Origins of Private Property -Reply -Reply -Reply -Reply

Lisa Rogers EQDOMAIN.EQWQ.LROGERS at EMAIL.STATE.UT.US
Mon Aug 7 14:18:01 MDT 1995


JimJ,

If "primitive communism" is only prehistoric, then what were Marx and
Engels talking about?  I thought they were basing their
"anthropology" on Morgan, who was cataloging H-G (aka foraging)
societies that existed at that time, none of whom could be considered
pristine (the very act of studying them takes care of that!)

BTW, "slaughtering herds" was probably very rare in any foraging
economy.  And it still does not disappear all issues of
property/access/privateness of use.  Can anybody use a jump-site, and
how often?  Do you have to ask anybody or include anybody in order to
have legit. access?  If I cut up and smoke some meat, will I do it
alone (in parallel with neighbors)?  If I am part of a work-team, who
will be my partners?  When we are done, who will carry it?  And who
will eat it?  Does just being with the original group kill event mean
that everybody has equal claim (socially recognized as legit) on any
meat that came from that event, no matter who else put any labor into
it?

For me, this is still about access to means of production and
distribution of resources.

I don't think it was ever just vaguely "good for all" - production
and distribution must occur in some kind of concrete/specific way.
What are the forces, tendencies, etc. that are likely to
shape/condition/partially determine/whatever-you-like the resource
choice, work effort, group size, behavior, social structure, etc. of
people in those circumstances (foraging, ie living on wild foods)?

(Anybody, is this a marxian approach to hunter-gatherer studies?)

And if, according to you, no truly pristine (and therefore pure?)
primitive communism has ever or can ever be observed, then what makes
you so sure that it ever existed, and how could we know what it
looked like?

Lisa



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