Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION OF SOIL
Marx’s analysis in Capital of the capitalist exploitation of the soil indicates his understanding of the relationship of capitalism to nature. Marx: “Capitalist production, by collecting the population in great centers, and causing an ever-increasing preponderance of urban population, on the one hand, concentrates the historical driving force of society; on the other hand, it disturbs the circulation of matter between man and the soil, i.e., it prevents the return to the soil of those of its elements consumed by man in the form of food and fabric; it therefore violates the conditions necessary to the continued fertility of the soil. By so doing, it at once destroys the health of the urban laborer and the intellectual life of the rural laborer... In modern agriculture, as in the manufacturing industries, the increased productivity and output of labor are bought at the cost of pathologically laying waste to labor-power, itself. Moreover, all progress in capitalistic agriculture is a progress in the art not only of robbing the laborer, but of robbing the soil, as well; all progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for a period of time is progress towards ruining the lasting sources of that fertility. The more a country bases its development on the foundation of modern industry, as does the United States, for example, the more rapid is this process of destruction.”
BOURGEOISIE AND PROLETARIAT
One of the most important ideas from the Manifesto of the Communist Party ccalled into question by contemporary capitalism is that of capitalism's being a “revolutionary“ order and, consequently, the bourgeoisie’s being is a “revolutionary“ class. According to Marx, the main historical “task“ of the bourgeoisie is to enable man to gain control over natural laws and thereby free himself from his dependency on nature and exhausting physical labor, so as to enable him to develop his universal creative powers. The “revolutionary role“ of the bourgeoisie is to create conditions for a “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom“ (Engels). This is the main reason why Marx attaches primary importance to the development of productive forces. At the same time, the bourgeoisie is an exploiting class that becomes reactionary when capitalist private ownership starts to hinder the development of the productive forces. That is the right moment for a socialist revolution.