First Wage-labor Law (England, 1349)

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Sat Sep 2 19:00:34 MDT 1995


  Ken:
  ----
> Of course, people rely often on that preface because rarely was Marx ever
> so succinct in condensing his theory into a tight journalistic summation.

  Jerry:
  ------
  That is true, but, also, Marxists sometimes have a disturbing tendency
  to substitute short quotes or catchy slogans for analysis.

  Ken:
  ----
> Do you agree that it is no coincidence that at the very same moment laws
> were instituted to establish a maxmimum wage the labor market shrank
> drastically?

  Jerry:
  ------
  I agree.

  Ken:
  ----
> While I agree with you that people and happenstance can have great effect
> in history, I don't know that a comparison of a 1941 strike in the
> auto-industry is convincing in making a point about the Black Death. Yes,
> maybe King Edward's wife was whispering in his ear the whole time, just
> like Ford -- but you're going to have to go pretty far to convince me that
> the horrific and sudden extermination of a full third of a population by
> something as paranoia-invoking as a plague compares to the whims of a
> couple of people.

  Jerry:
  ------
  The point of my analogy was to caution against an overly mechanical and
  simplistic view of historical materialism, something that Ken also wants
  to caution against. I don't believe that King Edward's wife had a role in
  developing a state response to the plague (but I could be wrong).



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