Feedback from M. Shahid Alam

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Jul 28 11:00:43 MDT 2003

Dear Louis,

Thanks for circulating my essay to your list. It would appear that my
decision not to publish this in a professional journal was the right
one. A lot more people will read the essay now than if it had been
buried in say Review of Radical Political Economy. People are willing to
read serious stuff on the internet. They have to print it out: and they do.

Brenner's theory is inexcusably anglo-centric. It makes global history
turn on local politics -- of the English countryside. Besides, this
could not have been the only place in the world where the serfs became

What about all the societies where they were freeholders to begin with
-- I mean, in the Middle East before the Turks entered the scene after
the tenth century. This view ignores macro-history: regional and global
markets, and imperialism. Besides, Britain's capitalism gained power
from coal -- an abundance of easily accessible coal. Geological luck.
The Dutch were more advanced but they had no coal.

Thanks again.



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