[PEN-L:12559] Were sugar plantations capitalist?

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Tue Oct 12 00:52:09 MDT 1999

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Carrol, I am afraid that you have lost track of what this debate is about.
> Let me remind you.

Lou, what you never acknowledged was that the debate was on a
dozen different things, that I never joined *most* of those debates
but intervened on the following points *only*:

a) Empiricism vs. Marxism

b) The question of technological determinism vs. marxism.

c) Materialism vs the bourgeois Idea of Progress.

d) Historical materialism vs the eurocentric conviction that one can
measure the excellence of a people by their success or failure in
"inventing" capitalism. (I hope on this point I have misunderstood
you, but it seems to me that your empirical material is relevant if
and only if capitalism is a sign of moral and intellectual superiority.
I was not the only one who argued this but so far as I know you
have never responded.)

I never expressed any position on the textual issues of what Brenner
said or didn't say.

If you want to defend G.A. Cohen's technological determinism I will
debate you on that.

If you want to defend empiricism against marxism, I will debate you
on that.

If you want to defend capitalism as a measure of human excellence, I will
debate you on that.

If you want to claim that God has guaranteed the victory of socialism
I will debate you on that.

Otherwise, debate someone else.

As to my last post, I allowed myself to become too irritated by the
your last two posts to pen-l and gave a bungled response. I withdraw
that post.


Louis Proyect wrote:

> Carrol Cox wrote:
> >Capitalism began no later than the early 16th century. No marxist (at
> >least no marxist who has read marx) ever identified capitalism and
> >industrialism. If you are deserting marxism for one or another version
> >of world system theory, well and good, but I prefer to debate with
> >marxists.
> Yes, I have deserted Marxism for world systems theory and I will debate you
> here, whatever your preferences. What you don't understand is that Brenner
> DOES draw an equation between industrial capitalism and capitalism.  That
> is basically the problematic that Mintz was referring to. Carlos Rebello
> made that exact point here, possibly while you were counting stars or
> something. Now Carlos is a very strict orthodox Marxist who understands
> this here problem with Brenner. Perhaps you with all your pontification
> about who is a proper Marxist does not. Pay closer attention to the
> arguments and you will.
> >The debate on pen-l was long and messy, and many of the posts
> >were not so much opposed as simply on different topics. To
> >fwd a small selection of those posts to marxism is utterly obscurantist.
> You are no longer on PEN-L. You are here. It is time for you and I to enter
> the ring and square off. 37 fucking baiting attacks on me that I ignored.
> Your "ideological babble", Max's right-wing provocations and Wojtek's
> racist interventions helped to derail the discussion over there completely.
> Now it is time to speak of cabbages and kings. I love a good debate,
> Carrol, don't you?
> >I cannot imagine why you are choosing to desert almost everything
> >you have argued for for years. You seem to be incrasingly moving
> >towards the position of the productivist marxist, cohen.
> >
> >Carrol
> Are you referring to G.A. Cohen? Please supply an exact citation, if you
> can drag yourself away from your computer terminal and find the library on
> your college campus. I suspect that you are blowing hot air, but will give
> you the opportunity to prove that I am wrong.
> Louis Proyect
> (http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

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