[Marxism] Re: Welcomed Back

Brian Shannon 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 

Brian Shannon

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