Two Cents

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Thu Nov 2 11:55:35 MST 2000

Charles Brown wrote:

> CB: As to the origins of capitalist social relations, does he agree with Marx that
>slavery and colonialism were the chief momenta of the primitive accumulation of the
>capitalists , or not ?

Where did those capitalists come from? Unless you can answer this question you throw
away the whole of the marxist heritage for a mess of pottage -- to add a bit of
empirical evidence to a case
which is already established.

We *know* (if we are marxists) of the utter inseparability of capitalism and
imperialism. Your anxiety to somehow make imperialism and slavery responsible for the
*origins* of capitalism shows
a lamentable lack of confidence in Marx's analysis of capitalism. It almost seems as
though you doubt that slavery was a bad thing, you are so anxious to prove over and
over again that it is
bad. It is not necessary for a good case (and the case against slavery is very good
again) to pile up extra little bits of evidence. It's as though you accused Hitler of
not keeping the streets
clear of trash.


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