[Marxism] on the Lincoln debate - my two cents worth
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 2 08:26:56 MST 2012
On 12/2/12 12:04 AM, Gary MacLennan wrote:
> The question though of the individual versus the collective is I
> think being confused with the role of a specific individual - viz Abraham
> L. Lou seems determined to dig up the dirt here and I support him
> wholeheartedly. Why? Well I am reluctant to subscribe a heroic role to any
> bourgeois politician and that reluctance has contemporary resonances.
I have mostly paid attention to the Civil War in terms of Charles Post's
theorizing it as an example of the Brenner thesis. Check for
"Capitalism, slavery and the Brenner thesis" at
http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/origins.htm. I found the whole
thing dubious in terms of the outcome. One form of forced labor (chattel
slavery) was replaced by another (Jim Crow laws).
Interestingly enough, Post--as a Brenner acolyte--denies that there is
such a thing as a bourgeois revolution. In the talk he gave a while back
chaired by fellow Brennerite Vivek Chibber
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T4LIxDRNAs), Chibber posed the
question whether there was a single instance of a bourgeois revolution
in history--namely the American Civil War. Post did not seem to concur.
Although I haven't put in sufficient time to think through and research
the question, I tend to have more in common with the "political
Marxists" (ie., the Brennerites) about the so-called bourgeois
revolution. For example, I found George Comninel's arguments that the
French revolution was not a revolution pretty convincing (I have yet to
read Neil Davidson's book on the topic yet.)
To be more exact, I am coming around to the idea that the bourgeois
revolution--if it exists--has always been about the preservation of the
agrarian aristocracy and forced labor that supposedly is its target.
That, in fact, is what happened in not only in the Meiji Restoration and
the Junkers state but also in the American Civil War that Lenin viewed
as a "revolution from below".
In fact, the preservation of forced labor in the American South was
almost certainly something that was preordained. More on this when I
find the time.
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