Social Economy: The Logic of Capitalist Development

By Clark Everling | Go to book overview

8

THE SOCIAL ECONOMY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIALISM

Marx shows in the Grundrisse and Capital that production, distribution, exchange, and consumption form relations to one another as they evolve in and through the processes of human social and individual reproduction within a certain mode of existence. “The result at which we arrive, is not that production, distribution, exchange, and consumption are identical, but that they are all elements of a totality, differences within a unity” (Marx 1986a: 36). This unity is not easily discernible because of the fetishism of commodities. Marx says of that fetishism that what are actually social relationships among people for their own reproduction appear to them in the fantastic form of a relation among things (1986b, vol. I: 77). And, of course, capitalism creates its own reproduction, makes itself object for human subjective activities, as a relation among things. Capitalism uses money as its form of accumulation of social wealth and as its device for the dissolving of previous relationships within social development and their reorganization for its own private appropriation. But capital can only reproduce itself as object for social relations by building upon developed forms of social reproduction. Consequently, capital creates the political economy as a social economy, as a form of social reproduction which relies ever more directly upon social relationships among people.

The point at which we arrive at the end of the twentieth century is that urban social space is a form for human reproduction which is much broader than capital. I have shown in this book that urban space evolves as the universal basis for human individual and social reproduction within capitalism because of the ways in which capital reorganizes social space. The neighborhood becomes the essential form for human reproduction, which evolves as an identity containing all of the elements of urban social and individual reproduction and then becomes the essence which defines the urban whole. The neighborhood develops within capitalism because in creating urban space as a division between private exchange and private production, this effectively separated production from residence and created residence as a definite social

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