[OPE] US Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Financial Institutions -Bloomberg.com

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@tiscali.nl>
Date: Sun Nov 30 2008 - 07:52:44 EST


It's important, imo, not to confuse accumulation with accumulation of _capital_. A
simple (or, not-so-simple) redistribution of monetary assets is not the same thing
as the accumulation of capital.

Well that is trivially true - wealth may be amassed ("accumulated") without functioning as investment capital in some form - and I agree with this, but it sidesteps the substantive point Marx makes, which is that the chrematistic operation of using and transforming a sum of money into a larger sum of money can take many different forms, which need not involve production at all (and therefore need not involve a net addition to the stock of asset wealth) at all, though in the last analysis it does presuppose this.

When Marx refers to the "general law of capitalist accumulation" he is referring to "the capitalist mode of production" (more specifically, to the reinvestment of realised profit from production back into production), but in fact the existence and formation of capital does not - at least according to Marx - even presuppose or require the capitalist mode of production. For example, the existence of "usury capital" does not presuppose a capitalist mode of production and historically speaking has, according to Marx, an "antediluvian existence". Capital (money or assets used to extract interest, rent, profit or capital gain) existed for thousands of years without any specifically capitalist mode of production (see further on this e.g. : P.D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History. Cambridge: CUP, 1984).

However I have realised it is useless trying to discuss Marx's historical theory of capital accumulation with Marxists, because they just don't get it, so I will drop the whole topic.


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Received on Sun Nov 30 07:54:41 2008

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