Jehu Eaves recently wrote a critique on the work of Kevin Carson, you can read the first part here. Kevin Carson recently posted a response to this critique on his mutualist blog. You can read the response here.
by: Kevin Carson
Jehu Eaves has written a thoughtful, multipart “critical examination of Kevin Carson’s mutualism” at Gonzo Times.
Eaves begins in Part One by acknowledging the truth of my account of the state’s indispensible role in the primitive accumulation process and the rise of capitalism, but defends Marx against the charge that he denied the indispensibility of the state. “He writes of the bloody violence unleashed on the floating population of England under Henry VIII, and, moreover, the history of plunder and colonization, and intensified inter-state conflict that accompanied the rise of Capital….”
Eaves quotes Marx again, in Part Two, reiterating his argument that “Wage Slavery was, in Marx’s opinion, not a result of nature, nor was it the mere product of preexisting social development.”
And in Part Three, he asserts once again that I would “get no argument from Marx” regarding the claim that “every step in the development of Capital has required State coercion and violence….”
Here I would just say that the problem with Marx is that he describes the state’s role in ways that imply its indispensibility in some places, while hedging on it in others. He is ambivalent. And Engels, in Anti-Duhring, flat-out asserts that the process of separation of capital from labor and the rise of wage-employment as the predominant model for organizing production would have occurred even if not a single hectare of peasant land been expropriated. (My reading of Engels will become a topic of dispute later on).
In any case, Eaves himself acknowledges that bloody, brutal state coercion was central to the rise of capitalism and the wage system as we know it. And more importantly, he acknowledges that. Article continued here.