Capitalism as slavery and colonialism

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Oct 25 16:46:38 MDT 2000

Carrol wrote:

>Charles Brown wrote:
>>  CB: What is the disagreement that is being discussed at length ?
>Charles, that is the question Louis refuses (apparently on
>principle) to answer. Until he does answer it, I can only assume
>that his anti-capitalism is based on mere personal feeling rather
>than on an understanding of capitalism.
>We are not arguing over the importance of slavery.
>We are not arguing over the importance of imperialism.
>We are not arguing over the absolute centrality in contemporary
>political struggle of the struggle against U.S. imperialism and
>(within the u.s.) of the struggle against racism.
>We are not above all arguing over the importance of slave-grown
>cotton  And this leads me to a consideration of one of the most
>bizarre posts that has ever been directed to me.

I don't know about Charles, but Lou seems to agree with Jim Blaut
that "historical priority = historical superiority."  Jim writes: "I
try to demonstrate that our understanding of the human past will be
much improved after we have sifted out and discarded those arguments
and theories that falsely attribute historical superiority or
priority to Europeans over all other peoples" (_Eight Eurocentric
Historians_, NY: Guildord, 2000, p. xi).  While Jim uses "priority"
and "superiority" interchangeably, I don't think they mean the same

Say, suppose that someone makes an argument that capitalist social
relations first arose in a place called X (fill in your favorite
nation).  Whether he is correct or not is an empirical question.
However, regardless of whether he is empirically correct in
attributing temporal priority to the country X, he is not thereby
entitled to think that the country X is superior to all others.


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