Chattel Slavery, Colonialism, & Capitalism

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Mon Nov 6 17:09:29 MST 2000

Let's consider two propositions:

A.  Chattel slavery and colonialism in themselves caused the
_emergence_ of capitalist social relations with their M-C-M' dynamic
(hence we can and must explain capitalism as the necessary result of
chattel slavery and colonialism).

B.  Capitalism would not have _developed_ without chattel slavery and

The proposition A is not the same as the proposition B.  One can hold
B to be true while denying A.  Significantly, Eric Williams never
argues for the proposition A, since his argument is that profits from
the triangular trade & slave labor were among the main sources of
wealth converted into industrial capital fostering _the Industrial
Revolution_, the growth of which eventually caused the abolition of
West Indian slavery (as you can see from _Capitalism & Slavery_ as
well as the Russell R Menard article I posted a while ago).

Lou seems to think that unless we argue for the proposition A, we'll
end up agreeing with Eugene Genovese, Ernest Laclau, Bill Warren,
etc. & proposing the modernization theory as the solution to the
problem of the maldevelopment of the Third World.  I don't think so!


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