Re: [OPE-L] History as Spiral

From: Dogan Goecmen (Dogangoecmen@AOL.COM)
Date: Wed Dec 13 2006 - 14:43:35 EST

Dear Paulo! 
Sorry for the delay. I am struggling to meet some deadlines. Therefore a very 
 short reply: I think that the answer to your question lies in the passage 
below  from Communist Manifesto. It may also be very useful to read  the  
chapter on  
"Forms which precede capitalist production: (Concerning the process which 
precedes the formation of the capital  relation or of original accumulation)" 
in the second section of the Grundrisse 
See: _ 
Communist Manifesto 
"The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property  
generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private 
 property is the final and most complete expression of the system of 
producing  and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the  
exploitation of the many by the few.  
In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single  
sentence: Abolition of private property.  
We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of 
 personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which 
property  is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and  
Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of  
petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the  
bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry  
has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.  
Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property?  
But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It  
creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits  wage-labour, and 
which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new  supply of 
wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is  based on the 
antagonism of capital and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of  this 
To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social  
status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the  united 
action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united  action of 
all members of society, can it be set in motion.  
Capital is therefore not only personal; it is a social power.  
When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property 
 of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into 
 social property. It is only the social character of the property that is  
changed. It loses its class character."  
_ ( 
In einer eMail vom 11.12.2006 21:33:53 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt  

Francisco Paulo Cipolla wrote:  
Dogan, is the citation right? 
Why does Marx say  "but gives him individual property" instead of collective 
property?  Co-operation or possession in common seem to be the opposite of 
individual  property! 
Dogan Goecmen wrote:  
Dear David in Capital, Vol. 1, Part VIII: Primitive  Accumulation, Chapter 
Thirty-Two: Historical Tendency of Capitalist  Accumulation, in the paragraph 
before the last paragraph Marx  says:  *The capitalist mode of appropriation, 
the  result of the capitalist mode of production, produces capitalist private  
property. This is the first negation of individual private property, as  
founded on the labor of the proprietor. But capitalist production begets,  with the 
inexorability of a law of Nature, its own negation. It is the  negation of 
negation. This does not re-establish private property for the  producer, but 
gives him individual property based on the acquisition of  the capitalist era: 
i.e., on co-operation and the possession in  common of the land and of the means 
of production.*See: _ 
( ;alternatively:  
Karl Marx, Capital, Moscow: Progress Publishers, Vol. I, p. 715.If more  
references needed please let us know. There are many similar passages in  various 
other works of Marx and Engels. Since you put in your email Marx  on the first 
place I selected a passage from Capital.  CheersDogan In einer eMail vom 
08.12.2006 22:40:26  Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt  
Dear OPE  comrades, 
Folks on this list are *so good* at  tracking things down, that I could 
not resist passing this one  along. 
One of my colleagues at *Science  & Society,* Barbara Foley, asks: where  
does Marx (I  think she would include Engels as well) put forward  the 
idea that history proceeds in spiral form -- i.e., negation of  the 
negation, with elements present in the first-posited stage  returning, in 
a "higher" state, in a third  stage? 
Any references would be  appreciated. 
In solidarity,  
David  Laibman


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