From Rakesh [ reply to DMS]
dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 5 09:44:17 MDT 2003
To begin at the beginning, check out Felix Hernandez's
Rhythm Revue Dance Party held at the Roseland ballroom
if you want to find out how "down" I am period. As a lad,
I actually had to learn the dances, and learn them right, if I
wanted any chance at all at something more than a handshake good
night at the end of the evening. What we won't do for sex,
know what I mean?
But to Post... yes reread the section you are referring to,
and Post is indeed reiterating the reality and the obvious
element of the conflict between the North and the slave
holders-- expansion into the midwest, Kansas, near west,
Colorado,into the far west,California. Whatever I think of
Post's exposition of the requisites for accumulation, i.e
domestic market, there is no doubt about the slaveholders'
desperate attempts to restrict the North and the Northwest
from further expansion. See, for example, Bloody Kansas.
Post says: "As a result, plantation slavery's further westward
expansion during the 1840s and 1850s would have severely
retarded the development of the rural 'home market' for
capitalist manufacture and industry." That's a point of
contention? How can anyone argue with that?
Check out growth and capitalization of
manufacturing establishments for both North and South prior
to the war. And please check out the value of machinery
utilized in agricultural production for both North and South
prior to the war.
Re: minimizing the role slavery played in the industrial
revolutions: I do not want to minimize nor exaggerate the
role of slavery. As Post says it was a pivot that became a
fetter. Besides what I want to do isn't the issue. Post's
paper is, and in that paper he is not minimizing the role
of slavery in anything. Let's stick to the actual content
of the paper.
Re: Post's paper,he says right from jump street that slavery
was the central motor of the Triangle Trade of the Atlantic
economy (p.290). US merchants participated in that triangle
trade as the molasses was processed into rum in the New England
states, traded the rum (after watering it down) for slaves,
trading the slaves for...etc., and reversing parts of the
triangle, trading manufactured items, and foodstuffs to
the Caribbean, using the profits of that trade to outfit
slave ships, selling shares in the ships to investors who
realized their return in the slave trade expeditions of
Post's paper is limited to the topic of US plantation slavery
and the two dominant themes in the analysis of slavery's
economic development. To then state as you do that he
doesn't avail himself of Inikori's work on slavery and the
industrial revolution, or Bailey's misses the point of his
analysis-- which is the limitations and contradictions of
the Southern plantattion economy.
Regarding your position on the disincentives of slavery to
technical improvement and expansion-- yes, you stated, if this
is what you are referring to that Post's argument --
capitalism "expels" labor from the production process-- is
mistaken, because actually capitalism adds to the overall
labor used in the production process.
But you miss the point and Post didn't. It's not the overall
mass of labor, it's the relationship between the components,
dead and living, that is critical, and in capitalist manu-
facturing, and capitalist agriculture, that relationship
is constantly altered to reduce the proportion of labor so
engaged as a ratio of total capital employed. This is clearly
the case with the development of Northern agriculture and
Think I got it on the good foot....
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