[Marxism] Question on Brenner Thesis

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 10 09:39:36 MST 2014


On 12/10/14 11:29 AM, MM wrote:
>
>
> Available via Google’s cache here:
>
> http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://newleftreview.org/I/104/robert-brenner-the-origins-of-capitalist-development-a-critique-of-neo-smithian-marxism
>
>

Thanks, MM.

I would urge comrades to read the article. There are so many things 
wrong with it, I hardly know where to begin. Just a quick observation on 
Brenner's section titled "The ‘Primitive Accumulation of Capital’" that 
limits it to the enclosure act. Brenner quotes Marx: "So-called 
primitive accumulation, therefore, is nothing else than the historical 
process of divorcing the producer from the means of production." This is 
what we call cherry-picking. A cursory glance of Marx does not reveal 
such an exclusive definition.

In chapter 31 of Capital, Marx writes: "The discovery of gold and silver 
in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the 
aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the 
East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial 
hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of 
capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the CHIEF MOMENTA 
OF PRIMITIVE ACCUMULATION."

These Brennerites don't have the gumption to say that Marx was wrong. 
Their tactic is to ignore him. Not very intellectually honest, IMHO.





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