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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:16 am 
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You put yourself in the pincer movement by your ahistorical historicism, and your failure to apprehend Marx's analysis.


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Perhaps some bourgeois writers/schools make the argument that the existence of simple commodity production before capitalism proves that capitalism is eternal, but I'm not making that argument and I don't think it follows from recognising the point that Marx's analysis of the commodity holds also for the pre-capitalist commodity (which Broletariat's quote leaves no doubt about I think).


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:53 pm 
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Reconsidering the Early Modern Urban Economy: The Cases of Leiden and Lille https://www.jstor.org/stable/650490?seq ... b_contents

This article criticises the dominant historiography (including Marx) that capitalism emerged from the merchant putting-out system 'subsuming' production (previoulsy carried out within the household), by theorising that:

Quote:
Small commodity production was, in fact, an endeavour
both to achieve a high level of output and to preserve critical
aspects of the urban community. As such, though destined never to
become the dominant system, it was not simply transitional or intermediate
but formed one of the "obstacles" to the rise of capitalism,
one which, because it was created in response to changing circumstances,
was resistant to many of the forces which had undermined
medieval craft production. Far from being allowed to operate autonomously,
market forces were mediated by political classes whose civic
concerns imposed a course of action very different from that predicted
by current historiography.
Thus for all that the commodity market was developing apace, that
capital was being used to an increasingly greater extent, that wage
labour was becoming more common - for all that the old urban craft
production had broken down - capitalism was not necessarily imminent.
Instead, merchant elites and artisans alike could be mobilized
not merely to obstruct evolution towards capitalism or to bolster up
an obsolete system but to devise a new mode of production appropriate
to contemporary economic realities and ideologies concerning
the well-ordered society and anchored firmly in moral considerations
and political institutions.


But the article also gives a quote from the Grundrisse, where perhaps Marx had in mind a system of small commodity production when he spoke of '"intermediate species, the species between the old modes of production":

Quote:
While, as we have seen, the transformation of money into capital presupposes a historic process which divorces the objective conditions of labour from the worker and makes them independent of him, it is at the same time the effect of capital and of its process, once arisen, to conquer all of production and to develop and complete the divorce between labour and property, between labour and the objective conditions of labour, everywhere. It will be seen in the course of the further development how capital destroys craft and artisan labour, working small-landownership etc., together with itself in forms in which it does not appear in opposition to labour – in small capital and in the intermediate species, the species between the old modes of production (or their renewal on the foundation of capital) and the classical, adequate mode of production of capital itself.
The only stockpiling presupposed at the origin of capital is that of monetary wealth, which, regarded in and for itself, is altogether unproductive, as it only springs up out of circulation and belongs exclusively to it. Capital rapidly forms an internal market for itself by destroying all rural secondary occupations, so that it spins, weaves for everyone, clothes everyone etc., in short, brings the commodities previously created as direct use values into the form of exchange values, a process which comes about by itself through the separation of the workers from land and soil and from property (even in the form of serf property) in the conditions of production.
With the urban crafts, although they rest essentially on exchange and on the creation of exchange values, the direct and chief aim of this production is subsistence as craftsmen, as master-journeymen, hence use value; not wealth, not exchange value as exchange value. Production is therefore always subordinated to a given consumption, supply to demand, and expands only slowly.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... e/ch09.htm

key passage in original German:
Quote:
Es wird sich bei der weitern
Entwicklung zeigen, wie das Kapital handwerksmäßige Arbeit, arbeitendes kleines
Grundeigentum etc. und sich selbst vernichtet in den Formen, wo es nicht im Gegensatz zur
Arbeit erscheint – im kleinen Kapital und den Mittelgattungen, Zwittergattungen zwischen
den alten Produktionsweisen (oder wie sie sich auf Grundlage des Kapitals erneuert haben)
und der klassischen, adäquaten Produktionsweise des Kapitals selbst.


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Speculation, speculation, and more speculation. Points to keep in mind-- as you yourself reference, SCP is not put forward by Marx as a precursor, transition, intermediate, forerunner, embryonic moment of capitalism. The law of value is not regulating society where isolated incidents, areas, that appear to be "simple commodity production" occur, thus the entire notion of "equal exchange" is irrelevant.

Marx does not unequivocally come down on the side of the "putting out system" as the origin of capitalism in England. I think Marx is much more in line with Brenner's research and arguments than the "merchant morphing into industrial capitalist" through "putting out."


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:11 pm 
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Noa wrote:
Perhaps some bourgeois writers/schools make the argument that the existence of simple commodity production before capitalism proves that capitalism is eternal, but I'm not making that argument and I don't think it follows from recognising the point that Marx's analysis of the commodity holds also for the pre-capitalist commodity (which Broletariat's quote leaves no doubt about I think).



Why would Marx occupy the first chapters of Capital with a so-called history of the development of a commodity...as you propose, as opposed to what those chapters are transparently-- the explication of the modes of value, so that we are compelled to recognize that the organization of labor as a commodity, labor-power as time of reproduction, is the relation essential to the existence of capital?


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:01 am 
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Quote:
The law of value is not regulating society where isolated incidents, areas, that appear to be "simple commodity production" occur, thus the entire notion of "equal exchange" is irrelevant.


Irrelevant to what? It does not regulate society as a whole, that we agree. But because the commodity is relatively marginal in pre-captialist societies, it does not follow that its study is irrelevant.

Quote:
Why would Marx occupy the first chapters of Capital with a so-called history of the development of a commodity...as you propose, as opposed to what those chapters are transparently-- the explication of the modes of value, so that we are compelled to recognize that the organization of labor as a commodity, labor-power as time of reproduction, is the relation essential to the existence of capital?


He explains the forms of value by the tracing the genesis of exchange value, a task not done yet by others. Money in itself (like capital) is not a natural category.

Quote:
In fact we started from exchange value, or the exchange relation of commodities, in order to get at the value that lies hidden behind it. We must now return to this form under which value first appeared to us.

Every one knows, if he knows nothing else, that commodities have a value form common to them all, and presenting a marked contrast with the varied bodily forms of their use values. I mean their money form. Here, however, a task is set us, the performance of which has never yet even been attempted by bourgeois economy, the task of tracing the genesis of this money form, of developing the expression of value implied in the value relation of commodities, from its simplest, almost imperceptible outline, to the dazzling money-form. By doing this we shall, at the same time, solve the riddle presented by money.


Some lines in chapter 2 that the development of the forms of value coincides with the historical development:

Quote:
The historical progress and extension of exchanges develops the contrast, latent in commodities, between use-value and value. The necessity for giving an external expression to this contrast for the purposes of commercial intercourse, urges on the establishment of an independent form of value, and finds no rest until it is once for all satisfied by the differentiation of commodities into commodities and money. At the same rate, then, as the conversion of products into commodities is being accomplished, so also is the conversion of one special commodity into money.
...
Nomad races are the first to develop the money-form, because all their worldly goods consist of moveable objects and are therefore directly alienable; and because their mode of life, by continually bringing them into contact with foreign communities, solicits the exchange of products.
...
In proportion as exchange bursts its local bonds, and the value of commodities more and more expands into an embodiment of human labour in the abstract, in the same proportion the character of money attaches itself to commodities that are by Nature fitted to perform the social function of a universal equivalent. Those commodities are the precious metals.
...
We have seen how the progressive development of a society of commodity-producers stamps one privileged commodity with the character of money.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... 1/ch02.htm


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:07 am 
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Back on page 2 of this thread, you produce citations to buttress the claim that SCP represents a transition to, an emergence of capitalism, or maybe we should call it "complicated commodity production." Then you flip, and propose that it was not a transition or emergence of complicated commodity production.

Now you seem to be back to arguing that it is that transition, or a pre-cursor, or perhaps something that stands in relation to capitalism like "primitive communism" stands to communism.

Yes, exchange exists prior to capitalism-- but simple commodity production, where production is determined by exchange, determined for exchange does not exist.

I don't know what your point really is, except to argue against whatever other points are raised. My point is this: SCP is historically irrelevant. Marx uses abstraction to bore into the relations of value, a process, method only possible because the commodity production actually extant is not "simple."


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:54 am 
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Actually Dunaevsky stressed the difference between simple commodity production and capitalist production: the operation of the law of value doesn't get just more 'complexified' under capitalism (as Rubin posited), but fundamentally changes.

I didn't say that SCP is a precursor to capitalism, but it did attain classic form between the decline of feudalism and the advent of capitalism. It doesn't automatically/teleologically have to lead to capitalism, and in that Grundrisse-quote Marx seems to say, that capitalism smashes that "inter-species" mode of production (in which there is no capital- wagelabour opposition), or re-constitutes it on a capitalist basis (like the French peasants after the revolution).

Exchange by individual producers prior to capitalism is for the sake of subsistence (C-M-C), and that seems to have been the, quite uncontroversial I'd thought, point of Tony Smith; or as Marx said in relation to crafts (again in the quote from Grundrisse):

Quote:
With the urban crafts, although they rest essentially on exchange and on the creation of exchange values, the direct and chief aim of this production is subsistence as craftsmen, as master-journeymen, hence use value; not wealth, not exchange value as exchange value. Production is therefore always subordinated to a given consumption, supply to demand, and expands only slowly.


We have not even started a debate yet, so when you write that "My point is this: SCP is historically irrelevant" – I don't know what that means, or what position it is directed against. If you mean to say that the law of value can't apply in SCP (or if this phrase is misleading, just call it exchange by individual producers prior to capitalism), then this would at least connect to an actual debate carried on by Parvus/Rubin against Engels/Kautsky/Dunaevsky etc.

I don't deny that Marx uses abstraction in his tracing of the genesis of exchange value, money. My modest, not-at-all-contrarian, point is that it applies also to the commodity/money prior to capitalism, and that it entails a progressive historical development from a society without exchange, or mere barter, to one where exchange developed (again, still quite primitive, marginal) but still enough to speak of such a category as world money.


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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Alright Noa, you've openly contradicted yourself a few times at this point.

You began this by saying that SCP as a dominant mode of production DID exist, later you claim it didn't exist as a dominant mode of production, later still you claim it did.

SCP is not a dominant mode of production, can not be a dominant mode of production.

Arty if you want me to split the discussion about SCP away from your topic into a new topic I will.

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 Post subject: Re: On "New Imperialism"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Splitting seems like the logical thing to do. Thanks


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