Michael Eldred

Critique of Competitive Freedom and the Bourgeois-Democratic State

Outline of a Form-Analytic Extension of Marx’s Uncompleted System

This work grew out of a research project on the reconstruction of the
various drafts to Marx’s Critique of Political Economy. Four of us
(Roth/Kleiber/Hanlon/Eldred) have arrived at a form-analytic
reconstruction of Marx’s Capital reproduced here in the Appendix,
which forms the indispensable conceptual basis for the present work.
Part 1 summarises PROVISIONALLY some of the principal categories
of the capital-analysis (it cannot replace the development provided in the
Appendix) by way of providing a transition to an analysis of the “surface
of capitalist economy” (Parts II & III). The principal form-analytic
categories of the competition-analysis are those of PROPERTY,
PERSON and SUBJECT OF COMPETITION. These are developed
through a consideration of the subjective activity of individuals in
relation to the pre-given (value-)form-determinate capitalist economic
objectivity. The subject of competition is the bearer of COMPETITIVE
FREEDOM, the overarching concept of the competition-analysis, whose
contradictoriness is to be laid bare.
Part IV investigates the universal social subject which necessarily
complements the competitive economy. The state too is conceptualised
in relation to the form-determinate contradictory freedom of the
bourgeois epoch, as REALISATION of freedom.
The principal figure of the total analysis, from the beginning of the
capital-analysis, is a DIALECTICAL one: the DIREMPTION of the
(ABSTRACT) UNIVERSAL from the PARTICULAR. This diremption is
first constituted in the double-character of bourgeois labour,
conceptualised in the value-form analysis. The figure recurs again and
again as the INNER BAND which, IN REALITY and FOR THINKING
CONSCIOUSNESS, connects the bourgeois form of society into a
contradictory TOTALITY. The claim of the present work, that our
present form of society constitutes a totality, can only be validated by
thinking in a SYSTEM. On the various levels of the analysis, right up to
its crescendo in the investigation of DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, the
contents of EVERYDAY CONSCIOUSNESS are taken into account in
order to demonstrate to it that the various aspects of contemporary life
are only lived out as modes of expression of the underlying essential
contradiction.

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First published by Kurasje, Krystalgade 16, DK-1172 Copenhagen K in
1984, ISBN 87 87437 40 6. Second emended digitized edition published
2010. © Michael Eldred, 1984, 2010. All rights reserved.
artefact text & translation, Cologne www.arte-fact.org