A POST on Post, and vice versa

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 1 18:16:41 MDT 2003


DMS:
>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
>Change?

Well, if I were writing an article that attempted to demonstrate that the
North and the South had a civil war over whether market relations or
"extra-economic" coercion would prevail, I would want to examine the
outcome. But that's just me. E.M. Forester's "Only Connect" always
resonated with me.

>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?

Of course. The refutation is all throughout the second and third articles.
If during hegemonic Federal control of the Deep South the Union Army was
rounding up slaves and turning them over to the slave-owning class to work
as gang laborers or sharecroppers, that refutes the notion that there was
some kind of deep-going class conflict and that the North intended to
revolutionize the means of production and create a free market in labor. It
is a little bit like somebody telling me that WWII was a war to free the
world and ending his narrative in 1941. If I were to bring up how the USA
brought over Nazi war criminals to assist the OSS in 1945, that would
refute his argument. So I am doing the same thing here by bringing up the
status of blacks during and after the war.

>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.

Right. To become free wage laborers, they had to leave the South. Thank you
for conceding my point. I believe we are finally getting somewhere.


Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org




More information about the Marxism mailing list