the role of forced labor

snedeker snedeker at
Sat Nov 25 10:17:34 MST 2000

I don't think that we should get hung up on the
concept of waged labor. various forms of forced labor have existed along side of
wage labor. this is still the case in the world economy.  Marx does not
solve this problem with his discussion of capitalism in England. it is true that
he stresses the role of wage labor. perhaps he was not fully aware of the role
forced labor played in the accumulation of capital. I am not here addressing the
question of the origin of capitalism, but rather its operation. The Jamaican
slave did later become a wage laborer. English capitalism was never confined to
England. it always depended upon world trade. I think we are getting back to the
either or or reasoning which is so common.
Anthony asked for books: has anyone read CAPITALISM
AS A SYSTEM by Oliver Cox. in it he formulates a conception of world system
theory long before Wallerstein. it has long been out of print. Cox has been
called a mercantilist for his stress on trade rather than industrial production.

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