[Marxism] Beyond market dependence: The origins of capitalism in Catalonia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 16 18:14:45 MDT 2018

Buried in the footnotes of his famous 1976 essay, Robert
Brenner left the remark that Catalonia had experienced an
agrarian transition to capitalism in parallel to England. This
important claim has been completely forgotten by his
followers of the political Marxist tradition, who since then
have developed his views on the origins of capitalism.
Building on the specialist literature, this article revisits the
question of the Catalan transition through the prism of
political Marxism and teases out its implications. In
particular, it argues that the Catalan case illustrates the centrality
of agency and subjectivity in the process of capitalist
change. Contrary to Brenner's claim, this paper will argue
that pre‐capitalist social property relations persisted in agriculture
throughout the period of transition. Instead, the
region's capitalist breakthrough was prompted by sociocultural
struggles in its 18th‐century proto‐industry.


More information about the Marxism mailing list