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Re: Marx on centralisation?

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  • Bob Howes (vegan)
    Robin, I am struggling to get my head around this quote. I only read vols one and two, so I never read this in context. I think I understand it but I ll need
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 3, 2012
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      Robin,

      I am struggling to get my head around this quote. I only read vols one and two, so I never read this in context. I think I understand it but I'll need to read it several more times to be sure. Red herring or not it looks to be of some importance. It doesn't seem to be about central planning but about concentration of capital. This could be achieved in any case by flexi co-ops that concentrate their capital for social purpose within capitalism. If socialism is substituted for capitalism then capital will be in goods not in money, and everything will be simpler. Anyone interested in creating larger industry would simply discuss it with others of like mind then put their proposal to the wider public for the yay or nay. If yay they then ask those available to contribute what they can to the scheme. Various working groups are set up and the work begun. No money needed. With a massive "army" of workers to choose from practically no scheme would be too large. If it is needed then we have to find the means. Not the money but the direct means. Whatever is done now should also be possible without money. Whether desirable or not is another matter.

      Cheers,

      Bob
      ***

      --- In ecaworkinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "robbo203" <robbo203@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi all
      >
      > Someone on one of the lists Im on has brought this quote from Marx to my attention . Its from Capital vol 111. I think its relevant to the economic calculation argument in view of the importance attached to the concept of central planning in a socialist society by people like Mises & co. Central planning is one big red herring in my view to distract from the flaws in the ECA itself but thats another argument
      >
      > Anyway here's the quote
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      >
      > "Furthermore, the mass of profit increases in spite of its slower rate with the growth of the invested capital. However, this requires a simultaneous concentration of capital, since the conditions of production then demand employment of capital on a larger scale. It also requires its centralisation, i.e. , the swallowing up of the small capitalists by the big and their deprivation of capital. It is again but an instance of separating — raised to the second power — the conditions of production from the producers to whose number these small capitalists still belong, since their own labour continues to play a role in their case. The labour of a capitalist stands altogether in inverse proportion to the size of his capital, i.e. , to the degree in which he is a capitalist. It is this same severance of the conditions of production, on the one hand, from the producers, on the other, that forms the conception of capital. It begins with primitive accumulation, appears as a permanent process in the accumulation and concentration of capital, and expresses itself finally as centralisation of existing capitals in a few hands and a deprivation of many of their capital (to which expropriation is now changed). This process would soon bring about the collapse of capitalist production if it were not for counteracting tendencies, which have a continuous decentralising effect alongside the centripetal one."
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      > Cheers
      >
      > Robin
      >
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