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9 out of 10 leftists have never read Capital SNLT 10/23/2020 (Fri) 05:10:43 No. 5108
Just gauging interest in a loosely organized Capital Reading Group. Not sure if a reading group has been done on here but we could agree to read a few chapters a week and then create a thread to discuss it or alternatively make a group signal/matrix for it. If there is no interest then please Sage or Ignore.
I have participated in several capital reading groups, one of which was with people from /leftypol/. The ones that didn't meet IRL we did on discord. I probably won't participate but I can give guidance on organizing such a thing.
>>5109 I mean I can easily set up a Matrix but I'd be curious what timeline you stuck to that didn't cause burnout
>>5110 forgot name for thread
>>5110 That's the catch really. Keeping people around past the first 3-7 chapters is tricky. I had better luck going around the group reading it aloud and then discussing it then expecting people to do the reading on their own time. No one does the reading. Just meeting once a week and going at whatever pace you end up reading at I think is the best way. It helps a ton if you have at least 2 members who are fully committed, because some people WILL drop out.
>>5112 I can bring in some people from a signal who have expressed interest prolly, but yea a core group of 3-5 would be ideal and if anyone else wants to join in thats fine.
>>5113 I mean join late or just join for a bit, its not like a college class enrollment thing lol
>>5108 OP, I'm down to join, I really need to actually read Kapital.
>>5124 Great. I'll start a Matrix this weekend and poast. If there is more support for discord we can do that as well
I'd be willing to join as well if you want an idea of how many people are interested.
I'm interested. May be able to death another person or two along
>>5139 fixed permissions sry
>>5457 How's it going?
>>5139 use element.io to access; there's just two of us rn
I'm willing to answer questions about Capital if they're posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/RedInk/ There's also a wiki and a book summary of Capital volume one, it includes chapters 1-14 and 19-22 so far. https://www.reddit.com/r/RedInk/wiki/index
>>5139 This encryption shit is peak autism. we're a tiny group of autists reading a book, we don't need glow level security.
I've read that Paul Mattick's study course provides a good rubric for Capital reading groups: https://libcom.org/library/outline-study-course-marxian-economics-international-council-correspondence
>>5480 thank you. will check out.
>>5478 >we don't need glow level security. That's a funny thing to say while discouraging using platforms that actually respect you. What, you want me to use discord or Google Meet?
Gonna weekly bump this for the first few weeks. We are reading Chapter 1 this week and Chapters 2 and 3 next week. We will be discussing this Sunday. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join.
Sorry don't have time also it would be annoying for me to read a translation in a different language than you.
We had to delay discussion of chapters 2 and 3 to Monday night, of which we just finished a couple hours ago. We'll be discussing chapters 4-6 this coming Sunday.
By the way, what's the best edition/translation of Capital? I've heard the Penguin edition is much better than the one up on marxists.org.
>>5949 For v01 I think we're all using Penguin Classics' Ben Fowkes translation. I've noticed minor differences when looking at quotes in older supplementary materials like the one by Paul Mattick that was posted earlier >>5480, but I imagine it's more valuable simply for the annotations/footnotes explaining the meaning and context of certain words and phrases. They can sometimes be paragraphs long, lol. Fowkes deliberately left some stuff untranslated too which is nice.
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>>5951 Oh, and speaking of supplementary materials we haven't been assigning any; just bringing up whatever or whoever might help us understand. Paul Mattick and Harry Cleaver have been brought up a few times thus far. The latter's diagram for chapter 1 was super helpful for me: http://la.utexas.edu/users/hcleaver/357k/357ksg.html
We are discussing chapters 4-6 this Sunday around 8 est. Because of thanksgiving we will most likely move our (large) reading of chapters 7-9 into the following week, so it will be a good time for other anons to catch up and join the discussion. 11/23-11/29: No reading, catch up for other prospective readers 11/30-12/6: Chapters 7-9 (60 pages) 12/7-12/13: Chapter 10 (80 pages) This is merely tentative, but I'd like to not split any chapters in two which necessitates the large-ish reading assigned.
I have a question on chapter 3. When Marx speaks about bimetallism he claims in a footnote under section 1 of chapter 3 that the over valued metal in a bimetal system will be serve as the only standard of value in reality. (Here’s the quote: “In fact, in those countries in which both metals are legally measures of value, and therefore both legal tender, so that everyone has the option of paying in either metal, the metal that rises in value is at a premium, and, like every other commodity, measures its price in the over-estimated metal which alone serves in reality as the standard of value.”) but then later in this same chapter and section Marx says “with the development of material wealth , the more precious metal extrudes the less precious from its function as measure of value. silver drives out copper, gold drives out silver.” I would assume in a bimetal currency system the overvalued metal would not be considered “more precious”. How are these two seemingly contradictory statements understood by you all? For more context here is a letter written by Engels, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1882/letters/82_03_10.htm ,exploring a particular bimetal system (that of Germany) and declaring that gold (which I’m this case had its value under estimated by the gold/silver ratio set by the government) is the only metal which can serve as a measure of value, which once again seems to contradict what Marx says in that footnote mentioned above.
>>6008 continuing the footnote "...that where two commodities perform by law the functions of a measure of value, in practice only one maintains that position" one metal always sets the value of the other making the bimetal system redundant. The general trend (which marx adds in a footnote isnt historically universal) is towards the higher value because (i assume) ease of transportation and storage. the footnote you are citing is in reference to when one of the metals gets out of swing of the other, not that gold in a bizarro country is somehow less valuable than silver.
>>6009 >one metal always sets the value of the other making the bimetal system redundant. I don't think you are correct here. I can't see how gold would "set the value" of silver. Furthermore you're assertion is totally out of step with Marx who asserts that the value that both gold and silver bear as commodities is ultimately measured in socially necessary labor time. This is what, according to Marx, sets the value of the two commodities, silver and gold. >The general trend (which marx adds in a footnote isnt historically universal) is towards the higher value because (i assume) ease of transportation and storage. This is a reasonable explanation for why Marx says in footnote 4 that the metal with the over estimated value would alone serves in reality as the standard of value. The problem with your idea here is that Marx gives historical examples of bimetal states withdrawing currency in the overestimated metal and exporting it. This act of exporting reverses the state of the ubiquity of the commodity that would provide easy transportation and storage. >the footnote you are citing is in reference to when one of the metals gets out of swing of the other, not that gold in a bizarro country is somehow less valuable than silver. I understand the matter is when metal A gets out of sync with metal B. My confusion is that Marx makes a normative claim in footnote 4, ("the over-estimated metal which alone serves in reality as the standard of value.") which is contrary to his statement later on, (“with the development of material wealth , the more precious metal extrudes the less precious from its function as measure of value. silver drives out copper, gold drives out silver.”). Of course gold remains more valuable than silver but in some cases (as in the case Engels refers to in the letter I cited) states set the exchange ratio between silver and gold in such a way that overestimates the value of silver. I will give a concrete example. According to Engels the ratio of silver to gold in Germany in 1882 was set by the state at 15½ pfennig silver = 1 pfennig gold when in reality Engels pegs the actual ratio at 17½ pfennig silver = 1 pfennig gold. Then Engels claims that "Silver loses more and more each day the capacity of serving as a measure of value, gold retains it." Gold here is clearly the metal with the under-estimated value but Engels asserts, seemingly contrary to what Marx has said in footnote 4, that this under-estimated metal is the only one of the two which can still really be used to measure value. I don't doubt that there is an explanation for all of this that is perfectly consistent, Capital is after all a book which defenders of the status quo are constantly looking to poke holes in and I've never heard a criticism of Marx's understanding of the bimetal currency system. Having said that I still don't know what the explanation is.
>>6010 > I don't think you are correct here. Yes gold and silver have different values defined by their snlt, however they both enter into exchange with each other this is what that footnote was talking about. And one value pegs the other in exchange. > which is contrary to his statement later on, its not though, occasionally a faulty ratio will cause one metal to be prized by merchants that goes against the historical grain, however as capital expands the more valuable metal will naturally supplant the lesser value because it can better realize the needed total value in circulation. > Silver loses more and more each day the capacity of serving as a measure of value, gold retains it. This is exactly what that quote is saying, silver cant keep up just like copper couldnt. And today currency (paper money) has supplanted gold because it couldnt keep up.
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>>5108 I think the best idea would be for it to be a recurring reading group thing. Just the number of people who join capital reading groups and then end up not actually reading, or not having time, or struggling to keep up for one reason or another. I know it's hard but if we could schedule capital reading groups like 3 a year (e.g. one around Christmas, one around summer, and one around spring) I think it would be most profitable. The predictability and reliability of the scheduling would be a big help in order for people to be able to get their hands on a copy, save time in their schedule, do some introductory reading beforehand, and generally psych themselves up I guess
well 9 out of 10 leftists also aren't communists

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