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|← Primitive Accumulation||The Role of Human Capital →|
In 19th century America, Hotshot activism was mainly concerned on the household manufacturing services that employed poor settlers’ women, men and children. However the working conditions were terrible, they provided a way for many of the nation individuals who were less skilled to earn a living. Basically those who worked in this industries did so as it was their best option available (Marx 1867: 822).Consequently it is pure true that those people who work in less developed countries receive low wages to those in developed countries, and their working conditions are extremely poor. This historical myth was rampad in the 19th century and it is still alive even in the modern day society.
In general, primitive accumulation is seen to have occurred even before the capitalism age. For instance land was previously scarce for many of the people at middle ages. According to (Trevor, 1972:115) about a half of the peasant population had inadequate holdings to cater for their families needs and had least amount of subsistence. This meant that in order for a smallholder peasant to survive he had to complement his earnings with other means. By this time trading and industrial activities could sustain the whole village of smallholders.However most of the job opportunities were available in the in the line of agriculture.
The courses of primitive accumulation do not only extend backwards prior to the era of classical political economy. As well primitive accumulation was experienced in more recent times. In Europe as well as other nations where capitalism was highly developed, transformation of small- scale farmers to peasants persisted all the way through the 19th and 20th centuries. This course involved the market forces e.g. the case of demolition of the small-scale farming in U.S, the centralized government focused in development of research and transportation systems that leaned to favor large-scale farming (Wakefield, 1969:166)
Primitive accumulation occurred in the countryside as well as in cities. After all urban settlers provide for themselves in different ways other than growing food. Depriving public these ways of provision contribute to a greater reliance on the market just, as definitely as confining their access to the ways of food production. A contemporary example is package of people into crowded urban lodgings which leave them very small room for doing the laundry. As a result, people will become reliance to the commercial laundries. After the world war two, in U.S the ability of a usual family to produce for its own needs radically reduced with a huge margin, despite the extensive accessibility of household’s appliances such as the washing machine that would make self-provision much easier.
Capitalism came about as a result of separation of the producer from the form of production.. Marxian’s and other major economists normally argue that capitalism developed from the process of primitive accumulation. For example Marx described this as: “In themselves money and commodities are no more capital than are the means of production and of subsistence. They want transforming into capital. But this transformation itself can only take place under certain circumstances that centre in this, viz., that two very different kinds of commodity possessors must come face to face and into contact; on the one hand, the owners of money, means of production, means of subsistence...; on the other hand, free laborers, the sellers of their own labor power, and therefore the sellers of labor.... The capitalist system presupposes the complete separation of the laborers’ from all property in the means by which they can realize their labor.... The process, therefore, that clears the way for the capitalist system, can be none other than the process which takes away from the laborer the possession of his own means of production.... The so-called primitive accumulation, therefore, is nothing else than the historical process of divorcing the producer from the means of production”.... (Marx, 1867:64)
The model of “free market” appeared to be basically the existing capitalism, without the welfare state and regulatory procedures. At this time the rich continued gained more wealth at the expense of the poor. This kind of exploitation continued to develop as the corporation defended it using the “free market principles”. The state helped in accumulation of capital and wealth through mercantilism. The modern so- called present “world market” was not established by the free market forces. In capitalist production in Europe, the market was created artificially by the state. The world market developed as a result of Europe conquering most parts of the world, using the marine techniques. The state encouraged manufacturers to produce products that could serve the international market. The state also gave the European manufacturers a monopoly of the foreign trade by stamping out all other competitors in the market by force.
Capitalism, developed as a new class in the society had been founded from the old class in the core ages. This new class was founded on a proceed of massive robbery in the earlier conquest of the land. This class remained to be sustained to the present day society through recurrent state intervention where it protected the class privileges. The existing system of capital possession and organization forms of production is the now so-referred “market economy”. It represents the recurrent state intervention preceding to and superfluous to the modern market. From the start of the industrial revolution, what was referred as "laissez-faire" was a coordination of enduring state intervention to support capital accumulation, assurance of privileges and maintaining work discipline in reference to the ruling state.
Capitalism was by no means a free market. It was a system of certain group exploitation, and was a short-cut successor to feudalism, which even to the modern world it display the marks of origins ( Marx, 1998:23) The peasants had malformed into freeholders who only paid a small amount of rent. Industrial revolution was launched in a society where privileges and brutal exploitation was the order of the day, instead of blossoming in a society where everyone would benefit. The capital investment for industrial evolution was only available to small wealth people. It was accrued by the mercantilism capitalists, who had brutally exploited the craftsmen. These mercantilism capitalists of the 17th and 18th century benefited a lot from the previous exploitation therefore increasing their investment in the world market. An example is the British textile merchants who expanded their market by suppressing any foreign competitor.
According to Karl Marx, (1998:23) the rise of capitalism in the modern day society is as a result of subsidy of the past long time, whereby capital was initially accumulated in a few class of people, and laborers were deprived to right of ownership of any form of production and more they were required to sell themselves accordingly to the buyer’s terms. The present system of intense capital ownership by few rich people and comprehensive corporation organization is a express to the initial ownership of property and structure of power, which has been in the effect over the last centuries.
The interpretive structure has emphasized on the continuity of the primitive accumulation and its fundamental role in the developing capitalist economy. The establishment of this continuity will be arrived when we identify what Marx once referred to as “oppositional character of the capitalist-relation" or what Polanyi referred to as “double movement”. I strongly believe in the Marx primitive accumulation theory that gives us an approach to the necessary nature of capitalistic accumulation that is…the separation of the producer from the means of production….and the point concerning the limits created on the capitalist accumulation by the society. Reformulating this theory in this way, it will allow us to restore Marx’s theory of capitalistic form of production at the position of incompatible social relations.
The emphasis is to make the basic theoretical comparison between those processes which occurred in the era, looked upon by historians as the first light of capitalistic era and the period regarded as mature capitalist structure. The modern method of primitive accumulation occurs in a very different form contrary to the time of enclosure structure or enslavement. Economical- social entitlements and privileges are inmost cases the outcomes of the past experiences. State organizations have been established to try to provide accommodation these entitlements and rights with precedence of capitalist system.
To sum up, Primitive accumulation remains to be a very important concept that makes us understand more about development of capitalism, and not just the stage of capitalism that is related with evolution from feudalism. I fully suggest that that we are supposed to carry the background history of primitive accumulation through the era of classic political economy by linking this conception with Marx’s concept of social division of labor.