Capitalism: impact and prospects

Mon, 28 Apr 1997 08:58:48 -0600 (NSK)
Nikolai S. Rozov (

Some considerations on the first Gilda's question

> From: (Gilda Esposito)
> than!!! I'm particulary interested on the following subjects:
> a)Is capitalist mode of production the devil of our time or unequal
> development and distribution of goods has always been unfair and will ever be?

i am not a historian, but all that i've read on world history persuades that
unequal distribution and exploitation are at least as old as Neilitic
Revilution. Moreover, antropological observations of Australian hunters-
gatherers bands show that rather sever exploitation took place even on this
stage but here adult men exploited (in areas of dayly food provision,
transportation, etc) women. Relations also included exchange, 'arenda',
borrowing, presenting of
wifes and daughters. Andrei Korotaev even compared these relations with
classical 5 features of social class by Lenin, and formally it occured that
even hunters-gatherers had class relations (adult men vs. women and young

The impact of capitalism into long history of exploitive societies
nevertheless seems to be rather significant:

1)having grasped means of production and control over dayly labor regime,
capitalists managed to make exploitation more severe than it was possible in
previous forms (see Marx)

2) encrease and globalization of international trade, exchange between
capitalist core and precapitalist (mostly tributary) peripheral societies
urged peripheral elits to make exploitation more rigorous (Wallerstein et al)

3) Evident technical progress, expecially as always in 'technologies of
violence' (M.Mann), encreased the gap between armed and non-armed (by most
progressive weapon), that's why
extremely severe forms of exploitation became possible (colonialism, slavery
in Americas as an organic part of early world capitalism)

4) Mass migrations, urbanization, formal civil institutions that accompanied
capitalism destroyed traditional clan-gen-kinship relations that served
rather efficiently for social defence of individuals, that's why atomized
individuals became almost unprotected in front of union of rich and powerful

(i would be grateful for corrections and additions to this list by

At the same time i cannot agree with Immanuel and other left-oriented ws-
scholars (widely represented here in wsn) that capitalism is a virus that
spoiled human history and must be substituted by smth new (socialism). In
contrast to left Western professors a have eated too much of real socialism
in my life, and i am fully agree with Daniel Chirot that socialism is not more
than a fall back into ancient forms of tributary empires but on industrial
stage. I still see no basis to hope that new 'socialist world government'
will be more democratic, liberal, humanistic, etc, than all previous (and
current - look at N.Korea) real socialist societies.

That's why the most plausible for me program for global future is step-by-
step amelioration of global capitalism on the base of progress of
international/national systems of humanistic Law. See about this program and
pro-socialist alternatives in wsn-discussion of Summer 1996
(opened by my msg "Where World Capitalism is going?") that was installed as
a file by Chris Chase-Dunn in WS-Archive in section 'global praxis'.

best wishes,

Nikolai S. Rozov # Address: Dept.of Philosophy
Prof.of Philosophy # Novosibirsk State University # 630090, Novosibirsk
Fax: (3832) 355237 # Pirogova 2, RUSSIA

Moderator of the mailing list PHILOFHI
(PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history)