(fwd from Rakesh Bhandari) Sequestering" Resources-- the South and the North

DMS dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 15 12:29:29 MDT 2003


Rakesh,

I posted the census information separately based on your questions in a forwarded posting of a week ago.  I didn't
consider that a direct reply because you had asked so
many more and more complex questions.

First, I have not read Gavin Wright, Post, Cohen,
etc.  What I know, I know from studying the history of rail-
roads, census data, studies and reports gleaned from the
Library of Congress, the Smithsonian,etc.

Started reading a piece by Wallerstein in MR but stopped as
he started to refer to a "Kondratieff B wave," or some
such nonsense.

My point was that the plantation slave economy did not employ
resources at anywhere near the rate of the free soil economy.
It "sequestered" resources and it wanted to "sequester" any
territories entering the Union.

Nor did it avail itself of machinery in its production.  This
is common also to the Caribbean colonies.  Eric Williams in
Capitalism and Slavery, From Columbus to Castro, and History
of the People of Trinidad and Tobago refers to colonial and
parliamentary reports on this matter, and cites two post-
emancipation studies on this well known plantation syndrom.
A similar syndrome marks the plantation-hacienda agriculture
of the Philippines.

I think the North won because the plantation-slave economy,
unable to maintain itself, to sustain its own economic needs
to reproduce its social organization, could not win.

Nor am I arguing that the issue is solving peak farm labor
problems because I haven't studied that. Although in urban areas,
the application of machinery to manufacture is part and
parcel of a growing labor force, labor in surplus, rather than
in shortage.

I am arguing that the South, that plantation/slave economy was
not capable of sustaining its own reproduction; plantation/
slave economies have been shown resistant to adopting mechan-
ization (again look at the Philippines, look at the South prior
to WWII); I am arguing that the South looked to prevent the
inevitable, the expansion of the North economically and
politically thus destroying the South's special control of
the national government.  And it's important to keep in
mind that the South initiated this war, the South seceded to
protect its core property, after it lost control of the govt.

I am not arguing here that capitalism's development precludes
the absorption, the integration of various archaic modes.  I am
arguing for that to occur, there must be in existence that
fundamental social relation of wage-labor and capital to make
the other modes "intelligible."

Regarding primitive accumulation--earlier I stated that I
thought Melvin hurled a lightning bolt when he stated that
Southern slavery was not primitive accumulation but part
and parcel of capitalist reproduction. I agree with his
assessment.



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