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Capitalism

Capitalism

THE AMERICAN ROAD TO CAPITALISM – BY CHARLES POST

Wednesday, 11 April 2012, 5:30 – 7:00 PM

@ University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way (between Telegraph and Dana), Berkeley, CA  

Charles Post speaks on his new book:

The American Road to Capitalism: Studies in Class Structure, Economic Development and Political Conflict, 1620-1877

Shortlisted for the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize

“Charles Post’s new book, The American Road to Capitalism,is sure to become a reference point for debates among historians and Marxists about the transformation of the English colonies into the fully developed capitalist United States. […] it should be widely read, appreciated for its insights and rigor, and also debated.” — Ashley Smith, International Socialist Review

“This is a thoughtful, learned, stimulating, challenging and altogether valuable volume. It reprints a series of reflections by the Marxist sociologist Charles Post on various aspects of the rise and evolution of capitalism in North America between the colonial era and the late 19th century. The book is anchored in a wide-ranging study of (and it duly credits) the work of generations of historians.” — Bruce Levine, author of Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War, in Against the Current

“Explaining the origin and early development of American capitalism is a particularly challenging task. It is in some ways even more difficult than in other cases to strike the right historical balance, capturing the systemic imperatives of capitalism, and explaining how they emerged, while doing justice to historical particularities – To confront these historical complexities requires both a command of historical detail and a clear theoretical grasp of capitalism’s systemic imperatives, a combination that is all too rare. Charles Post succeeds in striking that difficult balance, which makes his book a major contribution to truly historical scholarship.” — Ellen Meiksins-Wood, York University, author of The Origins of Capitalism: A Long View.

Unable to analyze the dynamics of specific forms of social labour in the antebellum U.S., most historians of the US Civil War have ignored its deep social roots. To search out these roots, Post applies the theoretical insights from the transition debates to the historical literature on the U.S.to produce a new analysis of the origins of American capitalism.

Charles Post Ph. D. (1983) in Sociology, SUNY-Binghamton, is Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College-CUNY. He has published in New Left Review, Journal of Peasant Studies, Journal of Agrarian Change, Against the Current and Historical Materialism.

**END**

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Capitalism

Capital’ Against Capitalism – New Website

Saturday June 25 -Central Sydney

It seems significant, and hardly coincidental, that the impasse that politics fell into after the 1960s and 1970s coincided with the eclipse of Marx and the research project of historical materialism. Social democracy, various left-wing melancholies and/ or the embrace of dead political forms has stood-in for these absent names. Returning to Marx, to Capital and to the various traditions tied-up with these names may present a way to cut across this three-fold deadlock.

The papers at Capital Against Capitalism will respond to contemporary politics from a range of historical materialist perspectives. We want to bring together the theoretical discussions and debates occurring in Capital reading groups, PhD study circles, and Marxist political organisations and networks. Our conjuncture – its manifold crisis – urges new analyses, new strategic orientations and the engagement of activists and academics alike on these questions.

‘Capital’ Against Capitalism: http://capitalagainstcapitalism.blogspot.com/

Provisional Timetable

SATURDAY JUNE 25 – CENTRAL SYDNEY

9.00 – 9.15
Welcome

9.15 – 10.45
Plenary 1 – AUSTRALIAN LABORISM
Speaker: Rick Kuhn, on his book, with Tom Bramble, Labor’s Conflict: Big business, workers and the politics of class (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Respondents: Geoffrey Robinson and Tad Tietze

10.45 – 11.00
Short morning tea

11 – 12.30
Workshop 1A – MARXISM AND THEOLOGY
Roland Boer: ‘The Religion of Everyday Life’: Capital as Fetish
Tamara Prosic: Orthodox Christian Theology and Social Change
Remy Low: Religion and Revolutionary Praxis: Theologies of liberation in retrospect and prospect

Workshop 1B – READING CAPITAL IN OUR OWN TIME
Tom Barnes: From ‘surplus populations’ to informal labour: Is Capital relevant to class formation in the Global South?
Paul Rubner: Deciphering the Dialectic in Marx’s Capital
Mike Beggs: Zombie Marx and modern economics

12.30 – 1.15
Lunch

1.15 – 2.15
Workshop 2A – SOCIAL CHANGE
Jess Gerrard: Hegemony, Class and Culture
John Pardy: Patterns of schooling in Australia: Toward a historically materialist explanation.

Workshop 2B – TALKING REVOLUTION
Mark Steven: The Silliest Insurrection: On Marxism and the Marx Brothers
David Lockwood: Marxism and the Bourgeois Revolution

2.15 – 3.45
Workshop 3A – MARXISM AND LAW
Jess Whyte: Leaving the ‘Eden of the innate rights of man’: Marx’s Critique of Rights
Richard Bailey: Strategy, rupture, rights: law and resistance in Australian immigration detention
David McInerney: To read and speak the law: Althusser on Montesquieu

Workshop 3B – ACCUMULATION OF VALUE
Marcus Banks: How does workfare produce value?
Humphrey McQueen: Labour time
Ben Reid: Is there Australian Exceptionalism? Scenarios for capital accumulation and crises after the second great contraction

3.45 – 4.15
Afternoon tea

4.15 – 5.15
Plenary 2 – MARX’S CAPITAL
Speaker: Nicole Pepperell on the key ides of her PhD thesis and forthcoming book on Marx’s Capital (Brill/Historical Materialism Book Series 2011)
Respondent: Dave Eden

5.15 – 5.30
Wrap Up

More information

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Humphrys: lizhumphrys@gmail.com  

Jonathon Collerson: jonathoncollerson@gmail.com

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The Black Rock

THE AMERICAN ROAD TO CAPITALISM

The American Road to Capitalism: Studies in Class-Structure, Economic Development and Political Conflict, 1620–1877

By Charles Post
Publication year: 2011
See: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=210&pid=44822

Series:
Historical Materialism Book Series, 28
ISBN-13 (i):
978 90 04 20104 0
ISBN-10:
90 04 20104 1
Hardback
Number of pages:
xvii, 300 pp.
List price: € 99.00 / US$ 141.00

Most US historians assume that capitalism either “came in the first ships” or was the inevitable result of the expansion of the market. Unable to analyze the dynamics of specific forms of social labour in the antebellum US, most historians of the US Civil War have privileged autonomous political and ideological factors, ignoring the deep social roots of the conflict. This book applies theoretical insights derived from the debates on the transition to capitalism in Europe to the historical literature on the US to produce a new analysis of the origins of capitalism in the US, and the social roots of the Civil War.

Charles Post, Ph. D. (1983) in Sociology, SUNY-Binghamton, is Associate Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College-CUNY. He has published in New Left Review, Journal of Peasant Studies, Journal of Agrarian Change, Against the Current and Historical Materialism.

“Explaining the origin and early development of American capitalism is a particularly challenging task. It is in some ways even more difficult than in other cases to strike the right historical balance, capturing the systemic imperatives of capitalism, and explaining how they emerged, while doing justice to historical particularities… To confront these historical complexities requires both a command of historical detail and a clear theoretical grasp of capitalism’s systemic imperatives, a combination that is all too rare. Charles Post succeeds in striking that difficult balance, which makes his book a major contribution to truly historical scholarship.” — Ellen Meiksins-Wood, York University, author of The Origins of Capitalism: A Long View.

“In The American Road to Capitalism, Charles Post offers a brilliant reinterpretation of the origins and diverging paths of economic evolution in the American north and south. The first systematic historical materialist account of US development from the colonial period through the civil war in a very long time, it is sure to be received as a landmark contribution.” — Robert P. Brenner, University of California-Los Angeles, author of Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Early Modern Europe and Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550-1653.

“Charles Post has written an excellent book on the origins of American capitalism in the antebellum North, on plantation slavery in the Old South and on the cataclysmic conflict between them. His interpretation is bold and controversial; it will have to be considered by all scholars in the field.” — John Ashworth, University of Nottingham, author of Slavery, Capitalism and the Antebellum Republic

“This is the most original and provocative materialist interpretation of the origins and dynamics of US capitalism for a long time. Post combines impressive command of the historical sources with a sharp analytical understanding, not least of the centrality of agrarian questions to the development of capitalism.” — Henry Bernstein, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies and China Agricultural University, Beijing, emeritus editor Journal of Agrarian Change.

“Over the past three decades, Charles Post has been developing an original and powerful interpretation of the American road to capitalism. This volume brings together his most important essays in what is sure to be a landmark volume. Post brilliantly analyzes the structural basis of economic development in both the North and the South, culminating in a powerful interpretation of the social basis of the Civil War. The book is one of the best examples of historical sociology that I have seen in recent years, effortlessly melding theory and historical research. This is engaged scholarship of the highest order.” — Vivek Chibber, New York University, author of Locked In Place: State Building and Late Industrialization in India.

Table of contents:

Foreword by Ellen Meiksins Wood
Introduction

1. The American Road to Capitalism
i. Plantation-slavery
ii. Agrarian petty-commodity production
iii. Capitalist manufacture and industry
iv. Conclusion: the Civil War

2. The Agrarian Origins of US Capitalism: The Transformation of the Northern Countryside before the Civil War
i. Rural class-structure in the North before the Civil War
ii. Debating the transformation of northern agriculture
iii. The transformation of the northern countryside, c. 1776–1861

3. Plantation-Slavery and Economic Development in the Antebellum Southern United States
i. The ‘planter-capitalism’ model
ii. The ‘non-bourgeois civilisation’ model
iii. Class-structure and economic development in the antebellum-South

4. Agrarian Class-Structure and Economic Development in Colonial British North America: The Place of the American Revolution in the Origins of US Capitalism
i. The commercialisation-staples model
ii. The demographic-frontier model
iii. Agrarian social-property relations in colonial British North America
iv. Colonial economic development, the American Revolution, and the development of capitalism in the US, 1776–1861

5. Social-Property Relations, Class-Conflict and the Origins of the US Civil War: Toward a New Social Interpretation
i. Ashworth’s social interpretation of the US Civil War
ii. A critique of slavery, capitalism and politics in the antebellum-republic
iii. Toward a new social interpretation of the US Civil War

Conclusion: Democracy against Capitalism in the Post-Civil-War United States
i. Democracy against capitalism in the North: radicalism, class-struggle and the rise of liberal democracy, 1863–77
ii. Democracy against capitalism in the South: the rise and fall of peasant-citizenship, 1865–77
iii. The defeat of populism, ‘Jim Crow’ and the establishment of capitalist plantation-agriculture in the South, 1877–1900

References
Index

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Luddites

THE LUDDITES

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

The Luddites, without Condescension – A Conference on the 200th Anniversary of the Frame-breakers’ Uprising

Friday 6th May  10am – 6pm  Room B34  Birkbeck Main Building
This event is free and open to all

In the Spring of 2011 Birkbeck will host a one-day conference to mark the 200th anniversary of the uprising of the handloom weavers in the dawn of the industrial revolution under the command of the mythic General Ludd. Even though the movement was sparked by skilled artisans, “luddite” has ever since been a byword for technophobes facing backwards and mindless rejection of progress. The conference will gather historians of luddism and others interested in what in 1800 was called “the machinery question”, to consider not only the historical luddites, urban and rural, but also contemporary movements of direct resistance, north and south, to capitalist modernization – for example, anti-nuclear movements, opposition to agricultural transgenics, resistance to big dams. The concluding session will address the issue of modernity itself, its model of temporality and the assumption that history is future-directed.

Speakers: Amita Baviskar, Iain Boal, T.J. Clark, Peter Linebaugh

More information:
Julia Eisner
Administrator
Institute for the Humanities (BIH)
Institute for Social Research (BISR)
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
T:  (0) 20 7631 6612
E:  j.eisner@bbk.ac.uk

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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Taweret

CONTINENTAL SHIFTS, DIVISIONS, AND SOLIDARITIES

Society for Socialist Studies

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

University of Brunswick

Fredericton, 01 June – 04 June 2011

Call for Papers, Roundtables and Sessions

The West is looking East. Capitalists are seeking cheap labour and new customers in China. Workers fear low-wage competition and job losses. Politicians wonder whether China, possibly in conjunction with India, Russia and Brazil, will challenge the world dominance of Western countries. Environmentalists worry about the ecological impact of new centres of economic growth.

Yet it is by no means certain whether there really is a continental shift from the West to the East and whether economic growth can be sustained after the world economic crisis 2008/9. Maybe the East is just getting westernized as other parts of the world have before. Moreover, little do we in the West know about the aspirations, hopes and fears of people living on other continents.

What we can do is to speculate about the future. Times of uncertainty are also times of historical openings. Will there be ever-tighter market integration, a trans-pacific solidarity of capitalists? Will there be political divisions between the East and the West? Will workers East and West find ways to overcome the divisions that kept them apart for most of capitalist history? Will today’s workers struggles in China inspire workers struggles of the future in other countries and on other continents?

The changing geography of the world economy is intimately linked to changes in social structures within and between countries. Gender roles and ethnic compositions of societies are shaken, creating the space for new solidarities across the dividing lines of race and gender but also producing the danger of new forms of sexism and racism.

Like any other changes in the past, the “Continental Shifts, Divisions, and Solidarities” are also a challenge to the ways we understand the world(s) around us. Thus, this is a time to rethink established epistemologies, theories and underlying philosophies. The Society of Socialist Studies invites proposals for papers, roundtables, and session addressing any aspect of the theme of “Continental Shifts, Divisions, and Solidarities”.

Proposals for Roundtables and Sessions

At this point we are mainly interested in proposals for roundtables and sessions, which will then be posted on our website so that individuals can propose papers to all suggested sessions. Proposals for roundtables should include a list of participants. Unlike sessions they are not open for individual proposals.

Proposals for Papers

You can submit proposals for an individual paper at this point. The Programme Committee will try to find a place for it. Sessions open for individual proposals will be posted to our website as soon as they are accepted by the Programme Committee.

Please submit abstracts (maximum of 100 words) for any proposals before 15 January 2011 to: Ingo Schmidt, Programme Committee Chair, ingos@athabascau.ca

http://socialiststudies.ca/

http://congress2011.ca/

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Capitalism

POWER AND THE HISTORY OF CAPITALISM

The History Department of Lang College and the New School for Social Research and the Culture of the Market Network of the University of Manchester are pleased to announce a conference on Power and the History of Capitalism, to be held April 15-16, 2011 at the New School in New York City.

Purpose

This conference seeks to sharpen our long-term historical perspective on relations of power, politics, and modern capitalism, with a special emphasis on United States history from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.  We ask how capitalism and its periodic crises have revised political rights and responsibilities, reconfigured political practices and institutions, and redistributed wealth.  Conversely, we aim to analyze how power relations – whether organized by state policy and laws, structured by social norms and institutions, articulated in ideology, or embedded within racial, gender and class relations — have shaped economic outcomes.  The ongoing crises of contemporary capitalism – as well as the heightened emphasis on questions of power within the social sciences and humanities – invest these questions with new urgency.

This event will be the third meeting of the Culture of the Market Network, a two-year collaboration between the University of Manchester, Oxford University, the New School, and Harvard University. The Network brings together an international group of scholars from the humanities and social sciences to investigate in four conferences how economic ideas, institutions, practices and objects are embedded in the wider culture. The project also aims to reinsert the study of markets, finance and business into mainstream history.

Conference Themes and Topics

Organizers of the conference solicit papers that will examine the mutual constitution of political and economic systems in the United States. Possible themes and topics may include:

* The relation between capitalist development and political revolution
* The socio-political origins and consequences of monetary standards and policy
* The rise and fall of the Fordist political-economic paradigm
* The recurring collapses and resurgences of financial capitalism
* The distribution of power among the institutions of capitalism
* The salience of racial, gender, and class relations for structuring economic power
* The ability of economic and financial globalization to challenge or to sustain the economic boundaries and policies of nation-states
* Concepts of economic citizenship
* The relationship between economic crisis, popular insurgency, and social change
* Hegemony of — and competition between — capitalist elites
* The substitution of market relations for social policy
* The capacity of economic theories to operate as political ideology and to shape the reality they purport to describe
* The institutions that incubate ideologies of the market
* Finance as a mode of governmentality
* The role of the economics discipline in policy-making
* The role of policies, laws, and norms in structuring markets in ways that produce particular distributional outcomes.
* Forms of labor and their management
* Theories and practice of corporate governance
* Debates over the proper relationship between the financial markets, the state, and the real economy

Submissions

Proposals for papers must include the following information:

Title
Maximum 250 word summary of proposed paper
1 page CV including author’s name, address, telephone, email, and institutional affiliation

All proposals must be sent to powerandhistoryofcapitalism@gmail.com no later than October 1, 2010.

Notification will be sent November 1, 2010.

Further Information
http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/cultureofthemarket/

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