[OPE-L:2993] RE: Re: Defining accumulation

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Wed May 03 2000 - 06:52:20 EDT

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Many thanks for this -- now I see what you had in mind by "catch all" I find
a lot to sympathise with. I hope to have a look at your paper and come back
on definitions.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Zarembka [SMTP:zarembka@acsu.buffalo.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2000 2:08 PM
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject: [OPE-L:2983] Re: Defining accumulation
> Julian,
> The problem of definition is covered in the first section of my paper
> "Accumulation of Capital, its Definition: A Century after Lenin and
> Luxemburg" at
> http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka/len-lux.htm
> The following two sections carry the issue into Lenin and Luxemburg.
> Probably that would lead to more questions and, if so, let me know.
> In any case, the "catch-all" refers to the following: almost every time
> one reads "accumulation of capital" in a Marxist paper one could
> substitute "capitalism" without loss of meaning (I propose you try it for
> yourself). "Capitalism" is A LOT of things and it is fine to use it but
> theoretically it doesn't have pretentions. "Accumulation of capital"
> does. What I'm struggling for is precision in usage (or simply not using
> the term), such as I would expect for "rate of surplus value". However, I
> think there would be a lot of political fallouts that would result from
> the definition proposed at the end of the paper and therefore, at best,
> basically I'm targetting a subset of Marxists (or, more modestly,
> hopefully to strengthen a political tendency which of course already
> exists). At this point, that subset is vague but excludes Stalinism. I
> can also report that I came to my basic idea without Luxemburg, but was
> amazed at how much her theoretical work dovetails.
> Regarding the physicalist strand of bigger heaps of machines, yes, it is
> connected to it, but is only a part of the issue.
> Please keep in my mind that my work is in progress and I'm trying to nail
> this particular thing down as much as possible before trying the next
> step. If I stumble, so be it, but it will be less likely the surer the
> footing.
> Paul Z.
> ***********************************************************************
> Paul Zarembka, supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY
> ******************** http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka
> P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk said, on 05/02/00 at 05:51 PM:
> >> Marx DID define accumulation "Hitherto we have investigated how
> >> surplus-value emanates from capital; we have now to see how capital
> arises
> >> from surplus-value. Employing surplus-value as capital, reconverting
> it
> >> into capital, is called accumulation of capital." I argue that this
> >> definition, however, is ambiguous and that "accumulation of capital"
> has
> >> become a almost a "catch-all" phrase (a disservice to scientific
> thought).
> >>
> >>
> > I don't see an obvious ambiguity here, and I'd like to hear more
> about
> >the ways in which "accumulation of capital" has become a catch-all; is
> >what you have in mind the fact that the physicalist strand in post-Marx
> >marxism talks as if the phrase referred to ever-bigger heaps of machines,
> >inventories, etc.?

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