[OPE-L:1780] The original accumulation of capital

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 08:24:05 -0700

[ show plain text ]

Chai-on wrote in [1778]:

> You said as below,
> As for the primitive [original] accumulation of capital that Chai-on
> raises, I consider that subject to be related to the pre-history of
> capitalism or, if you prefer, the process of the historical becoming of
> capitalism as a mode of production. This issue does not come up in Ch. 24
> because of the assumption that "we must treat the whole world of trade
> as one nation, and assume that capitalist production is established
> everywhere and has taken possession of every branch of industry"
> (Penguin ed., p. 727)....
> ---------
> The primitive accumulation is also a sort of accumulation, and is
> still carried out even today.

I agree that the original accumulation of capital is "also a sort of

> The accelerating economic growth in
> industrializing economies eg. South-east Asia even today, South korea
> upto the 1980s, still experiencing the primitive
> accumulation even though the history of capitalism has already started
> there.
> The primitive accumulation can be seen even in a nation, in the form
> of local colonization, racial colonization, etc.

I agree that these are important topics, *but* they clearly violate the
assumption that Marx made in Ch. 24 (reproduced above). Although this
topic is discussed, of course, near the end of V1, I consider the subject
itself - *analytically* - to be a "post-Capital" subject.

This, of course, returns us to the question that we have discussed before
concerning the subject matter of _Capital_. Clearly foreign trade and
the world market are relevant for a discussion of the question that
Chai-on poses. Yet, where are they discussed systematically in _Capital_?
Also, Chai-on: doesn't the state play an important role in this process?
Yet, where is the state discussed systematically in _Capital_?

I must sound like a broken record, I know. If others are interested, I'm
more than willing to discuss the question again of the scope of _Capital_
and -- the 6-book-plan. I believe such a discussion would be worthwhile
since most listmembers were not subscribers when we had that discussion
in late September and early October. Perhaps we could use one of the
other closed lists, EM-L or CAP-L, for such a discussion.

In OPE-L Solidarity,