Asked & Answered

REPLY TO HIGGINS (Philadelphia)
Of the three volumes of “Capital” Vol. I. is the only portion finished by Marx himself. Volumes II. and III. were prepared by F. Engels from the MSS. and notes left by Marx. These documents were often incomplete and fragmentary, and only in one or two cases was there a finished draft.

Engels’ work was so interrelated, nay, interwoven, into that of Marx, that is a truism to say that no one better fitted for the task existed after Marx’s death. But his great regard for Marx became, in a way, a stumbling-block. He altered as little us possible, even left numerous repetitions, and only added where obliged. The result is that Vols. II. and 111. are inferior in style and arrangement to Vol. I. And this is perhaps added to by the fact that they have been translated into English by a German who has retained all the ponderous German form in his translating into another language.

Still, to the student, the volumes are valuable in assisting him to solve problems connected with important, details of economic science, but, it must, be admitted, only as to details, for as Engels says in his preface lo the English edition of Vol. I., it is “in a great measure a whole in ilself, and has for twenty years ranked as an independent work.” The main principles of Marx’s analysis are laid down there, though the further working out may be difficult.


REPLY TO J. RANDALL (Paddington).

Your statements are entirely inaccurate. Actually, when a crisis is in existence there is more gold in circulation than at other periods—as the records of the Mint and the Bank of England show.

Interest is a portion of surplus-value—that is a portion of the wealth produced by the working class, but stolen from them by the capitalist class. The rise or fall of interest, as such, has no concern for the workers. Neither does it affect them in any way, as it is an effect of economic movements, not a cause.

However, you completely give your own case away when you desire a medium of exchange based upon “saleable products,” or on “Merchants’, Miners’, and Manufacturers’ property.” Evidently this would exclude the working class, because they are propertyless and have no “saleable commodities” other than their labour-power.

What the Bank Charter of 1844 has to do with merchants and manufacturers “converting their goods into gold” is not apparent, either from your statements or from the facts.


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