Forwarded from Nestor (Huato)
juliohuato at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 5 22:04:43 MDT 2003
I don't mind that some people get frustrated with my views. I get equally
frustrated about some of their views as well. I just try to keep that
inside and focus on the topic.
When I first presented my opinions on this list some time ago, I got the
substantive replies very mixed with personal invectives -- including a death
threat. This time, all responses have been substantive, thoughtful, and
There is progress. :-)
Nestor cites me and comments:
>"When two different modes of production interact, and one of them is in the
>business of shaping the world to 'its image and likeness,' then the
>difference is going to necessarily mutate into conflict and antagonism.
>That conflict may not arise immediately, but it will arise."
>That´s a square-cornered scheme, which does not allow for capitalism
>shaping the world to its image and likeness by subduing different modes of
>production, keeping their "useful" traits alive and resignifying them
>within the logics of surplus value exchange. This cornerstone concept by
>Julio was already old for Marx and Engels themselves when they begun to
>study the Irish question.
In one of my first postings on the 'Spain: colonizer and colonized thread,'
I said that we call the social formation 'capitalist' because it is
dominated by capitalist production, but that some elements in this formation
-- elements that are therefore dominated, subdued -- are not capitalist. I
said that the domination of capitalist production on the rest is exercised
mainly through the market that links all the elements. So, I do allow for
capitalism to shape the world "by subduing different modes of production."
The quote above says it clearly; the domination doesn't mean peaceful
harmony. You keep their 'useful traits alive' at first but eventually -- I
said -- mere difference becomes conflict.
>Afro American slaves in the South were not proletarians, of course. They
>were slaves, they did not own their own work force and could not rent it to
>a capitalist in exchange for money. But the particularity of this kind of
>slavery, as compared to Ancient slavery, was that it was embedded deep not
>into the South but in the Lancashire textile mills, in the general circuit
>for the realization of capital the world over. It did not "conflict" with
>British capitalism. It _came to_ conflict, eventually, with American
>capitalism, and thus you had a civil war ("You see, you see, says Huato
>here, he is conceding my point!").
>But this civil war (please read Marx) was in the end a war between a
>national-popular front led by the American bourgeoisie and the British
>bourgeoisie, not between American slaveowners and British capitalism. Much
>to the contrary, British bourgeois were FOR American slaveowners, and
>American bourgeois turned against them ONLY WHEN IT PROVED UNTENABLE to
>develop a self-centered capitalist economy in USA while keeping the
>propertied classes of the South free from attacks on their long seated
>property rights. It is seldom remembered that the Southern slaveowners were
>expropriated of a good deal of their capital, in the same way that the
>French aristocrats were expropriated in 1789 and onwards.
>Had the British won the war through the Southern slaveowners, the seamless
>integration between slavery and industrial manufacture would have lived
>much longer than it did. "Shaping the world to ´its image and likeness´"
>does not mean, for capitalism, to nurture and spawn new fully developed
>capitalist countries, a move that can only be retarded by the natural
>backwardness of the colored peoples. It simply means that the world must be
>turned into the arena for the realization of capital, regardless of the
>dominant productive relation, while it is ensured that a thick enough layer
>of the human species is able to act as the active demand of goods (that is,
>the -in this sense- privileged classes of the First World).
I'd like to have the specific reference. However, that the British
industrialists may have stricken an alliance with the Southern slave owners
to hurt the U.S. Northern industrialists is not something I would discard.
My point is more general and it doesn't necessarily contradict historical
happenings of this sort. After all, earlier than the U.S. civil war, the
Brits passed laws abolishing slave trade -- laws that they applied
extra-territorially to hit the competing colonial powers on the head. So,
there are all sorts of historical configurations.
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