[Marxism] The transition to capitalism: is it in our genes?

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Wed Aug 8 08:39:59 MDT 2007

Sayan Bhattacharyya schrieb:
> On 8/8/07, Einde O'Callaghan <einde at gmx.de> wrote:
>>On the basis od my knowledge of evolutionary theory, admittedly that of
>>a layman, I can see no evolutionary mechanism which can be used to
>>explain the rise of capitalism in England as distinct from France, which
>>was at roughly the same level of economic development after, say, the
>>Black Death - perhaps even more advanced since it was in broad terms a
>>richer society.
> But *is*  he explaining the "rise of capitalism in England as distinct
>>from France"?
> This is what the NYT article says on this:
> "The middle-class values of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours
> and a willingness to save emerged only recently in human history, Dr.
> Clark argues.
> "Because they grew more common in the centuries before 1800, whether
> by cultural transmission or evolutionary adaptation, the English
> population at last became productive enough to escape from poverty,
> *followed quickly by other countries with the same long agrarian
> past.*"
> <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/science/07indu.html?em&ex=1186718400&en=1fc82bf48d184b74&ei=5087%0A>
> Where is the distinction that you mention, being made? I don't see him
> making such a distinction at all.
I wasn't saying that he is making this differentiation. I brought in the 
question of why England in contrast to, say, France, which had a similar 
social structure and political system at the time of the Black Death.

But this is a question that does have to be answered if such a theory is 
to have any explanatory value. Otherwise it's just airy-fairy theory 
with no practical relevance - or, as I believe the case to be, pure 
ideological obfuscation.

Einde O'Callaghan

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