[Marxism] Re: Welcomed Back
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Fri Oct 21 17:11:57 MDT 2005
>In fact the "liberation" of the bourgeoisie required
the destruction of just those landed rulers. That
such "liberation" was accomplished just once in
the three case is a difference in...history. It is the
difference in capitalism of 1860 vs
that of 1895 vs that of 1905/1917 --rr
The freeing of the slaves was an immense progressive act. It
transformed the American Constitution and established the industrial
and financial elite as the political leaders in the United States.
Had Reconstruction gone forward and actually destroyed the relationship
between the landowners and the slave workers, it would have amounted to
a revolution in agricultural relations--at least until a new
consolidation under capitalism.
However, this never took place. Instead of the arrest and imprisonment,
expulsion and/or reeducation of the slavocracy based on economic and
social revolution, there was a purely electoral transformation, backed
for a few years by force. Once the slavocracy recovered its will and
the North became tired of the ongoing conflict and expense, the old
relations reemerged. They were changed, but the relationship between
the old group of owners and workers remained basically in place.
Compare this to some other revolutions.
As a result of the American Revolution, the active supporters of Great
Britain, including Benjamin Franklin's son, fled to Great Britain,
Canada, or various British plantations. Some British landowners, of
course, hadn't even lived in North America. Huge plantations, including
the one that George Washington worked for as a young man, were simply
lost to the new nation.
The same happened during the series of revolts and revolutions that
took place in Great Britain in the 17th century.
After the 1917 Revolution, the Russian capitalists and landowners fled
abroad or were reduced to working for the new state in capacities other
than as owners. After the success of the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban
capitalist class and its supporters (with some exceptions) fled to the
United States or lost everything. Their new jobs have nothing to do
with their old positions, except for the skills that they retained.
What happened in the American South was remarkably like what happened
in Russia in the 19th c. Like the great landowners in Russia after the
serfs were freed, the American slavocracy, which went through hard
times (for landowners), by and large remained in place, working the
land as before, but with "freed" labor. As in Russia, they remained
"landed rulers", but running their property with a combination of
sharecropping, wage-labor, and prison labor--whichever was most
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