40.969,1:18:43.389
In other words, what Marx has done

1:18:43.389,1:18:48.719
here, is simply set up the
Ricardian conceptual apparatus.

1:18:48.719,1:18:55.829
Repeat it, and in a sense say:
'Ricardo missed something out.'

1:18:55.829,1:19:03.039
It is not adequate the call value labor-time.

1:19:03.039,1:19:05.360
We have to insert that question mark:

1:19:05.360,1:19:07.759
What is socially necessary labor-time?

1:19:07.759,1:19:11.699
How is it determined? Who determines it?

1:19:11.699,1:19:14.579
And that is the big issue.

1:19:14.579,1:19:19.210
And I would submit it actually continues to
be the big issue in global capitalism,

1:19:19.210,1:19:24.279
who and how is value established?

1:19:24.279,1:19:27.729
I mean we all like to think we have our
own values and this kind of stuff, and everybody likes

1:19:27.729,1:19:31.519
to go on talking about values.

1:19:31.519,1:19:35.659
But Marx is kind of saying: 'Look,
there is a value which is being determined

1:19:35.659,1:19:38.469
by a process that we do not understand.'

1:19:38.469,1:19:41.090
And it's not our choice,

1:19:41.090,1:19:44.689
it's something that is happening to us.

1:19:44.689,1:19:46.210
And how it is happening

1:19:46.210,1:19:49.499
has to be unpacked. If you
want to understand who you are,

1:19:49.499,1:19:52.739
and where you stand in this maelstrom of

1:19:52.739,1:19:55.409
churning values and everything.
What you've got to do

1:19:55.409,1:19:58.270
is to understand how value gets created,

1:19:58.270,1:20:02.360
how it gets produced and with what consequences,

1:20:02.360,1:20:06.409
socially, environmentally, all the rest of it.

1:20:06.409,1:20:07.539
And if you think

1:20:07.539,1:20:10.780
you can solve the environmental
question of global warming and all that

1:20:10.780,1:20:13.440
kind of stuff without actually confronting

1:20:13.440,1:20:16.760
the whole kind of question of
who determines the value structure

1:20:16.760,1:20:19.819
and how is it determined by these processes,

1:20:19.819,1:20:22.980
then you got to be kidding yourself.

1:20:22.980,1:20:24.790
So what Marx in effect is saying:

1:20:24.790,1:20:28.699
You got to understand
what social necessity is.

1:20:28.699,1:20:30.550
And we've got to spend a lot of time

1:20:30.550,1:20:35.079
looking at what is socially necessary.

1:20:35.079,1:20:39.539
He immediately points out however

1:20:39.539,1:20:42.489
that value is not fixed.

1:20:42.489,1:20:46.280
I've mentioned already, he's
always on about the fluidity of things.

1:20:46.280,1:20:48.239
He says:

1:20:48.239,1:20:53.989
Of course value changes with productivity.

1:20:53.989,1:20:57.420
"The introduction of
power-looms into England, for example,

1:20:57.420,1:21:00.780
probably reduced by one half the
labor required to convert a given

1:21:00.780,1:21:04.489
quantity of yarn into woven fabric.

1:21:04.489,1:21:07.979
In order to do this, the
English hand-loom weaver needed

1:21:07.979,1:21:10.760
the the same amount of
labor-time as before;

1:21:10.760,1:21:14.530
but the product of his individual
hour of labor now only represented

1:21:14.530,1:21:16.280
half an hour of social labor,

1:21:16.280,1:21:17.660
and consequently fell

1:21:17.660,1:21:22.109
to one half of its former value."

1:21:22.109,1:21:27.690
Okay, so value is in
the first instance extremely

1:21:27.690,1:21:32.620
sensitive to revolutions in technology,

1:21:32.620,1:21:34.489
revolutions in productivity.

1:21:34.489,1:21:38.399
And much of Capital is going to
be taken up with the discussion

1:21:38.399,1:21:41.289
of those revolutions in productivity,

1:21:41.289,1:21:47.519
those revolutions in value-relations.

1:21:47.519,1:21:49.290
This leads into the conclusion then,

1:21:49.290,1:21:51.520
on the bottom of one twenty nine:

1:21:51.520,1:21:55.869
"What exclusively determines the
magnitude of the value of any article

1:21:55.869,1:21:59.279
is therefore the amount
of labor socially necessary,

1:21:59.279,1:22:03.179
or the labor time
socially necessary for its production."

1:22:03.179,1:22:06.479
There's your definition.

1:22:06.479,1:22:12.169
"The individual commodity counts
here only as an average sample of its kind."

1:22:12.169,1:22:13.809
Then he re-iterates.

1:22:13.809,1:22:17.149
You often find Marx doing this, by the way.

1:22:17.149,1:22:19.249
He repeats himself.

1:22:19.249,1:22:22.409
He kind of…figures if you didn't get the

1:22:22.409,1:22:23.979
hand-loom, the power-loom

1:22:23.979,1:22:27.260
example, so he is going to

1:22:27.260,1:22:30.599
hammer it home by pointing out

1:22:30.599,1:22:35.349
that the value of the commodity does
not remain constant, he says on hundred and thirty:

1:22:35.349,1:22:39.309
"…if the labor-time required for its
production also remained constant.

1:22:39.309,1:22:42.699
But the latter changes with every variation
in the productivity of labor." He then goes

1:22:42.699,1:22:46.480
on to talk about this. But, notice:

1:22:46.480,1:22:51.530
"This is determined by a
wide range of circumstances;

1:22:51.530,1:22:57.560
it is determined amongst other things by
the workers average degree of skill,

1:22:57.560,1:23:01.859
the level of development of
science and its technological application,…"

1:23:01.859,1:23:09.989
Marx is very hot on the significance of
technology and science to capitalism.

1:23:09.989,1:23:13.249
"…the social organization
of the process of production,

1:23:13.249,1:23:16.829
the extent and effectiveness of the means
of production, and the conditions found in

1:23:16.829,1:23:23.539
the natural environment."

1:23:23.539,1:23:30.320
Vast array of elements
which can impinge upon value.

1:23:30.320,1:23:35.139
Transformations in the natural
environment mean revolutions in value.

1:23:35.139,1:23:36.620
Technology and science,

1:23:36.620,1:23:39.159
social organization of production,

1:23:39.159,1:23:41.780
technologies, all the rest of it…

1:23:41.780,1:23:43.829
So, in fact, we've got

1:23:43.829,1:23:48.429
value which is subject to a powerful
array of forces, and he's not

1:23:48.429,1:23:52.119
here attempting a definitive categorization
of all of them, he just simply wants to

1:23:52.119,1:23:59.049
alert us, that this thing we're
calling value is not constant.

1:23:59.049,1:24:07.619
It is subject to perpetual
revolutionary transformations.

1:24:08.600,1:24:12.500
But then a peculiar thing happens.

1:24:12.500,1:24:16.659
Right in the last paragraph
on hundred and thirty one

1:24:16.659,1:24:19.849
he suddenly says:

1:24:19.849,1:24:22.610
"A thing can be a
use-value without being a value."

1:24:22.610,1:24:25.979
Okay, we can all agree on that.

1:24:25.979,1:24:29.520
We breathe air and so far we
haven't managed to bottle it, although,

1:24:29.520,1:24:36.449
we're beginning to, I guess, so…

1:24:36.449,1:24:42.219
A thing can be useful and
a product of human labor without being a commodity.

1:24:42.219,1:24:46.039
I grow tomatoes in my
backyard and I eat them…

1:24:46.039,1:24:48.749
Lots of people, even within capitalism, actually

1:24:48.749,1:24:52.749
produce a lot of things for themselves.

1:24:52.749,1:24:57.829
With a little help
from DIY and all the rest of it.

1:24:57.829,1:25:00.280
"In order to produce the latter,"

1:25:00.280,1:25:02.619
that is commodities,

1:25:02.619,1:25:03.809
"he must not only produce use-values,

1:25:03.809,1:25:08.530
but use-values for others."

1:25:08.530,1:25:13.050
Furthermore, just not simply
use-values for the lord, as a serf would do,

1:25:13.050,1:25:18.359
but use-values which are going
to go to others through the market.

1:25:18.359,1:25:20.460
So it's use-values

1:25:20.460,1:25:27.460
which you are producing,
which are going to be sent to market.

1:25:27.499,1:25:32.960
"Finally", he says, "nothing can
be a value without being an object of utility.

1:25:32.960,1:25:36.400
If the thing is useless, so is the labor
contained in it; the labor does not count

1:25:36.400,1:25:42.679
as labor, and therefore creates no value."

1:25:42.679,1:25:47.739
Now he seems to dismiss
and abstract from use-value earlier on.

1:25:47.739,1:25:48.980
Saying: 'I'm not concerned

1:25:48.980,1:25:53.050
with use-values, I'm not
interested in them, etcetera.

1:25:53.050,1:25:56.079
I abstract from them, I get to
exchange-value, and that gets me to

1:25:56.079,1:25:59.329
value. But now I've got
value, but now I'm saying:

1:25:59.329,1:26:03.289
it doesn't matter what kind of labor went
into something, if somebody doesn't want it

1:26:03.289,1:26:08.090
if it doesn't meet a human
want, need or desire, then it ain't value.'

1:26:08.090,1:26:10.949
So value is also dependent
upon it being a use-value,

1:26:10.949,1:26:13.309
for somebody, somewhere.

1:26:13.309,1:26:18.829
You have to be able to sell it.
So what he has done

1:26:18.829,1:26:25.829
is to suddenly bring
back use-value into the idea of value.

1:26:27.590,1:26:30.449
Now, there's a very interesting

1:26:30.449,1:26:31.980
kind of a structure that

1:26:31.980,1:26:34.530
goes on here. Goes like this:

1:26:34.530,1:26:39.909
And this is what I would like you to do: at
the end of almost every section you read

1:26:39.909,1:26:45.019
think about how the conceptional
apparatus is constructed,

1:26:45.019,1:26:47.999
and how it hangs together.

1:26:47.999,1:26:52.380
What we've got here is
something that goes like this:

1:26:52.380,1:27:00.679
We've got the commodity.

1:27:00.679,1:27:01.960
And we said, actually,

1:27:01.960,1:27:05.209
the commodity has a dual character.

1:27:05.209,1:27:13.309
It has a use-value.

1:27:13.610,1:27:20.610
It also has an exchange-value.

1:27:24.989,1:27:27.879
exchange-value is a
representation of something.

1:27:27.879,1:27:30.519
What is it a representation of?

1:27:30.519,1:27:36.739
It's a representation of value.

1:27:36.739,1:27:41.619
But value doesn't mean anything

1:27:41.619,1:27:47.239
unless it connects back to use-value.

1:27:47.239,1:27:50.989
What is value?

1:27:50.989,1:27:57.989
Socially necessary labor-time.

1:28:08.329,1:28:16.820
Now, if you own a house, are you more
interested in its use-value or its exchange-value?

1:28:16.820,1:28:23.820
Yeah, you're interested in both,
you'd like to have your cake and eat it.

1:28:27.469,1:28:28.699
Right?

1:28:28.699,1:28:34.999
This is sort of opposition here. If you want
to realize the exchange-value of something,

1:28:34.999,1:28:37.399
you can't have the use-value of it.

1:28:37.399,1:28:40.820
If you have the use-value of it then
it's difficult to get the exchange-value, unless you do

1:28:40.820,1:28:43.529
a reverse mortgage, or, you know,
all those kinds of things that people did

1:28:43.529,1:28:47.939
over the last few years.

1:28:47.939,1:28:50.830
But notice the structure:

1:28:50.830,1:28:53.719
Commodity, a singular concept

1:28:53.719,1:28:55.599
which has two aspects.

1:28:55.599,1:28:57.750
Now when you look at a commodity,

1:28:57.750,1:29:03.579
can you actually divide it in half and say:
that's the exchange-value and that's the use-value?

1:29:03.579,1:29:05.599
No, there's a unity.

1:29:05.599,1:29:09.260
But within that unity
there is a dual aspect.

1:29:09.260,1:29:11.079
And that dual aspect

1:29:11.079,1:29:15.999
allows us to define something, called
value, as socially necessary labor-time.

1:29:15.999,1:29:21.260
Which is what the use-value of a
commodity is a bearer of.

1:29:21.260,1:29:27.039
That's what it is a bearer of.

1:29:27.039,1:29:31.059
But, in order to be a value,
it has to be useful.

1:29:31.059,1:29:33.160
And of course, on this link

1:29:33.160,1:29:38.199
we'll see all kinds of
issues arising about supply and demand.

1:29:38.199,1:29:43.609
If the supply is too great, the value will go
down, if the supply is too little, the value will go up.

1:29:43.609,1:29:47.619
So there is an element here of
supply and demand involved.

1:29:47.619,1:29:51.320
Marx is actually not
terribly interested in that.

1:29:51.320,1:29:55.719
As he will say at various points, as he goes on,

1:29:55.719,1:29:59.170
what I'm interested in is, what happens when

1:29:59.170,1:30:04.599
supply and demand are in equilibrium.

1:30:04.599,1:30:07.949
When they are in equilibrium
I have to have a different kind of analysis

1:30:07.949,1:30:10.290
and the value of the commodities is fixed

1:30:10.290,1:30:13.869
by this socially necessary
labor-time, whatever that

1:30:13.869,1:30:20.610
social necessity is. So what you've got here

1:30:20.610,1:30:23.939
is something of this form,
which then allows us to talk about

1:30:23.939,1:30:27.849
the value of a commodity.

1:30:27.849,1:30:31.689
We can talk about commodity values.

1:30:31.689,1:30:33.420
We've got to the point where we understand:

1:30:33.420,1:30:36.420
commodity values are constituted

1:30:36.420,1:30:41.159
as socially necessary labor-time.

1:30:41.159,1:30:48.230
Now this is partly, what I would suggest,

1:30:48.230,1:30:53.579
is Marx's dialectical method working here.

1:30:53.579,1:30:59.539
Would you say that exchange-values cause value?

1:30:59.539,1:31:01.520
Would you say exchange-values

1:31:01.520,1:31:05.469
cause use-value, or use-value
is caused, or anything is caused by anything else?

1:31:05.469,1:31:09.530
This is an analysis which is not causal.

1:31:09.530,1:31:15.679
It's about relations, about dialectical relations.

1:31:15.679,1:31:21.119
Can you talk about exchange-value
without talking about use-value?

1:31:21.119,1:31:24.469
No you can't.

1:31:24.469,1:31:29.050
Can you talk about value without
talking about use-value? No you can't.

1:31:29.050,1:31:32.550
In other words, you can't talk about any
one of these concepts without talking

1:31:32.550,1:31:35.820
about all of the others.

1:31:35.820,1:31:39.690
This is what I mean about, you know,
beginning to sort of work through

1:31:39.690,1:31:43.119
the conceptual apparatus of the onion.

1:31:43.119,1:31:51.489
It's an organic, hanging together,
a set of relations, between these concepts.

1:31:51.489,1:31:54.849
But we've also seen, that we'll be

1:31:54.849,1:31:59.369
going to be talking about motion, about movement,

1:31:59.369,1:32:02.639
about the making of things, about labor processes,

1:32:02.639,1:32:08.009
which become objectified in use-values,

1:32:08.009,1:32:13.269
and which become represented by exchange-value.

1:32:13.269,1:32:17.179
So we've got a very interesting

1:32:17.179,1:32:21.270
kind of conceptual framework here,
which is not about causality at all.

1:32:21.270,1:32:23.630
It's about inner relations.

1:32:23.630,1:32:25.590
And by understanding

1:32:25.590,1:32:30.119
then we start to see also
certain tensions I've already mentioned.

1:32:30.119,1:32:31.939
That yes, it'd be very nice

1:32:31.939,1:32:36.699
to have use-value and
exchange-value at the same time.

1:32:36.699,1:32:40.159
But a lot of time we
are faced with a difficult choice.

1:32:40.159,1:32:43.380
Do I have the use-value, or do I

1:32:43.380,1:32:45.380
realize the exchange-value?

1:32:45.380,1:32:50.249
Or do I give up the
exchange-value and get the use-value?

1:32:50.249,1:32:54.609
And those are the daily decisions we
have to make when we go into the market, right?

1:32:54.609,1:32:55.629
Do I give up

1:32:55.629,1:32:58.960
the exchange-value…
money for this or do I not..?

1:32:58.960,1:33:01.730
Do I hang on to the money or what do I do?

1:33:01.730,1:33:08.239
So Marx has set up something,
that is explaining something, OK, already.

1:33:08.239,1:33:14.530
And even as he explains however,
he is not saying: this causes that.

1:33:14.530,1:33:17.250
So it's not a causal analysis.

1:33:17.250,1:33:18.459
This is where I'm beginning to…
what I want you to start to think about,

1:33:18.459,1:33:24.039
is a dialectical mode of argument.

1:33:24.039,1:33:26.980
Which is already revealing something about

1:33:26.980,1:33:31.320
the kinds of choices you
make when you go into the supermarket.

1:33:31.320,1:33:34.429
And the kinds of things
you see in the supermarket.

1:33:34.429,1:33:37.639
You're going to get a representation of
human labor in the supermarket. You're not

1:33:37.639,1:33:41.119
going to see the human labor.
You're going to get a representation.

1:33:41.119,1:33:45.590
You're gonna have to to deal with the
representation as it is objectified,

1:33:45.590,1:33:47.990
and as its value is represented,

1:33:47.990,1:33:52.260
and then you have to make a
decision about use- and exchange-value.

1:33:52.260,1:33:58.460
So this is a way of situating
what people do on a daily basis.

1:33:58.460,1:34:01.970
And you can see that
this apparatus, although Marx

1:34:01.970,1:34:05.679
doesn't take it in the
way that I'm taking it,

1:34:05.679,1:34:10.199
but if you think about it you see
immediately what this can help you understand.

1:34:10.199,1:34:14.219
So you just don't learn it as a formal abstraction.

1:34:14.219,1:34:15.869
You try to put sort of

1:34:15.869,1:34:19.809
meat on the bones of this,
by sort of thinking through.

1:34:19.809,1:34:23.260
Well, what does that actually mean?

1:34:23.260,1:34:28.840
How does that help me
understand things that are going on around me?

1:34:28.840,1:34:33.929
This is the kind of crucial sort of question

1:34:33.929,1:34:37.900
which this form of analysis sets up.

1:34:37.900,1:34:40.110
So my purpose reading through

1:34:40.110,1:34:43.939
this first section is
to give you some idea about,

1:34:43.939,1:34:47.540
if you like, create a model of
how you should try to read this.

1:34:47.540,1:34:49.470
It won't always work for you. But

1:34:49.470,1:34:53.579
what you should do at the end of every
section is: draw back, say: all right,

1:34:53.579,1:34:57.039
what kind of relationships
was he talking about here?

1:34:57.039,1:34:59.400
What do those relationships tell me

1:34:59.400,1:35:05.349
both about all of this stuff,
but also tell me about what's going on?

1:35:05.349,1:35:09.169
In my daily life, in other people's daily life,
what's going on in the market and all the

1:35:09.169,1:35:12.070
rest of it? What does it tell me?

1:35:12.070,1:35:14.880
Is it telling me anything?

1:35:14.880,1:35:18.300
And initially it will be very
hard to see what it might tell you, as you go on

1:35:18.300,1:35:21.499
Marx will start to tell
stories coming out of these relationships

1:35:21.499,1:35:23.999
and he'll spin outwards from this

1:35:23.999,1:35:29.360
into a far, far greater
understanding of the dynamics of this.

1:35:29.360,1:35:34.119
So this is the way in which he's working.

1:35:34.119,1:35:35.630
And I think what

1:35:35.630,1:35:38.499
I suggested to you is that

1:35:38.499,1:35:41.069
you should go back over this section

1:35:41.069,1:35:46.070
and look carefully at the way in which
these concepts unfold and how they work

1:35:46.070,1:35:50.030
in these sorts of terms.

1:35:50.030,1:35:52.550
Now generally speaking,

1:35:52.550,1:35:55.969
I've been talking all the time on this occasion,

1:35:55.969,1:35:58.839
as an introductory thing.

1:35:58.839,1:36:02.359
Rather necessary I
found out of bitter experience.

1:36:02.359,1:36:03.260
But I would like,

1:36:03.260,1:36:07.489
actually, to try to get
you to engage a little bit, so

1:36:07.489,1:36:09.790
in the future,

1:36:09.790,1:36:13.460
precisely because you've
read the text very carefully in advance,

1:36:13.460,1:36:17.239
you doubtless come with
all kinds of questions in your mind.

1:36:17.239,1:36:18.300
And so when

1:36:18.300,1:36:23.009
I'm talking about something and you don't
get it because it doesn't fit with what

1:36:23.009,1:36:26.619
you got, then interrupt me, Ok.

1:36:26.619,1:36:36.169
That's fine, but interrupt me about the text.

1:36:36.169,1:36:40.829
As he says about this in his
introduction to the French edition, you know,

1:36:40.829,1:36:45.729
people very often want to talk politics

1:36:45.729,1:36:49.349
in here, I love to talk politics.

1:36:49.349,1:36:52.959
But sometimes if you talk
all politics you forget the text,

1:36:52.959,1:36:56.280
and actually the politics
of this class is to get you to read the text

1:36:56.280,1:36:58.249
and understand the text.

1:36:58.249,1:37:01.570
If you want to discuss politics we go
down to O'Reilly's bar on 35th street afterwards

1:37:01.570,1:37:04.119
and discuss as much politics as you like,

1:37:04.119,1:37:06.709
over several beers and that's

1:37:06.709,1:37:08.799
part of the joy of this course.

1:37:08.799,1:37:12.819
This is…,
in here we wanna try to

1:37:12.819,1:37:14.520
keep it with the text.

1:37:14.520,1:37:18.909
But there are instances of the
sort that I sort of indicated here where

1:37:18.909,1:37:23.110
people might have a particular kind of
experience which actually is illuminated

1:37:23.110,1:37:26.209
by the framework of analysis.
And that's extremely helpful.

1:37:26.209,1:37:29.449
When people can kinda say:
yeah, that reminds me off,

1:37:29.449,1:37:33.079
you know, when I was working for
AT&T this happened etc, you know, and

1:37:33.079,1:37:36.929
this happened and this happened, and it is
exactly what Marx is talking about. In other words:

1:37:36.929,1:37:39.670
there are constant ways in which

1:37:39.670,1:37:43.520
this refers to experience. I don't
mind some of that, in fact, that's always

1:37:43.520,1:37:45.609
very, very useful, but really,

1:37:45.609,1:37:47.769
what we're trying to do
is try to make sure we

1:37:47.769,1:37:51.400
get through to the text, and we have also

1:37:51.400,1:37:54.890
a little bit more fluidity, so that
I'm not just preaching all the time

1:37:54.890,1:37:57.849
and telling all the time, a
little bit more fluidity so that you can get into

1:37:57.849,1:37:59.329
discussing some things. Now,

1:37:59.329,1:38:02.909
we have about ten minutes left
so if anybody wants to raise some

1:38:02.909,1:38:08.150
issues about what we've done?

1:38:08.150,1:38:13.909
»STUDENT: I was just wondering, because I think that,
in the philosophical tradition, when we speak of value,

1:38:13.909,1:38:14.889
you usually have this conception of something

1:38:14.889,1:38:15.689
that is absolute or that has

1:38:15.689,1:38:19.739
an independent existence grounded in reality,

1:38:19.739,1:38:23.149
and I'm wondering, whether
we can understand Marx's

1:38:23.149,1:38:27.359
definition of value as
socially necessary labor-time,

1:38:27.359,1:38:31.960
as itself, something that is socially
conditioned, and is there any way

1:38:31.960,1:38:34.489
that is totally outside,
might there be a social configuration

1:38:34.489,1:38:37.409
that we can imagine

1:38:37.409,1:38:46.280
in which value is,

1:38:46.280,1:38:49.800
actually itself its representation,

1:38:49.800,1:38:53.689
when those two things are reconciled.

1:38:53.689,1:38:57.159
Or is value always, inevitably kind of a chimera?

1:38:57.159,1:39:00.969
»HARVEY: No, I think you gotta understand:

1:39:00.969,1:39:04.949
Marx's concept of value is

1:39:04.949,1:39:11.619
something which is internalized in the
processes of a capitalist mode of production.

1:39:11.619,1:39:15.380
And what he will say to you is: you may
have alternative values, and that's fine.

1:39:15.380,1:39:19.759
And you can dream about
them and want them, this kind of stuff.

1:39:19.759,1:39:26.219
But they don't mean very much,
unless you can transform

1:39:26.219,1:39:30.760
the real value system which is
governing our daily lives which is this one.

1:39:30.760,1:39:34.760
So Marx is not against, necessarily,
thinking about alternative values. And in

1:39:34.760,1:39:37.610
fact, I think, one of the big issues

1:39:37.610,1:39:43.380
which we face right now, is
precisely about what alternative values we

1:39:43.380,1:39:46.349
would like to see

1:39:46.349,1:39:49.060
operating in in the global marketplace.

1:39:49.060,1:39:52.709
Values of fairness…

1:39:52.709,1:39:57.559
and this is particularly coming up in
the environmental issue, for example.

1:39:57.559,1:40:01.820
People want to talk about
environmental values which should be

1:40:01.820,1:40:04.680
part in this. And the
answer again, as I suggested, is:

1:40:04.680,1:40:06.949
Marx would say: that's fine.

1:40:06.949,1:40:10.600
Well, he might not say that's fine, he had a
particular kind of aim of where he wants to go.

1:40:10.600,1:40:13.310
But I think, theoretically he would say:

1:40:13.310,1:40:18.090
that's fine. But in order to
make your notion of value work

1:40:18.090,1:40:21.979
you have to confront the one which is actually

1:40:21.979,1:40:23.820
dominating us in terms of

1:40:23.820,1:40:27.159
what's going on in the supermarket, how we're
living our daily lives and all the rest of it.

1:40:27.159,1:40:29.840
And we're talking about a value theory

1:40:29.840,1:40:32.059
which is implicated inside of

1:40:32.059,1:40:34.340
a capitalist mode of production.

1:40:34.340,1:40:40.260
Now, there's been a
categorical mistake in many instances,

1:40:40.260,1:40:43.979
precisely because value is located
in relationship to labor and labor processes,

1:40:43.979,1:40:49.589
that there's been a lot of
thinking in socialist societies of taking

1:40:49.589,1:40:54.229
Marx's labor theory of value
also almost as a normative device

1:40:54.229,1:40:56.439
to think about how

1:40:56.439,1:40:57.499
socialism should work.

1:40:57.499,1:41:00.150
But this is not what
Marx is saying, he's saying:

1:41:00.150,1:41:02.179
value is inherent

1:41:02.179,1:41:03.949
within a capitalist mode of production.

1:41:03.949,1:41:06.889
And we have to come to terms

1:41:06.889,1:41:08.879
with what that value is.

1:41:08.879,1:41:11.159
Now, there are alternative value theories.

1:41:11.159,1:41:12.810
And you know, you can

1:41:12.810,1:41:17.050
philosophize about them, think
about them and worry about them, socially,

1:41:17.050,1:41:18.939
politically, all the rest of it…

1:41:18.939,1:41:22.499
But his point is, as I suggested,

1:41:22.499,1:41:25.420
you've always got to come
back to confront this one,

1:41:25.420,1:41:28.570
because this is very basic to how
capitalist mode of production works.

1:41:28.570,1:41:29.119
And if you wanna

1:41:29.119,1:41:31.969
instantiate a different set of
values, then you've gotta

1:41:31.969,1:41:35.300
overthrow a capitalist mode of production.

1:41:35.300,1:41:38.280
And that's his revolutionary intent.

1:41:38.280,1:41:43.530
Sorry, there was a question here.

1:41:43.530,1:41:47.869
»STUDENT: Yeah, I just was wondering if
you could talk a little bit about how we should think

1:41:47.869,1:41:49.339
about objectification. Because, I know, the
preconceived notion I bring to it is

1:41:49.339,1:41:52.219
much more static in terms of,

1:41:52.219,1:41:54.480
as labor is objectified, it
moves away from the laborer

1:41:54.480,1:41:57.030
and there's this separation.

1:41:57.030,1:42:01.509
How can I think about that in terms of,

1:42:01.509,1:42:04.409
more process oriented?

1:42:04.409,1:42:08.270
»HARVEY: Well, again…
the thing is not…

1:42:08.270,1:42:11.159
…is not…, for instance:

1:42:11.159,1:42:13.189
Just to give you an example:

1:42:13.189,1:42:14.639

1:42:14.639,1:42:17.749
Let's suppose that labor produces a house.

1:42:17.749,1:42:20.090
Okay the laborers that
produced the house move away from it,

1:42:20.090,1:42:23.510
then maybe other laborers move in to it.

1:42:23.510,1:42:27.769
And then there's the issue of: is that
house then fixed forever in terms of

1:42:27.769,1:42:32.080
its value? Well, given the way
he set it up, the answer is no.

1:42:32.080,1:42:36.329
Because let's suppose
there are revolutions in technology

1:42:36.329,1:42:40.199
which suddenly make housing
production much easier.

1:42:40.199,1:42:44.480
Then you can go away from, I don't know,
shanty towns to sort of housing of a

1:42:44.480,1:42:47.300
different kind, and therefore there's a dynamic

1:42:47.300,1:42:50.900
involved in this, and therefore,

1:42:50.900,1:42:53.540
you know, this gets back to the fact that

1:42:53.540,1:42:57.699
something like a house has a use-value and
the use-value remains a long time and you can still

1:42:57.699,1:43:00.889
trade its exchange-value,
so it has a residual exchange-value.

1:43:00.889,1:43:02.019
So…,

1:43:02.019,1:43:03.930
so again there's a dynamic here,

1:43:03.930,1:43:05.370
so the thing

1:43:05.370,1:43:07.849
and the qualities of things are not fixed.

1:43:07.849,1:43:10.550
In fact, again, there's a lot of

1:43:10.550,1:43:14.989
dynamism in this. But again Marx,
by and large, is not going to be concerned about that

1:43:14.989,1:43:16.929
in Capital. He's going to sort of say:

1:43:16.929,1:43:21.589
OK, I'm gonna assume it's fixed for the moment.

1:43:21.589,1:43:24.000
But nevertheless, what
he's saying here is:

1:43:24.000,1:43:29.109
watch out!, it's always in motion,
it's never fixed, it's always changing, it's a dynamic

1:43:29.109,1:43:32.429
concept, not a static one.
And the objectification

1:43:32.429,1:43:37.189
is there, but again, the meaning
of the objectification itself changes over time

1:43:37.189,1:43:39.699
and according to place. So you know

1:43:39.699,1:43:45.199
there are all those elements within it.

1:43:45.199,1:43:46.779
» STUDENT: This particular vision of the capitalist

1:43:46.779,1:43:50.590
world that Marx deals with

1:43:50.590,1:43:52.469
diverges, I mean obviously

1:43:52.469,1:43:53.679
diverges with the modern day…

1:43:53.679,1:43:59.539
Specifically with the way in which laws, and
you know, create a proprietary… you know

1:43:59.539,1:44:01.769
only certain companies
can make one thing, and then,

1:44:01.769,1:44:06.690
corporations sort of

1:44:06.690,1:44:07.700
dominate the scene.

1:44:07.700,1:44:12.019
It's not a free market- protectionist laws,

1:44:12.019,1:44:15.800
…does that…

1:44:15.800,1:44:18.959
affect the values being purely
about the socially necessary labor-time.

1:44:18.959,1:44:21.800
»HARVEY: Well that's one of the
questions which you have to ask about. What is

1:44:21.800,1:44:23.989
socially necessary labor-time?

1:44:23.989,1:44:25.800
How is it determined?

1:44:25.800,1:44:30.120
To what degree is there a monopoly
power in the market which is determining it?

1:44:30.120,1:44:36.380
To what degree is there imperialist
politics which is determining it?

1:44:36.380,1:44:38.739
To what degree is there

1:44:38.739,1:44:41.189
colonial enslavement which is determining it?

1:44:41.189,1:44:42.130
In other words:

1:44:42.130,1:44:43.869
those are open questions.

1:44:43.869,1:44:47.479
And Marx is very much open to

1:44:47.479,1:44:49.459
discussing those sorts of questions

1:44:49.459,1:44:53.699
in principle. But again, what
we're going to look at is

1:44:53.699,1:44:57.359
Marx's conception of a pure
capitalist mode of production.

1:44:57.359,1:45:01.449
Which in many ways, as we will see,
is guided by the vision of classical

1:45:01.449,1:45:03.249
political economy.

1:45:03.249,1:45:06.510
In other words: classical political economy

1:45:06.510,1:45:09.969
assumes there were going to be perfectly
functioning markets and the state power

1:45:09.969,1:45:14.070
is going to be out of the way,
and there's gonna be no monopoly.

1:45:14.070,1:45:17.739
So Marx tends to say:
okay, let's assume that

1:45:17.739,1:45:21.469
the classical political economists are
correct and that's how the world is.

1:45:21.469,1:45:23.969
We will see examples where

1:45:23.969,1:45:27.659
that presumption gets him into difficulties.

1:45:27.659,1:45:29.699
But actually, there's nothing

1:45:29.699,1:45:33.320
in this conception that says you can't
consider all those things, because,

1:45:33.320,1:45:36.099
for me anyway, the category socially necessary

1:45:36.099,1:45:38.170
is something which is perpetually open,

1:45:38.170,1:45:39.650
is constantly changing.

1:45:39.650,1:45:41.659
What is socially necessary now?

1:45:41.659,1:45:45.650
as opposed to what was
socially necessary in 1850.

1:45:45.650,1:45:50.099
Very different. And so you know,

1:45:50.099,1:45:52.510
I would want you to think about this as

1:45:52.510,1:45:55.580
having a flexible reading in this,
but realize that Marx is using it

1:45:55.580,1:45:59.219
in a very specific way, in a very specific situation

1:45:59.219,1:46:03.340
for very specific purposes.

1:46:03.340,1:46:06.739
»STUDENT: Does socially necessary
imply the amount of labor required

1:46:06.739,1:46:10.729
for a laborer to reproduce him- or herself?

1:46:10.729,1:46:12.559
»HARVEY: Socially necessary

1:46:12.559,1:46:15.849
can include that kind of question.

1:46:15.849,1:46:19.290
As many socialist feminists pointed out in the

1:46:19.290,1:46:22.690
debates of the nineteen
sixties/nineteen seventies,

1:46:22.690,1:46:26.489
the whole question of socially necessary,

1:46:26.489,1:46:28.650
has to take into account

1:46:28.650,1:46:31.860
certain basic costs of reproduction
that are born inside of the household

1:46:31.860,1:46:35.369
and which may be
disproportionately born by women.

1:46:35.369,1:46:38.429
Even though, actually, if you look
at the whole history of the industrial

1:46:38.429,1:46:40.480
revolution, it was women's labor

1:46:40.480,1:46:44.070
in the factories that was
fundamental, as it is today. And most of

1:46:44.070,1:46:47.840
the global proletariat right now is women.

1:46:47.840,1:46:51.190
So the kind of social
reproduction aspect of it, and how to

1:46:51.190,1:46:53.289
integrate that into
socially necessary, has been

1:46:53.289,1:46:58.230
a contentious issue amongst Marxists.

1:46:58.230,1:47:01.690
And what you have to
remember by the way, is that Marx

1:47:01.690,1:47:07.969
was a little skeptical of this
term "Marxist". He once said: 'I am not a Marxist.'

1:47:07.969,1:47:11.489
What he meant by that, was, there
were a lot of things being said in his name, that were

1:47:11.489,1:47:13.639
not exactly what he had to say.

1:47:13.639,1:47:18.309
So again, that's one of the reasons
why I want you to think about this in Marx's

1:47:18.309,1:47:21.940
own terms. Because, you know,

1:47:21.940,1:47:24.139
it's very, it's very important to realize

1:47:24.139,1:47:28.309
how he expands this
notion of social necessity,

1:47:28.309,1:47:29.679
we will see.

1:47:29.679,1:47:32.889
How you might want to expand it,
is again something that is open

1:47:32.889,1:47:34.479
to discussion and debate.

1:47:34.479,1:47:37.039
How we should expand it,

1:47:37.039,1:47:41.719
in terms of a socialist project, or
socio-ecological project, or a social-

1:47:41.719,1:47:43.070
feminist project, or whatever.

1:47:43.070,1:47:44.899
How we should expand it,

1:47:44.899,1:47:47.730
again, is something very much up to us.

1:47:47.730,1:47:51.609
And I don't think Marx would want to be read

1:47:51.609,1:47:55.389
as someone providing a
gospel within which you

1:47:55.389,1:47:56.590
can find yourself.

1:47:56.590,1:48:00.110
It's not about confining mode of
argument, it's a matter of

1:48:00.110,1:48:03.469
liberating you to think about
all kinds of possibilities,

1:48:03.469,1:48:05.369
all kinds of alternatives,

1:48:05.369,1:48:08.780
all kinds of ways to go.

1:48:08.780,1:48:09.929
Just one more.

1:48:09.929,1:48:13.959
»STUDENT: Could you just
clarify very specifically

1:48:13.959,1:48:15.649
the difference between
use-value and exchange-value?

1:48:15.649,1:48:19.880
»HARVEY: Use-value is a shirt or a shoe,

1:48:19.880,1:48:21.889
whatever you use. The exchange-value is:

1:48:21.889,1:48:25.880
shirts and shoes in the market,
and about the prices on them,

1:48:25.880,1:48:30.099
put very simply. And it's…

1:48:30.099,1:48:33.419
I don't like to use the word price at this
point, because we haven't talked very much about

1:48:33.419,1:48:35.969
money. But when you get
further down the line

1:48:35.969,1:48:40.610
you see it's really about prices realized
in the market, and exchange-value is the price

1:48:40.610,1:48:43.769
of a commodity.

1:48:43.769,1:48:46.609
Okay, we should leave it there.
So thanks very much.

1:48:46.609,1:48:52.909
We don't meet next week, right?,
because…What is it?

1:48:52.909,1:48:55.679
» STUDENT: Labor Day.
» DAVID HARVEY: Oh, Labor Day, what a good idea.

1:48:55.679,1:48:57.739
Next time I want you to read

1:48:57.739,1:49:03.840
the rest of chapter one, and chapter two.

1:49:03.840,1:49:08.169
So we will get to the end
of chapter two. Chapter two is pretty short.

1:49:08.169,1:49:12.650
The rest of this chapter is very
curious for a variety of reasons. I mentioned

1:49:12.650,1:49:17.599
Marx's literary style. His
literary style changes from

1:49:17.599,1:49:23.369
crisp analytic, like you've seen here,
and that goes on for the next one,

1:49:23.369,1:49:27.419
to what I can only call
his kind of 'accountancy style',

1:49:27.419,1:49:29.869
which is deadly boring.

1:49:29.869,1:49:31.629
Where: 'this is worth two shillings

1:49:31.629,1:49:34.650
and that's worth three shillings,

1:49:34.650,1:49:38.269
and that's worth two and a half pence.
And if we add this to that we will end up with…'

1:49:38.269,1:49:39.269
Deadly boring.

1:49:39.269,1:49:42.980
So the third section is rather long

1:49:42.980,1:49:46.550
and rather boring of that style.

1:49:46.550,1:49:49.510
And he could have done
it much quicker in my view.

1:49:49.510,1:49:52.860
But it has some very important
insights in it. And so you're going to

1:49:52.860,1:49:53.810
find yourself struggling.

1:49:53.810,1:49:57.070
The last section of chapter one is the
fetishism of commodities, where it's

1:49:57.070,1:50:00.300
about werewolves and Robinson Crusoe,

1:50:00.300,1:50:04.489
in an incredible kind of literary
style. So you suddenly find in this chapter

1:50:04.489,1:50:08.159
you're going to have a big
sample of Marx's different writing styles.

1:50:08.159,1:50:09.479
And they are all together.

1:50:09.479,1:50:13.699
Now, if you wrote a PhD that way, people
would say: For god's sakes!, smooth this out,

1:50:13.699,1:50:15.320
you can't do that.

1:50:15.320,1:50:18.380
Which style you're gonna write in?
But he writes in different styles.

1:50:18.380,1:50:19.559
And he enjoys it.

1:50:19.559,1:50:21.810
And it's fun, actually, because you starts to say:

1:50:21.810,1:50:25.049
How on earth does this relate to that?

1:50:25.049,1:50:28.939
And what does this really mean?
So anyway, chapter one is like that.

1:50:28.939,1:50:30.369
Chapter two is relatively short,

1:50:30.369,1:50:33.389
and again fairly analytic.

1:50:33.389,1:50:36.969
Key concepts are laid out a bit like here. So
it's a step further along the conceptional apparatus.

1:50:36.969,1:50:42.199
Okay? So chapters one and two

1:50:42.199,1:50:45.859
for next time.

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