[OPE-L:2129] Re: markets and reproduction

From: clyder (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 05:16:26 EST

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> I'm afraid I seem to have missed something here. If we were to theorise a
> simple commodity producing society in which craftspeople and peasants
> exchange articles of consumption and means of production in the market,
> would that make those individual production units (or those means of
> production) capital and an economy based upon such units capitalist? Isn't
> the designation as capital based upon a particular social relation which
> missing in this case?
> Further, if those productive units (some or all) are driven to expand
> their stock of means of production (cattle, raw materials, etc) because,
> eg, of the pressure of family size and fortuitously are able to do so, why
> would expanded reproduction under private ownership denote capital and
> capitalism (in the Marxian sense)--- in the absence of that particular
> social relation marked by the purchase of wage-labour?
> Isn't this a form of obliterating the distinction between commodity
> production and capitalist commodity production?

If one were just talking about mere handarbeit then you might be justified,
but we are not talking about such a primitive economic basis. And even
this, as Lenin emphasised in his writings on the NEP constantly engenders
capitalist relations of production, sweats them from its very pores. His
writing on the differentiation of the peasantry into exploiter and exploited
makes this clear.

There is some possibility within agriculture of having units of production
which continue to produce commodities but do not engender captialist
relations - collective farms. They differ from other commodity producing
units in the following fashion:
1. their major productive input - land - is not a commodity, and cannot
   be purchased of sold.
2. there is a large measure of internal self sufficiency - many of the
    used are grown locally - fodder etc.
3. the participation in labout is hereditary rather than flexible, which
   the formation of wage relations.

If we are dealing instead with industrial enterprises, then the point that I
was making to Jurrian applies in full.

> in solidarity,
> mike
> Michael A. Lebowitz
> Economics Department
> Simon Fraser University
> Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
> Office: Phone (604) 291-4669
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