from Rakesh

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Thu May 31 18:10:52 MDT 2001

[ from  Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari at Princeton.EDU) ]

You failed to mention that it is now established that in order to
wreck my employment chances you submitted a dossier which though
putatively made of my posts included one I did not write, one which
was taken out of context.  You also chose the two posts out of the 50
or so which I wrote about race which could be used to question the
depths of my anti racist commitment. I was told by not one lawyer that
I could have successfully sued MR for having used that dossier in its
decision over whether to hire me. That would have created considerable
trouble for Yates, and would have brought pain to Magdoff who was
already suffering from very bad health. I decided not to sue MR. I did
not want to bring Yates (an expert on labor law who was circulating a
potential employee's email comments that he had not even taken the
time to verify!) or Wood down; and most of all, I did not want Magdoff
to suffer. I of course think MR made a big mistake in not hiring me.

As for the present debates about the origins of capitalism, Mark
Jones' posts are not be missed; he is erudite and as pleasing a
stylist (often for sheer bravado of his hyperbole) as there is on the
internet. But you are about 30 years behind the debate. Jones' is not;
he already knows that Brenner's and Wood's sterile formalisms about
free labor had been critiqued by Jairus Banaji in the early issues of
Capital and Class and then in the Journal of Peasant Studies (Banaji
is also a compelling critic of worlds system and dependency theory in
my opinion). As for Blaut's idea that Mughal India had the same
trajectory as feudal Europe before the conquest of the Americas, I
don't think it will stand up to the research of Harbans Mukhia. But
this is the kind of debate I would have supported as editor. I
certainly would not have prioritized publishing you over Mukhia,
Banaji or Mark Jones, but surely you know this--and isn't this why you
went to the trouble of villifying me.


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