[OPE-L:1705] Re: Petty commodity production, theory & history

chaion lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Fri, 5 Apr 1996 04:40:25 -0800

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Jerry [1695] wrote:
My understanding suggests that petty
commodity production can take place within the context of a number of
different modes of production, but is not a mode of production itself.
If PCP is understood as a mode of production, please explain its
relationships to other modes of production. Do you see it as a
"transitional" m of p? Also please explain the internal dynamics of the
PCP M of P.

PCP is introduced in _Capital_, by my understanding, as a *logical* stage
in the process of explaining the transition from C-M-C to M-C-M'. I
believe, while it mirrors a actual historical period that has occurred in
many social formations, it has a logical standing similar to the concept
of simple reproduction. That is, simple reproduction was not intended to
describe the real process of the reproduction of capital, but was a
simplifying step, a *theoretical possibility*, that was needed to explain
the fundamentals of extended reproduction.

In response to the above:
If PCP is not a mode of production, what is it then? Did marx exploit the
PCP in explaining the transition from c-m-c to m-c-m although it is not a
m of p? Then, the transition must have been from a non-mode of production
to a mode of production. The c-m-c and the m-c-m would not be in the same
level of abstraction. PCP is present even today. Small store keepers,
peasants, freelances, etc. are a good example. Yeomanry in England, too.
Simple reproduction does not describe the capitalist m of p because, in it,
there is no accumulation. It refers to the PCP.