[Marxism] Winston Churchill refutes the Brenner thesis

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at berkeley.edu
Tue Dec 12 21:04:02 MST 2006

Hi Lajany

Didn't I just  say this? Moreover, if overseas colonies are not 
sufficient, then what else is necessary? That's why I cited the paper 
that I did--it points to the importance of overseas colonies 
enriching and empowering merchants to carry out political revolution.

"The refutation of Churchill given by www.leninology.blogspot.com is
logically flawed. Churchill statement that possession of overseas
colonies was a necessary condition for the development of British
capitalism is not the same as "the possession of colonies leads to the
development of capitalism," as www.leninology.blogspot.com seems to
imply. Thus Showing, as www.leninology.blogspot.com does, that the
possession of colonies in the case of Spain did not lead it to become
the greatest capitalist power of the time does nothing whatsoever to
dent Churchill's argument that the posession of colonies was in fact 
necessary for the develepment of British capitalism.

In otherwords, saying that A is a necessary condition for B is not
equivalent to saying that A is a sufficient condition for B."


The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional
Change and Economic Growth
  Daron Acemoglu
  Simon H. Johnson
  James A. Robinson
University of California, Berkeley; CEPR

my quick conclusion from this paper.

Don't think English agrarian capitalism was a sufficient or necessary 
cause of the Industrial revolution. Agarian sector provided neither 
necessary material inputs nor markets nor labour for industrial 
revolution. Drawing from Robt Allen, Pomeranz makes this point 
against Brenner (and implicitly Wood who does not address it in her 
Origins book). Seems unrefuted to me at this point.

To question of why English not Iberians, first question why NW Europe 
and not Genoa or Venice or the Yangtze valley...Seems clear that the 
Atlantic trade was crucial difference.

Absolutism too strong for successful merchant revolution in Portugal 
and Spain, but that does not prove Atlantic trade not a necessary 
condition for industrial take and consequent great divergence.  
Merchants took political power in Holland but the Dutch  lost control 
of the Atlantic trade. Again underlines importance of Atlantic trade.


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