[Marxism] Pomeranz

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 9 18:15:53 MDT 2005

I suggest everyone read the entire section <The So Called Primitive
Accumulation.>  That section contains the sub-section "The Secret of
Primitive Accumulation" in which Marx writes:  "In themselves, money and
commodities are no more capital than are the means of production and of
subsistence.  They want transforming into capital.  But this
transformation itself can only take place under certain
circumstances....; on the one hand, the owners of money, means of
production, means of subsistence,who are eager to increase the sum of
values they possess, by buying other peoples;s labour-power; on the
other hand, free labourers, the sellers of their own labour-power, and
therefore the sellers of labour. Free labourers, in the double sense
that neither they themselves form part and parcel of the means of
production, as in the case of slaves, bondsmen, &c, nor do the means of
production belong to them, as in the case of peasant-proprietors."

It is exactly the transformation, the creation of those intra-penetrated
organizations of property and labor that Brenner examines, an
examination not at all contradicted,but rather predicated on Marx.

The section contains another sub-section:  "Expropriation of the
Agricultural Population From the Land," in which Marx writes: "Although,
therefore, the English land, after the Norman conquest, was distributed
in gigantic baronies,...it was bestrewn with small peasant properties,
only here and there interspersed with great seignorial domains.  Such
conditions, together with the prosperity of the towns so characteristic
of the 15th ceintry, allowed of that wealth of the people which
Chancellor Fortescue so eloquently paints in his 'Laudes legum Angliae;'
but it excluded the possibility of capitalistic wealth.

...In insolent conflict with the king and parliament, the great feudal
lords created an incomparably larger proletariat by the forcible driving
of thhe peasantry from the land.....The old nobility had been devoured
by the great feudal wars.  The new nobility was the child of iits time,
for which money was the power of all powers."

Again this confirms rather than contradicts Brenner's works.

The section also contains the sub-section "Legislation Against the
Expropriated," where Marx writes: "The dull compulsion of economic
relations completes the subjection of the labourer to the capitalist.
Direct force, outside economic conditions, is of course still used, but
only exceptionally."  Again this supports, not contradicts Brenner.

The next subjection is called "Reaction of the Agricultural Revolution
on Industry.  Creation of the Home Market for Industrial Capital," and
is, IMO one of the most condensed, and brilliant expositions of the
"self-expansion of capital."  Marx starts by writing:

"The expropriation and expulsion of the agricultural population,
intermittent but renewed again and again, supplied, as we saw, the town
industries with a mass of proletarian, entirely unconnected with the
corporate guilds.... The thinning out of the independent self-supporting
peasants not only brought about the crowding together  of the industrial
proletariat.... In spite of the smaller numbers of its cultivators, the
soil brought forth as much or more produce, after as before, because the
revolutionin the conditions of landed property was accompanied by the
improved methods of culture, greater co-operation, concentration of the
means of production, &c., and because not only were the agricultural
wage-labourers put on the strain more intensely, but the field of
production on which they worked for themselves, became more contracted.
They were now transformed into the elements of variable capital.  The
peasant, expropriated and cast adrift, must buy their value in the form
of wages, from his new master, the industrial capitalist.  The which
holds good of the means of subsistence holds with raw material of
industry dependent on home agriculture.  They were transformed into an
element of constant capital."

This too is part of the work Brenner seeks to uncover, and "restore" in
the history of capitalism

Finally, the section ends with the sub-section "The Modern Theory of
Colonisation."  And here Marx writes something that couldn't be more
Marxist, more modern, more "Brennerian" had Brenner written it
himself....more indicative of where and how a real revolutionary
struggle will, must unfold within the network of capital, in both
colonies and centers:

"...The only thing that interests us is the secret discovered in the new
world by the politcal economy of the old world, and procalimed on the
house-tops:  that the capitalist mode of production and accumulation,
and therefore capitalist private property, have for their fundamental
condition the annihilation of self-earned private propety; in othe words
, the expropriation of the labourer."

So ends Vol 1.

Damn, I couldn't have said any of it better myself, and modesty ain't my

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Brown" <cbrown at michiganlegal.org>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, October 09, 2005 4:32 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Pomeranz
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