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

Greg Schofield gschofield at
Wed May 30 01:57:34 MDT 2001

At 01:40  29/05/01 -0400, you wrote:
>But look at the facts of history. Capitalism is always pushing a sector of
>the workers it exploits down below living wage in its colonies and even in
>its "home" countries, as with the U.S. slavery and then Jim Crow.

Was its Zola's Germinal about miners paid so poorly they could not survive?
Wage-labour does not become slavery by pushing it to extremes, just dead
and dying workers. Slavery requires force and law over person and while
disregard for life is its trade-mark, investment in slave stock is its
character - slave owners don't starve there slaves unless there is a reason
to, in fact they usually find that mark of clothing and nutrition which
will keep them healthiest for longer. But all this is aside from the point.

The end of US slavery brought about share-cropping, the necessary denial of
civil rights (gets back to the legal question) to create a semi-serf, a
condition which lasted for 100 years and probably might still exist in odd
corners of the US for all I know.

Making slavery out as a separate relation of production makes this example
of historical recapitulation understandable, though not inevitable. I
cannot see how putting everything under one umbrella sharpens our focus
when looking at these important details.

>CB: What would fly in the face of simple observation would be that there
>has ever been capitalism that didn't have less than wage-labor along with
>wage-labor.  England didn't have only wage-labor; it had colonies and
>slaves.  Capitalism is from the beginning a global system with both
>wage-labor and slave and colonial labor. Today it has lots of less than
>living wage labor, a relative surplus population as always.

Chareles this is the bit I really don't understand, the very concept of
Capitalist Mode of Production refers to the dominant and determining
(limiting) relation of production and property form. No one is suggesting
it is exclusive, rather the reverse, other relations of production exist
from the past, are modified and INVENTED, in accordance to the self
development of capital as emerges historically.

However, by taking all relations of production as the necessary (as against
historical contingent) result of capital the whole of a dominant relation
of production disappears but I am not sure what then we are left with. To
me the whole point as that various aspects of reality can be understood
partially by different relations of production, and the relationship of
these to whole and its development (I am not suggesting that everything is
even reducible to relations of production).

So again following the logic that everything belongs to capital per se
seems to me both ahistorical and non-concrete.

>  It is not so much Juliio has hit a raw nerve as that he thinks that the
> bourgeois relations of production would stay in place even if the
> bourgeoisie did not hold state power. That's sort of silly.

Well not silly at all - first the bourgeoisie began with out bourgeois
state power and finally bourgeois relations persist during the dictatorship
of the proletariat until the next Mode of Production. Just as the family
preserved Early Communalist relations, slavery persisting right through the
Feudal - What Julio is saying appears no more than has been the basis of
theory since Marx.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia

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