I'm unsure as to whether this question belongs on the History or Economics stack exchange, but while reading a book on Soviet Union policies after WW1 I came across the term “accumulation through mar­ket exchanges”. The context is:

The story of the Left-Right-Center debates during the 1920s is complex. The positions of the protagonists some­ times clashed: for example, in economics the ‘primitive ac­ cumulation” thesis versus the “accumulation through mar­ket exchanges” proposition; or, in ideology, the possibility versus impossibility of building socialism in one country.

Could someone explain this term or provide some resources that I could use to educate myself?(A google search yields nothing immediately fruitful) For explaining purposes, consider me as someone with roughly a year of high school economics class experience.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could you please provide reference to where you heard the term? $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 7:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ On a very basic level, the language is used to express a distinction between perceived 'involuntary' and 'voluntary' economic activity. With the former, 'primitive accumulation' is a Marxist term referring to something close to wealth made by a slave-owning class. The latter term refers to economic activity where wealth is generated through the exchange of labour for money, and likewise, money for the final production/consumption good (all of which, exchanged on a set of markets). $\endgroup$
    – EB3112
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 9:44


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