The structure of Sekine: The Dialectic of Capital [Sekine, 1986]

Ken Kubota

Hi Srivats,

Of course I'm not defending Bailey’s approach of a purely relative value.

Mentioning the "essence", you correctly address the core of the question. Labor as substance can only be introduced
in the The Doctrine of Production (The Essence of Capital), where people produce, not already
in the The Doctrine of Circulation (The Being of Capital), where people exchange.

This is what Sekine means when referring to Chapter 4:

Structure of [Sekine, 1986] (and [Sekine, 1997]):

Chapters 1, 2, 3: The Doctrine of Circulation (The Being of Capital)
Chapters 4, 5, 6: The Doctrine of Production (The Essence of Capital)
Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Doctrine of Distribution (The Notion of Capital)

Socially necessary labour constitutes the substance of value,
but this result can only be established in the production sphere,
much later than in Marx's original Capital.

Already in 1964 Uno mentioned “the premature and unnecessary reference to the labour theory
of value in the early part of Capital” [Uno, 1980, p. xxiv, emphasis as in the original].

From this perspective, Bailey’s notion of relative value has relative truth, since it holds
at least for Chapters 1, 2, 3 (the surface: the circulation sphere), but is overcame with
the transition to the The Doctrine of Production (Chapter 4).

For references, please see:


Am 25.06.2018 um 06:37 schrieb R Srivatsan r.srivats@... [hegel] <hegel@...>:

​Hello Ken Kubota,

I was wondering if right in the first chapter of Capital Volume 1, the notion of value as an expression of the labour time spent on a commodity is what Marx sees as the essence constituting the fetishistic being of the commodity. The fetishistic being of the commodity is where on the surface it confronts other commodities in a completely mysterious value that emerges from nowehere in exchange (according to classical economics).​  Is this what you are saying?


On Sun, 24 Jun 2018 at 17:10, Ken Kubota mail@... [hegel-logic] <hegel-logic@...> wrote:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for making me aware of your Ph.D. thesis
Meaney, Mark Edward (1991)
Capital as organic unity: The role of Hegel's "Science of Logic" in Marx's "Grundrisse"

and having had a short glance at the preview at
it seems remarkable to me that you have achieved the same results as the Uno school, namely
that the doctrine of circulation ("simple circulation") parallels Hegel's logic of Being,
and the doctrine of production parallels Hegel's logic of Essence.
Calling the third part, which parallels Hegel's logic of Concept (or Notion), "capital as a 'totality'",
is not incorrect, since circulation and production are sublated in it,
but Uno's (and Sekine's) doctrine of distribution is more specific.

It is obvious that the early Grundrisse ("Rohentwurf"), which are much more Hegelian
that the late Capital, is a good source to begin with, and obtaining the result mentioned above
from a very classic position such as Rosdolsky [cf. Meaney, 1991, p. 4], which was the starting point
of Reichelt's Ph.D. thesis [cf. Reichelt, 2001, p. 19] originally published in 1970,
is a very strong and impressive research result.

In an essay from 2002/2007, Reichelt independently has pointed out that the transition from the circulation
sphere to the production sphere is nearly identical word by word to Hegel's transition from Being to Essence:
"On the other hand, Marx links the idea of simple circulation with the conception of a ‘surface’ of the
total reproduction process of capitalism – an approach which is clearly modelled on Hegelian logic.
Many formulations even suggest that Marx adopted Hegel’s exact words, for example, in his
discussion of the transition to capital which is modelled on Hegel’s account of the transition from
the logic of Being to the logic of Essence."
[Reichelt, 2007, p. 17] (English translation of [Reichelt, 2002])

Maybe I should mention that also the essay [Sekine, 1975]
Thomas T. Sekine
"Uno-Riron: A Japanese Contribution to Marxian Political Economy"
is an excellent introduction to the Uno school.

Currently I am focusing on Hegel's logic of Essence, which leaves little time for reading anything else,
but I will keep your work in mind and will have a more thorough look at it later. 

For references, please see:




Am 24.06.2018 um 02:15 schrieb mark meaney mmeaney_2000@... [hegel-marx] <hegel-marx@...>:

Ken, are you familiar with my work on Hegel's Logic and Marx's Grundrisse entitled, Capital as Organic Unity: the Role of Hegel's Science of Logic and Marx's Grundrisse?

Best, Mark

R Srivatsan 
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