[Marxism] A critique of Genovese

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Fri Jul 9 09:59:16 MDT 2004

Yea, but the "subsumed" slave mode and associated culture/tradition in the
U.S. South was not uncapitalist in a progressive sense as Genovese implies
or outright says. It was uncapitalist in a reactionary sense. 


From: "Pieinsky" <pieinsky at igc.org>

This either/or that Yang lays out is wrong. Genovese in my opinion was

closer to the truth. What Yang fails to acknowledge in his critique of

Genovese is Marx's very important distinction between the (1) "formal

subsumption" and the (2) "real subsumption" of non-capitalist modes of

production by or into capitalism. Thus, under "formal subsumption",

non-capitalist features such as chattel slavery or peasant production may be

maintained -- as indeed at least the latter continues to be in many parts of

the world today -- within the context of overall capitalist production for

the market. "Real sumpsumption" occurs when the capitalist transforms the

laborer fully into a wage worker under direct capitalist control. French

Marxist anthropologists like Terray and Meillasoux back in the 1970s used

Althusser's similar "articulation of the modes of production" to theorize

the same kind of ongoing relationship. I am invoking this same approach of

"articulation of modes" in my dissertation in trying to explicate how

peasant-like "closed corporate" Puritan villages operated internally in

colonial New England even while these villages on another level were

producing value through fishing, the fur trade, support for slavery and the

slave trade, land grabbing from the Indians, etc. for the rising bourgeois




www.neravt.com/left/ <outbind://24/www.neravt.com/left/> 

P.S. I come originally from the American South, and there are still many

cultural elements resembling feudalism/paternalism the

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