"A factory for Europe"

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at SPAMsisurb.filo.uba.ar
Mon Oct 11 16:59:47 MDT 1999

El 11 Oct 99 a las 15:41, Louis Proyect nos dice(n):

> Caio Prado, "The Colonial Background of Modern Brazil" (U.
> of Cal. 1967):
> "The actual situation that existed under the colonial
> regime corresponded effectively to the legal situation;
> this is easy to understand. The population at the end of
> Brazil's colonial history was still made up of that same
> heterogeneous aggregate: On the one hand, there was a
> small minority of white, or quasi-white, colonists; they
> were true promoters, in collusion with the mother country,
> of colonization and owners of the land and all its wealth.
> On the other hand, there was the great mass of the
> population, slaves, or little better than slaves, who were
> simply the working machines with no other role in the
> system. Thus, by the very nature of such a structure,
> Brazil could not have been other than what it had been
> hitherto--a factory for Europe, a mere supplier of
> tropical products for her trade."

Yes, but Caio Prado also took into account the fact that
the  "great mass of the population" were not free labor who
had to rent their work power on a daily basis, but "the
working machines" themselves (this is one of the secrets of
slavery: that direct producers become "things that speak").
Thus he went further ahead from this excellent description
and explained that, in his own view, at the level of
production this "factory" should be understood as a
"plantation mode of production".  I am quoting by heart,
and may be probably missing the details. But this feature
of Prado's book, which I read years ago, struck me

Could Carlos add something on this issue?


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