[Marxism] Post gets pasted

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Thu May 30 17:54:45 MDT 2013


So much of the US was "public land" to start that one could well argue that
it began nationalized and became privatized.  And it was privatized rather
more thoroughly than it could have been in the Old World.

ML


On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM, MAK <mccainenl at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Widespread landownership equals land nationalization? And this abolishes
> ground rent? That strikes me as a bizarre argument...
>
>
> On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 3:38 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
>
> >
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> >
> >
> > Science and Society, April 2013
> > The American Path of Bourgeois Development Revisited
> > by Daniel Gaido
> >
> > (From the Haymarket author's page: "Gaido is a researcher at the National
> > Research Council (Conicet) in Argentina. He is the author of The
> Formative
> > Period of American Capitalism and is currently working on a book on the
> > history of German social democracy."
> >
> > Conclusion
> >
> > "The American Road to Capitalism" is an attempt to apply to the United
> > Sates Robert Brenner’s model of the transition from feudalism to
> capitalism
> > in England. According to Brenner, English landlords gave birth to
> > capitalism in the countryside by turning their peasants into tenants in
> the
> > early 16th century. Since in the United States there was no class of
> feudal
> > landlords to act as prime movers of an “agrarian” capitalist development,
> > Post makes the merchant-turned-land speculator the demiurge of American
> > capitalism, asserting, against all historical evidence, that this class
> was
> > able to “impose a social monopoly on land” shortly after the American
> > revolution. The rest of Post’s theses on the American revolution,
> Southern
> > plantation slavery, the Civil War and reconstruction are just
> elaborations
> > of this fundamentally mistaken interpretation.
> >
> > What the historical record shows is that the two American bourgeois
> > revolutions — a notion that Brenner, Post and their fellow “political
> > Marxists” reject — actually facilitated access to the land at nominal
> > prices for white settlers. This widespread landownership amounted to a
> form
> > of land nationalization that created favorable conditions for capitalist
> > development through the abolition of ground rent, which constitutes a
> > precapitalist barrier to the development of the productive
> > forces under capitalism. This, and the absence of an absolutist state
> > bureaucracy, in turn fostered the generalization of commodity production
> in
> > the countryside, creating a wide home market for the development of
> > industry in the North, which eventually dominated the Union in the
> > aftermath of the Civil War. That is what Lenin showed in his analysis of
> > the American path of bourgeois development,” which remains the foundation
> > of any materialist approach to American history. Due to the weakness of
> > Marxism in the United States, progress in this field has consisted mostly
> > in setting the “American path of bourgeois development” in its peculiar
> > settler colonialist — i.e., white supremacist — context, but the
> > peculiarities of American capitalist development, their impact on class
> > struggles and, through them, the ways in which those peculiarities shaped
> > American political history largely remain to be explored.
> >
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