Braudel on the terms "Capitalist" and "Capitalism"

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at Princeton.EDU
Sun Mar 12 09:33:53 PST 2000

For Marx what was important was grasp of the historical specificity of a mode of production vis a vis those had preceded it and what would follow it (see Karl Korsch, Karl Marx whole sections of which are quoted in Benjamin's Arcades Project). Neither Blanc nor Prodhoun had worked through Richard Jones so it was Marx who specified that it was in the capitalist era that the great mass of agricultural workers must relate to the capitalist farmer through the mediation of what appeared to be an exchange process involving wages and labor services. This mediation replaced the legal 'ties' of slavery and the legal cum traditional ties of 'feudalism'. (see Allen Oakley, Marx's Critique of Political Economy, vol 2, p.197f). It was due to his attempt at historical specification in terms of relations of production that Marx would speak of a capitalist mode of production instead of simply capitalism which often often conjures images of the exchange process, the stock market, and the power of money. While there may be passing references to Kapitalismus by Blanc or Prodhoun, wouldn't Sombart's Quintessence of Capitalism be responsible for the popularization of the word? Yours, Rakesh

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list