Summing up and vice versa, OR, things that make you go hmm..

dms dmschanoes at
Sat Jul 12 12:01:31 MDT 2003

Struck by what I think is a significant change in my own position throughout
the course of the extensive discussions on the origins of capitalism and the
US Civil War, I went back and looked at the postings:

My participation in the discussions started with the role of the colonies in
the formation of "early" "initial capitalism." And at that point the
"classicist" in me, and others, argued a  position I still hold that the
mere extraction of wealth is not sufficient explanation, not the
primogenitor, of the social relationship of capital.

As the discussion moves through the history, traces in its own way the
ambiguities of capital, we get to the impact of the US Civil War, the
conflict between the means and relations of production, and the position,
which I still hold,  that the US Civil War was about development of
productive forces where capital had come into conflict with an integral
component of its own social relations.

And then, comrade MP, with whom I've had strenuous, to put it mildly, almost
throw down disagreements,  unleashes a lightning bolt that illuminates the
whole area and when he states simply and directly-- slavery in the US in the
19th century was NOT primitive or initial accumulation but capitalist
reproduction-- and in so doing he locates the once and future regressiveness
of capital not only or simply in its inability to accomplish the "democratic
tasks" of the bourgeois revolution, but in capital's own reproduction, where
the reproduction and maintenance of "archaic forms" of landed property is
essential to the dominance of private property in its advanced forms, a
maintenance and support, by the way which is continuously disrupted by
capital's own demands for access to detached "free" labor.

I think we can draw many important assessments about "national struggles,"
"self-determination," and "imperialism" based on MP's direct evaluation.

This transformation in the role and analysis of slavery is the thing that
makes me go hmmm..., at first.

I point this out because, while consistency is the virtue of the
small-minded and none of us here are small minded, what appears as
inconsistency has to be linked to real history or the result will be always
and only be confusion.

 This transformation in the role and analysis of slavery is the thing that
makes me go hmmm.....hmmm....good.


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