[Marxism] Re: Pomeranz

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Oct 9 12:04:04 MDT 2005

>In the first paragraph of the Preface to Eight Eurocentric Historians
>Blaut writes of "those arguments that falsely attribute historical
>superiority or priority to Europeans. . . ." That _or_ vitiates his
>whole analysis, for it is simply _untrue_ that there is _any_ connection
>between "superiority" and "priority."

Well, there certainly *is* such a connection made by 7 out of the 8 
historians dealt with by Blaut. Except for Brenner, you are really dealing 
with a rogue's gallery, especially Max Weber who believed that the Chinese 
have a "strong attachment to the habitual", "absolute docility" and a "lack 
of genuine sympathy and warmth." I don't think that Brenner is a racist 
myself, nor is his work as bad as some of the others Blaut deals with. My 
main complaint is that he is intellectually lazy despite the torrent of 
output over the years. How do you disprove Eric Williams without writing 
one word about the New World? Amazing.

>Secondly, Lou's citation from Marx above, "Genesis of INDUSTRIAL
>capital," also is irrelevant to the Brenner position. Brenner's works
>are not concerned with the development of industrial capital but with
>the initiation of _capitalist relations of production_, a quite
>different matter.

But Brenner has not really made the case that the introduction of lease 
farming in England was exceptional. I have pointed out that the same class 
relations existed in the Iberian countryside in the same exact time. In 
fact, it was the introduction of bourgeois property relations in Spain that 
led Cervantes to write his masterpiece. He was bitter over the cash nexus. 

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