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Was the Union war against the Confederacy a progressive war or imperialist bloodbath?

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James MacBryde's picture
James MacBryde
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Feb 11 2016 23:23
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In contradistinction therefore to the case of other commodities, there enters into the determination of the value of labour-power a historical and moral element.

OK Alf, I made a special effort and I have understood what Marx writes up to this point, although I suspect that 'civilisation' should probably have been translated as 'sophistication'. However, this sentence has me stumped.

Let's see if I can work it out. An historical and moral element? History and morals are determining the value/cost of labour power. OK, is he saying that, for example, if the workers in a particular situation refuse to eat their fellow workers because of their particular morals, this may mean that the cost of that labour power to the capitalist increases. If I am anywhere close to understanding this, I can see how what Marx wrote does express the notion of proletarian morality. It still doesn't really back up the case that the industrial action (the blockades of trade) that the English workers took in defence of the North was for moral reasons as opposed to their long term material interests.

Jo, I'm only having fun but 'clutterfuck' sounds almost Yiddish.

Artesian, although I have heard of an Artesian well before, I had to look up what it is and it's a fucking brilliant technology. I don't know how generally the technology can be applied or whether it could be used where water is needed most but it seems to have plenty of potential. Everything is coming our way

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Feb 12 2016 02:26
James MacBryde wrote:
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What argument is that? That slavery was "suspended" before being reimposed with an even greater zeal?

No, that life as a prole is even more impoverished than as a slave.

You know the reason the slave trade was so prolific was because so many slaves were worked to death that the few survivors could not sustain their own population right? Care to give even a remotely similar example for wage proles?

James MacBryde wrote:
Didn't someone say that at least a slave owner has some interest in sustaining the life of his slave in the same way that he does in sustaining the life of his other livestock. With a reserve pool of labour, the capitalist does not have such an interest.

1:You do know that livestock and work animals are routinely slaughtered and or worked to exhaustion and eventual death right? You have actually seen a farm yes? It is in the farmers best interest to take care of his chickens until they can get a good price for them at the market.
2: As with everything related to the interests of bosses and owners, their interests aside from self profit are entirely conditional. I.e It is in the best interest of a slave owner to maintain his slave population only if a cheaper more efficient option is not currently available.
3: There was a reserve pool of labour, other slaves, a slave owner could just buy more, or go across the sea and get more slaves, or in the case of the USA just nick a few free blacks.
4: A proletarian doesn't have to put up with the appalling conditions of a slave because under capitalism he is free to sell his labour, in practice this freedom is heavily curtailed but it does still exist. A proletarian can down tools and leave and look for another employer and there is nothing the previous employer can do to stop him.
A slave and a serf however had no such freedom and were stuck were they ended up and were dependent upon the whims of their owners.

That's a terrible quotation whoever said it, and shows a gulf of ignorance about the conditions of slaves.

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Feb 12 2016 06:24
James MacBryde wrote:
. . . life as a prole is even more impoverished than as a slave.

You've yet to substantiate that assertion. Slaves lived pretty bleak lives. Du Bois claims that slaves once freed had a rising standard of living. If you're implying that it subsequently deteriorated instead, please support that.

Here's something I found surfing the 'net:

Quote:
Slaves suffered extremely high mortality. Half of all slave infants died during their first year of life, twice the rate of white babies. And while the death rate declined for those who survived their first year, it remained twice the white rate through age 14. As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age.

A major contributor to the high infant and child death rate was chronic undernourishment. Slaveowners showed surprisingly little concern for slave mothers' health or diet during pregnancy, providing pregnant women with no extra rations and employing them in intensive field work even in the last week before they gave birth. Not surprisingly, slave mothers suffered high rates of spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and deaths shortly after birth. Half of all slave infants weighed less than 5.5 pounds at birth, or what we would today consider to be severely underweight.

Infants and children were badly malnourished. Most infants were weaned early, within three or four months of birth, and then fed gruel or porridge made of cornmeal. Around the age of three, they began to eat vegetables, soups, potatoes, molasses, grits, hominy, and cornbread. This diet lacked protein, thiamine, niacin, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, and as a result, slave children often suffered from night blindness, abdominal swellings, swollen muscles, bowed legs, skin lesions, and convulsions.

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Feb 12 2016 08:03

Reddebrek, you make my liberal heart bleed.

Artesian, I am privileged to have a wife and four children; three still living and one sadly passed due to hyperthermia because her baby mother did not have enough money for fuel. I am privileged to be a proletarian, not a bourgeois.

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Feb 12 2016 15:47

They say sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words

This is not the back of a wage worker. Looks fairly material to me.

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Feb 12 2016 16:25

Oc, you ever seen a man being chewed up by a press and spat out the other side. That's the real reason Trelleborg, Trowbridge, moved production to Poland. Nothing, I repeat, nothing has changed for the better.

S. Artesian
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Feb 12 2016 16:46
James MacBryde wrote:
Oc, you ever seen a man being chewed up by a press and spat out the other side. That's the real reason Trelleborg, Trowbridge, moved production to Poland. Nothing, I repeat, nothing has changed for the better.

EDIT: I have, and I've seen a lot worse than that. But nothing I've seen, including death, dismemberment, shootings, comes close to the treatment meted out to the CLASS of slaves on a daily basis because of the demands of the slave system.

The slave was willfully beaten, with intent, because he was a slave, and could be beaten. Slaves were whipped for not working hard enough; slaves were whipped for not showing deference; slaves were whipped for becoming ill; slaves were whipped for trying to escape slavery.

Workers are not thrown into the presses because they don't work hard enough; nobody is thrown into the presses for not showing up to work; nobody is thrown into the presses for looking directly at the boss while speaking to him; nobody is thrown into the presses for quitting work and walking away; nobody is thrown into presses for trying to defend their spouses or children from the assaults of the slavemaster.

The class of slaves were subject to whippings, beatings, rape, loss of children in order to satisfy the needs of slavery based production. All slaves could be beaten. All slaves could be whipped. All slaves could be murdered. And with impunity.

That is not the "default" mode for ALL workers in capitalism. Yes there are near slave like conditions generated. Yes there is force, the threat of force, sexual predation and abuse-- but these are not the default conditions that are enshrined as the mode of accumulation.

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Feb 12 2016 17:05

James, this particular aspect of the discussion may be off topic, but what Marx meant by "historical and moral element" I think was that the proletariat was not a mere passive victim of the laws of capitalism and had no choice but accept the dictates of the 'market': its willingness to take action in defence of its living standards, its indignation in the face of the conditions imposed on it, constrained the capitalists and meant that the 'minimum' needed by the workers for their reproduction was not a fixed amount in all places and at all times, and was not limited to the cost of simple survival. This is the same willingness to act, the same indignation that makes the revolution possible.

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Feb 12 2016 17:28

Anyway, it's time to stop wasting time on one or two people who are trolling with the position that there is no material difference between free wage labour and chattel slavery. Particularly ones using arguments like "at least they got out in the open air more". Enough! Go tell it to a BLM meeting near you, and be prepared to have more than a few down-votes to cry about.

Back to the position on the distinction between war and "autonomization" Sander has proposed. From his first post:

Quote:
This is not pacifism. When the revolutionary subject autonomizes from capital, it is never the result of a military campaign but it will be attacked militarily by capital ( Paris commune, Russian revolution) and of course pro-revolutionaries then support a vigourous miltary defense, advocating at the same time radically different social relations than those of a traditional army. But it is silly to discuss events of 150 years ago, just to score points, without explaining how this is relevant to the questions of our present time.

1. Actually it really is pacifism, effectively. And this is why I think it has contemporary relevance, whether we're talking about the siege of Vicksburg or Kobane. (I'll return to this below)

2. "When the revolutionary subject autonomizes from capital, it is never the result of a military campaign". Sander turns Trotsky's concept of "war-revolution" upside down and proposes a historically indefensible idea, that proletarian "autonomization" has no connection to wars, either international or civil. Apparently the Paris Commune's juxtaposition to the Franco-Prussian War was a simple historical coincidence. DItto the Russian Revolution and WW1, China and WW2 and... You get the point. If someone can remind me of a historical revolution that occurred in peacetime, please speak out (I'm not saying it's impossible, just I can't bring any to mind right now).

We need to talk about two things - 1. the possibilities for rupture from capitalism, past, present and future; 2. The relationship between revolutions, political, bourgeois and social.

1. It seems to me there are 3 possible positions on the possibility for rupture, past, and future: a) there is no possibility for rupture from capitalism now or in the future, and there never was. b) the possibility for rupture, contrary to the delusions of past political actors, did not exist in the past, but do exist today, having become possible only recently, c) latent possibilities for rupture have been potentially present in at least some of the past violent crises of capitalism since its inception.

Obviously a) the "null hypothesis" need not concern us here (even though we need to never forget that it is the dominant ideology and accepted, even if only passively or resignedly, by the vast majority at present).

b) seems to be currently most put forward by the "communization" tendency, and IP seem to have absorbed it into their version of TC's "full subsumption" periodization. There is a bit of a problem with this schema, however. Taken to it's logical conclusion, it means history has no lessons for the "pro-revolutionary movement", that in other words the theorization of strategy must be invented ex nihilo, without any reference to an irrelevant past. Only some of the more extreme (or intellectually consistent, maybe) communization writers have tried to theorize or strategize from this tabula rasa position, so far without much success, AFAIK. Maybe that's because of a lack of time and effort yet applied to the problem, or maybe the more likely the intuitive position that it's an impossible task is the correct one.

AFAICS IP have taken the communization position of the possibilities of past rupture up until - when? - the 1960s? Post-Vietnam War? Post Reagan/Thatcher neoliberal era? Post proletarianization of China? (Probably this is explained somewhere, but I don't recall seeing it in the IP doc that spawned this discussion). But without fully embracing the historical nihilism of extreme communization.

Personally I'm not a Menshevik (born-again or otherwise), so I hold more to position c). In my view when conflicts between the political "superstructure" and mode of production or, in the case of the US civil war, two competing, incompatible modes of production, cannot be resolved within the dynamic reproduction of the existing social formation, you get societal conflict. When "the old is dying and the new cannot be born" the result is civil war or political revolution - IMO two words for effectively the same continuum of social conflict. In the past the socio-political civil war that marked the passage from pre-capitalist to capitalist social systems were labeled retrospectively as bourgeois revolutions. However, in any political revolution the old gathers the remaining military force that reproduced its social dominance in the past, and the new is forced to look for a new force to bury the last stand of the ancien regime. This new force clearly needs to come from outside the social classes and fractions that traditionally defended the old order. The problem of political revolution, having raised its New Model Army and defeated the ancient regime, is how to prevent the newly empowered forces from the previously dominated classes, from demanding the dismantling of their own exclusion from power altogether - the problem of counter-revolution - how to put down the new forces raised in the struggle ("Your land is in Ireland" was Cromwell's response to the NMA's Levellers, Reconstruction in the US, Napolean's imperialism, "dictatorship of the proletariat", etc).

However, given that we live in a capitalist world at present, the dogmatic ultraleftist can turn around and say, with the one-sided myopia of hindsight vision, that all past political revolutions were merely bourgeois revolutions from the outset, never containing any internal development of proletarian "autonomization" or social revolution (the collectives of Aragon being merely meaningless epiphenomena to an "imperialist war" according to the Bilan-ists).

The problem with this perspective is that effectively it leads to disengagement, pacifism and a false radicalism that consists principally of denouncing anyone who engages with trying to determine their own fate in a situation of political crisis. The pose of being "against war, but for the defence of proletarian autonomy" is bogus, because in practice any attempt by real world proletarians, in a dusty railway town like Kobane, for e.g., to defend their autonomy against Islamist imperialism, is denounced as being "rallying to the imperialist cause". The only class conscious position in any such situation, is merely to flee and join the refugee masses. At least all those Syrian Kurds drowned in the Mediterranean last year can die happy that at least they died with the correct "proletarian consciousness" by fleeing, rather than alongside their neighbours who decided to stay and fight for a place to live.

Effectively I do not see any route to social revolution that begins by continual flight from all forms of "merely" political revolutionary struggles. Still with Durruti on that one.

S. Artesian
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Feb 12 2016 17:50
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Anyway, it's time to stop wasting time on one or two people who are trolling with the position that there is no material difference between free wage labour and chattel slavery. Particularly ones using arguments like "at least they got out in the open air more". Enough! Go tell it to a BLM meeting near you, and be prepared to have more than a few down-votes to cry about.

Word.

S. Artesian
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Feb 12 2016 21:24
Ocelot wrote:
If someone can remind me of a historical revolution that occurred in peacetime, please speak out (I'm not saying it's impossible, just I can't bring any to mind right now).

Mexico, 1906 (?) 1910 (?)-- 1914(?) 1940(?)

Cuba, 1956-1959, for one.

Chile, 1970-1973 for another, although crushed after being debilitated by the popular front.

It can happen without war, but war doesn't preclude it from happening

RC
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Feb 12 2016 21:42

Maybe try to look at this in a different way ...

There’s a reason that the labor movement once used the term “wage slavery.” This was not just racial insensitivity, as some say. When modern people nowadays hear “wage labor,” they think of alarm clocks and things like that. That’s part of it. But wage labor also includes the exploitation of women and children in the textile factories of Bangladesh who are sometimes worked to death for starvation wages. This might make a person wonder: this is progress over slavery?

Just to shut-down the objection: yes, chattel slavery is worse. Few sane people would argue otherwise. But this doesn’t tell you anything about the reasons for these conditions.

Take another example: the working conditions of illegal immigrants in factories and fields. They are also free wage laborers – “free” wage labor does not necessarily mean you have bargaining rights or even basic democratic freedoms. We would probably all agree that their working and living conditions are appalling and that this is still not as bad as the Middle Passage of past centuries. So: progress.

But there’s another side of this: today when capitalists in the west need cheap labor, they no longer have to send out ships to bring back poor Africans in chains. Instead the Africans come of their own free will and at their own expense. And the employers are free to pick and choose from them as needed. They don't need to maintain them or use soldiers to supervise them. That’s progress – but for who and of what???

If you put aside moral views on slavery and wage labor and just deal with their economic determinations, what is the real difference? Long story short: wage labor is more efficient and cheaper than slave labor. For capital.

So there is really no reason to celebrate the (bourgeois democratic revolutionary?) American state for having pursued its own interest in a free market economy. It might be the case that this improved material conditions in some situations and ruined them in others – but this was a consequence of the state’s aims and never a purpose.

RC
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Feb 12 2016 21:47

Ocelot wrote:

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I find the characterisation of the US Civil War as an "imperialist war" to be a-historical for a number of reasons.

The USA was founded as an imperialist project. It intended to expand across the continent from day one.

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Feb 12 2016 21:53

Oh god, ocelot had to make this thread into another one in which they fap to hot Kurdish chicks with guns...

ocelot wrote:
he pose of being "against war, but for the defence of proletarian autonomy" is bogus, because in practice any attempt by real world proletarians, in a dusty railway town like Kobane, for e.g., to defend their autonomy against Islamist imperialism, is denounced as being "rallying to the imperialist cause". The only class conscious position in any such situation, is merely to flee and join the refugee masses.

Kurdish nationalists are proxy of US imperialism whether you like it or not. In Rojava there are hardly any proletarians, it was always an economically underdeveloped region and after devastation caused by the civil war it reverted to petty commodity production and population was largely lumpenised. The movement here is petty bourgeois in its social composition.

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Feb 13 2016 00:40
RC wrote:
If you put aside moral views on slavery and wage labor and just deal with their economic determinations, what is the real difference? Long story short: wage labor is more efficient and cheaper than slave labor. For capital.

The real difference is that capitalism creates a working class that can overthrow it; that in fact capitalism creates the conditions necessitating its own abolition, and those conditions are expressed in and by the condition of labor as value creating.

The real difference is that capitalism creates the basis for the struggle against its exploitation to be carried out on an international basis, beyond borders; beyond the scope of "nation;" or market and on the basis of class.

Slave systems create no such material basis, either in the growth of the means of production that threaten the private property and private production of the slaveholder, or in the organizations of slaves as a class. There was no, and could be no First International Slaves Association, could there. But we did get a First International Working Man's Association; a Second, and Third and 4th International.

We do get class struggle on a class wide basis, rather than isolated rebellions.

That's exactly where the "progress" resides in capitalism.

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Feb 13 2016 00:50
S. Artesian wrote:
We do get class struggle on a class wide basis, rather than isolated rebellions.

That's exactly where the "progress" resides in capitalism.

word

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Feb 13 2016 02:12
Gepetto wrote:
Oh god, ocelot had to make this thread into another one in which they fap to hot Kurdish chicks with guns...

To say your chosen approach of sexualising the argument is self-sabotaging is an understatement.

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Feb 13 2016 03:01

[on reflection my response to Gepetto above is an off-topic diversion from this thread]

see http://libcom.org/blog/dear-cheerleaders-we-need-have-chat-about-imperia...

edit: fuck.fuck.fuck. Can;t have comment links on that category, so the above link is useless. It's at the end of the thread at the time of writing, but that's useless, Oh for a decent CMS....

Admin: link fixed. Bit of a bodge, but if you quote your comment you can see the comment ID in the url, then manually append #comment-XXXXXX to the url of that page of comments, creating a direct link to the comment.

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Feb 13 2016 09:57

@Admin - Thanks for the workaround.Useful to know for the future. (On reflection my comment in this case was probably not worth the bother, but it's good to know to how to shift off-topic stuff to more appropriate threads.)

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Feb 13 2016 11:49

In relation to Ocelot's effort to use Marx's arguments about the American civil war to justify political support for current national liberation struggles, the Lenin who opposed the first imperialist world war is very lucid:

"Anyone who today refers to Marx’s attitude towards the wars of the epoch of the progressive bourgeoisie, and forgets Marx’s statement that the ‘workingmen have no country’ – a statement that applies precisely to the period of the reactionary and outmoded bourgeoisie, to the epoch of the socialist revolution, is shamelessly distorting Marx, and is substituting the bourgeois point of view for the socialist.” (Lenin, Socialism and War)

But Lenin of course didn't take his argument the whole way, and left room for support for "national liberation" wars even in the "the period of the reactionary and outmoded bourgeoisie". Luxemburg's position was much clearer:

“In the epoch of unbridled imperialism, national wars are no longer possible. National interests are only a mystification which has as its goal the enrolment of the popular, labouring masses in the service of their mortal enemy - imperialism” (Theses on the Tasks of International Social Democracy).

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Feb 13 2016 15:40

Well, I think this thread is just about done-- I mean once we start quoting Lenin you know we've pretty much exhausted any original contributions that can be made to the discussion. Nothing personal Alf, but part of my problem with IP is its attempt to substitute ideology for actual historical analysis, and nothing says "ideology over history" more, IMO, than quoting Lenin.

I think we should all go back to the original thread on IP's "How We See it" or whatever it's called and wait to see if Sander, or Mac Intosh bother to show up to answer outstanding questions from Ocelot, or my own about "fictitious capital."

I'm betting.......not.

RC
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Feb 14 2016 04:26

S. Artesian wrote:

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There was no, and could be no First International Slaves Association, could there. But we did get a First International Working Man's Association; a Second, and Third and 4th International.

Is this what you mean?

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Feb 14 2016 05:58

I've said what I mean.

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Feb 16 2016 16:50

Yup, I'm done here.

Last thing though, I would be interested in reading recommendations on the economics of slavery in the antebellum South. Preferably from a critical historical materialist perspective, ovs.

S. Artesian
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Feb 16 2016 18:03

The Half Has Never Been Told

The Sugar Masters

Industrial Slavery In the Old South

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fingers malone
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Feb 16 2016 18:31

Foner 'Organised Labour and the Black Worker'

lettersjournal
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Feb 16 2016 20:01

Slavery or peasantry was 'better' than wage labor because both had a potential escape not leading to waged labor. They had a potential to take the fabled 'Russian Road' and bypass capitalism altogether. (We can say ex post facto that this did not happen, but then the international revolution of the working class didn't happen either.)

Of course, the fate of the Indians, even more than the Civil War dead, is the hardest lump to swallow in the story of a 'progressive' imposition of wage labor on the Americas.

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Feb 16 2016 22:34
lettersjournal wrote:
Slavery or peasantry was 'better' than wage labor because both had a potential escape not leading to waged labor. They had a potential to take the fabled 'Russian Road' and bypass capitalism altogether. (We can say ex post facto that this did not happen, but then the international revolution of the working class didn't happen either.)

Of course, the fate of the Indians, even more than the Civil War dead, is the hardest lump to swallow in the story of a 'progressive' imposition of wage labor on the Americas.

lettersjournal's is just parading his ignorance magnified to the 10th power.

Of course, slavery, or peasantry (i.e share-cropping, or tenant-farming), was so much better. That's why slaves never ran away from slavery. That's why slaves never revolted. Of course, and that's why black peasants, i.e. sharecroppers and tenant-farmer did not migrate, and in huge numbers, out of the South, away from conditions of rural exploitation, and to the North, and to the conditions of exploitation of wage-labor.

And that's why education levels were so much better for sharecroppers in the South than workers in the North. And why longevity was so much better in the South. And access to public health, to sanitation, to safe drinking water. Hell yes, the South was a fucking paradise compared to the the assembly line at Ford Rouge, or the Fleetwood plant, or Jefferson Ave. Chrysler or Fisher Body. Fucking A. Yeah, you know if the Civil War would have never happened, the South would have gone directly from slavery to communism.

And that's why movements of resistance to racism in North and South were actually movements in favor of returning to the conditions of slavery and share-cropping. Marcus Garvey and Back to Africa were nothing next to LettersJournal and his/her "Back to Slavery" movement, with masses of African-Americans demonstrating behind banners that said "Long Live the Whip! All Power to the Chains!"

And fuck yeah... look at China, look how happy millions of Chinese peasants were, when they by-passed wage-labor under the guiding hand of Mao. Look how that worked out. LJ meets Bob Avakian and likes it.

Guess what? There is no escape from wage labor based on the peasantry. Marx was wrong. The communes of Russia were incorporated into the Czarist administration as tax-collecting bodies, not as communal production units. There was absolutely zero chance of the communes, with their ignorance, their disease, their lack of productivity, their subjugation of women, their religious mysticism could have been the backbone for anything other than what they were-- tax collecting bodies for absolutism.

I don't know what you're drinking there, LJ, but whatever it is, it ain't exactly sharpening your powers of reasoning.

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Feb 17 2016 01:51

Although ocelot asked for antebellum economic accounts, I would suggest the following because they trace some of that earlier history and show how its legacy carried on throughout the 20th century (and are still true today):

    The Crisis of American Labor: Operation Dixie and the Defeat of the CIO (1988) by Barbara S. Griffith. I can't recommend this book strongly enough. It shows why today the South is going through a "second industrialization." This right-to-work region gave birth to Walmart and it is now becoming one of the world's leading low-wage zones of auto production (in a cross-border manufacturing cluster that includes northern Mexico).
    Testing the New Deal: The General Textile Strike of 1934 in the American South (2000) by Janet Irons. This book shows how the '34 strike's collapse presaged the failure of Operation Dixie in Griffith's book. Both books detail the history of racism, church-centered religious conservatism, defeat of popular struggles, and the anti-working class culture that's deeply ingrained in the southern working class.
RC
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Feb 17 2016 20:02

lettersjournal wrote:

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Of course, the fate of the Indians, even more than the Civil War dead, is the hardest lump to swallow in the story of a 'progressive' imposition of wage labor on the Americas.

The Indians have no place in this “progress” story. They didn’t understand that great white men with private property were doing everybody a big favor by advancing the means of production so as to prepare the world for communism.

“Progress” is a rotten idea. It says that all the horrible shit that people have been put through in history was ok if it advanced the productive forces or whatever.

It is true that the productive forces developed under the rule of the capitalists. But the capitalists develop and use the productive forces only to the extent that they are useful for their interest in making money. This does not benefit anybody but themselves.

It is wrong to think that the means of production could only have developed in capitalist form. The idea is: since the means of production have always been developed in class society as a means of exploitation, it could only have happened in that way. But it only happened that way because the capitalists had the money and the power to make it happen.

And while it is true that production no longer takes place in isolated shops and farms but in global factories, it is a wrong step to say: the growth of the means of production threatens their private character. This sees a contradiction in: social production but private appropriation. There is no contradiction here. The society produces and the capitalists take it. Where is the contradiction?

The only contradiction is between the interests of the capitalists and the workers. This sounds non-objective to a historical materialist; the workers can’t shake off the domination of the capitalists "just" because it’s in their interest to do so. The workers are seen as serving a historic mission which is independent of and greater than them.

Historical materialism, on the one hand, wants to rouse the workers to revolt against their miserable role in this society; on the other hand, it says this revolt is on the agenda of history and the workers carry out its "laws." In the first case, a fight against the times; in the second, obedience to them.

Probably nobody here is a fan of capitalism or the state. But that’s where the logic of “capitalism is progressive” leads. It would be better to dump the whole mistake.