Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations
1965 | ISBN: 0717801659 | PDF | pages 160 | 25.9 Mb
The Process Which Precedes the Formation of the Capital Relation or of Original Accumulation
The purpose of capitalist labor is to create value. The purpose of pre-capitalist labor is to produce sustenance for the individual and the community.
This idea of the individual as a worker divorced from the land and the means of sustenance except by commoditized labor is an artificial product of history.
In pre-capitalist societies, the individual regards himself as an owner of property only in so far as he regards himself as a member of the community
Property ownership–”the relationship of the individual to the natural conditions of labor and reproduction”–is granted by membership and unity with the community
Cities arise from villages when the location and geography are favorable to external trade. The head of state exchanges the surplus of labor.
Cities are owners of the surrounding supportive farm land in the same relationship as despots to labor. Villages are appendages of the supporting land in the same relationship as the pre-capitalist laborer to the community.
War is required for the perpetuation of non-transient occupation of land by a particular group and the society is naturally organized into military-like relationships. War reinforces territorial notions and individual ownership of property.
Private land ownership arrises as a result of validating membership in the community by acceptable maintenance and use of said property. The individual is a member of the community by virtue of being in possession of land ultimately in the community’s possession.
“Property formally belongs to the Roman citizen, the private owner of land is such only by virtue of being Roman, but any Roman is also a private landowner.”
The Germanic model consists of only communal property with private possession.
“Ancient classical history is a history of cities,” as seats of land ownership and agriculture. Asian history is a history of town and country without differentiation. The Middle Ages see history as the history of the countryside in opposition to the town. ”Modern history is the urbanization of the countryside.”
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