[OPE-L:2805] Re: RE: Slavery

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 17:07:55 EDT

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> Witold Kula's book on feudalism might provide some insights; if the
> plantation owners attempted to minimise the use of purchased inputs (in
> order to maximise the amount of cash available to purchase luxuries), then
> they would resemble Kula's Polish nobles much more than they would
> conventional capitalists.

please note Robin Blackburn's conclusion:
However the undoubted fact that neither the feudal estates of Eastern
Europenor the slave planations of the America can properly be regarded as
capitalist enterprises should not lead us, as it has some writers, to
regard them as *equivalently distant from teh capitalist mode*. The feudal
estates of E Europe were a product of the manorial reaction of the 14 and
15th centuries--sometimes referred to as Europe's 2nd serfdom. In the
first instance they were created not in response to the dictates of crap
crop productin but as the lords' answer to the impact of the demographic
crisis in the Eastern marchlands. Their subsequent orientation to cereal
exports required very few productive inputs from the West, and encouraged
no reciprocal exchange. The American slave planations by contrast were set
up directly for the purpose of supplying the European market, and had not
other raison d etre. In their operation, as in their foundation, they
remained intimately tied geared to exchanges with European merchants and
manufacturers. Even at the height of the Polish grain exports they
accounted for only 10-15 0f total production, with luxury itmes
dominating imports. In the New World by far the greater part of plantation
output was exported, and many productive inputs were imported from
European mfgs: equipment, implements, construction materials, clothing,
foodstuffs; as for the African slaves, they also were acquired
increasingly in exchange for mfg trade goods. Western Europe's trade with
the slave plantations was thus less unbalanced and more conducive to
cumulative, reciprocal expansion." The Making of New World Slavery, p.
Yours, Rakesh

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