The Manufacturing Phase In Europe

Rethinking Marxism

Peter Custers

[Below the author will sketch the role of the state as an organizer of arms production and as purchaser of weaponry in European history. During the stage identified by Marx as the manufacturing stage—between the preceding artisanal and the subsequent factory-based phase of production—the state crucially impacted on the transformation in relations of production and on the division of labour. It brought production tasks which in the past had been dispersed under the roof of arsenals directly managed by state-functionaries. It centralised and redistributed skills which formerly had been performed by individual artisans. And the state gave overall direction to the process of accumulation that ultimately was to lead to the factory-based organisation of labour. Since these data are partly at variance with the analysis presented by Marx in his 'Capital' (1) re-analysis of the manufacturing phase exemplifies the need to rethink Marxist theory.]

To start, focus is to be given on the production of warships in the arsenal of the Italian city-state of Venice which has been well researched by the historian Frederic Chapin Lane (2). The Venetian arsenal by the middle of the 16th century could boast a long experience of operation. Originally founded in the later part of the 12th century, the complex had seen two major expansions in size. By the period highlighted by Lane, it had become a production complex consisting of many dry docks, gun foundries and foundries of iron smiths, shops for other artisans, a big lumber yard and other storehouses for raw materials. The arsenal was both a production centre for the manufacturing of galleys and arms; it enabled the assemblage of the ship's parts, and it offered space for the storage of warships until they were needed for war making by the state. The size of the labour force is reputed to have been 1 to 2 thousand persons,—a very large number of collective labourers for any production site at this time. Given its significance for Venice, the arsenal was considered the main power base of the Italian city-state according to Lane (3).

The rulers of Venice exercised a direct influence over the arsenal's functioning. A part of the responsibility for running production was assigned to functionaries appointed by the city's Senate. Thus, the 'Lords' of the arsenal closely supervised book-keeping, organised the collection of funds, and commanded the purchases of all supplies required. They were in charge of the arsenal's financial management. The 'Commissioners' were entrusted with the task of informing the city-rulers of the arsenal's needs, and the 'Admiral' was responsible for supervision of the whole production process. He seems to have taken charge, amongst others, of the final stage of production, i.e. ship assemblage whenever the galleys had to be readied for the sea. Yet the Senate and the Council of Venice actively participated in the management of the arsenal as well, taking decisions for instance on the number and pay of the foremen and of the master artisans(4). There is, then, no doubt that the arsenal was not just owned by, but was also run by the Venetian city-state.

Further, via management of the Arsenal the state not only directed arms' production. It in fact exerted a broader influence over the economy of the city. Whereas the manufacturing of war galleys in the past had partly been subcontracted to owners of private wharfs,—by the 16th century all construction of war galleys was taking place inside the arsenal's complex. There existed in the city only one single production centre for building fighting ships, and this was firmly under state-patronage. Moreover, the arsenal held supplies of timber which were not only used towards the arsenal's own needs, but were also sold to private builders of galleys geared towards transportation of civilian cargo. The state, in other words, was not only active as organiser of military production. It even played a role as supplier of raw materials to private capitalists (5). Hence, the Venetian city-state combined a variety of economic functions: it was at once a revenue holder, a key organiser of military production, and seller of commodities to capitalists manufacturing civilian goods.

The latter was possible due to the fact that the state controlled large forest resources. Since the continuous supply of lumber was crucial to the arsenal's functioning, the state did not wish to rely on any rural region that was not under Venice's dominance. The rulers of the city organised wood cutting through agents it itself appointed. Private felling of trees was banned, and trees were marked to indicate that they would be cut for employment in the arsenal (6). Thus, the state sought to avoid dependence on private capitalists for the supply of strategic raw materials. And the case of Venice's arsenal brings out that during the epoch of capitalism's rise, the state operated as supreme industrial entrepreneur. Since the state itself furnished oak and other wood to the arsenal, it to an extent did away with the need to maintain 'non-reciprocal' relationships with the owners of companies extracting and processing wood.

A Cooperative Form of Artisan Production
Let's next look briefly at the labour process as it was shaped in the arsenal by the 16th century. By this time, the production speed at the arsenal ensured that 30 warships could be built in half a year's time, and that galleys could be assembled rapidly whenever the threat of war loomed large. Frederic Lane distinguished three stages in construction of a war galley in the arsenal. In the first stage, the keel was laid and the framework of the ship built. All jobs in this stage were performed by the shipwrights and by other carpenters. Next, the planks were fastened, and the cabins and other superstructures built onto the hull. Here, there was work both for the artisans known as caulkers, and for the ship carpenters. In the third stage, the seams were filled with tow and pitch, a job which once again was assigned to the caulkers. Then the oars and other equipments were attached to the galley. According to Lane, whereas the first production stage was completed in one single section of the arsenal—all the other sections were involved in the final stage of ship production (7).

Further, the production organisation in the arsenal in the 16th century continued to reflect the fact that it had its origins in the craft-based production of the Middle Ages. A key position was held by the shipwrights, i.e. the master carpenters. Initially they continued to maintain their independent workshops, even while being employed part-time in the arsenal. But by the 16th century, they had become employees who were fully occupied with the building of warships. Along with other masters who depended on state-employment, they were known as the arsenalotii. In the arsenal they continued as master artisans, each being assisted by his own apprentices. Meanwhile, the autonomy of the master carpenters was circumscribed by the presence of foremen,—men who gave technical direction to the tasks of the specialised labourers, and gave unity to the production pro-cess. Thus, foremen existed in almost all main sections of the arsenal, and each commanded a sizeable number of labourers. Reportedly, the foreman shipwright alone oversaw many hundreds of carpenters and sawyers (8).

Again, whereas the arsenal was a unit of production belonging to a new stage in the evolution of capitalism,—the guild system of the Middle Ages continued to prevail, be it in a modified manner. There were three guilds for the shipbuilding crafts, i.e. the guild of the ship carpenters and those of caulkers, and sawyers. These guilds—as had been the case during the Middle Ages—served to protect the profession of their members. They were associations of craftsmen for the furtherance of their members' interests, collecting money for instance for the marriage of daughters and for the burial of deceased craftsmen. A part of the burden of social insurance for the caulkers and carpenters, however, was borne by their employers, for the arsenal provided a pension to its employees in old age. This financial dependence of the craft workers and their guilds, as to be expected, affected their autonomy. According to Lane, by the 16th century the guilds of the Venetian arsenal had (partly) turned into branches of administration. They had become organs through which the city government enforced its will on the craftsmen (9).

Clearly, production relations in the arsenal no longer conformed to those that had prevailed when towns and cities arose first. In the late Middle Ages urban centres had been constituted as centres where craftsmen and other small producers celebrated their freedom from the rural aristocracy. The arsenal  expressed a new approach to the organisation of production, restricting the artisans' liberty. Towards the aim of defending Venetia's might, the production of galleys was streamlined. The arsenal embodied a structure of discipline and cooperation by large groups of specialised workers toiling in one and the same complex. This result was not obtained by the artisans themselves or by persons mediating between production and sale, but by the city-state's government. And since the arsenal in the 16th century had superseded all other Venetian construction-sites of galleys in importance, there can be little doubt but that it was the state which steered the historical transformation in production relations.

The Arsenal and Marx's Analysis of the Manufacturing Stage
It is now time to discuss the case of the Venetian arsenal with reference to Marx's conceptualisation of the manufacturing period of capitalism. In Capital I, Marx gave a beautiful exposition of the manufacturing stage, as a transitional stage leading to the emergence of capitalism proper. The given stage in his view was an intermediate one between the historical period of master artisans, working independently in their own workshops,—and the factory system where large numbers of waged workers were brought under the sway of industrial machines. According to Marx, in the period preceding the latter, the collective worker already emerged, as large numbers of labourers were gathered together to toil in one and the same space. Amongst them, a division of labour held sway which assigned skilled artisans to specialised detail tasks. To an extent a division between unskilled and skilled labouring tasks also emerged. According to Marx's assessment, the manufacturing period lasted from the middle of the 16th until the later part of the 18th century (10).

Marx reviewed several concrete examples, including the construction of carriages and the manufacturing of watches. But nowhere he discussed the experience of state arsenals. Yet from the facts cited on the division of labour in the Venetian arsenal, the relevance of Marx's views is immediately evident. Marx described two processes by which the manufacturing division of labour emerged. One is through gathering, under one roof, artisans belonging to a variety of disciplines, who previously had carried on their trade in separate workshops. The other one is the very reverse. Here, capitalists simultaneously started employing in one workshop a whole series of artisans who shared similar skills, and who were induced to divide their jobs into constitutive parts. Though handicraft skills, in Marx's view, continued to serve as foundation for the process of production,—through the given combination and recombination the division of labour was consciously developed and the 'productivity' of labour was enhanced (11).

The example of the Venetian arsenal illustrates Marx' point that the labour process was restructured during the manufacturing period. Here, as stated, a number of artisans with distinct disciplines were at work in one and the same production complex—with tasks varying from building the warship's hull and the making of the ship's sails, to the forging of swords and lances. Tasks relating to the framing of the wooden parts of the ship and its equipments were subdivided into the manufacturing of the hull, the cabin and the deck furnishings on the one hand, and tasks relating to the making of masts and oars on the other. The list of employees cited by Lane, of people who worked in the arsenal in 1560, indicates that the system of artisanship and apprenticeship continued to exist under the manufacturing division of labour, and that different categories of artisan workers were assigned unskilled labourers as assistants (12). The labour organisation in the Venetian arsenal thus strikingly demonstrates how the collective labourer was created long before the Industrial Revolution took place.

Yet the arsenal's experience also brings out that the manufacturing period started earlier than Marx indicated in his Capital I, and that state-guided production significantly contributed to the historical transition from the artisan period to the manufacturing phase of capitalism. For whereas Marx, as stated, thought that the latter phase only started by the middle of the 16th century.—the Venetian arsenal by then had already reaped more than two and a half centuries of experience. Moreover, whereas Marx's analysis gave no reason to presume that the state actively promoted the growlh of a detailed division of labour, the case of the production of warships under the Venetian arsenal, which apparently was the largest complex with collective labourers in the city-state, is likely to have exerted an influence on the mode of operation of the city's private shipbuilders and other manufacturers. In any case, whereas Marx ignored the role of arsenals and that of the state in the transition from the artisan to the manufacturing period, their role does need to be posed by Marxist theory.

England and France in the 16th and 17th Centuries
A form of organisation of production which somewhere lies in between that of the Venetian arsenal, and that which characterised the private wharfs under corporate ownership (which later organisation of production would predominate in the monopoly phase of capitalism) deserves special attention. This intermediate pattern of production relations reportedly emerged in England and in France, two Northern European states which in the 16th and 17th centuries devoted large resources towards construction of a war fleet, as a part of their striving to gain hegemony in Europe and the world at large. In Northern Europe, the main warship now became the sailing galleon. Contrary to the oared fighting galley of the Mediterranean, the galleon was distinguished by its broadside along which a battery of heavy guns was placed at a commanding height (13). Side-by-side with the development of a distinct type of warship, the rulers of England and other Northern European states also devised a distinct pattern of production relations: the state subcontracted the responsibility for construction of warships to master artisans.

Under this pattern, described by the German economist Werner Sombart, the state no longer sought to directly control the production process through appointed officials. Instead it offered contracts which fixed the price for the work of construction agreed to with privately operating shipwrights. As in the Venetian and other arsenal, the division of labour was a manufacturing division of labour. Artisans with a variety of skills—carpenters, smiths, painters, coopers, etc.—all toiled as collective labourers within one production compound. As in Venice, there were foremen who gave technical guidance and ensured the unity of the production process. However, contrary to the situation as existed in the arsenal of the Italian city-state, the chief shipwright under the contract system that emerged in England in the 16lh century was not offered a labour contract, but a product contract. It stipulated what price the sovereign would pay for the sailing galleon upon completion of construction (14).

Further, both in England and in France, the state continued to supply the royal shipwrights contracted to do the job with the necessary wood and other raw materials so as to implement the construction project. Hence, the state dominated the production process in the wharf not by controlling its management, but by furnishing the commodities needed to launch the manufacturing process, and by buying the wharfs end product. Moreover, the state not only performed supply tasks in relation to the wharfs where warships were built, but according to Sombart also did so in relation to wharf's where commercial ships were built (15). This latter is reminiscent of the intermediary role played by the arsenal of Venice with regard to wood. It indicates that states, through the rise of capitalism in Europe, have repeatedly mediated the production of commodities. Not only by providing a guaranteed demand, as they did in the case of warships. But also by ensuring, in the case of civilian vessels, that raw materials be supplied that were of strategic value too production.

Once again, then, a partial adjustment in understanding of history is called for. According to a view commonly held by Marxist theoreticians,—commercial traders mediated the transition from the individual and scattered artisan-production of commodities that existed by the later Middle Ages, to the manufacturing stage. They did so presumably by undertaking to supply the artisan producers with raw materials, and by combining this role with that of buyer of the artisans' end product. This appropriation of roles supposedly preceded and paved the way for centralisation of production under the traders' command. From the accounts provided by economic historians, it appears that a different sequence has marked the transition in production of arms, and particularly of warships. For while in the military sector various patterns have existed side-by-side—the pattern laid bare by Sombart is that of a transition from the state-guided production of warships of the later Middle Ages, to the state-guided production on a contract basis that existed in England and France during the 16th and 17th centuries.

England's Rise to Primacy
Just like Venice, the English Republic in the 16th century registered a remarkable expansion in the production of warships. Sombart compared the tonnage of warships built in the twenty-two year period from 1559 to 1580, with the tonnage of warships built in the succeeding twenty-two years, i.e. from 1581 to 1602. Whereas during the first period warships weighting 31 thousand tons were built,—during the second period the tonnage was as much as 103 thousand, i.e. more than triple the amount (16). This threefold increase in ship weight in tonnage terms was achieved in such a short period as to invite comment. Clearly, the expansion in the production of warships in weight terms in the given period indicates that such construction formed a key part of England's incipient accumulation process.

Indeed, warships appear to have led the enlargement in the size of all ships constructed. Here, Sombart offers data on the size of warships common in the 17th century. According to him, a weight of one thousand ton became the rule for warships,—well beyond the average tonnage of commercial ships in the same age. Thus, at the time of England's war with France, in 1688, the English war fleet comprised 41 ships weighing over 1 thousand tons, the heaviest weighing 1739 tons. Sombart adds that the crew of these ships was equally large, varying from 400 to 800 persons. Each ship carried a large number of artillery pieces, i.e. between 70 and 100 pieces. This emphasis on construction of mighty ships, involving huge material resources and labour power, could not but exert a major impact on the vision of England's private capitalists. As Sombart argues, 'the important thing is that the navy, through the building of such large ships, revolutionised all conventional ideas as to what size of ships could be built; it created examples!' (17)

Moreover, the state took an active interest in promoting the building, also, of large commercial ships. This it did by offering subsidies to wharfs which undertook to construct ships with a size that was truly huge. A part of the reasoning behind the policy was that large commercial ships, in time of need, could be solicited to serve military ends. As during the age of the Mediterranean galleys,—the difference between 'military' and 'civilian-type' ships was still relatively small. The policy of offering subsidies (premien), thus, became a widespread practice among European rulers, and it affected private capitalist initiative. For, as Sombart argues, during the rise of capitalism, individual entrepreneurs frequently displayed a tendency to stick to old ways and eschew change. In this context, the state's policy of providing subsidies to wharfs that undertook to build giant ships helped private entrepreneurs break with pre-capitalist modes of thinking, and enhanced the drive to accumulate (18).

The evidence cited by Sombart on sizes of warships in the 16th/ 17th century and on governmental subsidies for construction of giant ships, once again leads to the conclusion that the process of capitalist accumulation has never been a self-contained market process, but has always encompassed an active role by the state. The state in Holland and in England steered the process of founding national financial markets where capitalists could lend their surplus capital against an interest, as it has been discussed elsewhere (19). In considering the evidence on military and civilian shipbuilding one can conclude that, parallel to its intervention in the banking and financial sphere, the state from early onwards also intervened in the production sphere to promote an expansion in the scale of capitalist production. And though its intervention covered only a few selected fields of production directly,—the state's policy on shipbuilding did indirectly affect a variety of interrelated economic activities, including the extraction and processing of wood, and the production of iron used to manufacture ship artillery.

Producing Means of Production (MP)
To measure the extent to which the state has promoted the growth of capitalist production relations in European history, it is essential to measure the state's impact on the formation of identifiable 'Production Departments'. As defined by Marx, the Department for production of the means of production (MP) consisted in mining industries created for the extraction of raw materials from the earth; in processing industries turning out processed raw materials employed towards the production of arms and civilian commodities; and in industries turning out industrial components and machinery (20). Economic historians have collected evidence illustrating that state-guided military production from the period of the Venetian city-state onwards and all through to the British Industrial Revolution stimulated the mining and processing of metal and metal products. First of copper, i.e. the key raw material in bronze weapons—and subsequently of iron.

As to copper production : as early as in the 15th century the proportion of copper in bronze weapons was as large as the share of copper common in bronze products today. It was over nine-tenth the metal content of bronze (21). Copper reportedly was the very first metal for which a large social demand was created. In the 16th century, when copper mining was largely concentrated in Northern European states, it formed the principal source of wealth of German capital groups, such as the powerful Fugger House. According to Sombart's data, total investments made by the Fugger House alone in copper production in 1546 were larger than any other capital investment in the annals of 16th century commerce (22). This fact needs to be combined with the fact that copper sales of the Fugger House and of other German houses were largely oriented towards public consumers—instead of incipient private entrepreneurs. For the purchasers of mined copper were primarily arms producing city-states, such as Venice. According to Sombart, the Italian city through a whole epoch functioned as the centre where the international price of copper was determined! (23)

Again—data on the history of Great Britain collected by economic historians testify to the fact that state-purchases of iron for weaponry had a formative influence on the growth of the country's iron industry. In the 16lh and 17th century, Sussex was the chief centre of the English iron industry, and its raw material output was largely employed towards the manufacturing of cannons and bullets (24). Further, in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution Britain was engaged in war with revolutionary France. According to McNeil 'both the absolute volume of production and the mix of products' which at that time came from British factories and forges were 'profoundly affected by government expenditure for war purposes'. Government demand in particular 'created a precocious iron industry', and crucially affected the changes in production technique in the iron forges of the time (25). Here again, with regard to the mining and processing of iron ore, one notes that the state's demand for this new commodity, allocated towards manufacturing of weaponry, exerted a formative influence on the industry.

The examples of copper and iron then serve to further demonstrate that the state's role during the rise of capitalism must be taken into account. Surely, the state was not the only purchaser of these metals, and not all production of arms and ammunition was concentrated in state–arsenals. Powerful private arms manufacturers also existed during the period of the rise of capitalism, such as the gun foundries in Liege, Belgium (26). Furthermore, the data regarding the formation of national and international demand in copper and iron ore cited by Sombart, McNeil and other economic historians seem too incomplete to warrant final conclusions. Still, there is little doubt that copper and iron were strategic raw materials, and that the mines and the processing industries for these metals contributed to the formation of the Department for production of the means of production (MP), as defined by Marx. Hence, to the extent that the state acted as chief purchaser of these raw materials, it did contribute to the historical transition towards capitalism, and helped in constructing the system's Production Department I (MP).

The State and Growth of Department II
Lastly the impact of the army purchases by the state during  the period of the rise of capitalism on formation of Department II, the Department for production of the means of consumption (MC) should be adequately considered. First it should be noted that this period in European history was marked by the regularisation of state-armies, i.e. the creation of standing armies. This transition reportedly was made in the Italian city-states where militias recruited from among professional artisans originally were the main form of military organisation. These ultimately were superseded by standing armies, partly recruited from among the unemployed. The period of the rise of capitalism, further, was also marked by a huge expansion in army sizes. Both the regularisation of armies and the quantitative growth in the number of persons recruited to serve as soldiers—according to economic historians such as McNeil and Sombart—exerted a direct impact on the growth of capitalist relations, since massive purchases of daily necessities and other consumer goods needed to be made in order to feed and clothe the standing armies of warring European states.

William McNeil, for instance, in writing on 18th century purchases made by the British navy, argued that these stimulated the growth of commercial agriculture. 'The victuallers who provided meat, beer and biscuit for the royal navy, had to feed a population of anywhere from 10 thousand to 60 thousand men, by buying provisions inland and delivering them to the naval storehouses on the coast'. (27) These purchases then promoted a reorientation in peasant production, from production for sustenance and local use, towards production for the capitalist state and a national market. On the other hand, as McNeil also notes, through the imposition of taxes on rural regions where production relations were still partly pre-capitalist in nature, the incorporation of agriculture into the new mode of production was also promoted. Since bread, beer, biscuits and other daily necessities which the navy and infantry regularly needed to buy are key means of consumption,—it may safely be assumed that the massive purchases for Europe's expanding armies were a basic factor stimulating the formation of 'Department II', the Department for production of the means of consumption.

Similar claims have been put forward regarding the impact of army purchases of uniforms. Thus, Sombart points at the fact that the regular purchases of large quantities of uniforms to clothe European state armies led to standardisation of production, i.e. to production of identical commodities on an increasingly large scale. Previous to capitalism's manufacturing period, when artisan production predominated,—standardised production of commodities remained largely undeveloped. According to Sombart, Europe's standing armies, in placing orders for massive quantities of uniforms e.g., critically promoted the standardisation of commodity production in the textile sector, at a time when the mass production of standard commodities was uncommon (28). Here again, with regard to army purchases of cloth, one can speak of an impact that the state exerted on the formation of Department II. For alongside the agricultural sector, the textile and clothing sector was a second key commodity sector contributing to the formation of the Department for production of the means of consumption (MC),—Marx's second fundamental production Department.

In truth the state in the period of capitalism's rise in Europe, intervened to direct the transition in the social relations of production via its military purchases. Surely, with regard to the state's impact on the formation and growth of Department II,—there is no radical break between the different phases of historical capitalism. For military orders of standardised daily necessities are as characteristic for the monopoly phase of the capitalist system, as they were for the system's 'manufacturing period'. Nevertheless, the evidence on state-purchases of food and clothing reinforces the conclusion drawn in the previous section of this essay on the state's historical relationship with Department 1. The capitalist system during the centuries of the rise of capitalism should not be conceptualised as an emerging model consisting of just two Departments. Instead the system consisted in two incipient production Departments, the growth of which was actively stimulated by intervention of the state. Historical realities thus more closely conform to a model with three 'pillars' (29).

Historical Transition
Marx presumed that the beginning of manufacturing phase lay in the 16th century, and that the transition was directed by merchants mediating between artisan producers on the one hand and the market on the other. The evidence gathered by historians on arms production in arsenals shows that large groups of carpenters and caulkers, as well as other master-artisans and assistants, in the case of Venice at least were gathered together long before the 16th century, and that the organisation of labour in state-managed military production units was well developed by the 16th century. Clearly, the conclusion seems justified that as an organiser of military production the state significantly contributed towards changes in production relations under rising capitalism.

This conclusion on the European state as motive force for historical change can be widened by taking into account the state's purchasing policies. Such policies partly overlapped with the state's role as an organiser of production. For as owner and manager of the arsenal the state needed to procure key raw materials, such as wood for the construction of warships, plus copper and iron for the manufacturing of cannons and other weaponry. And even where the state opted to place its orders for the warships to private constructors, such as in France and England,—it influenced the social accumulation process via its purchasing policies. For European states striving for hegemony opted to rely on standing armies requiring large and regular supplies of uniforms and bread. In short, the economic role of the state during the manufacturing phase can in no way be belittled. It was so consequential that should lead one to reconsider Marx's reproduction model—the model shaped by two 'Production Departments' entirely determining the pace of accumulation through reciprocal market exchanges. Clearly, a non-reciprocal actor was present from the start. And as to the transitional, manufacturing phase of capitalism discussed in the above essay: it was littered with numerous murderous wars between European states vying for hegemony. As Werner Sombart notably has stressed: the drive to wage war and the drive to accumulate were closely, very closely intertwined (30). 

[This essay is a revised and abridged version of Chapter Eleven of Custers' study 'Questioning Globalized Militarism. Nuclear and Military Production and Critical Economic Theory' (Tulika, New Delhi, 2007, p. 162)]

(1)     Karl Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Vol-I (Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR, 1977), Chapter XIV, The Division of Labour and Manufacture;
(2)    Frederic Chapin Lane (1934), Venetian Ships and Shipbuilders of the Renaissance (Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, USA, 1934); for the example of warship-construction in the decentralised Admirali-ieiten, the production sites for warships of the Netherlands in the two centuries preceding the French Revolution, see Jaap R Bruijn, The Dutch Navy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (University of South Carolina Press, 1993);
(3)    Frederic Chapin Lane (1934), op.cit, p. 152;
(4)    ibid, p. 146-175;
(5)    ibid, p. 150;
(6)    ibid, Chapter XII, The timber Supplies, p.217;
(7)    ibid, p. 143:
(8)    ibid, p.88;
(9)    ibid, p.72, The Craft Guilds;
(10)   Karl Marx (1977), op.cit., p.318;
(11)    Karl Marx (1977), op.cit.; the term productivity here is employed by Marx in its capitalist sense, as referring to the quantity of products generated in course of a certain measure of time;
(12)   Frederic Chapin Lane (1934), op.cit., p.161-163;
(13)   Peter Padfield, Guns at Sea (Hugh Evelyn, London, United Kingdom, 1973), Chapter Nine, 'Galleys versus Sailing Ships', p.41;
(14)   Werner Sombart, Krieg und Kapitalixmus (in German: War and Capitalism -Verlag von Dunker & Humboldt, Muenchen and Leipzig, Germany, 1913), p. 195;
(15)   ibid, p. 197;
(16)   ibid, p. 190;
(17)   ibid, p. 186;
(18)   ibid, p. 187;
(19)   Peter Custers, Questioning Globalized Militarism. Nuclear and Military Production and Critical Economic Theory (Tulika, New Delhi, 2007), Part Two, Chapter Twelve;
(20)  Karl Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, Volume II (Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR. 1967). Chapter XX. p.396;
(21)   Werner Sombart (1913), op.cit., p.103;
(22)  ibid, p.105;
(23)  ibid;
(24)  William McNeil, The Pursuit of Power. Technology, Armed force and Society Since AD 1000 (Basil Blackwell. Oxford, UK, 1982). p,112/113;
(25)  William McNeil (1982), op.cit., p. 211; compare Werner Sombart (1913), op.cit., p. 10S-109;
(26)  William McNeil (1982), op.cit., p.! 13; as McNeil states, the Liege gun makers could dictate prices to the mightiest rulers in Europe for the military commodities they wished to buy;
(27)  ibid, p. 181;
(28)  Werner Sombart (1913). op.cit:
(29)  Peter Custers (2007), op.cit. Chapter Ten, p. 147;
(30)  Werner Sombart (1913), op.cit.

[Peter Custers, a long-time associate of Frontier is no more. Peter Custers, a marxist, anti-militarist, Bangladesh Solidarity Activist died without warning aged 66, just a few weeks ago in September. His funeral took place on September 10 in Leiden, The Netherlands. We received this article for publication in the Autumn Number of Frontier in August.

In the first part of the 1970s, after Bangladesh gained its political independence, he gathered first-hand experience in grassroots peasant organising, while stationed in Bangladesh as leading Dutch journalist, writing for both Dutch and international newspapers and magazines. During the 1980s, he actively participated in the Dutch peace movement against the threat of nuclear war.

Over the last twenty years, Custers has led or helped initiate a variety of international campaigns on Southern causes, while lobbying actively towards the European Parliament and other Brussels-based European institutions. Such as: the international campaign questioning the World Bank-coordinated "Flood Action Plan' (FAP), Bangladesh (1991-1997), and the campaign on trade liberalisation and Africa (i.e. on 'EPAs') (2004-2007).

In 2007/2008, Custers was an affiliated fellow, researching on religious tolerance and the history of Bangladesh, at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands. In 2010, he was granted an award as Human Rights' Defender and Friend of Bangladesh, by the country's Current government.

Custers' original theoretical study Questioning Globalized Militarism (Tulika, New Delhi/Merlin Press, London, 2007) covers both the production and exportation of arms and nuclear production in its broadest sense (i.e. civilian plus military). The study was pre-faced and hailed for its innovative significance by the world-renowned economist Samir Amin.

Autumn Number, Vol. 48, No. 14 - 17, Oct 11 - Nov 7, 2015