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Re: [xmca] Operations

Martin, "...consumption ideally posits the object of production as an
internal image, as a need, as drive and as purpose." (M) These are indeed
qualitatively different moments, but can they be isolated and separated
from each other within the *developed* social process of production and
reproduction of adult human beings? That was the kind of human process
Marx had in mind when writing the Grundrisse, I think. 

   <<But my next questions is, is the need that an infant manifests
sufficient to define an activity, which will then have as its goal the
satisfaction of that need?>>

   The need of the infant is not a goal in itself; it has to be recognized
by his carers as a need and as something relevant to them, as they
construct the satisfaction of this need as the goal of their activity.
When the infant develops its own will, purposes, etc. the activity
transforms, of course, as it is finally able to really participate in it
as a human being.

   << infants are drawn into 'activities/projects' by and with their
parents. The need that the infant manifests serves as the motive for the
activity; the parents carry out the actions.>>

   This is a crucial and fascinating observation, because it points to the
whole *developmental process* that's going on: the maturation of
"instinctive behavior" into "purposeful activity". I.e. the development
towards "species-being". It also raises the question of prolepsis, because
the whole activity demands something from the children that they have not
yet developed, i.e. the capacity to participate in the activity! Put
simply: performance creates competence.

   So, instead of reducing the *definition* of "human activity" to "a
response to a need in the form of actions" in order to fit the infant
within the concept of project, we need to study how children with
undeveloped needs are "drawn into projects" through which they are
developed *as* human beings?





Quoting Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>:

What Marx actually wrote, in the Grundrise (at least as the English translation has it) was this: "consumption ideally posits the object of production as an internal image, as a need, as drive and as purpose. It creates the objects of production in a still subjective form. No production without a need. But first consumption reproduces the need" (p. 92).

This is in the context of a discussion of the teleological character of productive activity. Marx's central point is that the goal of production is always created by consumption (because reproduction is always necessary). In this passage he is describing the manners in which consumption can "posit" the object that is to be produced, and consequently the ways in which the goal of productive activity is defined.

I read this as indicating that, for Marx, "internal image" is only *one* way in which consumption can posit the object that is to be produced. Consumption (that is, for example, the hungry person) can *also* posit that object as a need, or as a drive, or as a purpose. These seem to me to be qualitatively quite distinct, from each other and from a "mental image".

The question really ought to be, can an infant form a need, a drive, or a purpose.


  On Apr 9, 2013, at 3:27 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:
Thank you Manfred. I have the same understanding of operation/conditions
   action/goals as you write about. It was a mistaken typo on my part in the
   orginal note that Andy kindly corrected, but in the flow
   of messages its hard discern.

So starting with your clear statement my question becomes: how does it come about that operations proceed actions in early infancy and in what sense(s)
   is that true and why?


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