LGST 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cultural Hegemony, Counting House, Mania

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Capitalism
“oe uestios e’ll seek to ase—hat is apitalis? Whe did it egior have we
always have it? How has it changed in evolving societies with increasing globalization?
Commercialization theory: Capitalism has always existed Man has always had a propensity to
ate ad ehage; apitalism like toda’s ode defiitio of it had only been held back
by political, technical, religious, and cultural restraints. Capitalism reached higher stages when
it was liberated from these constraints; capitalism is not a qualitative break from the past but a
massive quantitative increase in markets and commercialization of economic life. Marx: class
struggle and capitalism appears when the bourgeoisie takes over. People have become
commoditized: relations between people have become monetized. Because of foreign trade, all
of a sudde, the ougeoisie ega to deelop. The feudal sste of idust o loge
suffied… the aufatuig sste took its plae… The akets kept oig, the dead ee
isig… idust, oee, ailas eteded… the ougeoisie deeloped, ieased its
apital, ad pushed ito the akgoud ee lass haded do fo the iddle ages.
Communist manifesto:
The collapse of feudalism: clergy lost its importance and the peasants became commoditized.
30-40% of land in France and Britain belonged to the Church, and so when Henry 4 declared
independence from the Church, he could take up all the spoils. Marx was aware that the
changes affected all the classes. Marx thinks that capitalism is inevitablethat capitalism is a
quantitative change and not a qualitative one. More trade and more commerce = more
capitalism. Long distance trade was an essential factor in the creation of merchant capitalism.
The profits that are made are so much more important, and are the seed of capital and are re-
invested for industry to grow.
-Foreign trade: Creates new needs. Allows big accumulation of capital.
-People begin to demand more things because foreign trade brings more things to
society. New structures of production have to be built, because the old medieval sste a’t
fulfill the demand. A new class (bourgeoisie) needs to come to fulfill this need.
-Ellen Wood: capitalism is not innate. Capitalism resulted from the transformation of
agrarian feudalism to a monetary system in late medieval England./ This resulted in a system
based on compulsory competition, competitive production, and profit maximization. This
transformation destroyed all other social relations leaving society dependent on market forces.
Trade itself is not capitalist because it results from the recycling of pre-extant wealth rather
than the creation of additional value through productive labor.
-The Commercialization Model: Capitalism is the natural state of people. Men have a
natural propensity to truck, barter and exchange. The only obstacles that impede capital from
reaching its natural fruition are artificial obstacles. Ex: politics, religion, taxes, social relations.
Note: Elle Woods does’t defed the oeializatio odel!
-Capitalis does’t eist util a speifi oet i tie Enclosure Enclosure: During
the Middle Ages, in Europe, landlords exploit the serfs. In England, Serfs are
protected/landlords have limited power. So what do landlords do? They make them compete
for the land and for production.
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