- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Is M-C-M' sufficient?

Posted by: Chuck ( Virginia ) on October 10, 1999 at 17:07:53:

In Reply to: another comment posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on October 08, 1999 at 16:31:51:

SDF: In the ritual of employment, one performer behaves according to the C-M-C model, the other to the M-C-M model, just as I said (loosely dangling Marx within my text).

Doesn't the characterisation of capital as M-C-M' force us to term as capital certain production relations that have no relation to the capitalist mode of production (e.g. merchants' capital)? After all, merchants' capital arose before the emergence of commodity production based on wage labor (i.e. it was anchored in simple commodity production); merchants' profits sprang from circulation (i.e. without production of surplus value). So it seems that M-C-M' merely describes a process of concentration of monetary wealth because its sole premise is the circulation of money and commodities. These commodities might be the products of simple commodity production or capitalist commodity production or simply exotic products or surplus produce of societies primarily structured to the production of use-values. Doesn't this make history a bit cloudy?

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