In message <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Louis
Proyect <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes
> Over here much more rigor is
>It is the genocidal exploitation of Native Americans and African
>slaves that made US capitalism possible.
I was unaware of the exploitation of Native Americans in the North. One
might have thought that reservations and genocide made exploitation
impossible, but perhaps in your scientific rigour you have discovered
some new form of exploitation.
>Surely your Oxford education can do better than this.
Flattered as I am by the praise, I must admit I don't have an Oxford
>Meanwhile, there's nothing you wrote that I find worth commenting on except
>one small item. You ask me how American landlords transformed themselves
>into a bourgeoisie without a struggle?My suggestion is that you take a
>look at Part 8 of Volume One of Capital, "The Secret of Primitive
>Accumulation" for an answer.
Might I suggest that you read Marx on the American Civil War (collected
works, vol 19) for a full appreciation of the conflict between the
plantocracy and the Northern Capitalists, and that the most useful
chapter of part eight of Capital volume one would be ch 23, The Modern
Theory of Colonisation, in which Marx explains the importance of a
monopoly of land (ie means of subsistence) to the maintenance of
Capitalist social relations):
Citing Wakefield's complaint about the lack of subservience amongst US
"The labourers most distinctly decline to allow the capitalist to
abstain from the payment of the greater part of their labour. It avails
him nothing, if he is so cunning as to import from Europe, with his own
Capital, his own wage-workers. They soon 'cease ... to be labourers for
hire; they ... become independent landowners, if not competitors with
their former masters in the labour-market.' Think of the horror!
[Then citing Merivale] 'In ancient civilised countries the labourr,
though free, is by a law of Nature dependent on capitalists; in colonies
this dependence must be created by artificial means.'"
How, then, to heal the anti-capitalist cancer of the colonies? ... Let
the Government put upon virgin soil an artificial price, independent of
the law of supply and demand, a price tht compels the immigrant to work
for a long time for wages before he can earn enough to buy land and turn
himself into an independent peasant.' p721-2. L&W ed.
Here Marx captures one point of the conflict that took place throughout
the Westward expansion of the US, between capital and a free peasantry
who evaded subservience by moving West. The authorities ran to keep up
with this expansion, first trying to monopolise land, and then giving in
to pressure to make it cheap.
>Oh yeah, one other thing. I am in favor of giving Florida back to the
>Seminoles. And that's just a start.
This is the kind of childish political posturing that one expects of
somebody who is not used to taking responsibility for their actions. Is
this meant to be rhetorical, or serious? Do you intend to forcibly
remove the current inhabitants? Or just remove their citizenship? In
what sense are they responsible for the wrong done to the Seminoles? Is
land ownership a part of your socialist programme? Why not start at home
and hand over your apartment to the Algonquin?
Such emotionalism leads to a wholly rhetorical radicalism whose grand
gestures are in inverse proportion to its seriousness.