[OPE-L:1741] Re: Accumulation of capital in Ch. 24, V1

Gilbert Skillman (gskillman@wesleyan.edu)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 11:03:42 -0700

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Jerry writes:

> Gil asked in [OPE-L: 1739]:
> > Jerry writes in regard to Vol I, Ch. 24, amidst other things,
> > > (5) He also explicitly states the logical and historical *preconditions*
> > > for the accumulation of capital (see p. 641). [Gil take note].
> > Why?
> Although Marx makes the assumption earler in the chapter that "we must
> treat the whole world as one nation, and assume that capitalist
> production is everywhere established and has possessed itself of every
> branch of production", a few pages later he discusses the historical and
> logical preconditions of accumulation beginning with the section that reads:
> "No matter how severely the capitalist mode of appropriation may seem
> to slap in the face of the fundamental laws of the production of
> commodities, it does not arise from a violation, but from an
> application of these laws. A brief retrospect upon the succession
> of phases, whose climax the capitalist accumulation is, may serve
> once more to make this clear" (Kerr ed. p. 640).
> He goes on to discuss the law(s) of exchange which requires ... what? See
> p. 641 and the remainder of Section 1.
> Doesn't this relate to some issues touched upon in the Ch. 5 debate such
> as property rights, the real subsumption of labor under capital, and
> generalized commodity production?

It certainly does, and necessarily so, but as far as I can see it
doesn't contradict anything I've been arguing on these issues. For
example, there was capital accumulation under usury capital
relations, although unlike modern capital accumulation this process
tended to undermine the basis of this circuit of capital. But this
the logic of this self-undermining is historical-materialist.

In solidarity, Gil