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m : marxism-thaxis@greenhouse.economics.utah.edu 25 February 2012 • 1:00AM -0500

[Marxism-Thaxis] It is the negation of the negation
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"The capitalist mode of appropriation, the result of the capitalist
mode of production, produces capitalist private property. This is the
first negation of individual private property, as founded on the
labour of the proprietor. But capitalist production begets, with the
inexorability of a law of Nature, its own negation. _It is the
negation of negation_ ( emphasis added -CB). This does not
re-establish private property for the producer, but gives him
individual property based on the acquisition of the capitalist era:
i.e., on cooperation and the possession in common of the land and of
the means of production."

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch32.htm

Karl Marx. Capital Volume One
Chapter Thirty-Two: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch11.htm
1877: Anti-Duhring - XIII. Negation of the Negation
www.marxists.org
“This historical sketch” (of the genesis of the so-called primitive
accumulation...See More




Marx says: “It is the negation of negation. This re-establishes
individual property, but on the basis of the acquisitions of the
capitalist era, i.e., on co-operation of free workers and their
possession in common of the land and of the means of production
produced by labour. The transformation of scattered private property,
arising from individual labour, into capitalist private property is,
naturally, a process, incomparably more protracted, arduous, and
difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property,
already practically resting on socialised production, into socialised
property.” [K. Marx, Das Kapital, p. 793.] [Capital, volume I, Chapter
33, page 384 in the MIA pdf file.] That is all. The state of things
brought about by the expropriation of the expropriators is therefore
characterised as the re-establishment of individual property, but on
the basis of the social ownership of the land and of the means of
production produced by labour itself. To anyone who understands plain
talk this means that social ownership extends to the land and the
other means of production, and individual ownership to the products,
that is, the articles of consumption. And in order to make the matter
comprehensible even to children of six, Marx assumes on page 56
[Chapter 1, page 48 in the MIA pdf] “a community of free individuals,
carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in
which the labour-power of all the different individuals is consciously
applied as the combined labour-power of the community”, that is, a
society organised on a socialist basis; and he continues: “The total
product of our community is a social product. One portion serves as
fresh means of production and remains social. But another portion is
consumed by the members as means of subsistence. A distribution of
this portion amongst them is consequently necessary.” And surely that
is clear enough even for Herr Dühring, in spite of his having Hegel on
his brain.




Karl Marx. Capital Volume One
Chapter Thirty-Two: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation



What does the primitive accumulation of capital, i.e., its historical
genesis, resolve itself into? In so far as it is not immediate
transformation of slaves and serfs into wage labourers, and therefore
a mere change of form, it only means the expropriation of the
immediate producers, i.e., the dissolution of private property based
on the labour of its owner. Private property, as the antithesis to
social, collective property, exists only where the means of labour and
the external conditions of labour belong to private individuals. But
according as these private individuals are labourers or not labourers,
private property has a different character. The numberless shades,
that it at first sight presents, correspond to the intermediate stages
lying between these two extremes. The private property of the labourer
in his means of production is the foundation of petty industry,
whether agricultural, manufacturing, or both; petty industry, again,
is an essential condition for the development of social production and
of the free individuality of the labourer himself. Of course, this
petty mode of production exists also under slavery, serfdom, and other
states of dependence. But it flourishes, it lets loose its whole
energy, it attains its adequate classical form, only where the
labourer is the private owner of his own means of labour set in action
by himself: the peasant of the land which he cultivates, the artisan
of the tool which he handles as a virtuoso. This mode of production
presupposes parcelling of the soil and scattering of the other means
of production. As it excludes the concentration of these means of
production, so also it excludes cooperation, division of labour within
each separate process of production, the control over, and the
productive application of the forces of Nature by society, and the
free development of the social productive powers. It is compatible
only with a system of production, and a society, moving within narrow
and more or less primitive bounds. To perpetuate it would be, as
Pecqueur rightly says, “to decree universal mediocrity". At a certain
stage of development, it brings forth the material agencies for its
own dissolution. From that moment new forces and new passions spring
up in the bosom of society; but the old social organization fetters
them and keeps them down. It must be annihilated; it is annihilated.
Its annihilation, the transformation of the individualized and
scattered means of production into socially concentrated ones, of the
pigmy property of the many into the huge property of the few, the
expropriation of the great mass of the people from the soil, from the
means of subsistence, and from the means of labour, this fearful and
painful expropriation of the mass of the people forms the prelude to
the history of capital. It comprises a series of forcible methods, of
which we have passed in review only those that have been epoch-making
as methods of the primitive accumulation of capital. The expropriation
of the immediate producers was accomplished with merciless Vandalism,
and under the stimulus of passions the most infamous, the most sordid,
the pettiest, the most meanly odious. Self-earned private property,
that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated,
independent labouring individual with the conditions of his labour, is
supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on
exploitation of the nominally free labour of others, i.e., on wage
labour. [1]

As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed
the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the labourers are
turned into proletarians, their means of labour into capital, as soon
as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the
further socialization of labour and further transformation of the land
and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore,
common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of
private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be
expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the
capitalist exploiting many labourers. This expropriation is
accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic
production itself, by the centralization of capital. One capitalist
always kills many. Hand in hand with this centralization, or this
expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on an
ever-extending scale, the cooperative form of the labour process, the
conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation
of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour into
instruments of labour only usable in common, the economizing of all
means of production by their use as means of production of combined,
socialized labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the
world market, and with this, the international character of the
capitalistic regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of
the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of
this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression,
slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt
of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and
disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of
capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter
upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along
with, and under it. Centralization of the means of production and
socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become
incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is
burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The
expropriators are expropriated.

The capitalist mode of appropriation, the result of the capitalist
mode of production, produces capitalist private property. This is the
first negation of individual private property, as founded on the
labour of the proprietor. But capitalist production begets, with the
inexorability of a law of Nature, its own negation. It is the negation
of negation. This does not re-establish private property for the
producer, but gives him individual property based on the acquisition
of the capitalist era: i.e., on cooperation and the possession in
common of the land and of the means of production.

The transformation of scattered private property, arising from
individual labour, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a
process, incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than
the transformation of capitalistic private property, already
practically resting on socialized production, into socialized
property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of
the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation
of a few usurpers by the mass of the people. [2]


Footnotes

1. “Nous sommes dans une condition tout-à-fait nouvelle de la
societé... nous tendons a séparer toute espèce de propriété d’avec
toute espèce de travail.” [We are in a situation which is entirely new
for society ... we are striving to separate every kind of property
from every kind of labour] (Sismondi: “Nouveaux Principes d’Econ.
Polit.” t.II, p.434.)

2. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the
bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to
competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association.
The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its
feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and
appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces,
above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the
proletariat are equally inevitable.... Of all the classes that stand
face-to-face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a
really revolutionary class. The other classes perish and disappear in
the face of Modern Industry, the proletariat is its special and
essential product.... The lower middle classes, the small
manufacturers, the shopkeepers, the artisan, the peasant, all these
fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence
as fractions of the middle class... they are reactionary, for they try
to roll back the wheel of history. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,
“Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei,” London, 1848, pp. 9, 11.



Transcribed by Zodiac
Html Markup by Stephen Baird (1999)

Next: Chapter Thirty-Three: The Modern Theory of Colonisation

Capital Volume One Index

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