[Marxism] Morris Berman?

Sun Eagle suneagle79 at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 9 10:48:05 MST 2012

I've always had problems witn Berman's formula of "no feudalism=no socialism" since it overlooks the obvious case of Cuba. (Not that I expect Berman to know Cuban history.) No serious historian of Cuba, on the island or in the U.S., maintains that the Cuban economy ever went through a feudal period of development. On the contrary, even Cuban slavery was enmeshed is a global capitalist economy, and the slave complex, as Rebecca Scott has argued, featured many forms of labor, including wage labor, besides chattel slavery.
Berman's DARK AGES AMERICA, its title meant to be taken literally,  makes for powerful reading on late empire decay, but it is easy to interpret his argument as "Americans are dumb and becoming dumber by the hour", which what has enabled everything from torture to corporate looting a la' Enron to go by without significant protest. Berman should be read alongside much more serious authors such as Susan Jacoby, whose THE AGE OF AMERICAN UNREASON makes many similar points concerning a pardigm shift towards a dumbed-down society, but still defends the legacy of rebellion from the American Revolution to the civil rights movement.

But for a historian to not be able to see the blatant problem with his
hypothesis when compared to the centuries of rebellions and revolutions...

More information about the Marxism mailing list