[OPE-L:1932] Re: Accumulation of capital and Imperialism

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Wed, 24 Apr 1996 08:19:33 -0700

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>Paul Z.:
>Could you elaborate? Capitalists have no "Moses and the prophets"? The
>"Conversion of Surplus Value into Capital" is just a "possible scenario"?
>Would you say that "exploitation" is a necessity of capitalism or not? What
>are productiion of absolute and relative surplus value?
>Paul C:
Conversion of surplus value into capital is just a possible, albeit
frequent scenario, even given the defintion I would use of an increase
in the total of K + vt. Given your definition - an increase in (s+v)
- accumulation is certainly not necessary. Capitalist societies can be
net consumers of surplus value and remain capitalist. An example,
contrary to common opinion was Britain during its imperial period.

Production of absolute surplus value is a necessary precondition
of capitalism. Relative surplus value is frequently produced, but
is not a necessity.
Paul Cockshott