Forwarded from Anthony (slavocracy and northwestern farmers)

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sat Sep 13 08:44:35 MDT 2003


In a message dated 9/13/03 5:59:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time, lnp3 at panix.com
writes:

Unfortunately the recent discussion about this topic makes me doubt the
sincerity and objectivity of DMS, and maybe of Mark Lause.

This discussion is way past midnight. Study for a few years, and I will talk
to you again DMS.

All the best, Anthony


Comment

All of us have perhaps grappled with questions of American history for a
lifetime. From my point of view the discussion has been somewhat strange because
all of us are political people with political conclusions. Much of the details
of material presented were new for me, but the logic of American history will
never change on the basis of a detail. This heading is called the "slave
oligarchy (slaveocracy) and northwestern farmers" but the discussion has covered
several junctures in world history and American history.

America was basically a Southern country up to the Civil War and governed by
the Slave power. This simple fact is curiously absent from eighty years of
political literature on the "left." No one disputes that the slave power governed
America. What is disputed is the proposition that America was basically a
Southern country and a UNION.

The class factors of the American union leading to the Civil War means the
distinct class relations within the South and the distinct class relations
within the North and the political antagonism those arose between the two economic
and social entities constituting the American Union.

The industrial bourgeoisie that arose in the newly evolving nation in the
North did not attack the South and initiate the Civil War. The secession movement
in the South sought to leave the Union and attacked the North - through the
border region areas of the plantation system.

Lou began this round of discussion on the basis of a description of the
plantation system and why Marx characterized it as a value producing system and the
role of slavery in the curve of history. Why sharecropper emerged in the
plantation South as opposed to a vast system of yeoman farmers is a political
question in my opinion. The economics of agricultural production for the market
and the form of the laboring process is driven by technological changes but
solved in the political arena.

The political problem emerges the moment we leave the Civil War era and
discuss the period of Reconstruction and its aftermath. Characterizing
Reconstruction is a political question.

What cannot be disputed is that the democratic governments of the South,
sweep into office during the political phases following the military victory of
the North, were overthrown and a reign of violence was imposed on the plantation
South. This is a political question.

For the past eighty years this political question of the South has been
characterized as a national-colonial question but the point of departure is that
most people have called race the national colonial question and not the defeat
and subjugation of the Southern part of the American Union. Jim Crow obscured
the question for a couple of generations of Marxist of all flavors. Jim Crow is
dead and the obvious sits in front of our face.

Slavery was the issue of the Civil War according to the Slave Oligarchy.
Emancipation of the slave arose as the result of the effort of the North to bring
the South back into the union. Emancipation of the slave ensured the military
defeat of the South and destroyed the slave holding class as a class that
owned slavers. Here is why the Civil War became a revolutionary war against an
antiquate form of laboring.

A lot of other questions of economic theory lie beneath the surface of ones
political understanding of American history, including the old question of the
primitive accumulation of capital. Perhaps, we are the last generation that
will argue the political content of this period of history.

DMS is correct - in my opinion, on the economic and political content of
Kansas-Nebraska and the form of the laboring process.

I await the political conclusions of the Brenner thesis.


Melvin P.


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