Rationale for racism: Fogel and Engerman

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Sun Oct 22 12:43:32 MDT 2000

Lou, you put a finger on Fogel and Engerman! It is surprising how these
people are defended on the left. The more I read them, the more I come
to the conclusion that their work can be nominated to Pulitzer Prize
Award as the best representative of Social Darwinist outlook on slavery.
Here is a fucking passage from the book. Here, F&E are arguing that even
the economic structures of American slavery were not pre-capitalist, the
cultural and legal institutions of antebellum South were "reminiscent"
of pre-bourgeois, traditional elements. This sentence automatically
IMPLIES in their view that (in common with Genovese) slavery was not
strong *enough* to assimilate the cultural patterns of black people--
slaves were culturally (if not economically) moribund, irrational,
backward, patriarchal creatures *in need* of capitalist
transformation.This reminds me the revisionist modernization theory that
posits some cultures as obstacles to capitalism on the grounds that if
their cultures allowed them to be capitalist such as the *superior white
culture* had allowed in the West, they would have been much *happier*
beings (Weber). This is not only an apologia for slavery, but also a
rationale for cultural assimilation by whites, positing the western
culture as the ideal to be imposed.

"While the South developed a highly capitalistic  form of agriculture,
and while its economic behavior was as strongly ruled by profit
maximization as that of the North, the relationship between its ruling
and its servile class was marked by patriarchal features which was
strongly reminiscent of medieval life" (p.129)

fucking gezzz! yah!

"how long are we gonna wait for the assimilation of Indians" to cite a



Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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