Capitalism, slavery and the Brenner thesis; part 2

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Aug 30 18:35:17 MDT 2003

>Actually Lou, this might come as a shock, but the questions weren't directed
>towards you.

That's okay. I saw them as rhetorical in any case.

>But now that you've taken the time to refuse to engage those questions based
>on a shortage of time, etc. I'd like to point out now that while you
>initially proclaimed that your analysis would be a response to the article
>by Post, you have so far not engaged those questions, that analysis either.
>Will that be forthcoming in Parts 3 & 4?

Engaged what questions? Whether the South had a "capitalist mode of
production" as defined in V. 1 of Capital, especially as that defined in
the chapter dealing with variable surplus value. Anybody who looks at the
evidence of history will see that no such thing existed until maybe the
1950s or so. In an article by Sidney Melman that I looked at about a month
ago, he claims that the South did not become mechanized until then. Jim
Crow did not disappear until protests made it disappear. Jim Crow was
designed as a way to keep black labor in its place. Also, sharecropping is
a form of exploitation that, like slavery, goes back to the Roman era. If
the Brenner thesis is about the change from extra-economic coercion to
purely market relations, then it certainly didn't apply to the postbellum

>Be that as it may, I am going to fork over $64, subscribe to the Journal of
>Agrarian Change, get the article, which I may or may not agree with and post
>an analysis, and I try to answer the questions others ask of me, including
>straight up responses that I don't have the answers not if but  when I don't
>have the answers.

Charles's article is at: He said that he
might have something to say, but I haven't heard from him yet. That could
be because he is not used to debating on email lists. As Mark Jones once
said, tenured professors have everything to lose and nothing to gain by
debating on the Internet. The only exception I've ever seen was the late
Jim Blaut who had time for everybody and anybody, god bless him. I can see
him and Mark up there on the same cloud right now drinking single malt scotch.

>I understand your intention to not "show David Schanoes anything."  Indeed,
>to date you haven't.


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