[OPE-L:2790] Re: Slavery

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 12:33:38 EDT

[ show plain text ]

Duncan thank you for the understanding of Fed accomodation of debt issuance.

You recently wrote:

>If the analogy with fixed capital is strict, then the price the
>slaveholders paid for slaves would have been equal to the surplus value
>they expected to appropriate from the slaves' exploitation discounted at
>the average profit rate. If this were true, the surplus value would
>effectively have been appropriated by the slave traders rather than the

Why were slaves fixed or in Marxian categories constant capital in any
sense: was their value, as represented in the price paid for them,
transferred to the final product in any way? I would say that purchase
price of slaves was part of the variable capital, though entirely paid

 Moreover, the purchase price of new modern plantation slaves, along with
the actual constant capital that confronted the slaves, was paid out of
capital, i.e., out of the slaves' own commodity product after it *already*
had been transformed into money on the market as it was wholly meant to be.

 The tools needed for subsistence production or commodity production--as
well as some wage goods directly purchased off the market --were not
'advanced' by the plantation owner but rather deducted from commodity
product that had already been transformed into money. This seems to me to
make the modern plantation slavery system a capital-wage relation (though
not pure in its form), and alienated in its characteristic way.

Of course the slave dealer, not simply the plantation owner, received a
profit, but this could have been a redistrubution of surplus value that
already had already been produced on the plantation. Instead of rent, the
surplus value produced on plantations was partially distributed as slave
dealer's 'profit.' Perhaps the slaver dealer's profit entered into the
average rate of profit without contributing to the mass of surplus value
out of which it was formed.

But maybe not. Slave transporation may have been productive of value--how
are we to deal with this form of transportation?

Yours, Rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 30 2000 - 19:59:43 EDT