[OPE-L:3419] Re: Gil's criticisms

From: glevy@acnet.pratt.edu
Date: Fri Jun 02 2000 - 10:50:25 EDT

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Hi, Gil. Re [OPE-L:3411]:

I had previously asked:

>I have a hypothetical question for you: Assume an economic system
>in which all production is being performed by small producers (e.g.
>family farmers and self-employed artisans) who are dependent on
>loans from usurers. Assume, further, that all products are produced
>with the intention of being sold. The question: do you consider
>this economic system to be capitalist?

You replied (in part):

> Let's assume a system that we would all agree is capitalist--that
> of the U.S., for example.

* That would defeat the purpose of my question. My question concerned _your_ definition of capitalism and whether the hypothetical system outlined above would fit that definition*.

> The reason I pose this version of the hypothetical question is that > Jerry's imposes, in my understanding, too many additional changes
> from the status quo that are idiosyncratic to the historical period > in which usury capital first developed.

It is a *hypothetical* question and therefore need not correspond to the historical period in which usury first developed.

> Of particular significance here are (1) the restriction
> to "small" producers rather than labor teams capable of running
> even the largest-scale existing production processes,

I will amend my question to allow for this possibility. Let's say
that some proportion of the producers consist of *large-scale* producers' cooperatives. Assume further that they do not receive wages but instead receive a income based on "profit-sharing".
> and (2) the restriction to
> usury, that is, loan, that is, interest-bearing capital, which
> yields fixed rather than variable income streams. Capitalists
> might typically prefer to take the latter, so that the restriction > to fixed income loans could be arbitrary.

Then assume a form of "neo-usury" in which both types of loans are possible.

Would you consider the above economic system as ammended to be capitalist?

In solidarity, Jerry

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