The Origins and Development of Capitalism

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Words: 793 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

Words: 793|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Oct 31, 2018

The Origins and Development of Capitalism as a part of Karl Marx wider discussion on the sociology of capitalism was thought capitalism by Karl Marx that presented in an essay. As we know, in 16th and 17th centuries, Marx recognized capital accumulation as a direct consequence of the discovery, the development maritime trade with the East Indies and China and colonization and exploitation of the Americas. When the process began in the development of commercial capitalism, it diverse to the feudal capitalism that proceeds it.

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In medieval society contained the peasantry, feudal landowners and a middle level of artisans. The social relationship between peasants and landowners, apprentices and master, was a hierarchical patron-client type, and often than not lasted a lifetime, which patron providing protection and sustenance to their client, in return for the dedicated service and loyalty of the client. The existence of commercial capitalism causes the progress of the merchant class. When the power growth, it’s become complicated to both existing ruling class, the social order underpinning it, and the land-owning feudal lords.

In Marx perception, there are two types of producer that emerged from the beginning, first, the revolutionary merchant that who opposite with the craft guilds and agrarian economy, and second the transitional merchant, who continued to maintain direct profession if production by bringing independent craftsmen. Marx saw these transitional as a barrier to the real capitalist mode of production. However, Marx in this mode of production, where the producer remain in the same product, both as a problem to the capitalist and also as a future victim of capitalism’s development.

The revolution from feudal exploitation to capitalist exploitation involved a radical shift in the servitude of the peasant- laborer, and most importantly, the separation between laborer and the soil. When capitalist mode arose, it was triggered by the relative growth of world trade as a concern of European advance into the Americas and East Asia and led to the equivalent growth in the need for the goods.

Under the feudal mode of exploitation, the landlord will take half of the farmer harvest. The farmer themselves remained the contact with the production. Capitalist exploitation wants them to separate into from the means of production to become a ‘free labor’ that free to be exploited as a wage laborer. Therefore, it becomes necessary to the separated feudal relationship to break down in order to produce a pool of free laborer.

According to the Marx, free wage labor makes the double sense. It’s because they could carry their labor-power as their own commodity and at the same time, there’s no other commodity for sale. One of the free laborers was a commodity- possessor and the other one being the owners of the money means of production and means of subsistence.

When feudalism broke down, the feudal lord dissolves their numerous retainers. In addition, the advancement of agricultural activity and field conversion into meadows cause a displacement a large number of farmers, who gather at urban centers. When farmers and vagabonds moving to urban centers, and they provided an army of labor that needed in the industries. Therefore, the owner that produce the production of free- laborer, selling their labor as an exchange of wage. Nowadays, we can see that labor can be bought and sold in the market like the product. Marx not only saw this as a change in servitude but also a transformation into a commodity.

Change in nature of product was along with the change in social relationship from feudal product to capitalist. In capitalist of production, a product that becomes commodity was because they didn’t just have value, but also exchange value means like trade goods. The value of product becomes separate from the value, a product that becomes related to as a good trade. A commodity cannot be produced by subsistence that produces by him. Commodity production only can occur by using the capitalist production, by the separated worker as a commodity labor.

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In a way of capitalist production was an epoch-making mode of exploitation through its organization of labor and its stupendous technical progress. Therefore, the productive forces come out from industrial revolution that forces all country to adopt the use of a bourgeois mode of production. Marx forecast universal interdependence of nations, with capitalist production infiltrating every national boundary. Through exploitation over the world, the capitalist class has a given cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. Marx admired capitalism as a great economic system because it can overcome basic human needs, and he viewed it as a historical inevitability as a step in the human path. His views about capitalism as a pre-determined historic inevitability also before betrays his religious.

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The Origins and Development of Capitalism. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from
“The Origins and Development of Capitalism.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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