Primitive accumulation of capital

From Communpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Primitive accumulation is the process by which precapitalist modes of production, such as feudalism and chattel slavery, are transformed into the capitalist mode of production.[1] Decisions to engage in primitive accumulation have been made, and considered necessary, in situations where socialists have taken power in countries which have not undergone the industrial revolution. In such situations the capital necessary to finance industrialization has sometimes been raised by heavy taxes or required in-kind contributions by the agricultural sector. In such a situation due to the lack of industrial products to buy it is difficult to motivate agricultural producers to maximize production or to make their full production available on the market. In the Soviet Union during the 1920s this problem was so acute that a difficult reorganization of the agricultural sector was undertaken in the 1930s which consolidated production and made millions of peasants who had previously lived as subsistence farmers available for industrial work.

Alternate name

Accumulation by disposession has been used as an alternate name for primitive accumulation.[2]


  1. Robert W. Gehl, "Primitive Accumulation"
  2. Onkwehonwe rising   Ian Baird has referred to contemporary "violent capitalist accumulation by dispossession" (cited in Scott Simon 2011, "Indigenous Peeoples, Marxism and Late Capitalism", New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry 5:1 (Nov. 2011), p 7. )