06 April 2012

Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation

Basics, Part 2a

Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation

In support of “The Prince” we now go straight to the most famous work of the Communist canon: Karl Marx’s “Capital”, in full strength.

The short Chapter 32 (attached) is the second last chapter in Volume 1 of “Capital”. It is a broad-brush summary of the first volume.

This chapter is only about 1000 words long - roughly the same length as a newspaper “feature” article. It is one of several passages in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin that compress world history into a single sweep, in this case from the time of slaves and serfs, through the stages of the development of capitalism, to the anticipated proletarian revolution.

Other such passages in the “classics” include Chapter 9 of “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” by Frederick Engels, which will be posted as the next item, and the first few pages of “The Communist Manifesto”, by Marx and Engels, which is the main text in the next part of this “Basics” course.

The “Basics” course is partly an attempt to answer the frequently-expressed desire for a “simple” explanation of the politics of the working class and of the intellectual partisans of the working class.

In attempting this task, some texts have been chosen that exemplify the various original authors’ own attempts to respond to, and to satisfy, the manifest popular craving for a brief and easily-absorbed overall explanation of how politics works.

This chapter from Marx, wrapping up his master-work, "Capital, Volume 1" is one of those.