[Marxism] Primitive Accmulation

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 10 17:35:16 MDT 2005


See how great this discussion gets?

 For me, and my reading of Brenner, the critical aspect is this precise
social relation of production.  Brenner remarks, and correctly, on his
famous/infamous critique of Neo-Smithian Marxists, how  all their
(neo-Smithian Marxists) explanations for the origina of capitalism
pre-suppose what needs to be proven--- how exchange, trade,
commodities-- become capital.  Brenner, IMO following Marx's original
direction,  is very clear that these things, exchange, trade,
commodities, are not in and of themselves capital; do not, cannot,
organically "grow over" into capitalism; that the transformation into
capital is a transformation of social relations of production so that
the fundamental social relation must be examined, and determined, before
we can even assign "value" a "weight" to commerce, commodities, gold or
slavery in the overall development of the "system" of capital-- 
especially since capital is an uneven system, a combined system, never
lives up to its own advertising, its own needs; interrupts itself,
inhibits itself, shrinks back in terror, or attacks in terror, the  very
access to wage-labor it requires for reproduction, when in fact it is
that very wage-labor, that reproduction that so threatens its private
property.

Is there any doubt that capitalism would look much different without the
colonization of the Americas, the destruction and impressment  of the
indigenous people of the Americas, the devastation of Africa by the
slave trade, the destruction of Chinese culture through the Opium Wars,
the debilitation of Southwest Asia by British colonialism?  Absolutely
yes.  But capitalism looks the way it does based on its primo-genesis,
its originating social relationship of production, its
self-contradiction. The moments and inputs of primitive accumulation,
the results of primitive accumulation, inputs into that system, as LP
would have it, that social relation, that self-contradiction.

The "undoing" of each of those elements, results, of primitive
accumulation depends in turn on the overthrow of that critical social
relation.

Anyway that's about as passionate about this as I can get.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Brown" <cbrown at michiganlegal.org>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 7:16 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Primitive Accmulation


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