Saturday, December 1, 2012

Primitive Accumulation: From Adam Smith to Angela Merkel

I am going to present this paper in Slovenia. Any comments would be appreciated.

The choice of Adam Smith as an introduction to a discussion of primitive accumulation might seem curious even though he inadvertently began the discussion of the concept. Like a modern astrophysicist trying to understand the Big Bang, he asserted that “the accumulation of stock must, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour” (Smith 1976, 2.3, p. 277). Smith, who often unintentionally raised important questions in the course of his confusion, was asking, what was the original accumulation that set off the ongoing process of capital accumulation.

I link the history of classical primitive accumulation to the contemporary ravages of neoliberalism.

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