[OPE-L:6847] Re: Re: Re: surplus value, commercial workers and merchant capital (fwd)

From: Ian Hunt (Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au)
Date: Sat Mar 30 2002 - 23:00:46 EST

I agree that some slave owners (especially the slave owners of the new
world) have appropriated surplus value (this was said in one of the opening
comments of this thread, I think), my point was only that generally in the
ancient world, for example, they did not, and this does, as Jerry says,
make it important to rcognise other ways of appropriating surplus labour
than appropriating surplus value, which itself can take various forms apart
from the capitalist one,

>re 6842
>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>From: Ian Hunt <Ian.Hunt@flinders.edu.au>
>>Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 14:30:53 +1030
>>Subject: Re: [OPE-L:6839] Re:  surplus value, commercial workers and
>>  merchant capital
>>Dear Jerry,
>>The distinction between surplus product and surplus value is important:
>>slave owners, feudal lords, tributory systems, etc have all appropriated
>>surplus product (and surplus labour)
>In Capital 1, Marx himself notes how the institution of slavery can
>be transformed from a patriarchal institution hemmed in by the
>immediate circle of needs of slave owners or masters to an
>expansionist capitalist institution entangled in the world market and
>organized around the  boundless search of surplus value.
>Despite trying to resist this conclusion, Robin Blackburn comes quite
>close to it in The Making of New World Slavery, p.  374-5
>"However the undoubted fact that neither the feudal estates of Eastern
>Europe nor the slave planations of the America can properly be regarded as
>capitalist enterprises should not lead us, as it has some writers, to
>regard them as *equivalently distant from the capitalist mode*. The feudal
>estates of E Europe were a product of the manorial reaction of the 14 and
>15th centuries--sometimes referred to as Europe's 2nd serfdom. In the
>first instance they were created not in response to the dictates of cash
>crop production but as the lords' answer to the impact of the demographic
>crisis in the Eastern marchlands. Their subsequent orientation to cereal
>exports required very few productive inputs from the West, and encouraged
>no reciprocal exchange. The American slave planations by contrast were set
>up directly for the purpose of supplying the European market, and had not
>other raison d etre. In their operation, as in their foundation, they
>remained intimately tied geared to exchanges with European merchants and
>manufacturers. Even at the height of the Polish grain exports they
>accounted for only 10-15 0f total production, with luxury items
>dominating imports. In the New World by far the greater part of plantation
>output was exported, and many productive inputs were imported from
>European mfgs: equipment, implements, construction materials, clothing,
>foodstuffs; as for the African slaves, they also were acquired
>increasingly in exchange for mfg trade goods. Western Europe's trade with
>the slave plantations was thus less unbalanced and more conducive to
>cumulative, reciprocal expansion."
>I have  posted this passage before [OPE-L:2805] Re: RE: Slavery
>From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
>Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 17:07:55 EDT
>Yours, Rakesh

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Philosophy Dept, School of Humanities,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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