[OPE-L:1934] Re: Accumulation of capital and Imperialism

Paul Zarembka (ecopaulz@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)
Wed, 24 Apr 1996 09:30:23 -0700

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On Wed, 24 Apr 1996, Allin Cottrell wrote:

> Yes, exploitation is essential to capitalism, but it is not guaranteed
> that the fruits of exploitation will be accumulated. Capitalism can
> subside into (perhaps lengthy) phases in which no net accumulation
> occurs. We may think of such phases as in a sense degenerative, but
> absence of net accumulation is not incompatible with technical
> progress (the use-value of the means of production is augmented, but
> not the value).

Whatever definition of accumulation of capital is used, I think you are
using "necessity" differently than I do. I do not mean that necessity for
accumulation implies its success. Thus I have no problem with phases
where accumulation fails and thus do not have a problem with what you write.

I would have a problem if you were to say that capitalism is about (for
example) luxury consumption on the part of capitalists and accumulation
can be dismissed as a less than an essential drive (successful or
otherwise) of the c.m.p.