Globalization: What Would Karl Marx Think? Essays

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I. With this quote from Capital I, Marx is talking about the components required for the development and perpetuation of capitalism. The main components of this quote are centralization, the cooperative form of the labor process, and the transformation of instruments of labor. Centralization has a long history and grew out of the feudal period. The cooperative form of the labor process has to do with the social character of capital, involving many workers and machines in various geographic locations. The transformation of instruments of labor refers to the fact that machines themselves are not capitalistic, but can be converted into capital, depending on how they are utilized. All of these components contribute to the existence…show more content…
Marx explains in Chapter 26 how serfs became “Free labourers, in the double sense that neither they themselves form part and parcel of the means of production…nor do the means of production belong to them.” The positive freedom that this excerpt refers to was that the workers became free to choose their exploiters. The negative freedom was that they became separated from the means of production. They no longer owned what they produced. In essence, the peasants lost their land and their ability to survive economically. The freshly unemployed were forced to embrace capitalism. In terms of centralization, land previously owned by the peasants became concentrated in the hands of a few large landlords, which was the prelude to the formation of the working class. Marx says that this system of centralization and expropriation developed on an “ever extending scale.” By this, he means that the transformation of the feudal system led to a more modern form of capitalism in which there was continuation of centralization and the creation of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The cooperative form of the labor process came about soon after the abolition of the feudal system and the creation of a new group of wage-laborers. In contrast with the feudal era, there was a considerable amount of scientific and technological innovation which involved a geographically connected division of labor. This
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