I’m currently making my way through—very slowly, I might add—Fred Moseley’s Money and Totality: A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the ‘Transformation’. Hopefully I will have the chance to blog more of my thoughts on the book (which certainly seems superior to the solutions offered by Andrew Kliman and others, for reasons I’ll admittedly have to think further on) in the future, especially as my current project comes to a close and I begin my long-term plan of doing a chronological read-through of the so-called ‘value-form’ debates.
In the book’s third chapter, Moseley offers a lengthy textual exegesis for his interpretation of Marx’s ‘logical method’, which entails what he describes as the ‘two levels of abstraction’ that composes the baseline of the theory: the production of surplus-value, where the total surplus-value is determined, and the distribution of surplus-value, in which this total surplus-value is divided into “individual parts”, i.e. the various industries that make up the actual capitalist economy. These two levels constitute the “quantitative dimension” of what Marx called capital in general and competition, respectively. The logical order is clear: capital in general denotes capital as grasped by “the most essential properties which are common to all capitals and which distinguish capital from simple commodities or money or other forms of wealth” (p. 43, his italics), which would be the production of surplus value. Competition, accordingly, is the distribution of this surplus-value among the various industries and firms that compose them.
Moseley notes that this “relation between capital in general and competition in Marx’s theory, or the relation between the total surplus-value and the individual parts of surplus-value, is essentially the same as the relation between the universal and the particulars in Hegel’s logic of the concept” (p. 45). He then offers the following equivalences:
Hegel: universal contains within itself its own particulars
Marx: total surplus-value contains within itself the individual parts of surplus-value
Hegel: particulars are the universal itself, with additional determinations
Marx: particulars forms of surplus-value are the general forms of surplus-value itself, with additional determinations
Hegel: particulars as the ‘fulfillment of what the universal is’
Marx: particular forms of surplus-value are the ‘fulfillment’ of what the general form of surplus-value is
Hegel: universal ‘goes forth’ into particular forms
Marx: total surplus-value ‘goes forth’ into particular forms and individual parts