RE: [OPE] market socialism

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Tue Jul 01 2008 - 18:02:38 EDT

It seems to me that lending money at interest is not exploitation. The
lender postpones their consumption for a future data, the borrower gets
to consume now, and effective demand is smoothed. A natural rate of
interest on the loan will preserve the lender's spending power through
time. This is an equal exchange.


This involves a rather na´ve view of lending. Lending at interests has been since the time of Aristotle because its exploitative nature was so evident.

The usurer of the past, or the merchant bank of today, was not 'postponing consumption', they were and are in the business of lending to make money as a business, in order to grow their capital. The distinction between equity capital and loan capital is relatively superficial and indicates a rather anglo saxon perspective on capitalism. Outside of the English speaking world, finance capital, rather than equity capital has been a characteristic form of ownership of large industry. Taken at face value, your argument would suggest that the classic German model of capitalism described by Hilferding would not be exploitative.

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