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I think money is a poor substitute for capital in this analysis as money is needed as cultural chip to access either land, labor or capital.

Think instead of the tools, the machines, the workbenches and the assembly line of industrial production. As we produce ever more, we need ever more of resources to feed in (land), workers to man the machines (labor) and and machines (capital). Any one of these can hinder the growth of the production. Of course, production can be directed to build capital, but if capital is controlled in a few hands, that will not happen.

When speaking of non-industrial sectors, there are also ways to control capital, today intellectual property legislation in different forms seems to popular method, a couple of centuries ago guilds were the rage.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:25:05 AM EST
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Mumford showed that even the most rudimentary means of accounting for grain, timber, livestock, etc. is adequate to underpin the capital that inheres in the social machine of the early state. Coins did not come along until 800-700 B.C. and, naturally, had the image of the sovereign embossed upon them when they did. Double entry bookkeeping is, in effect, just fancier coins. What matters is how honest it is.

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by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 10:20:42 AM EST
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I have said "Although theoretically capital is any means of production...

The problem with machines (and such) as capital nowadays is that the machines are expendable soon because of fast technology progress and obsolesce turnover. The whole industry business model is based largely on planned obsolesce. Material resources get little respect as capital. Like in the "Monopoly" game, the purpose is to score that funny paper. The real capital with power is the capital of implicit promises and privileges represented by money.

The whole purpose of economy seems to be not to serve some needs of aggregate production or producers. Rather reversely, production exists to serve needs of financiers and rentiers. They have such a huge volume of implied promises and privileges, that they can hardly do anything with it but nominally grow or convert it to commanding social power. And the whole political-economic system is geared to satisfying that.

by das monde on Sun Jul 18th, 2010 at 08:54:06 PM EST
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