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

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 05:26:39 EDT

Paul Bullock wrote:

>  Paul, 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

The latent reserve army is created by the percolation of
capitalist relations of production into the peasantry and
artisanal population.

Once these are fully proletarianised you have a totally
different social formation and quite different dynamics.

The law of the tendancy of the rate of profit to fall does
not really come into effect until the proletarian population

The ability of the neo-liberal governments in Britain and
the US to depress the share of national income going to the
working class has been contingent upon the opening up
of capital movement to areas of the world where large
latent reserve armies exist.  Consider the change in the
relative position of the contending classes in the absence
of this possibility, and you will see a vision of the world
in 2050.

>      ----- 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
>         state.
>      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
Paul Cockshott
Dept Computing Science
University of Glasgow

0141 330 3125

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