[OPE-L:1761] Re: Defining & understanding the accumulati

Paul Cockshott (wpc@clyder.gn.apc.org)
Sat, 13 Apr 1996 14:16:07 -0700

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Jerry asked (1755) what other than the exhaustion
of the industrial reserve was necessary for industrial
unionism. Note that what I had refered to was General
Unionism, which is not quite the same thing.

American industrial unionism arose in a country that
had traditionally depended upon external latent reserves
of labour. I am not sufficiently familiar with US
demography to say to what extent the industrial
unionism upswing in the 2nd quarter of the century
paralleled a stabilisation of the proletarian
population. It obviously had additional preconditions:
the new deal, the overfull employment of war, the
creation ab-initio of the automobile industry.

Jerry further asks what I mean by the patriarchal
mode of production.

>What is the "patriarchal mode of production"? Isn't patriarchy,
>historically, a necessary and common characteristic of a variety of
>alternative modes of production?

By patriarchal or domestic production I mean that set
of production relations in which women/wives from the
exploited class, in which labour is unpaid and the
product does not in general assume the form of a
commodity. In the agricultural sector, subordinate
males - sons and younger brothers, may also be exploited.

It is a distinct mode of production with distinct
forms of exploitation that co-exists with capitalism.
Its invisibility to classical marxism is a combined
effect of the outlook of bourgeois political economy
- which defines economy not in terms of oikonomos the
household but in terms of monetary transactions -
and of patriarchal ideology itself.