[OPE-L:1674] Re: productive assets

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 01:18:04 -0800

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Chaion wrote:
>I agree with Andrew, the differential ownership does not explain the capitalist
>relation of "exploitation". Usury, Landlords, etc. enjoyed the surplus value
>on account of the differential ownership even before the capitalism ruled.

It depends what you mean here. Differential ownership, or more generally the
property relations relating to the means of subsistance and production are
the precondition of all exploitation. To this extent they are one of the
explanations of exploitation - without such differential ownership there is
no exploitation. On the other hand, just saying the means of production are
unequally owned does not explain the differences in the forms
taken by exploitation between societies. To that extent, differential ownership
is only a partial explanation. That said, it still points our a key factor,
and reminds us that any program to eliminate exploitation can only
succeed to the extent that it alters the ownership of property.
Paul Cockshott