Friday, May 17, 2019

Karl Seldon on Karl Marx Series, Part 2. Marx's Theory of “Self-Alienation”.






Karl Seldon on Karl Marx Series, Part 2.

Seldon on the Marxian Theory of “Self-Alienation”:

The Root Cause of Subjective Human Self-Alienation Under Capitalism,

The Social Relation of Production Social Praxis that [Continually Re-]Produces Affective and Objective Social Alienation in the Capitalist Epoch -- A ‘Psychohistorical-Materialist’ Analysis.







Dear Readers,


This new series -- “Karl Seldon on Karl Marx” -- is for the purpose of my presenting to you key excerpts from Karl Seldon’s discourses, among we of F.E.D., on the topic of the work of Karl Marx.  This series continues -- in this Part 2 -- with a clarification of Marx’s lifelong and mature ‘‘‘psychohistorical’’’ analysis of human “alienation” within the integument of “the capital relation”.

[Seldon:]  Contrary to the claims of some anti-Marxians, Marx never “abandoned” his view of the prevalence and centrality of the «problematique» of human-social alienation, both subjective and objective -- that first surfaced in his early writings of the 1840s -- all the way from those early writings to his most “mature” work on the immanent critique of the ideology-vitiated “science” of capitalist classical political economy, in the four [drafted] volumes of his «Das Kapital».”

“Instead, that theory of alienation became the very heart of his critique of political economy:  self-alienation is the very essence of “the capital-relation” [Marx].”

“The beating heart of “the capital-relation” is wage-labor.”

“Wage-labor is, precisely, self-selling -- self-alienation -- a comprehensive system of “universal prostitution” [Marx, Grundrisse], which is not restrictedly or primarily sexual prostitution, but is the prostitution of the total human person, the giving up of ‘individual sovereignty’ and of control of one’s own potentially creative life-activity, of ownership of one’s creations, and of the purpose and meaning of one’s very life, to an alien will, for the better part of one’s daily life, and for the better part of one’s entire lifetime, in exchange for mere survival -- for the wage wherewithal to live to work another day for that alien will, with, perhaps, enough wherewithal left over to feed, to clothe, and to educate one’s children, e.g., to take one’s place after one’s life has been “used-up” and thrown away.”

“Marx’s solution regarding the root cause, the economic basis -- or, rather, the social relation of production and social praxis basis -- of human social alienation in general, and the individual self-alienation that resides at its causal core in particular, is sprinkled and applied throughout his  middle and final “mature” works -- e.g., «Zur Kritik...» [A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy], and Capital:  A Critique of Political Economy.”

“The problem has been that Marx’s more subjectivist and ‘existentialoid’ mis-interpreters have not known how to read Marx’s frequent exhibitions of this solution in those works.”

“And, the ‘Leninoid’ would-be misleaders about Marx’s theories have sought to suppress all understanding of the role of Marx’s theory of alienation in his critique of capitalism, hoping that their readers will not notice their perpetuation of that alienation in their plans, and in their actualizations, of their perpetuation of wage-labor, in enslavement to the state -- to state-capital -- and in enslavement to their state-bureaucratic ruling class, in their proto-state-capitalist, Orwellian dictatorships.”

“Even pre-capitalist production for sale -- i.e., production of commodities -- is production for alienation, for the dis-owning of one’s products in return for money, producing products for ‘exchange-use’ -- rather than for ‘consumption use’ by their immediate producers -- and, while it marks progress for the development of the social-reproductive self-force of the human species, it also already engenders a social praxis which produces and reproduces problematic pre-capitalist forms of social alienation.”

“But daily [re]production of your self for the purpose of daily self [re-]sale -- for daily wagéd [and salaried] labor -- is production and reproduction of self mainly for self-alienation, and is thus also the production and expanded reproduction of individual and social self-alienation itself; of self-disowning; of self-estrangement.”

“And this incessant, ‘essence-ial’ social practice of capitalism produces an alien social world, ‘a world of strangers’, a world devoid of true human community, devoid of real human-social solidarity, and devoid of non-monetary purpose and meaning, for most of its practitioners.”

“When we are too used to this world -- immersed in it, from birth -- we may lose sensitivity, lose the ability to discern these tragedies, unless or until certain healing and consciousness-inducing events engulf our lives and our social self-identities.”

“This social praxis produces, and continually expandedly reproduces, an alien world, a world of alienated objectifications, of [self-]objectifications designed and owned, not by the human selves that, together, socially, produce those [self-]objectifications; a world shaped per and owned by, not by the majority of human beings, but, instead, designed and owned by the “logic” of capital, by capital personified, by the ever-shrinking capitalist ruling class, an ever-tinier, ever-more-deranged minority of “Dr. Strangeloves”, characterized by ever-more-concentrated capital ownership, and pursuing an agenda which is increasingly alien to, and contrary to, the interests, the needs, the well-being of the majority, producing, class, opposed to the collective will of that majority, and utterly and lethally subversive of the democracy that capitalism championed in its ascendence phase.”

“The [socio-politico-]economic act of participating, per force, in the wage-labor/capital social relation of production, and in its social praxis, creates and daily recreates a social “base”, and a social “superstructure”, permeated throughout its entire depth and breadth and height, from top to bottom, by the historically-specific, capitalist brand of  social alienation.”

“The root of modern self-alienation is none other than self-selling, and self-selling is, precisely, wage-labor [and salaried labor].”

Wage-labor is the labor-side, the worker-side, the MAJORITY-side, of “the capital-relation” as predominant “social relation of production” [Marx].”

“Self-alienation, alienated [sold] life-time, alienated [sold] labor-time, alienated labor IS WHAT CAPITAL IS ALL ABOUT -- it is WHAT CAPITAL IS MADE OF.




For more information regarding these Seldonian and Marxian insights, please see --

and


For ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian and Marxian insights -- specimens of dialectical art -- see:




¡ENJOY!



Regards,


Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.






Wednesday, May 15, 2019

‘‘‘Equitism’’’ -- ‘‘‘Containing’’’ Capital-Equity via Higher Equity.







‘‘‘Equitism’’’ --

The «Aufheben»-‘‘‘Containment’’’ of Capital-Equity by Higher «Species» of Equity.







Dear Readers,



The checking-and-balancing of capitalisms deadly downsides -- the ‘socio-political-economic’ ‘‘‘containment’’’ of the “externality” inequities of the market failures of descendence-phase capitalism; of its rising ‘hyper-inequality’, and of its tendential degeneration of democratic institutions into Orwellian, totalitarian, humanocidal dictatorship, due to the plutocratic prostitution of those formerly democratic institutions, and due to the humanocidal desperation of the descendence-phase capitalist ruling class, facing accelerating and deepening rates of ‘techno-depreciation’ of their hyper-concentrated capital assets -- requires the popular establishment of new, higher «species» of social-political-economic equity as constitutionally-backed basic human rights, and as universal, all-citizens forms of “individual property”, owned personally by each and every citizen.

The three higher «species» of ‘generalized equity’ identified by the Equitist Advocacy group are designed to «aufheben»-‘‘‘contain’’’ the fatal inequities of Capital-equity as the sole socially-recognized and established form of equity in the following ways --

1. Citizen Externality Equity is designed to ‘‘‘contain’’’/economically “check-and-balance” Capital-equity ‘‘‘from within’’’, via popularly-elected, mandated, and recallable Boards of Public Directors vying, inside each local operating unit of, e.g., a polluting enterprise, whether capitalist or producers’-cooperative, with the Management Committee of that local operating unit, to reduce the annual production of pollution and/or other externalities by that enterprise, with recourse to popularly-elected, mandated, and recallable Justices, forming ‘Tribunals for Citizen Externality Equity’, deciding in case of deadlock in the negotiations between the publicly-elected Public Board and the governing ‘‘‘Private Board’’’ of each such enterprise.

2.  Citizen Birthright Equity is designed to ‘‘‘contain’’’/economically “check-and-balance” Capital-equity ‘‘‘from without’’’, by limiting the degree of desperation, hence of vulnerability to exploitation, of workers.  It limits the degree of exploitation of wage-workers that Capital-equity can get away with, since, if exploitative abusiveness increases beyond a definite degree, many workers will choose to live from their Citizen Birthright EquityTrust Funds, rather than submit to that degree of abuse, or worse.

3.  Citizen Stewardship Equity is designed to ‘‘‘contain’’’/economically “check-and-balance” Capital-equity in direct competition therewith, by competitively and ‘marketistically’ limiting the excesses of capitalist oligopolies, etc., by surrounding Capital-equity enterprises with market competition from ‘socialized producers’ cooperatives’, giving workers an alternative to ‘‘‘wage-slavery’’’ or ‘salary-slavery’ to the owners of Capital-equity, by way of the constitutional right to form democratically-managed, competing, at-risk ‘citizen stewardship collectives’, which, if their business plans qualify in the eyes of a competing, at-risk ‘Social Bank citizen stewardship cooperative’, are granted the means of production, etc., required to actualize those business plans, in return for a social rent paid on those means of production, etc., e.g., among its other purposes, to encourage economy in the use of such means of production.

Constitutionally and actually instituting these three higher «species» of [inclusive] social equity to the, originally lone, Capital-equity [exclusive social equity] «species», would mean ‘‘‘correcting’’’ the capitalist system for the abuses inherent in the increasingly economically unchecked power of the ever-shrinking, ever-more-capital-concentrated and capital-wealthy capitalist ruling class plutocracy, which wealth that plutocracy uses to prostitute all three branches of political government, thus destroying the constitutional political checks-and-balances that held sway somewhat during the ascendence-phase of the capitalist system.

A popular movement strong enough to constitutionally and actually institute these three higher «species» of social equity would thereby also tend to generate a popular, potentially non-violent, rule-of-law transition to a new prevailing social relation of production:  ‘«gene»-ralized equity’ itself.

The constitutional establishment of these three new, additional, incremental «species» of social equity -- supplementary to and extending the existing social equity «species», of Capital-equity -- is designed to ‘complete the «genos»’ of social equity, by actualizing these three other «species» of ‘socio-political-economic equity/fairness/justice, beyond the Capital-equity first/«arché» «species» of Social Equity-in-«Gene»-ral.



For more information regarding these Seldonian insights, please see --

and


For ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian insights -- specimens of dialectical art -- see:




¡ENJOY!



Regards,


Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.






















Saturday, May 11, 2019

Einstein’s “Unified Field Theory” -- Technologies Possibly Deriving Therefrom.



Einstein’s “Unitary Field Theory” --

Technologies Possibly Implied by a Successful Completion Thereof.







Dear Readers,



Albert Einstein, whose work anticipated, and often predicted, so many phenomena that were only observed or confirmed long after his life time, spent the major part of his later years working on a “Unitary Field Theory”.  This was a theory that, extending Maxwell’s field theory unification programme that led to the unification of magnetism and electricity, was intended to reveal an undergirding unity of the fundamental “force” manifestations of Nature, starting with a unification of electromagnetism and gravity.
Standard accounts of Einstein’s unitary field theory, including the many papers published on that theory by Einstein, simply say that the theory “failed”.  Little discussion of the substance of that theory can be found in the standard accounts, nor are the criteria defining such “failure” specified.  It is hard to believe that Einstein’s “unitary field theory” was entirely a failure; that it contained no worthwhile insights or partial successes, or that today's myriad and untested "string" theories assimilated all that was of value in Einstein's work on unification.
For this reason, I have decided to publish, here, the text below, authored by one of our readers, whose conjectures and speculations might possibly point to an explanation for this wholesale neglect of Einstein’s most mature work.

For more information regarding, the Seldonian insights usually featured here, please see --

and


For ‘poster-ized’ visualizations of many of these Seldonian insights -- specimens of dialectical art -- see:



¡ENJOY!



Regards,


Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.







There were three key movements in the symphony of Albert Einstein’s life’s work, in a performance the breadth of which, many belief, might never be equaled:  The Special Theory of Relativity, the General Theory of Relativity, and “Unitary Field Theory”, also known as “Unified Field Theory”.

In the latter, Einstein sought to reveal the hidden unity of the two main fields of “force” recognized as such by physics at the time of Einstein’s work -- the Universal Electromagnetic Field, and/with the Universal Gravitational, or Gravitic [Asimov], Field”, in somewhat the way that James Clerk Maxwell had earlier discovered field equations which revealed the previously hidden unity of Electricity and Magnetism, and the ‘Electro-Magnetic’ nature of light radiations, both those visible and those invisible to the human senses.

The standard view is that Einstein’s “Unitary Field Theory” didn’t work.  Einstein published systems of equations attempting to formulate the hidden unity of Gravity and Electromagnetism.  But they “failed”.

I would not be surprised, although I presently do not have evidence that such is the case, if the Einstein Unitary Field Theory Equations did, at least partially, “work”, and “work” well enough to imply the possibility of technological applications -- the possibility of an ‘electro-magneto-gravitic’ technology.

The U. S. government already had its eye on Einstein.  A famous, approximate equation, arising in his first ‘symphonic movement’, the Special Theory of Relativity, implied the possibility of nuclear weapons, and Einstein’s letter to Roosevelt on that subject had, at least in part, triggered the gigantic and hyper-consequential Manhattan Project.  J. Edgar Hoover and the INS were endeavoring to deport Einstein because of Einstein’s “socialist” views.  The illustrious Kurt Gödel, Einstein’s buddy at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, had discovered an exact special solution to the system of ten “simultaneous” nonlinear partial differential equations that formulate, in pre-tensor mathematical language, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity -- a solution that described paths through space-time that could be interpreted as representing a kind of “time travel”.  There is ample evidence that Gödel complained often that he, too, was under government surveillance, ever since that discovery, a complaint “officially” dismissed as “paranoia”.  It is now known that Gödel’s mail was intercepted and opened, his phone tapped, and his home invaded by the U.S. secret police.  The same treatment was afforded to Einstein.

Again, I would not be surprised -- though, again, I presently have no evidence that such is the case -- if the Government had therefore, because of its technological, including military, applications, slapped a “top secret” sticker on all of Einstein’s further work on Unitary Field Theory, withdrawing that work from further “public science” elaboration and publication, and if Einstein acquiesced in that sequestration of his Unitary Field Theory, e.g., to avoid deportation, to keep that work from falling into Stalinist hands, etc.

It in conceivable, to my mind, that engineering work on the technological applications of that Unitary Field Theory, and, perhaps, of improved such theories, continued, in secret, under some kind of clandestine government project, in some ways akin to the Manhattan Project. 

It is also conceivable to me that this further work has led to ‘electro-magneto-gravitic field machines’, capable of utilizing electromagnetic energy -- e.g., electrical currents -- to generate, or “translate” into, gravitational energy, possibly including into negative gravitational “forces” -- anti-gravity “forces”, such as would be felt by bodies of “anti-matter” in a gravitational field generated by “matter” per the Dirac theory -- that could be harnessed in the form a propulsion system.  It is thus also possible, in my mind, that the U. S. military has already constructed a fleet of inter-planetary anti-gravity-propulsion spacecraft, although I presently know of no evidence that such is, in fact, the case, despite many claims to that effect from questionable sources.

Recently, a world class physicist, now deceased, has claimed to have achieved Einstein’s Unitary Field Theory -- and with a bonus that Einstein may never have anticipated!

The physicists name is Mendel Sachs, and his work has been all but ignored by the physics community, which may be just the typical treatment accorded to new scientific theories, or which might possibly reflect a government gag-order.

In the Preface to his 1982 book General Relativity and Matter, Sachs writes of his resulting 16 field equations, incorporating and extending the 10 field equations of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity --

“ ... The latter are 16 rather than 10 field relations at each space-time point.  ...”

“It is shown that this 16-component ... field incorporates the equivalent of the 10-component field of Einstein’s original ... formulation and a 6-component field that solves field equations of the form of Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism.” ...

“The matter field equations themselves are first order nonlinear differential-integral equations that approach the form of [linear] quantum mechanics as a linear approximation.  Thus, the formal...structure of quantum mechanics appears in this theory of elementary matter only as a linear (low energy) approximation for a general formalism that is based on the axioms of general relativity, rather than the quantum theory.”

[COMMENT.  This is the “bonus” I mentioned above:  Einstein himself had, inadvertently, launched the “Quantum Revolution” in physics, with his 1905 paper about “the photo-electric effect”, for which Einstein later won a Nobel Prize, and which formed part of Einstein’s work in that “miraculous year” in which he also published his Special Theory of Relativity.  But Einstein remained at war with the, still-prevailing, linear, probabilistic, acausal formulation of Quantum Mechanics for the rest of his life].

“Summing up, the general approach to general relativity theory that is developed in this monograph, which is strictly in accordance with Einstein’s views of a unified field theory, leads to a unification of the force manifestations of matter (thus far in terms of gravitation and electromagnetism) and its inertial manifestations.  Such a unification is derived in this monograph in terms of a set of self-consistent, inter-dependent field equations.”  [pp. xvii-xviii].

Later books by Mendel Sachs on this theory include Quantum Mechanics from General Relativity [1986], Relativity in Our Time [1993],  Quantum Mechanics and Gravity [2004].







Monday, April 29, 2019

‘The Marxian Singularity’.








The Marxian Singularity.



Dear Readers,



In the Grundrisse manuscripts, as well as elsewhere, Karl Marx wrote about the way in which fixed capital is the ‘epitomeous’ form of capital, coming to dominate capital-mass in the epoch of the ‘“real domination”’ or “real subsumption” of the labor process by capital, the epoch that begins with a prevalence of the “relative surplus-value” form of surplus-value production, and which Seldon also identifies as the “descendence phase” of the capitalist system.  Marx also wrote there about how fixed capital lawfully tends to develop into an automatic system of machinery, as the incarnation and objectification of the very essence of “the capital-relation” itself in the shape of the physical embodiment of capital as fixed capital.

In the third volume of «Das Kapital», Marx wrote of what Seldon calls The Marxian Singularity, and which others have termed The Automation Crisis, in these words --

A development of the productive forces [M.D.:  E.g., a penultimate level of growth of industrial productivity via automation] which would diminish the absolute number of laborers, i.e., enable the entire nation to accomplish its total production in a shorter time-span would cause a revolution [and would thus also constitute an historical boundary, a productive force upper bound and limit, of the capitals-system; an end of the very possibility of the continuing the capitals-system; of the capital social-relation-of-production as predominating social relation of social reproduction -- M.D.] because it would put the bulk of the population out of the running.

[Karl Marx, Capital, volume III, The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, International Publishers Co., Inc. [NY:  1967], p. 263, bold italic shadowed emphasis added by M.D.].

It might be instructive, as a “thought-experiment”, to note what happens in the ‘Marxian ratios’ -- the “dimensionless” value proportions central to the Marxian “law of value”, and to the Marxian theory of the capitalist system as a whole -- in a scenario characterized by an extremity of automation.  Such a scenario would be modeled “in the limit” as “Variable capital-value”, V -- the aggregate of the values of wages or of living human labor-power commodities purchased to form part of “productive capital” -- goes to 0.

A.  Let us first apply this limit-process to the Marxian value-profit-rate ratio -- the ratio that resides at the very heart of Marx’s theory of the historical dynamics and ‘meta-dynamics’ [Seldon] of “the capital relation”, and of its lawful fate -- in its “purely”-quantitative, classical form:


lim    .      S    .       =   .  0  .       =   0
V --> 0    
          (C + V)           C


-- wherein S goes to zero together with V, because no “necessary labor” also means no “surplus-labor”, hence no “surplus-value”, S, hence no net “surplus-value”, S.  And no net “surplus-value” means no profit, hence, before long, no capitalism.

It is also interesting to see what happens in this V --> 0 limit to that form of the Marxian value-profit-rate ratio which arises by multiplying both the denominator and the numerator of the ratio as given above by 1 in the form of ((1/V)/(1/V)) -- the form in which both the “organic composition of capital” ratio, C/V, and the (net) “rate of surplus-value” ratio, (S/V), figure explicitly, as ‘sub-ratios’ --



lim    .      (S/V)     .       =   .      oo      .       =  . oo .
V --> 0    
           ((C/V) + 1)            (oo + 1)              oo


 =  ‘“indeterminate”’.


We might visualize this scenario-idealization, of ‘automation extremity’, as one in which --

*     All agental production work, which no longer figures as “living [human] labor”, is performed by AI ‘‘‘Android Robots’’’, whose costs of reproduction do not figure as V, but might, rather, be assimilated to C, or;

*     All such production work, which, again, no longer figures as “living [human] labor”, is performed by genomically re-engineered ‘meta-humans’, whose costs of reproduction therefore also no longer figure as V, or;

*      All such production work, which, again, no longer figures as “living [human] labor”, is performed by ‘hybrid meta-humans’, that combine genomically re-engineered genotypes with implants/artificial body-parts [i.e., ‘‘‘prosthetics’’’] originally developed for Android Robots, i.e., by ‘‘‘Cyborgs’’’, whose costs of reproduction thus also no longer figure as V.

-- or by combinations of the three cases described above.


The above, “infinity over infinity”, “indeterminate” result arises from the outcome that both the (C/V)  ‘sub-ratio’, in the denominator, and the (S/V) ‘sub-ratio’, in the numerator, “become infinite” in the limit as V goes to 0, due to divisions by zero, in terms of such calculations as are available in standard, “purely”-quantitative “Real” arithmetic, as augmented by the “limit” operation and by the non-standard "infinity" symbol ‘oo’ --

lim    . C .       =   . C .      =  oo
V --> 0    
            V           0

-- and --

lim    . S.       =   . S.      =  oo .
V --> 0    
            V            0



B.  Let us next apply this limit-process to the Marxian value-profit-rate in its Seldonian, ‘qualo-quantitative’ or ‘quanto-qualitative” form, as that form arises through ontological and metrical ‘re-qualification’ of ‘‘‘quantifiers’’’, by ontological and metrical ‘arithmetical qualifier’ factors or coefficients, in the seventh ‘arithmetic for dialectic’ in the “slow version” of the Seldonian ‘‘‘systematic-dialectical’’’ method of presentation of the axioms-systems of the Seldonian ‘arithmetics for dialectic’, as a dialectical categorial progression of axioms-systems’ categories:  [forthcoming].




For more information regarding, and for [further] instantiations of, these Seldonian insights, please see --

and


For ‘poster-izations’ of many of these insights -- as specimens of dialectical art -- see:



¡ENJOY!



Regards,


Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.







Sunday, April 28, 2019

“The Concept of Capital” According to Marx.







The Concept of Capital According to Marx.







Dear Readers,



Marx’s Grundrisse manuscript in particular is peppered with passages such as the following [emphases added], referring to “the concept of capital” --

The exact development of the concept of capital [is] necessary, since it [is] the fundamental concept of modern economics, just as capital itself, whose abstract, reflected image [is] its concept [dessen abstraktes Gegenbild sein Begriff], [is] the foundation of bourgeois society.  The sharp formulation of the basic presuppositions of the relation must bring out all the contradictions of bourgeois production, as well as the boundary where it drives beyond itself. [p. 331].

... (3) Looked at precisely, that is, the realization process of capital -- and money becomes capital only through the realization process -- appears at the same time as its devaluation process [Entwertungs-prozess], its demonetization.  And this in two respects.  First, to the extent that capital does not increase absolute labor-time but rather decreases the relative, necessary labor time, by increasing the force of production, to that extent does it reduce the costs of its own production -- in so far as it was presupposed as a certain sum of commodities, reduces its exchange value:  one part of the capital on hand is constantly devalued owing to a decrease in the costs of production at which it can be reproduced;  not because of a decrease in the amount of labor objectified in it, but because of a decease in the amount of living labor which it is henceforth necessary to objectify in this specific product.  This constant devaluation of the existing capital does not belong here, since it already presupposes capital as completed.  It is merely to be noted here in order to indicate how later developments are already contained in the general concept of capital.  Belongs in the doctrine of the concentration and competition of capitals. [p. 402-403].

The tendency to create the world market is directly given in the concept of capital itself. [p. 408].

( ... Conceptually, competition is nothing other than the inner nature of capital, its essential character, appearing in and realized as the reciprocal interaction of many capitals with one another, the inner tendency as external necessity.)  Capital exists and can only exist as many capitals, and its self-determination therefore appears as their reciprocal interaction with one another). [p. 413-414].

It belongs to the concept of capital that the increased productive force of labor is posited rather     as the increase of a force [Kraft] outside itself, and as labors own debilitation [Entkräftung].  The hand tool      makes the worker independent -- posits him as proprietor.  Machinery -- as fixed capital -- posits him as          dependent, posits him as appropriated.  This effect of machinery holds only in so far as it is cast into the role of fixed capital, and this it is only because the worker relates to it as wage-worker, and [Ed.:  as] the active individual generally, as mere worker. [p. 702].


Some of these assertions -- particularly those like the fourth quote above -- may ring with tones reminiscent of Platonian idealism, as if an “immaterial” «eidos» controls the manifestations of physical and sensuous phenomena, from “behind”, “within”, and/or “above” them, from some “transcendental” realm of eternal, immutable, intangible, Parmenidean «eide».

But we hold that Marx’s “concept of capital” is neither a Platonian «eidos» nor a Hegelian-mystical, reified, subject-object inverted «Begriff».

Yes, Marx was coming to the study of the world-market capitalist system, and to the immanent critique of the ideology-compromised science of classical political economy, from the background of his earlier immanent critique of Hegelian/capitalist philosophical ideology. 

But the positive fruition of that immanent critique of Hegelian/capitalist ideology was what Seldon calls a ‘psychohistorical-materialist dialectical theory’ of human concepts in general, and of “the concept of capital” in particular, via a view which dialectically synthesized the scientifically-serviceable portions of the ideologies of French mechanical materialism [abstract ‘matter-ism’], and German classical idealism [denial of objective materiality].

Per that view, a “concept” such as Marx’s “concept of capital” must be a scientific one, embracing and unifying the totality of the empirical appearances of its object -- including even the obscure, little-known, or seldom-experienced of such appearances.  Such a Marxian, dialectical “concept” is no arbitrary construct.  To be “correct”, it must comprehensively explain, in a unifying way, all of the known empirical manifestations of the reality that it conceptualizes.  Regarding the case in point, human beings actively construct, produce, and reproduce the capital social-relation of societal self-reproduction, even if not with full consciousness or intent,  and they are beings which have the genomic potentiality to form ideas, potential “concepts”, e.g., about their own praxis in so constructing, producing, and reproducing.  The “correct” concept of capital, at least for a given historical moment, is that unique conceptualization of the capitalist experience of humanity that comprehends the totality of that experience. 

Such a “concept” can only be arrived at via relentless scientific criticism of the vast variety of deficient ideas of the global capitals-system that initially arise, and that continue to arise, some reflecting the “inverted” experience, and the ‘concrete mystification’, that the capital-praxis entails, and some reflecting deliberate attempted mystifications by the intellectual prostitutes and con-men of the capitalist ruling classes.

The formation of this “concept” of Marxian, dialectical “concepts” may be facilitated by recourse to an example from the “natural” sciences:  the example of the “concept” of “gravity”.

Newton’s breakthrough theory of “gravitational force” has been, and continues to be, enormously serviceable in calculations and predictions of the gravitational dynamics of massive bodies.

However, there are “appearances” of “gravitational force” which contradict the Newtonian expectations and calculations.

Such is the “appearance” of the shift of the perihelion of the planet Mercury in its orbitings of our Sun, that is unexplained by Newton’s model of gravity.  Einstein’s General Relativity theory of gravity was able to explain almost all of that discrepancy.

Another such is the measurable gravitational bending of the trajectories of light-rays as they pass in sufficient proximity to sufficiently-massive objects, such as stars.  Again, Einstein’s General Relativity ‘non-force’ theory of the gravitational field predicts accurately such bending.  Newton’s theory of gravity-force does not.

So, it might seem, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity constructs the valid scientific “concept of gravity”, whereas Newton’s concept of gravitational force is deficient.

However, Einstein’s model of gravity goes into division-by-zero-“singularity” failure-mode when attempting to explain the appearances/phenomena of the “total gravitational collapse” of sufficiently massive objects, e.g., of stars.  Scientists who cling to General relativity Theory at this point of its breakdown, start mysticizing about physical actual infinities, e.g., of mass-density and of infinitesimal volume, supposedly existing at the core of such collapsed stars -- “black holes”.  

The F.E.D. hypothesis is that “black holes” contain a thoroughly finite form of mass-energy substance, beyond the “degenerate” matter of “white dwarf” stars, and beyond even the ‘‘‘neutronium’’’ of “neutron stars”, which we call ‘holonium’. 

If the Einstein General Relativity equations are mapped into the Seldonian seventh, or ‘Mu’, dialectical calculus, and thus ‘re-qualified’ by arithmetical ontological qualifier ‘meta-numeral’ factors/coefficients, and also by metrical qualifier ‘meta-numeral’ factors/coefficients, then their infinite collapse division-by-zero “singularity” yields, instead of any aphysical value of infinity, the Mu ‘meta-numerical’ value of full zero, which signifies that the -- quite finite -- outcome of such “gravitational collapse”, involves an ontological category of “mass-energy” which cannot be described in the mathematical language of Einstein’s General Relativity theory, e.g., given the restricted “ontological commitments”, and relatively abstract ‘descriptivity’ of that language.

Moreover, Einstein’s General Relativity theory fails to jibe with Quantum Mechanics, which is a huge problem for which both General Relativity Theory and the ideology of Quantum Mechanics are likely both to blame, even though the gravitational interactions of quantum mechanical “particles”, due to their minimal masses, are “negligible” in magnitude.

Thus, still, despite many centuries of effort, it appears that humanity has yet to arrive at the “concept of gravity” in the Marxian, scientific, dialectical meaning of the term “concept”, or “category”.

Moreover, we see that the Marxian “concept of capital” -- even given its unprecedentedly advanced character -- is in need of improvement, especially in the light of certain phenomena of capitalism that Marx did not live long enough to experience.







For more information regarding, and for [further] instantiations of, these Seldonian insights, please see --

and


For ‘poster-izations’ of many of these insights -- as specimens of dialectical art -- see:




¡ENJOY!



Regards,


Miguel Detonacciones,

Member, Foundation Encyclopedia Dialectica [F.E.D.],
Participant, F.E.D. Special Council for Public Liaison,
Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison.