Maurice Dobb

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Oct 25 14:35:18 MDT 2000

If his acolytes were capable of writing something like this, I venture to
state that there would be much less controversy swirling about.

Studies in the Development of Capitalism, pp. 208-209:

Of Bristol it was said that "there is not a brick in the city but what is
cemented with the blood of a slave ". In seventeenth-century England, not
only were convicts and pauper children and "masterless vagabonds‘‘ shipped
to the colonies to swell their labour supply, but kidnapping for the same
purpose became a profitable trade in which magistrates, aldermen and ladies
at Court had a hand. "The great trading companies . . . were not unlike
their Genoese forerunners. They may be described as semi-warlike conquering
undertakings, to which sovereign rights, backed by the forces of the State,
had been granted." (Werner Sombart, Quintessence of Capitalism) In short,
the Mercantile System was a system of State-regulated exploitation through
trade which played a highly important role in the adolescence of capitalist
industry: it was essentially the economic policy of an age of primitive

Louis Proyect
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