Analysis of capitalism

In the leftist use of the term, capitalism refers to the private ownership of the means of production above all.
In the general usage of the term, however, the term capitalism also includes markets (and most 'pro-capitalism' arguments seem to be actually pro-market arguments).
Are there any other features besides private ownership of the means of production and markets as the means of commodity distribution you could separate from the popular usage of the term 'capitalism'?

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Capitalist production simply means wage-labor production, nothing more. That naturally implies everything you posted above by itself.

How do markets follow?

Markets first, then capitalism. Capitalism requires simple commodity exchange as its historic basis.

This is a better definition than 'private ownership of MoP'

In agrarian societies most of the production was undertaken for use. Peasants work the farms and eat what they make. But when a propertied class has to pay it's employees a money-wage production undertaken for direct consumption becomes impossible. The goods they make have to be marketed. Capitalism doesn't have a monopoly over commodity production, but it stands out as a system where the only thing that can be produced are commodities.

Aren't the definitions equivalent?
Private ownership describes the class that buys labour, wage-labour production describes class that sells labour.
And it seems to follow from these definitions that statist societies may be state capitalist.

Many pro capitalist boast that it is a system that encourages competition, (though it is not the only one) and innovation, which from what is attached here, is not really the case. Capitalism, is also largely that of the for profit motive, and as such, can be incredibly detrimental for both innovation and competition.

Ultimately, its a system that would require massive amounts of regulation just to keep it from collapsing in on itself instantly, and then it really only slows it down.

You have no idea of historical materialism, do you?

In Capitalism, capital IS the means of production. Whoever has the capital, has the power over production.

In Feudalism it was land, in antiquity it was slave ownership, and so on.

Sure, this is absolutely eurocentric, but since eurocentrism had already spread, there was no reason for Marx to consider other forms (neither did he have the sources) like south american means of production.

Markets existed long before capitalism.

Slavery>Feudalism>Capitalism isn't strictly accurate anyway. It's not as if everyone was a slave, then a villein, then a prole. Manorialist property rights were just a common method of exploitation for a couple hundred years in Europe, and slaver property is just something that has unanimously existed across every human society. The primary issue with dogmatically following this analysis is that it fails to recognize other methods of production like sharecropping, which is production that isn't defined by violently forcing individuals to work on property nor by wage-labor.


Yes, appart from the slaver part, as said, I said Marx didn't have enough access to south america, yet for the purpose of analizing how capitalism came to be and what it means, it works just fine.

They even existed by the millions in ancient China despite usually not being associated with that time and place. And though most of the European peasantry in the middle ages were serfs, slaves were far from unheard of even then.

And in your society does slavery exist there?

Obviously I didn't mean in modern times, though no doubt there's at least a few.

And among the Bushmen, the politically correct term nowdays I believe is San

no, all modes of production have been charactarized by private ownership. Capitalism is the mode of production where the means of production become capital and try to grow by exploiting living labor. It's the production for the sake of capital accumulation.

Those are the same kind of people who say that feudalism is capitalism because you could go to the market and buy food.

Also left-com is right for a change

Left-com is theory strong, he's just sectarian as all get-out.

Private ownership of the means of production and markets as the means of commodity distribution, as you posit, could simply describe any society of commodity production.

Capitalism is distinct from other basic forms of commodity production in that it generates profits - there exists "economic growth" that is immaterial.

Commodity producing societies operate as follows:

C - M - C - M - C….

Commodity, exchanged for money, exchanged for commodity of the same worth, to be exchanged for the same amount of money, etc.

Capitalism works like this:

M - C - M1

In that commodities are sold at more value than they were paid for, surplus-value is gained in production and demonstrated in exchange.

By the way this is all in Parts 1-3 of Capital - I realise it's a hefty text but you can all manage Parts 1-3 if you put the effort in; that's where all these fundamental economic questions about the intricacies of Capitalist economic relations are explained.

Forced labour in private prisons.

Property in general has existed across all epochs as well but that does not make the historical progression inaccurate.

Slavery was the primary mode of production; then serfdom; and now wage labor. The existence of slave labor across all epochs does not invalidate the statement that the primary mode of production is now wage labor. We accumulate the bagged of history along the way, hence why capital utilizes slave labor in its supply chain even today, though some capitalists are supposed to be cleaning up their act on that front.

baggage wtf am i typing

This is wrong, general commodity production is a distinctive feature of capitalism. There are no other modes of production with general commodity production. It's pretty easy to see why, once you understand the nature of commodities. They aren't merely carriers of use value but also of abstract labor in the form of exchange value. In no other mode of production were goods predominantly produced for the sake of exchange and then exchanged by the ratio of the mass of labor time invested in their production. There wasn't even value production. Commodity production is a defining pillar of capitalism.

And another thing; CMC and MCM' are interlinked, there is no MCM' without CMC happening simultaneously. So capitalism works in both ways.

Nah, commodity production necessarily becomes capitalism, but it isn't = to it.

Also yes they are interlinked but M-C-M1 is how capital exists.

but you didn't say that. You said:
which is wrong, because only in capitalism does commodity production become general. In other modes of production commodities and markets are leading merely niche roles, up until they usurp the production.

well then how are commodity producing societies (let's just forget about commodity producing society=capitalism for a sec) only following CMC while capitalist societies follow MCM'?

Private vs government-owned is not the distinction between socialism and capitalism. You can have market socialism just as you can have state capitalism.

Capitalism is distinguished by the industrial capitalist arrangement between employer and laborer. Someone takes capital and buys labor and means of production, has it transformed into a commodity, and then trades that commodity back for more capital than they started with.

The most meaningful definition of socialism to me is when the producers of surplus value also decide how to distribute that surplus value.

Also if anyone tries to tell you that markets are somehow indicators of capitalism you should just point them to any other time markets have existed in human history before the industrial revolution. Markets are not at all a defining feature of capitalism and anyone trying to argue so in its defense has wittingly or unwittingly pulled a red herring.

I never denied that.

Because in commodity production no surplus value is generated? I don't understand your question maybe

wait are you talking about *simple* commodity production?


Bump because we're being raided

There is absolutely no historical evidence for there ever being a social formation characterized by simple commodity exchange. The first chapters of Volume I are not describing a historical formation prior to fully developed capitalist circulation but the logic (and the sphere of exchange) that is immanent within capitalism once it establishes itself as the dominant organizing concept. It's logic exists prior to capitalist production but it qualitatively becomes that principle of all mediation via markets once capitalist production subsumes social reproduction.

C-M-C circuit in Chapters 1-3 is just about uncovering the language of commodities, the particular, directed flows between money and commodities (all commodities love money but money is not in love with all commodities), and the secretion of money by commodity exchange as an objective, autonomous expression of value that can mediate between a world of particulars.

Capital is not a thing. If Marx's aim in Capital is anything, it is to prove that there is nothing thing-like or material about capital without a whole host of subjective mediations (social relations). It's a Kantian shift in political economy with the objectivity of the economic possible only via the activities of its subjects.

Capital is a social process with many different moments and various overriding, constraining tendencies that direct social and individual action. It's qualitatively characterized by the specific form in which surpluses are generated, appropriated, and accumulated.