[Marxism] Pomeranz

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Sun Oct 9 14:25:14 MDT 2005

Oh my goodness, not Malthus ! Population pressure models...hmmmm. Ecological
determimism...hmmmm. What about historical determinism ?


"Brenner opposes this with a subtle, specific, and IMO accurate analysis
of the destructive dialectic between population growth and property
formations, where the property formation is inadequate, via its
economic, class organization, of sustaining its own reproduction along
with expanding population. So you get, instead of expanded reproduction,
a "fractalization" of the economic formations, reductions in size and
capability of the units of the property formations, thus setting the
stage for and determining "Malthusian" pressures of population on the
production capacity of the system as a whole.

Pomeranz sees an identity, and rejects a contrast, in the the responses
of England and China, East and West, to such pressures, arguing that all
over Europe and Asia the response was to turn more and more to more and
more labor intensive techniques.

Pomeranz then states that the divergence between the Yangzi delta and
England is found in the great expansion of English mercantilism which
was not matched anywhere in Asia.  Pomeranz claims that joint stock
companies, licensed monopolies, mercantile competition between the
nation-states of Europe produced export-oriented colonies for England
that relieved the ultimate Malthusian scarcities of land and energy"

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