Usury and interest have enabled capitalism to become stronger. Marx writes, " What distinguishes interest-bearing capital in so far as it forms an essential element of the capitalist mode of production, from usurers' capital is in no way the nature or character of the capital itself. It is simply the changed conditions under which it functions, and hence also the totally transformed figure of the borrower who confronts the money- lender. Even where a man without means obtains credit as an industrialist or merchant, it is given in the expectation that he will function as a capitalist, will use the capital borrowed to appropriate unpaid labour. He is given credit as a potential capitalist. And this very fact so very much admired by the economic apologists, that a man without wealth but with energy, determination, ability and business acumen can transform himself into a capitalist this way – just as the commercial value of each person is always assessed more or less correctly in the capitalist mode of production – much as it constantly drives an unwelcome series of new soldiers of fortune onto the field alongside and against the various individual capitalists already present, actually reinforces the rule of capital itself, widens its basis and enable it to recruit ever new forces from the lower strata of society. The way that the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages built its hierarchy out of the best brains of the nation, without regard to status, birth or wealth, was likewise a major means of reinforcing the rule of the priests and suppressing the laity. The more a dominant class is able to absorb the best people from the dominated classes, the more solid and dangerous is its rule. " (Capital, Volume III, pages 735/736, Penguin Classics edition). And how the capitalists have recruited the best brains from the working class using its strength, capital.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
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