Capitalism, slavery and the Brenner thesis; part 2

dmschanoes dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 30 18:51:12 MDT 2003


Let me beg the indulgence of list and ask what I consider to be the
pertinent question:

Did merchant capital, the market, under the impact of the slave trade,
create the social relations of modern capitalism.  If yes, show me. Show me
the details of the transition to stripped, detached wage labor, the
capitalization of agriculture, and dispossessing of the agricultural
population resulting from the expansion of such trade, and moreover, the
transformation of implements of manufacture, their accumulation and
consolidation under a single owner, that then can command that labor and is
animated in return by it.

 Eric Williams never does it.

Is there something other than anecdotes of former colonists, or former
Liverpool merchants, quitting the business and moving to Manchester to open
up ironworks?

Now we could say, they put the money in the bank and the bank lends to the
entrepreneur, and OK, but where does the labor, check that, the labor-power
come from?  His family?  OK, but that's not capitalism. So how does it
expand?  How does he finally hire others?

I think it takes a tremendous economic collapse to generate detached labor
under this scenario, but I haven't come across an analysis of anything like
this in my readings of the impact of the slave trade on the world markets.

dms





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