For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Remarks on the Theoretical Significance of Marx's Grundrisse"

by Tribe, Keith (1974)

Abstract

In recent years much play has been made with the significance of the Grundrisse for the reinterpretation of Marx's thought. The text has been represented as a vindication of those who have treated Marx's work as a relatively direct development from the early writings of 1843 and 1844, and a rebuttal of those who have sought to establish that Marx's later works constitute a radically distinct project from that of his youth, the two projects being separated by an epistemological break. This paper examines the theoretical structure of the Grundrisse, the kind of concepts that it contains and the objects constructed by these concepts. I argue that the result of such an examination demonstrates that the latter of the two positions outlined here is the correct one. The Grundrisse is shown to be an incoherent, transitional work, and its ambiguities an index of the presence of a number of theoretical obstacles.

Key Passage

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Keywords

Machines, Marx, Marx Machine, Technology, Capitalism, Engels, Darstellung, Living Labour, Crisis, Value Theory

Themes

On Marx on Machines, Living Labour

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