Pre-capitalist formations

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu May 30 09:58:12 MDT 1996


Louis: I recommend Janet Abu-Lughod's "Before European Hegemony" for more
on this. Strongly influenced by Wallerstein and Braudel, the book reviews
the state of development in various portions of the globe in the years
1250-1350 A.D. and concludes that Europe was not "advanced" in
relationship to China, Arab nations, etc. She details Chinese sailing
expeditions to the east coast of Africa a hundred years or so before
Columbus. The largest ship in a typical fleet could have held all of
Columbus's original 3 ships, etc., etc.

On Thu, 30 May 1996, rakesh bhandari wrote:

>
> Just a note: James Blaut, who argues that the 'accidental' discovery of the
> Americas  alone explain why capitalism emerged in Northern Europe, is
> actually suggesting that Europe's succession of modes of production is
> universal (I think it was in *Monthly Review* that I read a very good short
> review by Joel Kovel of Blaut's work).
>
> In other words, Blaut is basically arguing that Europe was no closer to
> breaking out of feudalism than anywhere else in the world, until American
> silver and gold violently shed the skin of the European feudal order.



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