[OPE-L:7444] Re: Re: definitely not about Ch. 5

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Mon Jul 22 2002 - 18:42:39 EDT

Let me just say that I found John M's formulation to be extremely well put:

>In this way the buyer-up in effect acquires control over the 
>production process of the individual producers, I.E. OF THEIR MEANS 
>OF PRODUCTION. It is he who decides the extent of output and its 
>degree of diversification as well as establishing the division of 
>labor among the separate producers who are under his control, 
>according to productivity criteria which he sets and changes in 
>demand which he follows. The buyer-up can now lower the prices of 
>the commodities he purchases (buys up) from direct producers to a 
>level which yields for the producer an income not higher than a 
>worker's wage.

But let me jump ahead to Gil's post.

I'm not straight on OPE-L rules, so I shall not forward Gil's recent 
criticism of Robert Albritton to him. Gil, perhaps you could forward 
what you wrote to him and then post his reply, if he replies?
Here's his email address:ralbritt@yorku.ca

Gil, I do think you have Albritton's argument a bit wrong:

>In a nutshell, Albritton takes issue with Brenner's contention that 
>British "agrarian capitalism" was the prime mover of capitalism, 
>arguing the commodification of labor power is a necessary basis of 
>the latter, and that LP was insufficiently commodified until the 2nd 
>half of the 19th (!) century to allow commercial farming in Gr. Br. 
>to be called "capitalist."

I think Albritton is arguing that even though early English 
capitalist agriculture, unlike the putting out system, relied on the 
basis of free wage labor  (Albritton also insists on the serious 
qualification of this claim, which seems to have lead to Ellen Wood's 
concession which I quoted earlier), it does not follow that that the 
latter was any less a crucial form of early capitalist enterprise 
than English agriculture organized around the tripartite regime of 
landlord-tenant-wage labor. Albritton is in fact raising questions 
about the relation between a pure theory of capitalism in which labor 
power is fully commodified and the history of early capitalism. He 
warns against using the former to derive conclusions about the center 
of gravity of the latter, no?

All the best, Rakesh

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