Re: [OPE-L] Inter-species slavery

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sun Nov 26 2006 - 04:50:35 EST

>I suspect that there is a more basic biological imperative.
>Look at the comparative survival and reproduction rates of
>slave owners versus non slave owners. The slave owners will
>have been better fed and more likely to see their children
>survive. This trait is shared with ant slavers.


I suggest that you consult Allin who lives in North Carolina to
determine how wildly
inaccurate this statement regarding treatment of children is. There were also
breeder states in the US.

At any rate, while some define capitalism in Weberian fashion as the
accumulation of capital by peaceful means, it's probably better
described as the maintaining and enlarging of a fund for luxury
consumption for a possessing class by means of the valorization of
capital and the capitalization of surplus value.
Capitalists may well have to decide whether to consume more nor or
maintain and increase their consumption base in the future by
continued investment, but I agree with Andrew Trigg that there is
autonomy to their luxury spending or that their luxury spending is
what drives the system. There is no motive to accumulate if that is
throttled. Trigg's work is seeming more important to me the more I
think about it.

Now that luxury fund will allow for higher survival rates, and the
keeping of dependants; I still don't think this makes parasitism in
ants anything like slavery in which in the US case 'the half black
children" were enslaved and some women were turned into breeders of
human commodities. Orgiastic and unlimited luxury spending was the
driving force behind the capitalist plantations, not reproductive
success, relative or otherwise. In other slave systems, sexual
pleasure was the driving force or the need for loyal troops free of
any counter obligations.

I am not against all forms of ethology; I learned from Patrick
Bateson's popular book--especially useful insights on prenatal and
perinatal care.

But entomology has exactly nothing to teach us about slavery
dynamics, especially the creation of breeder states.  The collapse of
the slave trade does and that had many causes again about which
entomology has nothing to teach us.

On a point of agreement: I think we agree that there is no reason
that the exploited surplus value producing work force can't be pinned
down by extra economic coercion--as  have been slaves, servants in
husbandry, contract laborers, those whose wages were with held or
paid in scrips, children. There is nothing essentially peaceful about
capitalism in the Weberian sense.


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