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Capitalism, Primitive Accumulation And Unfree Labour

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about primitive accumulation, unfree labour and capitalism. John Stuart Mill dismissed the possibility that production carried out with unfree workers could ever be economically efficient. Max Webers arguments in support of the same claim were that unfree labour was organizationally irrational, expensive, economically inefficient, and thus incompatible with modern capital accumulation. Because unfree labour is classified as fixed capital, it is perceived as too costly when compared with free labour. Trotsky observed that advanced capital undermined not only competition but also the freedom of labour. According to Marx, primitive accumulation precedes capitalist accumulation and is also an accumulation which is not the result of the capitalist mode of production but its point of departure. In the course of restructuring the labour process, capitalist producers have replaced permanent labour with temporary workers and also shifted the element of unfreedom, from long-term employment to casual/migrant jobs.

Keywords: capitalism; John Stuart Mill; Max Weber; primitive accumulation; Trotsky; unfree labour

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