[OPE-L:4409] Re: the end of *Capital*

Paul Cockshot (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 04:03:09 -0800 (PST)

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> After stating that the "owners of mere labour-power, the owners of
> and the landowners, whose respective sources of income are wages, profit
> and ground-rent -- in other words wage-labourers, capitalists and
> landowners -- form the three great classes of modern society based on the
> capitalist mode of production", Marx goes on to write that "it is
> undeniably in England that this modern society and its economic
> articulation is most widely and most classically developed" (Penguin ed.,
> p. 1025).
> Of course, it is more questionable today whether 19th century England
> represented the "most widely and classically developed" instance of
> society based on the capitalist mode of production. Should this continue
> to be the main historical example of capitalism that is referred to for
> to conceptualize the operation of this mode of production?

What can be seen as a defense of this thesis of Marxs about 19th century
England is made in Ellen Meiksins-wood's book 'The Pristine Culture of
where she argues that the English social formation, was a particularly
pure example of the domination of the capitalist mode of production over
all others, to the extent that pre-capitalist economic relations were quite