Houston, Walker, slavery and Marx (was Re: Engels, Marx and ethnic prejudices )

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
Sun Sep 9 07:51:13 MDT 2001

En relación a Engels, Marx and ethnic prejudices  , 
el 9 Sep 01, a las 4:14, magellan dijo:

>  a)  The most famous of them, how far as Latin America is concerned, is  a
> brief remark of Engels about the  "lazy Mexicans, who could not do anything with
> it"  (California)  vis-à-vis  "the energetic yankees"  who  "for the first time
> really open the Pacific Ocean to civilization, and for the third time in history
> give the world trade a new direction.  The _independence_ of a few Spanish
> Californians and Texans may suffer because of it, in some places  _justice_  and
> other moral principles may be violated; but what does that matter to such facts
> of world-historic significance?"   
> The full text, dated 1848, is transcribed below  (1).   It must be stressed that
> the text is rather a celebration of the revolutionary advancement brought about
> by capitalism. It is in the same line of the greatest eulogy ever made to
> capitalism, that is dialectically found in the same work that is its funereal
> chant:  the 1848 Manifesto.

May I add that the invasion to Mexico was furthered and supported by 
_slaveowners_, against a country where slavery was _dead_ for decades? 

This expansion towards Mexico postponed the American Civil war (hailed by Marx 
as the Second American Revolution, and truly so it was), because it allowed the 
slaveowners to extend their regime on new ground -expansion due to 
mismanagement of land and wares by slaves who thus reasserted their humanity 
was the secret and mortal illness of the South, according to Marx and Engels 
themselves- without quarreling with the "free labor" states. The invasion to 
Nicaragua by Walker during the late 1850s was also directed at expandind 

Marx and Engels failed to make the connection between the Southern slavery they 
understood so well and "American" territorial expansion. Thus, they did not 
understand what kind of "progressive move" this expansion was. And if they 
didn't it is because they agreed in the -now we know- pathetic blunder of 
Hegel, according to which Latin America was just geography, a continent without 
history. On this, as on many other issues relating the colonial world, they 
relied too heavily on the interested and ironic British sources, and did not 
consider it necessary to turn the Old Man head down..

But we Latin Americans must. Either we do so, or we die.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
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