[Marxism] Primitive Accmulation
rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 10 16:50:38 MDT 2005
I left that section out because others were referring to it frequently,
and in detail. I wanted to show that it, the writings on the genesis of
the industrial capitalist, was only one part of an bigger section in
which Marx specifically identifies, and maintains, the primacy of the
origins of capitalism in the separation of land and labor, the
dispossession of the subsistence rural producers, the creation of
"free," meaning expelled, labor. It is exactly this expulsion of labor
from property and production that capital reproduces in every movement
every rotation, every dollar of capital spending, expelling labor, in
order to aggrandize relatively greater portions of labor power.
No separation of labor from the land, of labor from use value, no
capital. It's just that direct, determining, and damning.
"Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist" is constructed as a part of the
major section on "The So Called Primitive Accumulation."
Marx contrasts the development of the industrial capitalist against the
"gradual way" of the genesis of the capitalist farmer. Read again what
he writes: "The money capital formed by means of usury and COMMERCE
[emphasis obviously mine] was prevented from turning into industrial
capital, in the country by the feudal constitution, in the towns by the
guild organization. THESE FETTERS VANISHED WITH THE DISSOLUTION OF THE
FEUDAL SOCIETY, WITH THE EXPROPRIATION AND PARTIAL EVICTION OF THE
COUNTRY POPULATION [guess who added that emphasis?].The new
manufacturers were established beyond the control of the old
municipalities and their guilds [my remark so much for the feudal city
as the origin of capital--my remark]. Hence in England an embittered
struggle of the corporate towns against these new industrial nurseries."
Marx goes on to list the well known and justly infamous characteristics
of primitive accumulation. But does he attribute to this primitive
accumulation the determining, necessary and sufficient, character of
capital? Absolutely NOT (Marx's emphasis). Repeatedly Marx refers to
the "hothouse" affect of these elements upon the growth of capital.
Nowhere does he state, argue, indicate, that either alone or in
combination those were the originators of the organization of capital
Further Marx includes in his hothouse genesis of the industrial
capitalist, public debt, devoting several pages to the impact of this
I know Brenner does not think that the existence of slavery, colonies,
the hothouse affect of the levers of primitive accumulation contradict
his thesis. Neither do I.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Brown" <cbrown at michiganlegal.org>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 2:17 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Primitive Accmulation
The entire section would also include the following (why'd you leave
part of the "_entire_" section out ?), which indicates that the chief
momenta of the primitive accumulation (note here Marx does not term it
"socalled"; so we can assume he means the actual, not socalled primitive
accumulation) were slavery and colonialism.
Anyway, the Brennerites seem to think that this notion that slavery and
colonialism are causally linked with the origin of capital accumulation
which would be the origin of capital) contradict's Brenner's thesis.
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