Samir Amin

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Fri Nov 24 10:47:51 MST 2000

As Amin, Wallerstin and Weber, like all economists often espress
contradictary views even within each's own writing, it would be useful to
cite specific points of their alleged positions.  This would be specially
helpful to those on the list who are not formally trained in economics,
myself included.  WE should be careful about not falling into the habit of
merely intellectual name dropping.


Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> Ricardo Duchesne says boldly:
> >  > Wallerstein & the world systems theory have been refuted already by
> >>  Robert Brenner.
> >
> >Brenner hardly refuted W, except for clarifying that the pressure to
> >accumulate through innovations is present only when capitalist
> >relations have been established, but B is no student of the third
> >world.
> Neither are you.  In any case, I have already argued for the need to
> supplement Robert Brenner with Samir Amin, Eric Williams, etc.
> One crucial virtue of Robert Brenner, however, is that he is not
> "Eurocentric."  For him, what was crucial in the origin of capitalism
> was class struggles & class relations, not "Europeans" & "European
> culture."  (The idea of "European culture" would have meant _nothing_
> to _peasants_ in mortal struggles against lords in England, Ireland,
> France, Poland, etc. in the periods that Brenner discusses in his
> articles in _Past & Present_.)  New cultures & cultural identities
> (e.g., the ideas of "Europe" & "Europeans" & "European culture") are
> not the motor force of historical change; on the contrary, they are
> products of protracted class struggles & changes in social relations
> (e.g., primitive accumulation, conquest of the so-called New World,
> chattel slavery, creation of "nation states," etc.) on local & world
> stages of history, & it took _centuries_ after the inception of such
> ideas before they became "common sense" of not just men of letters
> with "independent means" & the master class but also of commoners who
> engage in wage labor such as yourself (in Canada!).
> Brenner & Ellen Wood are anti-Weberians, though one must admit that
> Max Weber was a subtler thinker than Ricardo Duchesne when it came to
> the dialectic of ideas & social relations.  Perhaps because Weber was
> confident in his possession of "tradition," unlike a provincial
> academic in Canada.
> Yoshie
> P.S.  I'm not against a little supplementary education in "European
> culture" in the USA, however.  I don't know about Canadian
> undergrads, but undergrads at the Ohio State University at least seem
> entirely strangers to & uninterested in "European culture."
> Americans in general give a rat's ass to "Europe," "Europeans," &
> "European culture."  The only American residents to whom "European
> culture" seems a familiar territory are Europeanists &
> post-colonialists in graduate seminars, plus educated folks who come
> to America from Asia, Africa, Europe, & Latin America.

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