E. Wood's defence of Brenner/

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Mon Nov 6 22:04:06 MST 2000


Hi Jim B.:

>Brenner's comment that we have to look at slavery in early Africa and class
>structures in early Africa to understandthe insignificance of the  Atlantic
>slave trade is -- in my view -- a thinly veiled recitation ofthe
>conservative Africanst view ( Thornto, Curtin)that Africans were natural
>slavers (Thornton: they valued wealth in slaves, not land) and were somehow
>"naturally" in a slave mode of production.
>
>>From which it follows that Eureopeans really weren't to blame for the
>African slave trade-- they just put slavery to productive use. I call these
>p[eople the "absolutionist hisaorians" because they absolve Euros of most
>of the blame for the horrors of trhe Atlantic salve trade and New World
>slavery,

I must disagree with you on the above.  Had Africans been "natural
slavers" as conservative Africanists allege, there would be no point
in examining class & inter-group struggles in Africa at all.  In
contrast, those who refuse to accept the naturalization of slavery,
as we do, might productively analyze the class & inter-group
struggles within Africa (among Africans as well as between Africans &
Europeans) & examine how they got transformed as Europeans embarked
upon the path toward capitalism & expansion of the Atlantic slave
trade & chattel slavery in the so-called New World.

Obviously, the responsibility for the African slave trade falls upon
_Europeans_, for without the rise of capitalism in Europe &
development of chattel slavery in the so-called New World, Africa
would never have lost so many Africans to the Atlantic slave trade.

Yoshie





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