Eldred/Roth: Guide to Marx's Capital (1978)

Thirty years ago (2008)[*]

It was thirty years ago that the Australian, Neil Horne, a graduate of the Department of General Philosophy at the University of Sydney urban-squatting in London, decorated the cover of our just-finished book, Guide to Marx´s 'Capital' CSE Books, Mount Pleasant / London, with a human skeleton leaning on a cabinet and reading the three volumes of Capital.

The digitized edition now being made available online is an emendated version of the original, without any revisions to the content on the basis of later work. We are also publishing the 1978 Preface here once again. In 1976, Neil Horne and Michael Eldred were advanced students when, as visiting lecturer, I had the opportunity to present in the General Philosophy Department, and in the world language, a systematic reconstruction of the argumentation in Capital which had been developed since 1970 at the newly established University of Constance in Germany. Michael Eldred made this text out of my 'broken English' which, apart from the German teaching experiences, incorporated also the fresh Australian experiences in Capital Reading Groups. Besides the compact argumentation in a continuous text, in an appendix there is a collection of 145 learning cards for setting up a handy index of terms; it is uncontroversial that repeating what has been read is helpful for consolidating the learning of conceptual interconnections.

Because we formulated the skeleton of the systematic argumentation of the capital-analysis on roughly 30 pages, we added around 15 pages of notes on the contents of the several hundreds of pages of Marx's text and his sometimes vacillating conceptual structure.

My article, 'With Marx against Marx? Habermas and Historical Materialism', appeared in 1981 in the third number of the Australian journal, Thesis Eleven: Reassessing Western Marxism. We add this article to the online version as a third appendix, in addition to the two appendices in the printed version, 'Family in Capital' and 'Science in Capital'. [1]

See also Michael Eldred and Marnie Hanlon 'Reconstructing Value-form Analysis' in Capital & Class No. 13 London 1981 pp. 24 60,

Michael Eldred, Critique of Competitive Freedom and the Bourgeois Democratic State: Outline of a Form Analytic Extension of Marx's Uncompleted System with an Appendix A Value-Form Analytic Reconstruction of 'Capital' co-authored with M. Hanlon, L. Kleiber & M. Roth, Kurasje, Copenhagen 1984 580 pp. [2],

Michael Eldred, Marnie Hanlon, Lucia Kleiber, Volkbert M. Roth La Forma-Valore: Progetto di ricostruzione e completamento del frammento di sistema di Marx Lacaita, Manduria 1984 306 pp. (Italian)

and http://www.wertformanalyse.de (German)

We invite discussion at http://www.MARX101.blogspot.com

Karl Marx died in exile in London on 14 March 1883 - 125 years ago.

Mike Roth, Spring 2008



[*] Translated from the German by Michael Eldred, artefact text & translation, Cologne


[1] Cf. also Marx's own appendix to the first edition of Das Kapital (1867), English translation by Roth/Suchting: 'The Value-Form', in Capital & Class No. 4, 1978 pp. 130-150, available at http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/appendix.htm.

[2] See most recently on the critique of the labour theory of value and associated issues, in particular Chapters 4 v) and 6 iii) of Michael Eldred Social Ontology: Recasting Political Philosophy Through a Phenomenology of Whoness ontos verlag, Heusenstamm 2008 xiv+688 pp. http://www.webcom.com/artefact/sclontlg.html