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

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue May 29 08:27:32 MDT 2001

>>> juliohuato at 05/29/01 10:16AM >>>
Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky:

>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.

That slave production in the South was "seamlessly integrated to capitalist
production of the mills in Manchester" is not something I reject.  I failed
to mention it because, as I said, I'm no expert on this.  But as you mention
it, it makes a lot of sense to me.  I don't fail to see it.  If you follow
my reasoning, this 'seamless' integration is not denied.  All I do is say
that it may have been 'seamless' for a while, but to the extent that it
conflicted with the needs of capitalist production in the North, the seams
between slave production in the South and capitalist production in Europe
AND the North of the US became aparent and started to tear apart.  It seems
to me that slave production was not only feeding capitalist production in
Europe, it was also slowing down capitalist production in the northern

>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.

I don't believe or suggest that what was at stake was an ABSTRACT debate.
If I said or suggested otherwise, I'd request you to tell me exactly where
and I'd then immediately correct my view.  I believe the conflict was MAINLY
over concrete interests, material needs.  What I deny is that slave labor
had a capitalist 'character' because it connected to capitalist production
via a world market dominated by capitalist production.  Slave labor is slave
labor whatever happens to the products slaves produce.  As long as slaves
produce commodities, the slaveowners can connect to the market to sell them.
  From the point of view of the market, it doesn't matter whether one
produces commodities in a capitalist way or in a family co-operative way or
in a slave plantation.  But from the point of view of the relations of
PRODUCTION, it does matter.  A lot.


CB: How does it matter ? What difference does it make ? Except in an abstract debate
or a debate about the abstract ?

Concretely, there has never been wage-labor/capital relations of production that were
not part of a larger division of labor that included oppressed or less than fully
waged forms of labor also in relation with capital.  Never in history. The concrete
actual existence of wage-labor/ capital relations of production has always been in
connection to below- living wage-labor/capital relations of production in a world
capitalist system.  There is no such thing as pure wage-labor/capital relations of
production in fact, in history , at all, from the primitive accumulation through
transnational monopoly imperialism 2001. Capitalism produces both wage-labor and
slavery as a historical tendency.

"As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society
from top to bottom, as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their means
of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own
feet, then the further socialization of labor and further transformation of the land
and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of
production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new
form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the laborer working for
himself, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers. This expropriation is
accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic production itself, by
the centralization of capital. One capitalist always kills many. Hand in hand with
this centralization, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on an
ever-extending scale, the co-operative form of the labor-process,!
 the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the
soil, the transformation of the instruments of labor into instruments of labor only
usable in common, the economizing of all means of production by their use as means of
production of combined, socialized labor, the entanglement of all peoples in the net
of the world-market, and with this, the international character of the capitalistic
regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who
usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass
of misery, oppression, SLAVERY ( emphasis added C.B.), degradation, exploitation; but
with this too grows the revolt of the working-class, a class always increasing in
numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of
capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode
of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with,!
 and under it. Centralization of the means of production and socia
where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Thus integument is
burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are
expropriated. "

Your approach is sort of like talking about a negative electric charges without
talking about positive electric charges.  They are analytically separable, but must
always ultimately be considered concretely within the larger whole.


 It just doesn't help to conflate
different types of relations of production.  But if you disagree with my
nouns and adjectives, I don't have a problem using other ones, as long as we
have clear the conceptual distinctions.
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