Re: (OPE-L) Re: From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 17:38:00 EDT


I thought that capital accumulation created a reserve army, whilst periodical crises reestablished the relation between capital and labour. Your view seems to be a long run Smithian idea.

paul bullock
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Paul Cockshott 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 3:17 PM
  Subject: Re: (OPE-L) Re: From Ian Wright on Weeks and Simple Commodity Production

  gerald_a_levy wrote: 
    Paul C wrote on  Tuesday, May 20: > It (Capitalism, JL) is inherently a transitory mode 
    > of production that can only persist so long as it is surrounded 
    > by pre-capitalist production. *Why* can't capitalism persist after the disappearance ofpre-capitalist production? In solidarity, Jerry
  My hypothesis, based mainly on the history of British capitalism, the 
  historical lead example is that once the latent reserve army of labour, 
  both internal and external is exhausted, then over accumulation of 
  capital occurs with the following effects: 
  1. Organic compositions tend to rise 

  2. Demand for a static or falling labour pool inhibits constrains 
      the production of surplus value 

  3. Inherent tendancies towards deflation set in in consequence which 
      can only be masked by monetary and fiscal intervention by the 

  4. As a consequence of factor 2, the social weight and influence of 
      the working class rises. 

  5. A combination of 3 and 4 lead to an increasing pressure to use 
      non-capitalist modes of accumulation - raising the issues of 
      social control of accumulation as live political issues. 

  This was the trajectory of first British and then other european 
  capitalisms up to the 1980s in the UK case and arguably up 
  to the present for other western european capitals. 

  Neo liberalism aims to get out of the contradictions by exploiting 
  the relative imaturity of capitalism in Asia, Latin America and 
  Africa to offset its maturity in Europe and North America. 
  This will work for a while, perhaps another 40 or 50 years, 
  but by the middle of the 21st century world capitalism will 
  be where British capitalism was at the middle of the 20th 
  century. The contradictions described above will then 
  seal its fate. 

Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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