Capitalism "grafted" onto slavery

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Oct 22 15:56:05 MDT 2000

Marx. . . wrote of capitalism as having been "grafted" onto slavery in the
Old South . . . Marx argued that "as soon as peoples whose production still
moves within the lower forms of slave labour . . . are drawn into a world
market dominated by the capitalist mode of production, whereby the sale of
their products for exports develops into their principal interest, the
civilized horrors of over-work are grafted onto the barbaric horrors of
slavery." In the American South, he concluded, slavery’s "moderately
patriarchal character" had long since given way to the calculated
"overworking of the Negro" in order to meet the worldwide demand for cotton.

(John Oakes, "The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders", p. 55)

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list:

More information about the Marxism mailing list