Inversion and the Home Market.

Bonefeld has made the important point that the section on ‘so-called primitive accumulation’ accounts for the preconditions of the constitution of the inverted social reality of capital. Re-reading chapter 30 drew my intention to the fact that Marx also accounts for the constitution of another aspect of this inverted reality: the creation of the home market wherein proletarianised farm workers are compelled to purchase the very goods they grow and harvest:

‘The expropriation and eviction of a part of the agricultural population -not only set free for industrial capital the workers, their means of subsistence and the materials of their labour; it also created the home market.

In fact, the events that transformed the small peasants into wage- labourers, and their means of subsistence and of labour into material [sachliche] elements of capital, created, at the same time, a home market for capital. Formerly, the peasant family produced means of subsistence and raw materials, which they themselves for the most part consumed. These raw materials and means of subsistence have now become commodities; the large-scale farmer sells them, he finds his market in the manufactures. Yam, linen, coarse woollen stuffs – things whose raw materials had been within the reach of every peasant family, had been spun and woven by the family for its own — use are now transformed into articles of manufacture, the markets for which are found precisely in the country districts.Previously a mass of small producers, working on their own account, had found their natural counterpart in a large number of scattered customers; but now these customers are concentrated into one great market provided for by industrial capital. Thus the destruction of the subsidiary trades of the countryside, the process whereby manufacture is divorced from agriculture, goes hand in hand with the expropriation of the previously self-supporting peasants and their separation from their own means of production. And only the destruction of rural domestic industry can give the home market of a country that extension and stability which the capitalist mode of production requires.’ Volume 1 p. 910-11.

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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