Marx discusses various aspects of primitive accumulation with respect to the transformation of money into capital. Normally, primitive accumulation of capital is when existing direct producers are forced into laborers that transform money into capital within a given economy.
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Historically, the primitive accumulation of capital preceded the capitalist production mode. Despite the numerous arguments against and for primitive accumulation of capital, highly contested debates still exist within the global arena in respect to primitive accumulation of capital. Marx provided a deeper understanding of the primitive accumulation of capital. It is important to understand how Marx explains the concepts of primitive accumulation and political economy.
Marx defines the primitive accumulation of capital as “the historical process of divorcing the producer from the means of production. It appears as ‘primitive’ because it forms the pre-history of capital and the mode of production corresponding to capital (Pages 874-875).”
In this definition, Marx attempts to explain that primitive accumulation of capital is directly linked to historical perspectives of detaching producers from the process of production and instead of making them (producers) tools for transforming money into capital. What’s more, Marx explains that primitive accumulation of capital begins with gathering together available commodities such as gold and silver coupled with money for purposes of establishing a base to accumulate capital.
According to Marx (873), there are similarities in the roles played by primitive accumulation and political economy. Marx provides an analogy of the original sin committed by Adam in trying to explain the similarity between primitive accumulation and political economy.
From the concepts of the original sin, it is clear that both primitive accumulations of capital and political economy distract people’s attention from the contemporary problems and concerns to a mythical past, which is regarded as a source of many misfortunes that people suffer within the current world. In an attempt to provide an understanding of the starting point of capital accumulation, Marx claims that political economy is the starting point of the primitive accumulation of capital (Marx 874).
Also, Marx compares the political economy to primitive accumulation of capital when he asserts that the latter is an irreducible process that emanates from categories of the former hence can only be explained and described in terms that revolve around struggle and ultimate force. Therefore, Marx confirms the relationship between political economy and the primitive accumulation of capital.
Based on the above concepts and facts, it is evident that Marx has a good explanation of the primitive accumulation of capital concept. Primitive accumulation of capital is a global aspect that would be used in finding answers to the many struggles and ultimate forces that keep on shaking the global economy. No wonder, Marx’ analogy of the original sin of Adam, which resulted in the many contemporary problems is used to explain concepts of primitive accumulation of capital.
Moreover, Marx explains in respect to the relationships or similarities existing between the primitive accumulation of capital and political economy. There is no doubt, therefore, from Marx’s perceptions that primitive accumulation of capital stemmed from political economy. Some of the features that influenced Marx into believing the same is that political economies are in most cases associated with struggles and ultimate force, which are the same features seen within the primitive accumulation of capital where producers are turned into tools of transforming money into capital.
Marx, Karl. Capital Volume 1. Moscow, USSR: Progress Publisher, 1867. Print.