A POST on Post, and vice versa

dmschanoes dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 1 20:39:46 MDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>

LP:While Brenner's tunnel ends in 1492, Post's ends in 1865.

Huh?  Post gives his article a framework of time and content to explore.
How does this amount to tunnel vision?  Because he did not produce the
history of the world in an article submitted to the Journal of Agrarian

I thought that you had advertised your forthcoming critique as being
concerned with Post's article. But after reading your expositions, I have to
ask you, did you read Post's article?  If so, do you refute the analyses he
provides of antebellum slavery?

LP: Well, unlike Charles I am considering antebellum, bellum and postbellum
class relations. At no time did blacks participate in a marketplace for
free labor.

DMS:  At no time?  I think if you look you will see, postbellum,  the
beginnings of migration to the North and west among some of the emancipated
former slaves.  And indeed this movement accelerates around the time of the
Spanish American War, turn of the century.  That is postbellum and it is
part of relations in the North and South.

I believe I have written several times that the "retreat," actually as
Melvin points out,  defeat of Reconstruction is a critical event for US
capitalism signalling its emergence as the underwriter of reaction.

LP: Just to repeat, it is fairly trivial in my estimation whether
plantations were stagnant (Genovese) or highly efficient (Engerman-Fogel) I
think that they combined stagnation and efficiency, but then again I am
committed to combined and uneven developments in history.
DMS: Just to repeat, Post thinks plantations combine stagnation and
efficiency.  If you  think the class relations, the property relations, the
organization of labor, the exchange between slave and industrial production
is trivial then no matter what you proclaim a commitment to, you are really
hampered in a comprehension of history and its import for future struggles.

LP: Of course not. I don't think that there's anything racist about sweeping
things under the rug in order to score debating points. I see this on the
left all the time.
DMS: Funny you should mention debating.  I just recently referred to you
analysis of these issues as not quite reaching the "junior varsity debate
team level."

 No problem. Just make sure to clip extraneous text and avoid the dreaded
"staircase" effect if you do.

Will do.  Affirmative.  Roger, roger. Absofuckinglutely, sir, as I break off
one hell a sharp salute.


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