Forwarded from Nestor (Marx on colonialism)

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue Jun 5 10:09:09 MDT 2001

>>> lnp3 at 06/05/01 11:08AM >>>
"As I have tried to make clear, Marx never really analyzed the specific
modes of production such as sugar plantations, silver mines, etc. in the
New World in any kind of depth. Mostly, especially on PEN-L, there has been
attempts to use categories such as 'mercantile capitalism' or 'commercial
capitalism' to describe these realities. Unfortunately, Marx never gave
much thought to class relations in those regions that were participating in
these modes of production from the standpoint of labor."

This is exactly the point. Marx did not pay attention to the issue because
what he wanted to do was, at most, to show that capitalism could not escape
its own contradiction between the increased ability to produce and the
increasing impossibility to realize the production. His analysis, thus, was
centered on the reasons why not even colonial expansion could provide a
fix, a "spatial fix", to capital.

But it is also a matter that Marxists in the periphery have not been used
to analyse, glad to have the ready made categories imported from Europe.


CB: No doubt, Marxists in the "centers" have been guilty of the same error. In fact, we might be more prone to it.  We have not been able to discuss the colonial modes in a way that persuades the working class in the imperialist centers to unite with the working classes, in  varied forms, of  the colonies.

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