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[ox-en] Re: [ox-en] built-in infinite growth (was: Re: Meaning of markets, scarcity, abundance)

On Sat, 5 Jan 2008 23:34:45 [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Meretz <stefan.meretz>

WC: Within capitalism we have M-C-M'

The really important sign here is the apostrophe, which you forgot. It
indicates the entirely different dynamics of pre-capitalist markets and
capitalist markets. Lets look a bit into it.

BC: Goods are generally produced for self-suffiency. To obtain goods
someone is not producing, the overplus of the produced goods are
brought to market: Either to exchange them directly with other goods or
via money being the mediator. At the end, there is not a "surplus good",
but only an "other good". There is no (effective) driver for
progression. Things develop slowly and under circumstances of personal

There exist many examples of production-maximizing, yet pre-monetary and
pre-capitalist societies,
such as the Potlatch phenomenon of the Pacific Northwest.

In my opinion, the origin of production-maximizing is class stratification.
Once a class of non-producers
that provide for their social reproduction by appropriating surplus value
from direct producers comes into
existence the drive for prestige goods and conspicuous consumption appears
to be the primitive origins
of production-maximization.

Money's emergence does not come from market exchange, but rather as tribute
and prestige-exchange. While money
exists in antiquity, the great majority of direct producers did not join
the money economy in their own exhange
relations until the industrial revolution, money was primaraly used as a
form of tribute and in the circulation
of prestige goods, which sometime _where_ money, i.e. Kula.

Once again, Marcel Mauss's "The Gift" is very informative here, as is the
work of Bronislaw Malinowski and Glyn Davies. 
Kieth's Hart's "Money in an unequal world" is a highly recommended book as
well that explains that Money is
simply a form of memory, just like writing which emerged around the same

Money, as an artificially durable store of value, does aggravate
stratification by encouraging hording instead of circulation, 
as explained by Silvio Gesell (i.e. "A Story of Robinson Crusoe"), whose
ideas on monetary reform (Friegelt, Demmurage, Stamp Scrip, etc)
where a significant influence on John Maynard Keynes who's "Functional
Finance" uses Monetary Inflation/Defaltion to increase/decrease
money circulation in response to business cycles.


Dmytri Kleiner
editing text files since 1981

Contact: projekt

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