[OPE-L:5887] RE: Paul B replies to Howard

From: Michael Williams (michael@williamsmj.worldonline.co.uk)
Date: Wed Aug 08 2001 - 11:43:46 EDT

I wonder if there is not a presumption here that *historical* priority
('primitive accumulation comes first') implies *logical/dialectical*
priority ('therefore bourgeois private property is logically prior to the
value-form, etc')?

Imo, such a presumption is at odds with Marx's dialectic.

Comradely greetings,


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> [mailto:owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu]On Behalf Of glevy@pratt.edu
> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 4:28 PM
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject: [OPE-L:5886] Paul B replies to Howard
> Date: Sat,  7 Jul 2001 04:44:04 PDT
> From: Bullock J P <pbullock@barclays.net>
> Subject: [OPE-L:5874] Re: Re: Re: Reply to fred
> Howard,
> I add cooments below  where I don't follow the view.
> Regards,
> Paul
> -----Original Message-----
> From: howard engelskirchen <lhengels@igc.org>
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
> Date: 02 July 2001 06:32
> Subject: [OPE-L:5874] Re: Re: Re: Reply to fred
> >
> "Paul --
> I think value form's approach in identifying economic forms first and
> explaining private property on that basis is correct. "
> Well, in explaining the nature of capital Marx starts with a form, an
> historically developed form. The fact that bourgeois private
> property had to
> come into existence to allow that commodity form to become so extensive is
> discussed later - the so called primitive accumulation - so we can accept
> that as you state it. "As I understand it, exchange value is
> predicated upon
> the autonomy of independent producers who produce values useless
> to them for
> others. This is not a relationship of property, at least in any
> legal sense,
> but a relationship concerning the distribution of agents of
> production to the
> means of production." Now this is where I have a problem. Exchange value
> exists in many societies, BUT subordinated to the central/
> essential social
> relations of production of those societies which were not
> capitalistic. This
> exchange value is occasional, secondary etc, and begins to take on some
> significance with merchants acting between societies, or outside of their
> home base. The exchange value itself has not developed into a well
> established social form until then. Here is the key historical issue.
> Nevertheless to say that this is not a relationsghip of property is quite
> startling. The merchants purchased or had made up, the goods they
> traded. Are
> you saying they didn't own them? If they were 'agents' did the
> 'principles'
> not own the property?Do those involved in exchange not own their
> products? If
> not who does? What do you mean? (legal form is not the immediate
> issue here
> but I don't understand your note here either). Here you speak of
> 'agents of
> production' being distributed 'to' the m! eans of production. This sounds
> more like the type of terms used by formal theory of ' games'
> type, not the
> exposition of an historical method. Propertyrelations as legal
> relations are
> relations of force and consciousness derivative of that. So if we want to
> speak of commodity ownership we would speak of onwership of value
> and reach
> the reverse of your proposition, namely: private property is
> predicated upon
> the value form of labor. I'm lost again I'm afraid what is the
> 'value form'
> of labour? Do you mean the commodity form, labour power sold in
> the market?
> If so why should I sell my labour power if I have property (ie means of
> reproducing myself). It is when property has been 'privatised'
> away from me
> that I sell my capacities to the property owner! The workers do not sell
> their labour power in order to bring into existence private
> property. Try to
> convince me otherwise, please. OR perhaps you mean by ''value form ' of
> labour' , money? But then I don't get the logic here either.
> 'Capital is more
> complicated because it is intrinsically a relationship involving the
> subordination of will, nonetheless we can start with the distribution of
> agents in the sense of the separation of direct producers from
> the means of
> production. And this of course is immediately a class relation.' Well, now
> you seem to have reversed your initial position above.... 'in the sense of
> the separation of direct producers etc'... Once private property is
> established... separation.....class.. So it seems that 'primative
> accumulation does come first... (although of course we know that
> there is a
> drawn out battle involved with the social categories coming into being
> interdependently). The key point is that until we have labour
> power sold as a
> commodity we can't speak of systematic and self expanding value
> in exchange.
> Cheers paul At 11:36 AM 7/1/01 +0100, you wrote: meaning 'of no particular
> concrete/ or technical skill'... human >>labour in general...
> although there
> is an avoidance of the notion of some >>essential physical/mental
> activity..
> since this would move into an obvious >>a-historical position. private
> property. Now we are no longer >>dealing with a directly - as I
> stressed some
> time ago - the link in an >>historically new social process.
> Private property
> exchanges with >>private property, abstracted from the particular
> existence
> of man as a >>directly social being. Mankinds directly social
> being is of no
> immediate >>interest to capital. The quality of labour socially, becomes
> 'abstract' >>when direct exchanges are broken down through the spontaneous
> development >>of money. It becomes systematically over a period of time.
> >>Understanding it after industrial capitalism had developed
> simply enabled
> >>us correctly to understand the history leading up to it
> accurately. >>labour
> . Money is the gateway by which private property is able to act
> for >>its own
> society, it blesses the private offering with the stamp of social
> >>validation. It reveals the abstract, social, nature of the labour
> >>performed privately. between private property, and so class
> >>society based
> on labour power as a commodity, and not one sidedly >>reiterate
> the fact of
> exchange as such. Fraternally Paul B. > >

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