marxism-digest V1 #6299

Richard Harris rhh1 at
Wed Sep 3 16:32:17 MDT 2003

> What led to the break up of concrete feudal economic relations was the
> transformation in the form of wealth from landed property relations to
> wealth - gold and money/capital.

But this does not make sense.  Feudal lords could not sell their land.  It
was not capitalist property.  They did not own it.  As a result of the mass
dispossession of serfs at the end of the English peasant wars in the late
middle ages, wage labour became common.  There was even a market in leases
(because abandoned villein land could be so let.)  But a feudal lord could
not sell or let his estate.  Hence the real conflict in England and France
between rising merchant / capitalist groups and feudal states.  A feudal
lord could not choose to invest in land or industry.  The battle to make
land truly alienable property is what the French Revolution finally

Melvin is right here:

> The bourgeois revolution is not what breaks up feudal economic relations
> is the result of the breaking up of feudal economic relations.

But here appears to fall prey to jurisprudential sophistry:
> Capitalism is a property
> relations and not a mode of production; it is a bourgeois relations of
> production.

Property is a legal concept that needs a state to conjure into existence.
What does the state create?  Legitimising a someone taking the worker's
goods in exchange for a wage.  That is a social relationship of dominance,
the result of the day to day selling of oneself in the market (no wonder
Marx called it wage slavery and not wage serfdom, wage peasantry etc.)
Because these relationships take place on a mass scale, they are class
relationships, class relationships constantly reproduced.


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