Forwarded from Anthony (slavery)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Oct 22 15:48:04 MDT 2000

Hi Lou:

Regarding slavery

One important point that should be made very emphatically in the discussion
on this list about slavery is

Slavery is a completely different mode of production than capitalism.
Capitalism is, put simply the exploitation of WAGE LABOR.

The fact that slavery can exist within a world economy dominated by
capitalism is another matter.

The fact that slavery was vital to the development of capitalism  should
not be confused with the idea that slavery is part of capitalism. It's like
saying a mizture of seeds, soil, fertilizer and water is the same thing as
an apple tree.

The civil war was revolutionary: it destroyed that mode of produciton in
the United States of America and replaced it with two different modes of
production: tenant farming, and capitalism.

Private propety in human beings - slaves - was abolished. The most
important property of the slave owners was taken away from them irrevocably.

The slaveowners were destroyed as a class.

Most of them were allowed to maintain their poperty in land - also
something which should not be confused with capital. Land - at least
according to Marx, Engles, Kautsky et al. IS NOT CAPITAL.

They were thus transformed into members of a different social class.

The slaves were also transformed into a new class, or rather into members
of several existing classes.


Louis Proyect
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