A reading list for Anthony

snedeker snedeker at SPAMconcentric.net
Fri Nov 24 12:10:24 MST 2000



we should also look at the polemical intent of E.M.Woods's book. she wants
to show that postmodernism is a lost cause because modernism can be
separated from capitalism. I think that this leads her into a flat view of
the origins of capitalism. there were lots of thing going on in the period
she discusses. there is also the problem of trying to locate the origins of
capitalism within a social formation rather than as a global formation. both
models can be found in Marx's Capital.
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Fidler <rfidler at cyberus.ca>
To: Marxism list <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2000 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: A reading list for Anthony


> Lou Pr. wrote:
>
> >>*! Ellen Meiksins Wood, Origins of Capitalism, MR (Recommend this
instead of
> anything Brenner has written. His essays are found in difficult to track
down
> scholarly journals from 25 years ago and his one book is more specialized
than
> would be useful for anybody first coming around these debates.)<<
>
> Thanks, Lou, for the list. I think Ellen Wood's book is an excellent
> introduction to the "Brenner debate" (I call it Brenner I, to distinguish
it
> from the other Brenner debate (II), on his controversial article on
> interimperialist competition in New Left Review 229). But I would also
recommend
> the article by Robert Brenner that seems most to upset you and a few
others:
> "The Origins of Capitalist Development: a Critique of Neo-Smithian
Marxism", New
> Left Review 104 (July-August 1977). It should be available in any good
library,
> especially university libraries.
>
> Keep in mind that Wood has her own take on the debate: in particular, her
view
> that in the absence of a particular conjunction of circumstances in
England in
> the 14th and 15th centuries, capitalism might not have developed at all.
Brenner
> makes no such claim, to my knowledge. His 1977 article was a seminal
critique of
> the "development/underdevelopment" theoreticians such as Frank,
Wallerstein and
> (to some degree) Sweezy, in which he contrasted the trade-centred view of
> capitalist development held by the "underdevelopment" theorists to Marx's
focus
> on changes in the internal class structure of a social formation.
>
> I hope before too long to post to this list some thoughts I have about how
this
> debate impacts, for example, on a long-standing debate in Canadian
left-wing
> political economy over the "staples" (natural resources industry and
trade)
> theory of underdevelopment and the concept of Canada as a "dependency"
based
> largely on trade patterns. To put it bluntly, I believe Brenner's approach
is
> consistent with Marx's method, and is a useful contribution to this
debate. But
> meanwhile, yes, let's all read up on these sources - and then come back
for
> another round of discussion....
>
> Richard Fidler
> rfidler at cyberus.ca
>
>








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