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

dms dmschanoes at
Wed Jul 16 18:44:43 MDT 2003


Good to hear from you again.  Been awhile.  Regarding the panorama of
horrors that Marx describes in primitive accumulation:

1. These all have "hothouse" impacts, but....

2....the secret to primitive accumulation, as Marx writes, is the
dispossession of the laborer, the detachment of labor from  ownership, of
labor from use so that the only value is in its existence as labor-power for

3. And so by the time we get to the US, and the US Civil War, we are not, as
MP pointed out, dealing with primitive accumulation.

4. I was discussing this with comrades just this AM offlist.  I think it's
important  to keep in mind, the specifics of the  history in the US--i.e.
that the Civil War is not the emergence of an "infant" capitalism, but the
march of a developed, "adolescent," capital.

If we look back at the original arguments here, the question is the origin
of the social relation that defines capital, with the initial argument --
which I support--, that the notions of extraction of gold, pearls, wealth,
slavery as the initiator actually pre-supposes that relation.  For the US,
that relation exists, and is developed throughout the 19th century, and in a
sense, gives the plantation/slave system its vitality-- until a critical
point is reached.

The US Civil War does not fulfill itself even in Reconstruction by
recapitalizing Southern Agriculture-- to do that it would have had to give,
cede, deed, lease the land to the former slaves.  It did not.  It could not.
To do that, to detach black labor from, not land, but landed oligarchy would
have, not just have required demolition of the old South, and the old cotton
production and cotton TRADE, which the Union dominated, but illuminated,
unleashed, the emancipation of LABOR as the driver of further development.
The bourgeois class in the US shrunk away from this terrifying potential--
the emancipation of labor, thus it slides backwards also from any notion and
action of equity, equality, and the rise of Jim Crow is not only the
inevitable  result of securing the landed property of the South, of tying
black labor to conditions of its previous servitude, but also of securing
all bourgeois property against all of labor.


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