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Re: [ox-en] Reopening the Commons: Reversing the Enclosure

Diego Saravia wrote:
2009/8/13 Christian Siefkes <christian>:

Nowadays, almost everybody is forced to sell their labor power in order to

only if you do not have enough capital

True, that's why I said "almost".

Yet, historically the situation that (almost) everybody has to sell their
labor power is rather new--it only emerged with capitalism.

before that people have (or can use) lands, or forest, people always
need some kind of capital

No, if you've inherited the land, or if it is shared or distributed
according to certain rules, you don't need capital. Indeed, in most
cultures, land was not even available for buying and selling.

~Wage labor
<WP> and capitalism depend on each other: Without capitalist companies,
there would be nobody (by and large) to sell your labor power *to,*

not only companies, owners, lords, kings, etc

Yes, in many societies there were some private (non-corporate) employers,
but only a few. That's why wage labor did occur, but only as exception, not
as the rule.

we always have other kinds of resource distribution and work
organization as slavery

Of course, resources and work (effort) need to be distributed in any
society, but there are lots of different ways to do so. Slavery and wage
labor are just two options, there are many others.

And without wage workers, capital accumulation would be impossible, since
their surplus labor is the source of profit (and of its derived forms,
interest and rent).

we have capital acummulation a long time before capitalism

Yes, there were a few forerunners, such as traders. Capitalism did not
spring into existence as a full-fledged system over night.

ownership is a human right now, state protect your rights to have
production means (or capital)

The concept of "ownership" is itself a historical concept, which evolves
over time. For example: can you "own" land? In our society you can, but in
many other societies that wasn't possible, certainly not in the modern sense
(with "ownership" including rights such as to buy and to sell, to exclude
others etc.)

before that you must defend yourself, with your army, probably
becoming yourself the state.

That's the warlord or feudal option, but there are others. Commonism
<>, for

these are quite different process

material goods are scarce, there are not enough land for all people
you have two options: ownership or state control of material goods
knowledge goods are not scarse, at least if you do not have copyright.

There are indeed differences, but not as big as you think. Material goods
are *limited*, but not necessarily *scarce*: whether or not there is enough
land for all people can't be decided up-front, but it depends on how we
share and use the land.

So we have to deal with the limitedness of land and other resources, but we
don't have to accept them as scarce. Scarcity is a social phenomenon.

Best regards

|-------- Dr. Christian Siefkes --------- christian ---------
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