Theories of Surplus-Value is/is not [Volume IV of Capital]

(Heinrich 2021)

A P P E N D I X 1

Marx’s Critical Economic Writings

Of the three “theoretical” books of Capital that Marx planned to write, he was only able to finish the first one, dealing with the production process of capital.
The other two books, on the circulation process and the process as a whole, remained unfinished. Frederick Engels published them after Marx’s death.
There is not even a manuscript for the fourth book that Marx planned to write, which was supposed to deal with the history of political economy. Theories of Surplus Value, published in the German MEW volumes 26.1–3 with the subtitle “The 4th Volume of Capital” is not a draft for the fourth book. Instead, it is an unfinished history of just one category.

Without indulging Freud’s various positions on not finishing things, Marx’s aporia can be addressed in a variety of ways without presuming the totalizing project of Capital’s completion. It is more than “one category” among many but about the problematic of categories.

Category theory has come to occupy a central position in contemporary mathematics and theoretical computer science, and is also applied to mathematical physics. Roughly, it is a general mathematical theory of structures and of systems of structures. As category theory is still evolving, its functions are correspondingly developing, expanding and multiplying. At minimum, it is a powerful language, or conceptual framework, allowing us to see the universal components of a family of structures of a given kind, and how structures of different kinds are interrelated. Category theory is both an interesting object of philosophical study, and a potentially powerful formal tool for philosophical investigations of concepts such as space, system, and even truth. It can be applied to the study of logical systems in which case category theory is called “categorical doctrines” at the syntactic, proof-theoretic, and semantic levels. Category theory even leads to a different theoretical conception of set and, as such, to a possible alternative to the standard set theoretical foundation for mathematics. As such, it raises many issues about mathematical ontology and epistemology. Category theory thus affords philosophers and logicians much to use and reflect upon.

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Why machines don’t create value (in Cosmonaut magazine)


My article, published in Cosmonaut magazine, explains why human labour, and human labour alone, is the cause of profit.

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Towards a Liberal Critique of Left Neo-Liberalism Policy


Have you ever played that game where everyone tries to keep a balloon in the air as long as possible?

Lots of people are discussing the lack of a political agenda in neoliberalism’s policies based on this post by Doug Henwood: Crooked Timber (III), Will WilkinsonKevin DrumMatt YglesiasThe American Scene, Jacobin (III), Arin DubeBrad Delong, JW Mason/Pitkin with good comments (III), Corey RobinElias IsQuith at LoEG, and I’m sure a ton more.

Most of the posts examine the lack of a unified theory of politics in neoliberalism’s current policy focus. I want to focus on a critique of neoliberalism’s higher-level policy agenda from a liberal point of view. I’m not much of a politics thinker, so I’ll leave it to others to tease out the…

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Structural substitution and the logic of urban modernism

Flowers For Socrates

By ann summers

occupying a space for a time…

Here are some examples of cultural substitution in the built environment that articulate multiple meanings and identify an axis or axes of more than geodetic importance. Every historical site is both monumental and documentary and connected by a visible, invisible and visual logic appropriate to the accumulated cultural production and reproduction in and on those sited places. Their axes are found in the historical logic of spaces as one interprets both a structural replacement/displacement and a substitution/transference of modern power. Every place has not only its sense, but its agency and structure, constructed and deconstructed by its history.

In social terms, a bourgeois space and cosmopolitan society has a new layer of urban order and meaning imposed – with a nationalist ideology and modern state-building – that is not only visual and symbolic, but also real and instrumental.”

Whether facadism or roof-ism,  It…

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Earth art… “Most people wouldn’t know (art) if it came up and bit them on the ass.” – Frank Zappa

Flowers For Socrates

“Most people wouldn’t know music if it came up and bit them on the ass.” – Frank Zappa
By ann summers

This is why I always wanted my own bulldozer…

(2015) Artist Michael Heizer, in the Nevada desert for 43 years, returns to New York City with a pair of $2 million rocks

slide_42_1_.jpgDwan Gallery donated “Double Negative” to the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles, in the eighties, and Heizer hasn’t visited it for years. The degradation there depresses him: its clean, deep cuts have filled with boulders calved from the sides. Though he originally intended the piece to respond to time and ultimately be reclaimed by geologic processes, at some point he changed his mind, and now hopes to find the money to restore it. Govan thinks that this reversal came partly because Smithson championed the principle of entropy, and Heizer wanted nothing to do…

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Badiou, Extension, and Networks

Larval Subjects .

fn3ontoOne of the most attractive, problematic, and astonishing features of Badiou’s ontology is his strictly extensional understanding of sets or multiplicities. A set is not defined by its members sharing a common predicate or quality, nor by the relations among members of the set. Rather, a set is defined strictly by its extension or the members that belong to that set. From the standpoint of 20th Century French and German Continental philosophy, this thesis cannot but be a heresy, for the predominant trend in Continental thought has been a relational conception of entities. Whether we are speaking of language as a diacritical set of negative oppositions as defended by the structuralists and the post-structuralists, or Heidegger’s being-in-the-world where entities, the ready-to-hand, are defined by the relational networks to which they belong, the predominant trend has been to treat beings as bundles of relations such that the entity is nothing apart…

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Histories of commons repeat themselves as tragedy and farce

Flowers For Socrates

By ann summers

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Who watches the watchers) Juvenal

Recently, a US rancher with unfortunate racist and fascist tendencies came to the attention of US media with unfortunate consequences but an interesting discourse path. I won’t repeat those issues here except to note that the concerns on which this dispute hinged were issues of common-pool resources. Those are publicly owned assets used by that rancher under a contractual agreement to pay for those property rights to the tune of $1 million.

In this case the rancher refused on anachronistic ideological grounds to pay those fees with the contradictory premise that his citizenship beliefs were historically special and autonomously sovereign and therefore exempt from the obligations to his original contract. The Rancher was first lionized by conservative media as a hero resisting an “overreaching” oppressive federal state by privileging the authority of the local state but at…

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Hello world!

This site will occasionally feature some musings about my current research and include monographs as well as serve to collect the literature related to this topic

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