The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation
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The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  4 reviews
The originators of classical political economy—Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Steuart, and others—created a discourse that explained the logic, the origin, and, in many respects, the essential rightness of capitalism. But, in the great texts of that discourse, these writers downplayed a crucial requirement for capitalism’s creation: For it to succeed, peasants would have...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published May 3rd 2000 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Jasonrhodes71

primitive accumulation & the division of labor are two sides of the same coin. while there is an original (primitive) separation of people from land and tools, maintaining this separation is an ongoing process under capitalism, and is one of the chief functions of the state. if studied, the capitalist division of labor will show that one of the chief ends of work under capitalism, when taken as a social whole, is to maintain the need to keep on working. radical politics should be all about t...more
Tombom P
Good, entertaining book covering both a basic history of primitive accumulation and a basic history of classical political economy, focusing on the links between the two and the ways in which political economy support primitive accumulation, often while hiding it. It feels a lot like a much extended version of Marx's footnotes against economists in the primitive accumulation section of Capital Vol 1. Lots of quotes and citations that build up a clear and fascinating picture.

It has some problems...more
Ken Schaefer
Good analysis of capitalism's beginnings and how capitalists accumulated riches outside of market forces and continue to do so today.
David Steele
World-view changing. Easy to read. Recommended.
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