A reading list for Anthony

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at SPAMjuno.com
Sat Nov 25 09:34:26 MST 2000

On Sat, 25 Nov 2000 13:05:36 -0300 "Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky"
<Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar> writes:
> En relación a Re: A reading list for Anthony,
> el 25 Nov 00, a las 8:51, Louis Proyect dijo:
> > "These things" such as the vast silver mines of Potosi and the
> sugar
> > plantations of Jamaica in the 17th century are not regarded as
> capitalist
> > by Ellen Meiksins Wood, who regards them as part of the world of
> > "trade"--buying cheap and selling dear. As far as what her guru
> thinks, I
> > have no idea. He simply chooses not to write about them. That is
> why Jim
> > Blaut accuses him of "tunnel vision".
> The problem here, and I know I am risking a bleeding nose, is that
> the fact that
> Jamaica plantations and Potosí mines were among the prime levers of
> the development
> of capitalism will never turn a Jamaican slave or an Aymara mitayo
> into a wage
> earner.
> Further on, Lou Pr gets IMHO carried away and bluntly states that
> > It is as nonsensical to talk about
> > "capitalism in Great Britain" as it is to talk about "socialism in
> Cuba."
> May I remind everybody here (before we start orbiting Alpha Centauri
> in our
> entusiasm?) that the normal way for a capitalist society to exist is
> through a
> "nation", while the normal way for a socialist society to exist is
> through the
> planetary community of human beings?  The "global" characteristics
> of capitalism are
> quite different from those of socialism. While capitalism cannot
> exist _in one
> country without a world market_, socialism cannot exist _in one
> country, period_.

Quite so!  I think that Lou confuses the fact that capitalism in order to
and displace earlier modes of production necessarily had to evolve into
a world system with the notion that it was such a system at its origins.
IMO that was not the case.  While may disagree with Brenner over which
nation capitalism originated in, the fact remains it had to begin through
a nation.  I think that Alan Carling's warning that in such discussions
we must make a distinction between the question of the origins of
capitalism as a mode
of production and the question of its subsequent reproduction - that is
survival and/or expansion in relation to other modes of production - is
most relevant here.  (See Alan Carling, "The Strength of Historical
Materialism:  A Comment,"  Science & Society (Spring 1994),
58:1, 60-72.

Jim Farmelant
> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
> gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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