Jan 29-31 Accumulation & Crisis

We’ve come a long way already, but as we noted last week, we still don’t have accumulation (surplus or profit). Not coincidentally, we still don’t have any exploitation either. So the question now becomes, first, where does surplus come from in capitalist society? What form does it take? And how can we see it or measure it?—if in fact we can. Chapter 4 will introduce surplus value, chapter 6 the exploitation of labor, and chapter 25 will try to put it all together. Because the category of exploitation has very specific meanings in the analysis of the recent works on the Japanese empire that we will read later in the course (Kawashima, Park, and Driscoll) take time now to not only get a definition of exploitation, but also look for how these admittedly abstract processes actually get lived —  by what mechanism are they translated into everyday life. The first, theoretical half of chapter 25 is key to this. Once you feel you have some grasp of the theory, turn to the historical examples in the second half of chapter. Look for cases when the abstract concepts become lived realities.

Be prepared at a minimum to explain the processes, C-M-C and M-C-M’, before moving on to chapter 25. Even better would be able to explain why Les dés sont pipés.

Readings: Capital, chs. 4, 6, and 25.

Harvey lectures on chs. 4-6 and chapter 25 on iTunesU