[OPE-L:4740] Re: RE: Re: Re: Re: SV and the F of D

From: John Ernst (ernst@pipeline.com)
Date: Mon Jan 08 2001 - 15:54:54 EST

Gil writes:

D) As noted before, the key systemic basis for surplus value is capital 
scarcity. **Marx puts this point even more strongly in Ch. 33 of Volume I: 
if workers own their own means of production, then the capitalist mode of 
production is impossible (see pages 933 and 940).** This has a number of 
powerful implications, but note just one: the contrapositive of Marx's 
claim is that capitalist exploitation can be eliminated simply through 
sufficient wealth redistribution. [Emphasis added]

My comment:   Wait a sec.   Isn't Marx speaking of the ability of 
capitalism to take root?  I think so.  Hence,  I'm unwilling to quickly
accept those "powerful implications" concerning the  elimination of
capitalist exploitation.  That is,  it's unclear to me that *merely*
redistributing the wealth of a developed capitalist society puts an
end to capitalist exploitation.   As long as the drive to accumulate
for the sake of survival exists, there's seemingly nothing to prevent
workers from hiring other workers with their redistributed wealth.   

Gil continues:

That is, it's *Marx* who has insisted that this stronger version of capital
scarcity is required for the existence of  
capitalist exploitation.  So let Marx answer your question, again from Ch.
33 of Volume I:

"It is the great merit of E.G. Wakefield to have discovered, not something
new *about* the colonies, but, *in* the colonies, the true about capitalist
relations in the mother country....'If,' says Wakefield, 'all the members
of the society are supposed to possess equal portions of capital...no man
would have a motive for accumulating more capital than he could use with
his own hands.  This is to some extent the case in new American
settlements, where a passion for owning land prevents the existence of a
class of labourers for hire.'   So long, therefore, as the worker can
accumulate for himself--and this he can do so long as he remains in
possession of his means of production--capitalist accumulation and the
capitalist mode of production are impossible." [pp 932-33].

My comment:  Marx's statement makes my case again.   He's talking about
getting capitalism started and not giving us clues about how the end it.


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