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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Keep in mind these manuscripts are at the very beginning of Marx's encounter with political economy. As such his critique of political economists is not very complete. It's hardly even begun. Marx certainly, over the next 20-25 years develops that critique, particularly of Adam Smith, and rejects Smith's descriptions of "fixed" and "circulating" capital-- presenting his own division which is based on value, on the value transmitted to the commodity during the production process.

Fixed capital, capital that transmits its value only incrementally to commodities, and over many cycles of production, can in fact only transmit that exchange value, that labor time embodied in it, to the extent that it gives up its use value-- breaks down, wears out, depreciates in production.

I don't know what you mean by the "simplification" of fixed capital. I do know that fixed capital tends to simplify the labor process directly involved in production and valorization. The demands on the production workers become less complicated, more repetitive; while demands on those designing, repairing, and maintaining the fixed capital can become more complicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:36 pm 
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I have read the first chapter of Capital and I noticed that the way Marx approaches political economy in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts is very different from his overall approach in Capital.

I was confused on the way Marx stated the following about simplification of fixed capital in the manuscripts. Perhaps I am spending too much time understanding the definitions that have not been ironed out by Marx yet.

Marx wrote:
It is generally true that the accumulation of large capital is also accompanied by a proportional concentration and simplification [bold added] of fixed capital, as compared to the smaller capitalists. The big capitalist introduces for himself some kind of organisation of the instruments of labour.


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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:29 pm 
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So capital is essentially stocks of labor that a capitalist has command over that creates revenue for the capitalist. It is important to note that positive law not only sanctifies the right to private property but also the purchasing power and governing power that a capitalist has over his capital. In other words positive law establishes the capitalist's right to treat the labor, shop and revenue as solely his. This is a main facet of liberal ideology, that is individualist civil liberties which extend mainly to private property, but also to other thing that we commonly associate with the term "civil liberties" the first amendment etc.

Now getting into the nitty gritty of capital. Marx says that the capitalist demands a profit proportional to the capital employed. So these stocks of labor generate revenue, that is of course only the money that a business gets back for the exchange of products. A capitalist makes profit off that revenue depending first, if they can replace the cost of wages at a profit. Entailed in this is of course the necessity of providing only the lowest possible wage. The capitalist then must make a profit on the cost of the materials used. Why does he lay of the order as wages first then raw materials? I do not know.

Marx states that it is difficult to establish a broad rule to determine the rate of profit. But it must be known that the lowest rate of profit must be something a little more than the necessary cost of business. But the specific rate of profit depends on the local economy, how little a capitalist is able to pay the workers’ wages. A high rate of profit is one which depends on the lowest possible wages and “the price of the greater part of commodities eats up the whole of the rent of the land.” What exactly does he mean by this quotation?

Marx states that interest on money gives an indication of the rate of profit. So one can tell how the rate of profit on capital is based on the interest rates of a given area.
“Wherever a great deal can be made by the use of money, a great deal will be given for the use of it; wherever little can be made by it, little will be given.” So basically, an indication that capital can yield great profit, lenders will lend at a higher rate and and when capital is not profitable, they will lend at a lower rate. (please correct me on this, I’m not confident this is correct)

Anyway the interest on money is more important for the 4th section of this so I’ll delve into that later.

This quote I find interesting and useful for summarizing the premise of capital.

“In the progress of the manufacture of a commodity, not only the number of profits increases, but every subsequent profit is greater than the foregoing; because the capital from which ||IV, 2| it is derived must always be greater. The capital which employs the weavers, for example, must always be greater than that which employs the spinners; because it not only replaces that capital with its profits, but pays, besides, the wages of weavers; and the profits must always bear some proportion to the capital.”
Again, growth in industry is the result of productive capital since every next stage of production tends to require more resources and at the same time must be profitable. It is also interesting to note in this quote that he says “The capital which employs the spinners..” Even though capital is essentially labor, capital *employs* labor, but it is labor that makes capital viable for the capitalist.

In the next section Marx explains that the sole motive of employing capital is profit. Not the needs of a society, not the usefulness of the products churned out by capital. A capitalist invests money in an area that might yield profit. This is why he says capital employs labor. I think of capital as like a space for which workers can sell their labor in, rather that just labors already producing something that gets captured by a capitalist (though, capturing a society’s preexisting productive forces and turning it into something that is profitable is a major part of the historical development of capitalism.)

The competition among capitalists is pretty straight forward. When capital accumulates it tends to multiply and becomes divided up under the command of competing capitalists. At this phase of development, the competition between capitalists forces them to raise wages and sell cheaper products which means lower profits. Interestingly we see that competition is bad for the capitalists and better for the rest of society.
Of course liberals are dogmatic about the “free market”, the idea that the market itself will naturally balance out the effects of capitalism. But Marx will eventually explain that rather than being a beneficent force the competition generally leads to overproduction and monopoly. “Competition among capitalists increases the accumulation of capital. Accumulation where private property prevails is, the concentration of capital into the hands of a few.”

Large capital accumulates more quickly than small capital (because of the proportion of profit to capital depends on the size of capital). So it is because of this fact that it is inevitable that monopoly will result. But at the same time, competition among capitalists diminishes the profit of capital.

“All people of [...] middling fortunes would be obliged to superintend themselves the employment of their own stocks.” What does he mean by this? What does it mean for a capitalist to “superintend the employment of their own stocks”? I thought they already did that? Is he saying that some capitalists are forced to sell their stock to others?

So basically in an already wealthy country it becomes more difficult to accumulate more capital, many capitalists rely on profits from interest on stock. Is this how the financial sector grows?
Smaller capitalists must buy stock in order to sustain on interest but as stock grows interest shrinks it becomes hard for smaller capitalists to accumulate capital because in they must buy more expensively and the larger capitalist can buy cheaper and even sell cheaper. A small capitalist will eventually sell out and the larger capitalist will absorb the smaller one’s capital.

I think the fourth section was the most difficult for me. The function of stock and interest in the competition among capitalists feels vague. I need someone to help me out with this. For example Whose stock is the small capitalist buying and getting interest from? And “But if a fall in the rate of interest turns the middle capitalists from rentiers into businessmen,” -- why would that make them wealthier?

I will post again later with more comments on overproduction and the overall chaos of the market.


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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:14 pm 
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DM wrote:
It also highlights the reality that a capitalist society always requires a working force to exploit.


Another reality that is important to remember is that capitalist society always produces, relatively and absolutely, more working force than it requires thus enabling it to forever work women and men to death as was briefly mentioned in the New Imperialism thread. ( post17753.html#p17753 )

DM wrote:
The working force doesn’t revolt for a number of reasons; among them is the threat of military force shutting down their revolt, social norm of being raised under a capitalist system, so the working class “believes” it to be normal, and a feeling of powerless. What can we do to change it? It doesn’t matter if I vote for a third party, they aren’t going to win. It has always been like this. These are some of the concerns I have and have heard from other working class members. I know these are broad and very open-ended questions, but it sort of illustrates the capitalist systems is the only thing people know since they have co-existed with it since they were born.


The working class does revolt though, but not always in a conscious, directed way. It revolts through racism, through sexism, through strikes, through riots, through occupations, through slow downs, through individual acts of terror. But this revulsion to the capitalist system does not constitute an effective means to tear it down and replace it with something new. The working class learns from experience, from history, what direction it must steer its efforts in. The condensation of this history and experience is Marxism.

It is also worth noting that, regardless of if a third party wins any given election, capitalism cannot be overthrown with the ballot box, and bourgeois politics in general are a dead-end for struggle.



DM wrote:
The final point I want to make is based on Ricardo’s observation, “Nations are merely production-shops; man is a machine for consuming and producing: human life is a kind of capital; economic laws blindly rule the world”. This made me realize that in a capitalist society people who are mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, or in any way physically or mentally incapable of producing, than they are useless. Since they are not part of the production they don’t get any “benefits” and the burden of caring for them usually falls on the loved ones or other working people.


Not only this, but anyone that capital rejects from the process of production in general falls in to the category of "useless" as far as capital is concerned. Except they aren't useless. Their almost non-existence enables the capitalists to push wages even further down. People fully capable of being productive are rejected from production precisely because capitalism is always a system of overproduction, overproduction of the means of production, of commodities, of people. There's too many commodities that can't be sold to too many people that can't afford them because there's too many empty factories that can't employ the unemployed.

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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:48 pm 
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N00BMarxist wrote:
The capitalist then must make a profit on the cost of the materials used. Why does he lay of the order as wages first then raw materials? I do not know.


I'm not sure there's any significance to the order.

N00BMarxist wrote:
Marx states that it is difficult to establish a broad rule to determine the rate of profit. But it must be known that the lowest rate of profit must be something a little more than the necessary cost of business. But the specific rate of profit depends on the local economy, how little a capitalist is able to pay the workers’ wages. A high rate of profit is one which depends on the lowest possible wages and “the price of the greater part of commodities eats up the whole of the rent of the land.” What exactly does he mean by this quotation?


It is worth noting that we will establish a broad rule to determine the rate of profit in later investigations of Capital.

As to your questions, the quotation is based on a common conception that was held in political economy at the time, that the price of a commodity can be resolved in to three parts, wages of labor, profits of capital, and rent of land. Sound familiar? Marx later completely abandons this notion of price being constituted by these three parts. The quote, then, means that the rent of land completely disappears as a part of the price of a commodity, that it gets eaten up by that part that constitutes profit of capital.

N00BMarxist wrote:
Marx states that interest on money gives an indication of the rate of profit. So one can tell how the rate of profit on capital is based on the interest rates of a given area.
“Wherever a great deal can be made by the use of money, a great deal will be given for the use of it; wherever little can be made by it, little will be given.” So basically, an indication that capital can yield great profit, lenders will lend at a higher rate and and when capital is not profitable, they will lend at a lower rate. (please correct me on this, I’m not confident this is correct)


Sounds good to me.

N00BMarxist wrote:
This quote I find interesting and useful for summarizing the premise of capital.

“In the progress of the manufacture of a commodity, not only the number of profits increases, but every subsequent profit is greater than the foregoing; because the capital from which ||IV, 2| it is derived must always be greater. The capital which employs the weavers, for example, must always be greater than that which employs the spinners; because it not only replaces that capital with its profits, but pays, besides, the wages of weavers; and the profits must always bear some proportion to the capital.”
Again, growth in industry is the result of productive capital since every next stage of production tends to require more resources and at the same time must be profitable. It is also interesting to note in this quote that he says “The capital which employs the spinners..” Even though capital is essentially labor, capital *employs* labor, but it is labor that makes capital viable for the capitalist.


This might be true if the spinners consume the entirety of the commodities produced by the weavers, but as a rule they do not.

N00BMarxist wrote:
I think of capital as like a space for which workers can sell their labor in, rather that just labors already producing something that gets captured by a capitalist (though, capturing a society’s preexisting productive forces and turning it into something that is profitable is a major part of the historical development of capitalism.)


The point is that capital consists also of labour. Capital is not capital unless it can produce a commodity and sell it at a profit, this requires a combination of labour, raw and auxillary materials, and machinery. If a labourer is unemployed he is not functioning as capital, similarly for the machine and materials. It is not a space, it is a social productive force.

Additionally, capitalism captures preexisting productive forces and then is unable to revolutionise them, to modernise them, without coming in to contradiction with the very basis of capitalism, private property.

N00BMarxist wrote:
“All people of [...] middling fortunes would be obliged to superintend themselves the employment of their own stocks.” What does he mean by this? What does it mean for a capitalist to “superintend the employment of their own stocks”? I thought they already did that? Is he saying that some capitalists are forced to sell their stock to others?


Right, so basically if you had a decent fortune it was possible for you to just loan it out and be a money capitalist living off of interest. But once the interest rate plummets those of middling fortunes have to actually use their money, or stock (it is in this sense he uses this word, I'm not sure if stock markets existed in 1844), to become productive capitalists proper. The super rich are still able to live merely off of interest though due to proportional returns.

N00BMarxist wrote:
I think the fourth section was the most difficult for me. The function of stock and interest in the competition among capitalists feels vague. I need someone to help me out with this. For example Whose stock is the small capitalist buying and getting interest from? And “But if a fall in the rate of interest turns the middle capitalists from rentiers into businessmen,” -- why would that make them wealthier?

I will post again later with more comments on overproduction and the overall chaos of the market.


I think with the new explanation of the word "stock" you may find your questions answered. For the quote, rentier was kind of an insult to refer to non-productive revenue such as interest and rent. All they had to do was sit around and collect interest and rent, they were rentiers. Becoming a businessmen from being a rentier does not make you wealthier, it would generally imply the opposite, namely that the rate of interest dropped so that you could no longer live on the interest of your stock but now must invest your stock into production.

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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:22 pm 
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I'm going to preface by saying that I don't actually intend to summarize the work this time. Rent has something different going on behind it than does profit and wages, so I plan to try and highlight this instead.

Rent of land is one of the more amusing sections of the manuscripts, as Marx devotes a pretty sizeable portion of the opening to painting the picture that political economists make for rent of land only to later on say

Marx wrote:
Now, however, let us consider the rent of land as it is formed in real life.


So why does Marx bother to sketch their views at all? Luckily he tells us outright that he wanted to show how political economy attributes the properties of the soil to the person who owns the soil, this is a common theme that we can observe happening that Marx highlights in various works, whereby the properties of one thing are attributed to the owner of the thing.

So once more we come to see that, like wages, rent is determined through struggle, in this case the struggle between the tenant-farmer and the landlord. Typically the tenant-farmer will employ several workers and in this way function as an industrial capitalist, but out in the fields. On that note, the landlord will now function as the financier of this industrial capitalist, with the rent to be paid functioning as interest, and indeed, Marx notes the concomitance of interest and rent. This essential fact, that rent and interest generally coincide, shows us that the price of land is merely its capitalisation.

But why this round-about method for capitalisation of land? Why is rent and the landlord so obviously hated by Adam Smith? The answer lies in the history that Smith occupies. Capitalism has not yet come in to its own, it does not yet completely dominate the world. It competes still with feudalism. Adam Smith is one of the spokesmen for capitalism against feudalism, and the landlord is nothing but the feudal lord in a new guise.

Rent is the mechanism by which Capitalism comes to break feudalism apart and integrate the old peasants and serfs as wage labourers, and either ruin the old feudal lords completely or force them to become capitalists themselves.

Marx wrote:
The final consequence is thus the abolition of the distinction between capitalist and landowner, so that there remain altogether only two classes of the population – the working class and the class of capitalists. This huckstering with landed property, the transformation of landed property into a commodity, constitutes the final overthrow of the old and the final establishment of the money aristocracy.


But it isn't just rent in the absolute ahistorical sense, Marx notes that how the feudal lord consumed rent differs from how the more modern land lord consumes rent. That the feudal society produced for use, whereas the capitalist society produces solely for exchange.

Marx wrote:
Finally, the feudal lord does not try to extract the utmost advantage from his land. Rather, he consumes what is there and calmly leaves the worry of producing to the serfs and the tenants.


Moreover, Capitalism's most fundamental tenant is the separation of the direct producers from the means of production and Marx shows us how rent serves to accomplish this via the effective expropriation of the small farmers who do not employ any workers.

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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Adam Smith’s evaluation of rent of land is one of a “reasonable profit or interest for the stock laid out by the landlord upon its improvement”. However reasonable doesn’t truly exist in a landowner and tenant relationship and it is more equated to robbery and to a struggle, which I think it is a more accurate description than using “reasonable profit”. Again landowners must leave enough for the tenant to be able to maintain its capital, materials, and pay labour, but tries to make sure to squeeze as much as possible from the tenant. There is again this hierarchy of the landowner exploiting the tenant and the tenant exploiting the workers to transfer the wealth up.

The landowner demands rent on “unimproved land”, which I imagine is land not suitable for farming without proper care and also if the tenant makes improvement it just benefits the landowner’s capital reserves. Adam Smith in his passages makes a big distinction of capitalist and landowner as the landlords being the ones who have to the least labour to obtain capital. However, I don’t think there is a big distinction between amount of labour put forth by both the capitalist and the landowner since the role of production falls in both cases to the worker. It is the worker’s labour that can be exploited and profited from.

The rent of land is largely dependent on the fertility of the land (food being produced) and the location of the land. The rent of land is also determined by the price of commodities being high or low. There are relationships between production, capital, and fertility of the soil. When the lands have equal natural fertility, then it is how production is managed and how much capital is invested to make a profit. However, if the size of the capital and the production is equal, then their natural fertility will determine the profits. Then rent of land can be increased by improvement of roads/waterways; increase in population; improvement upon the land (usually by the tenant); increase in price of produce while labour wages stay the same; technological advance that reduce the price of manufacturing. All these events are usually not a result of the big landowner investing any capital, but the smaller landowner who farms his/her own land must make the improvements of his own land.

The following quote from Adam Smith stood out to me:

Adam Smith wrote:
Countries are populous not in proportion to the number of people whom their produce can clothe and lodge, but in proportion to that of those whom it can feed.

It sounds as though food is the thing that plays a greater role in determining the population growth of a country, but in a capitalist society I feel as though the population size is determined by the profit margins of capitalist. It is not profitable to feed the entire country since capitalist needs to have a section of beggars and it isn’t profitable to feed people who are excluded from the production process.

For the following point I think it is important to make the distinction there are three major classes being discussed: 1. Big landowner- tenant(capitalist) who employs workers to farm the land. 2. Big landowner-tenant (not capitalist) who farms landowner’s land. 3. Small landowner who farms their own land. I mentioned the increase in rent of land in the previous section, which isn’t necessarily beneficial to both the tenant (not a capitalist) and the landowners whom both farm their own land. Both have to use their limited capital to improve the land and must have reserve cash when the rent of land increases. Also the smaller landowner can be starved by the bigger landowner in the market. Similar concept to the previous section of reducing the price of the commodity by the big capitalist to starve out the smaller capitalist. The reduction on the price of the commodity in turns creates more competition among the smaller landowner while the big landowner can live off the interest on their capital from renting out their land. Marx ends up stating that from three classes it ends up just being two classes: Big landowners (capitalist) and workers by the establishment of land as a commodity.

The last section focuses on the complete establishment of land as a commodity and how the previous landowner and tenant (capitalist) relationship stops to exist because capitalist system forces the resulting two classes: capitalist (exploiters) and workers (exploited). Also monopolies are mentioned in this last part. Monopolies are the establishment of private property, which also follows the laws of competition. I am confused by the following quote and what it means to generalize monopolies?

Marx wrote:
The first abolition of monopoly is always its generalization, the broadening of its existence. The abolition of monopoly, once it has come to exist in its utmost breadth and inclusiveness, is its total annihilation.


How is the division of landed property perishing through property in a different way than in industry?
There was a shift at the time of industry in England, which put the industrialist against the large landowners. The industrial aspect of England forces the large landowners to compete in the world market, which increases its competition. This forced a lot of fluctuations and eventually led to an extreme partitioning of the lands. This pushed a lot of small landowners and incompetent tenants(capitalist) to become workers, which created a lot of unemployed workers reducing overall wages.


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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:59 pm 
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In many aspects, rent functions similarly to profit from capital, as it is also derived from the law of private property. Rent is the price paid for the use of land. The position of landlord is one of the most parasitic roles within the ruling class because a landlord's revenue comes from labor which he does not employ (as landlord, though, he likely is also a business owner) and he also does not have to pay the costs of improving the land for better production. He holds ownership over the powers of nature and therefore he profits off of the basic necessities of society; food, water, shelter and natural resources. The size of rent depends of the fertility of the land, whether it be agriculture, industry, or the extraction of natural resources. Adam Smith describes how rent also depends on the “situation” of the land, which means that the capital employed on the land must be proportionate to the fertility of the land to get the fullest yield. Marx urges us not to assume that landed property’s interests are in line with society’s only because the landlord benefits from the improvement of society’s productive forces. Like the capitalist, the landlord profits from the exploitation of workers, and along with the employer of capital, Marx argues, that the landlord's interests run opposed to the interests of larger society. Similar to how the capitalist pays the lowest possible wage to the worker, just enough for sustenance, the landlord charges the highest possible rent to the tenant. The rent includes within it the price of food, which tenant farmers produce. So as we can see, even though it is the farmer who is producing food for society as well as for his/her own sustenance, as a rule, the landlord charges the farmer for the use of land and therefore his/her own sustenance. The more productive the farmer or any other tenant, the higher the rent gets because that is the improvement of the land that the landlord takes ownership of. And as a general rule in capitalism, the gaining of wealth for the landlord means ruination for his competitors as well as the immiseration of the working class. The role of the rent of land in driving the immiseration of society can be explained here “As the landlord can demand all the more rent from the tenant farmer the less wages the farmer pays, and as the farmer forces down wages all the lower the more rent the landlord demands, it follows that the interest of the landlord is just as hostile to that of the farm workers as is that of the manufacturers to their workers. He likewise forces down wages to the minimum.”

The competition between landlords demonstrates yet again how the interest of private property runs opposite to that of society at large. Marx points out how often the competition between large and small landowner results in the forfeiture of society's productive powers. The reason for this is because the rent of the larger and more cultivated piece of land regulates the smaller. It is in the interest of the bigger property to increase improvements but for the smaller every improvement means a loss because “Big landed property accumulates to itself the interest on the capital which the tenant farmer has employed to improve the land. Small landed property has to employ its own capital, and therefore does not get this profit at all.” Eventually the smaller property will have to be sold and absorbed into the larger, or the small landowner continues to keep the land underdeveloped in order to remain a proprietor.
Marx explains that the phenomenon of landed property is rooted in feudal property and that the disappearance of serfdom and the transformation of feudal landed property into property that employs capital is part of the natural progression of property. Marx describes that landed property being once part of an almost religious form of social organization “be dragged completely into the movement of private property and that it become a commodity; that the rule of the proprietor appear as the undisguised rule of private property, of capital, freed of all political tincture; that the relationship between proprietor and worker be reduced to the economic relationship of exploiter and exploited;” This last statement is an interesting to me because I think it can also be applied to economic nationalism and the phenomena referred to as “neoliberalism.” As long as capitalism remains, certain kinds of social organization are eventually outmoded because they do not serve capital efficiently enough. It seems that at this point in history most landowners are also employers of capital.


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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:00 pm 
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DM wrote:
Adam Smith’s evaluation of rent of land is one of a “reasonable profit or interest for the stock laid out by the landlord upon its improvement”. However reasonable doesn’t truly exist in a landowner and tenant relationship and it is more equated to robbery and to a struggle, which I think it is a more accurate description than using “reasonable profit”. Again landowners must leave enough for the tenant to be able to maintain its capital, materials, and pay labour, but tries to make sure to squeeze as much as possible from the tenant. There is again this hierarchy of the landowner exploiting the tenant and the tenant exploiting the workers to transfer the wealth up.


This "squeeze" on the capitalist tenant is the same squeeze felt by the productive capitalist with regard to interest on money-capital, Marx later makes reference to this concamitance between rent and interest. Because of this coincidence between rent and interest, rent necessarily drops like a rock occasionally just as interest does, which, just like the capitalist simply trying to live off of the interest of his capital, the landlord is now forced to enter production as more than just a landlord. The landlord is force to conform to new social relations i.e. the relations of capitalist production.

DM wrote:
The landowner demands rent on “unimproved land”, which I imagine is land not suitable for farming without proper care and also if the tenant makes improvement it just benefits the landowner’s capital reserves. Adam Smith in his passages makes a big distinction of capitalist and landowner as the landlords being the ones who have to the least labour to obtain capital. However, I don’t think there is a big distinction between amount of labour put forth by both the capitalist and the landowner since the role of production falls in both cases to the worker. It is the worker’s labour that can be exploited and profited from.


Yea, as I said above, the political economists pretty much reviled the landlords for not doing anything. Their argument for the lack of labour for capitalists would generally be that the capitalist has to bring together the machinery and workers, i.e. that they have to have a plan for producing whereas the landlords simply rent land out to people who want it. The better comparison would be the one between big landlord and moneyed capitalist who just subsists off the interest of his money, but as already noted and mentioned in the previous section, the interest of money stops being enough to subsist on except for the super-rich at some point, thus forcing them into performing capitalist "labour"

DM wrote:
The rent of land is largely dependent on the fertility of the land (food being produced) and the location of the land. The rent of land is also determined by the price of commodities being high or low. There are relationships between production, capital, and fertility of the soil. When the lands have equal natural fertility, then it is how production is managed and how much capital is invested to make a profit. However, if the size of the capital and the production is equal, then their natural fertility will determine the profits. Then rent of land can be increased by improvement of roads/waterways; increase in population; improvement upon the land (usually by the tenant); increase in price of produce while labour wages stay the same; technological advance that reduce the price of manufacturing. All these events are usually not a result of the big landowner investing any capital, but the smaller landowner who farms his/her own land must make the improvements of his own land.


The last sentence here is the most important one. Capitalism is contingent upon the forcible separation of the direct producers from the means of production in order to force them to present their labour-power as a commodity upon the market. The smaller landowner that farms their own land is a direct producer that MUST be removed from the means of production. Rent and the competition with larger landed property owners that are not direct producers is the mechanism of this expropriation.

DM wrote:
The following quote from Adam Smith stood out to me:

Adam Smith wrote:
Countries are populous not in proportion to the number of people whom their produce can clothe and lodge, but in proportion to that of those whom it can feed.

It sounds as though food is the thing that plays a greater role in determining the population growth of a country, but in a capitalist society I feel as though the population size is determined by the profit margins of capitalist. It is not profitable to feed the entire country since capitalist needs to have a section of beggars and it isn’t profitable to feed people who are excluded from the production process.


Right, the point is that Capitalism is always ejecting and reinjecting people to and from the production process in order to keep wages at the absolute minimum that can be paid.

DM wrote:
For the following point I think it is important to make the distinction there are three major classes being discussed: 1. Big landowner- tenant(capitalist) who employs workers to farm the land. 2. Big landowner-tenant (not capitalist) who farms landowner’s land. 3. Small landowner who farms their own land. I mentioned the increase in rent of land in the previous section, which isn’t necessarily beneficial to both the tenant (not a capitalist) and the landowners whom both farm their own land. Both have to use their limited capital to improve the land and must have reserve cash when the rent of land increases. Also the smaller landowner can be starved by the bigger landowner in the market. Similar concept to the previous section of reducing the price of the commodity by the big capitalist to starve out the smaller capitalist. The reduction on the price of the commodity in turns creates more competition among the smaller landowner while the big landowner can live off the interest on their capital from renting out their land. Marx ends up stating that from three classes it ends up just being two classes: Big landowners (capitalist) and workers by the establishment of land as a commodity.


And this is basically the crux of the section, the establishment of two classes rather than three, and an exploration of the mechanism (rent) which does this.

DM wrote:
Also monopolies are mentioned in this last part. Monopolies are the establishment of private property, which also follows the laws of competition. I am confused by the following quote and what it means to generalize monopolies?

Marx wrote:
The first abolition of monopoly is always its generalization, the broadening of its existence. The abolition of monopoly, once it has come to exist in its utmost breadth and inclusiveness, is its total annihilation.


How is the division of landed property perishing through property in a different way than in industry?


Right, so, the generalisation of monopolies is simply the generalisation of private property. Before it was essentially just landed property, but now private property has become generalised, everything is capable of being private property now, not just land.

As for the last question, I think you are referring to the final line in the section which reads.

Marx wrote:
Landed property had to develop in each of these two ways so as to experience in both its necessary downfall, just as industry both in the form of monopoly and in that of competition had to ruin itself so as to learn to believe in man.


The two different ways that landed property could develop is that of partitioned land and of large plots of land, just as in industry via competition or monopoly. Either method, as we have seen, leads to the ruin of society leading us to "believe in man" rather than in industry (production for profit). Here we're setting up for the next section.

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 Post subject: Re: Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 reading gro
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:28 pm 
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N00BMarxist wrote:
In many aspects, rent functions similarly to profit from capital, as it is also derived from the law of private property.


This statement is difficult, because wages are also derived from the law of private property. Things become no easier if we modify it to say that it is derived from the ownership of private property, because the labourer owns his/her labour, until s/he sells it as well.

What makes rent appear similar to profit is that it yields a revenue to its owner without requiring the expenditure of labour, but it is most similar to interest as Marx notes.

N00BMarxist wrote:
The position of landlord is one of the most parasitic roles within the ruling class because a landlord's revenue comes from labor which he does not employ (as landlord, though, he likely is also a business owner) and he also does not have to pay the costs of improving the land for better production.


Here we can see the similarity of the position of the landlord and the capitalist that lives simply on interest of money. Neither actually employs labour, and neither has to worry about paying the costs of improving capital for productive purposes. Where their position differs, however, is very significant. The landlord is not an ahistoric category. Typically they emerge from feudalism. As such there can be thought of three types of land owners. The super large landowners that live simply off of interest, the landowners which are also capitalists, and the peasants that own their own land.

N00BMarxist wrote:
So as we can see, even though it is the farmer who is producing food for society as well as for his/her own sustenance, as a rule, the landlord charges the farmer for the use of land and therefore his/her own sustenance. The more productive the farmer or any other tenant, the higher the rent gets because that is the improvement of the land that the landlord takes ownership of. And as a general rule in capitalism, the gaining of wealth for the landlord means ruination for his competitors as well as the immiseration of the working class. The role of the rent of land in driving the immiseration of society can be explained here “As the landlord can demand all the more rent from the tenant farmer the less wages the farmer pays, and as the farmer forces down wages all the lower the more rent the landlord demands, it follows that the interest of the landlord is just as hostile to that of the farm workers as is that of the manufacturers to their workers. He likewise forces down wages to the minimum.”


This is key. The tenant farmer owns the means of production, seed for planting crops, shovels, spades, farm equipment in general. But the tenant farmer is also a direct producer. Historically this situation exists as a carry-over from the transition from feudalism to capitalism. But capitalism does NOT exist while the direct producer is also the owner of the product or the means of production. Rent is the mechanism through which the tenant farmer is ruined and forced in to the working class. Rent is the mechanism which expropriates agricultural peasants and brings them in to the fold of capitalism by making them in to free labourers.

N00BMarxist wrote:
The competition between landlords demonstrates yet again how the interest of private property runs opposite to that of society at large. Marx points out how often the competition between large and small landowner results in the forfeiture of society's productive powers.


This apparent forfeiture of society's productive powers is actually the conversion of those powers from their feudal form to their capitalistic form.

N00BMarxist wrote:
Eventually the smaller property will have to be sold and absorbed into the larger, or the small landowner continues to keep the land underdeveloped in order to remain a proprietor.


On the contrary, the smaller property has no choice, competition ruins him by driving the price of his product so low that he is unable to continue purchasing the means of production which require renewal. The direct producer is again expropriated.

N00BMarxist wrote:
As long as capitalism remains, certain kinds of social organization are eventually outmoded because they do not serve capital efficiently enough. It seems that at this point in history most landowners are also employers of capital.


Once more contrarily, rent is an example by which outmoded forms of production are able to co-exist with capitalism. Capitalism uses these forms for ever further accumulation without being able to fully revolutionise them to the capitalist mode of production proper, in the case of rent, to do so would be to concentrate land on a massive scale for huge levels of farming, the only way this could be done, however, is to violate private property on a massive scale and thus undermine the very basis of this revolution. Eventually, through protracted and painful process of expropriation, the old forms are brought in to the fold, but the old forms can be made to serve capital.

And you are right in noting that, at least for most of the western world, feudalistic forms have been well and done away with and capitalism holds full sway both in form and in substance.

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