THE POLITICS OF THEORY

George Snedeker snedeker at SPAMconcentric.net
Sat May 26 20:32:26 MDT 2001


Woods tells us that the origin of capitalism is to be found in rural
England, because if capitalism had an historical origin, it will have and
end. does this mean that socialism will have to be built in rural England
too?

Louis and Jim Blaut tell us that the plunder of the new world matters
because of the history of imperialism and the need to struggle against
capitalism in the periphery. good enough. blaut constructs a moral narrative
as well as an analysis of the origins of capitalism in the plunder of the
new world. woods narrative is also moral. however, she and Brenner have the
idea that the core is really the "core." I mean it is the "center." so the
periphery is really the "periphery."

I will not attempt to comment upon the complex theoretical arguments Greg
has made. they operate on a different order of knowledge. I know that
Marxists like to argue that they are making scientific arguments about the
nature of capitalism, and they are. the problem is that there is no
separation between fact and value. so every scientific analysis is also a
moral narrative. this narrative also poses concrete political problems. we
are responsible for everything...

the concept of the "mode of production" has become central for all Marxist
analyses of capitalism. it is true that Blaut's conception of
protocapitalism is a little too vague. my point here is that the mode of
production is a useful tool. but what if it also distorts our view. I mean,
what if wage labor is only part of the story? and it is only part. what
then? this is where I would bring in Greg's comments . louis's more
theoretical comments also belong here.






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