[OPE-L] capitalism as system of utility

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 08:05:05 EST

Hi Jurriaan,
Yesterday night when I came accross the passage below in "Grundrisse" it  
reminded me of our discussion about capitalism and utility, which I am  still 
Warm regards
"Thus, just as production founded on capital creates universal  
industriousness on one side -- i.e. surplus labour, value-creating labour -- so  does it 
create on the other side a system of general exploitation of the natural  and 
human qualities, a system of general utility, utilizing science itself just  as 
much as all the physical and mental qualities, while there appears nothing  
higher in itself, nothing legitimate for itself, outside this circle of  social 
production and exchange. Thus capital creates the bourgeois society, and  the 
universal appropriation of nature as well as of the social bond itself by  the 
members of society. Hence the great civilizing influence of capital; its  
production of a stage of society in comparison to which all earlier ones appear  
as mere local developments of humanity and as  nature-idolatry. For the first 
time, nature becomes purely an object  for humankind, purely a matter of 
utility; ceases to be recognized as a power  for itself; and the theoretical 
discovery of its autonomous laws appears merely  as a ruse so as to subjugate it 
under human needs, whether as an object of  consumption or as a means of 
production. In accord with this tendency, capital  drives beyond national barriers and 
prejudices as much as beyond nature worship,  as well as all traditional, 
confined, complacent, encrusted satisfactions of  present needs, and 
reproductions of old ways of life. It is destructive towards  all of this, and constantly 
revolutionizes it, tearing down all the barriers  which hem in the development 
of the forces of production, the expansion of  needs, the all-sided 
development of production, and the exploitation and  exchange of natural and mental 
see: _http://www.marx.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch08.htm#iiie_ 
or alterbatively K. Marx, Grundrisse, Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1957, p. 313. 
See also following passage from Communist Manifesto:  
The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all  
feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the  
motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left  
remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than  
callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious  
fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy  
water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange  
value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set 
 up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for  
exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted  
naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.  

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