[OPE-L:6850] Re: Re: Re: Re: surplus value, commercial workers and merchant capital (fwd)

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Mon Apr 01 2002 - 14:26:02 EST

re 6847

>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),

dear ian,

yes but Jerry does not agree with us.

>  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,

This last distinction between forms of surplus value in general and 
the capitalist form of surplus value is interesting, but I am not 
quite clear as to what this implies.

I do agree with this general point, though Jairus Banaji has said to 
me offlist that there is an unfortunate tendency to underestimate the 
monetization of the ancient world including by Cambridge Minimalists 
such as Moses Finley. The consequence of such underestimation 
are--Banaji argues--hugely stereotyped and formalistic notions of 
capitalism which play directly into the hands of primitivist 
histiography of which there are elements, Banaji argues, in Marx 

I have not read his book  but I do imagine that it will lead me to 
rethink some of my own notions of capitalism.

The last chapter is in a pdf form at


Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity - Gold, Labour, and Aristocratic 
Dominance Jairus Banaji, Visiting Fellow, Queen Elizabeth House, 
University of Oxford Price: 50.00 (Hardback ) 0-19-924440-5


Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity, the first major study of its kind, 
presents a critique of Weber's influential ideas about late 
antiquity. Jairus Banaji collects together a vast range of evidence 
to show that the fourth to seventh centuries were a period of major 
social and economic change, bound up with an expanding circulation of 
gold. The author traces the evolution of a new aristocracy in the 
eastern Mediterranean, and discusses the implications of its 
involvement in the monetary and business economy of the period


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