Dependency Theory (Mine) - (Nestor) ( Karl Marx)

Greg Schofield gschofield at
Tue May 29 10:48:56 MDT 2001

Comrades I reply to Charles because he is the latest in reply to Julio at
this time, but he also sums up the differences in way which works against
the point he raises.

Rather than preserve all the email , I will attempt to summarize it, fairly
I hope.

At 10:43  29/05/01 -0400, you wrote:

Julio: Attempts to distinguish the differences between the relations of
production in the North (wage-slavery) from those in the South (Slavery).

Nestor: Points out that the slavery was integrated with capitalist textile
mills in Manchester. -- PART 1 - FIRST CRITICISM

Julio: Does accepts this but also points out this integration was torn

Nestor: Julio's original point was abstract one about "the capitalist
character of slave labour" a point I cannot read into the original text.
That the real debate is about concrete difference with a class of
capitalists (meaning slave owners I assume) who do not behave as the
bourgeoisie. PART 2 - FIRST CRITICISM

Julio: Denies abstract claim - points out that the connection between
slavery and Manchester mills was a market connection that the slavery did
not have a capitalist character. That the relations of production matter
when looking at production. REPLY TO  PART 2 - FIRST CRITICISM

Charles: It is abstract (confirming criticism Part 1) but does so by
asserting that there is no such thing as a pure wage-labour/capital
relations of production and capitalism produces both wage-labour and
slavery as a tendency. Then follows a quote from the Grundrisse about
social production and competition between capitals which mentions
"slavery". CRITICISM 2

Comrades Julio has supplied a lengthy, in depth presentation, a clear
statement of his views in regard to dependency theory - what ever you think
about this, these criticisms are neither here nor there. In fact I would
not be replying to them except in both Nestor and Charle's case they both
appear to be wrong in detail and in general thrust.

For instance  The quote which Charles gives I cannot see as pertaining to
the debate at all despite the fact it is one of my favourites - the mention
of slavery is not slavery in particular (actual body slavery) but slavery
in general - specifically it is referring to wage-slavery which is clear
from the context. Even if it were referring to actual slavery, I cannot see
that Marx is making anything but a sweeping generalisation which is a bit
much to place the weight of theory on a mere phrase.

Second both Charles and Nestor seem to be getting their concretes and
abstracts mixed up.

Nestor, it is an abstract argument to say that despite the differences they
are the same, especially when Julio is looking at a specific and very real
difference (between slavery and free labour - not an insignificant point by
any means and a concrete one at that). To follow that up with a generalised
statement about misbehaving Southern bourgeoisie seems a little airy.

Charles, asserting there is no such thing as pure wage-slavery would appear
to fly in the face of simple observation, but even if it didn't I cannot
see the relative wage differences as either here nor there. This again is
abstraction, not concretising things.

Comrades, obviously Julio has hit on some raw nerves, but please do not
react in a knee-jerk fashion, I would like to see this develop into a full
discussion that actually goes somewhere. I make no bones about it but in
this matter I must scold both Charles and Nestor, Please just read my
summation above, I do think it is fair though I don't attempt to capture
all that is being said - surely it is clear that regardless of Julio's
errors, these criticisms miss the mark entirely.

I would like to see some actual error debated rather than simply phrases
debated out of context and in such a fashion. If need be I would take the
opportunity of demonstrating why the difference in relations of production
is a concrete and not abstract investigation, but I would consider it best
if this side of the debate was discarded as misconstrued and leave it at that.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia

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