[Marxism] The Strange Career of Eugene Genovese

Marv Gandall marvgand at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 16:12:41 MDT 2012

On 2012-10-03, at 3:37 PM, Shane Mage wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2012, at 1:33 PM, Louis Proyect wrote:
> "Aptheker points out that census takers were white and subject to the racial prejudices of the time. If blacks were undercounted, as they certainly were, then attempts to come up with daily caloric intake on a per capita basis will overstate food input."
> This is a surprisingly (perhaps, considering the source, I should have said *not surprisingly*) stupid argument.  For each slave state, every five slaves counted as three heads towards their percapita representation in the US Congress.  White racist census-takers had every motive to overcount and none at all to undercount.

This was certainly true for purposes of representation. The slave states wanted all slaves included in the population base while the anti-slave states wanted them excluded. But is my recollection correct that the states had the opposite interest with respect to taxation, which was substantially based on property? In this case, it was the Northern states whose interest dictated that slaveholders' chattel be fully counted. The result was the infamous constitutional compromise in which slaves were deemed to be three-fifths human.

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