Dependency Theory (Mine) - additional note

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue May 29 08:01:12 MDT 2001

>>> gorojovsky at 05/29/01 09:01AM >>>
En relación a Re: Dependency Theory (Mine) - additional note,
el 29 May 01, a las 4:20, Julio Huato dijo:

> In spite of my admittedly crass ignorance of US history, I'll dare
> here to illustrate my point by referring to the relationship between
> capitalist production and slave production prior to the US Civil
> War.
> Slavery in the US was temporarily reinforced by the demands of
> capitalist production, but -- in itself -- it was NOT capitalist
> production.  It was an extraneous object in the flesh of a social
> formation where capitalist production was clearly hegemonic.
> Capitalist production is production by workers who are free from
> legal constraints or extra-economic coercion.  Slavery in the
> southern states does not meet the criteria.
> If we see the production of cotton, tobacco, sugar, etc. by slave
> work in the southern plantations as a form of capitalist production,
> socially indistinguishable from industrial capitalist production in
> the north, only technically different from it, then we are not in a
> position to understand why the further development of capitalist
> production in the US allowed and drove capitalists to jettison
> slavery and, by doing that, it did not get weaker or slower, but
> actually stronger and faster.

What Julio does not see, and it is coherent with his rejection of the
Leninist conception of imperialism, is that although the direct
productive relation in the South was not capitalist, and that there
was such a relation in the North, the South was seamlessly integrated
to the capitalist production of the mills in Manchester. Thus, what
was at stake was NOT an abstract debate over the capitalist character
of slave labour, but a concrete one on the capitalist character of the
slaveowning oligarchy, on what to do with a class of capitalists who
do not behave as a bourgeoisie. This is the core of the matter.  But
this is out of the scope of whoever does not see imperialism in its
true face.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at


CB: This is from an old Thaxis list discussion of this issue.

     More quotes from Marx.

         From "The British Cotton Trade"
                   (Vol. 19 Collected Works M&E page17)

        ....English modern industry, in general,
relied upon two pivots equally monstrous. The
one was the potato as the only means of feeding
Ireland and a great part of the English working
class. This pivot was swept away by the potato
disease ad subsequent Irish catastrophe. A larger
basis for the reproduction and maintenance of the
toiling millions had then to be adopted. The second
pivot of English industry was the slave-grown cotton of
the United States.The present American crisis forces
them to enlarge their field of supply and emancipate
cotton from slave-breeding and slave-consuming oligarchies.
As long as the English cotton manufactures depended
on slave-grown cotton, it could be truthfully asserted
that they rested on a twofold slavery, the indirect slavery
of the white man in England and the direct slavery
 of the black men on the other side of the Atlantic.
Sept. 21, 1861 written
New York Daily Tribune 10/14/1861

     We see why Marx's theory would not emphasize
the difference between simultaneous forms of
exploitation, because in practice unity of
differently exploited laborers is critical. This
 key unity is also expressed in the symbol
of the hammer and the sickle.

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