[Marxism] Marx on the Transition Debate: English model
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 10 07:27:28 MDT 2005
>where does marx warn of using England's transition to capitalism as the
>template for understanding the development of capitalism in other countries?
>thanks in advance
First Draft of Karl Marx's Letter To Vera Zasulich
1) In dealing with the genesis of capitalist production I stated that it is
founded on "the complete separation of the producer from the means of
production" (p. 315, column 1, French edition of Capital) and that "the
basis of this whole development is the expropriation of the agricultural
producer. To date this has not been accomplished in a radical fashion
anywhere except in England... But all the other countries of Western Europe
are undergoing the same process" (1.c., column II).
I thus expressly limited the "historical inevitability" of this process to
the countries of Western Europe. And why? Be so kind as to compare Chapter
XXXII, where it says:
The "process of elimination transforming individualised and scattered means
of production into socially concentrated means of production, of the pigmy
property of the many into the huge property of the few, this painful and
fearful expropriation of the working people, forms the origin, the genesis
of capital... Private property, based on personal labour ... will be
supplanted by capitalist private property, based on the exploitation of the
labour of others, on wage labour" (p. 341, column II).
Thus, in the final analysis, it is a question of the transformation of one
form of private property into another form of private property. Since the
land in the hands of the Russian peasants has never been their private
property, how could this development be applicable?
For a discussion of Marx's letters to the Russian populists, see Teodor
Shanin's "Late Marx" (Monthly Review Press).
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