>List makes an implicit argument for a kind of supra class national
>authority but never provides any specifics to its nature--as even Eugen
>Duhring pointed out.
This statement hangs in the air (unsubstantial) if you don't spell this out further. Do you mean that his state was removed from class interests? On the face of it I will disagree. He was persecuted, jailed, expelled throughout his life by states tied to landed and merchant interests. In the end he may have been murdered by these interests.
>But I challenge you to provide me just one quote from
>List where he proposes any political or social *programs* for improving
>the condition of labor.
Well, as I understand List, "improving the condition of labor" is his main concern throughout his writings! As far as I can see, he is always speaking in favour of the public interest as the quote below should show. And this is a VERY typical quote.
Admittedly he seldom speaks of the conflicting interests between capital and labour, except in some instances when he speaks of the disadvantages of manufacturing system. The alternative, however, he says, is the backwardness of the agricultural system. He mentions the problem in far too many places than I (and most of you) would care to see listed. But look up in his Werke: Arbeitslöhne, Arbeitsschutz, Arbeiter - Soziale Lage, Factory System, Proletariat, Versicherungswesen. Only here there are some 250 + listings.
I ought to be remembered that the List admirer, the conservative Bismarck, was the first ruler in the modern world to introduce general social insurance. This was THE origin of the modern welfare state. Of course he had political motives, but he did it. It was not limited to radical theoretical talk. The German Historical School in economics or the Katheder () socialists were Bismarck's advisors in this regard as in all economic affairs since they completely dominated German economics at the end of last century under their intellectual leader Gustav Schmoller.
In the two articles on the "Factory Bill", for instance, List does discuss the horrible situation of workers in England. List rather argues for the common interests of capital and workers in the tradition of "Harmony of Interests", and this is mirrored in his ideas on foreign policy. The whole lot of economists in the American System of Political Economy Economists (as oopsed to the British free trade system)(mainly industrial Pennsylvania based + the midwest opposed to the southern landlords and New England merchants)like Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, the Careys, Francis Bowen, Simon Patten, Hezekiah Niles, Erasmus Peshine Smith etc. Here is one quote:
"This principle [AMD: of Laissez faire et laissez passer] would only be true if individual and national interest were never in opposition. But this is not the case. A country may possess many extremely rich men, but the country is poorer, because there is no equal distribution of property. Slavery may be a public calamity for the country, nevertheless some people may do very well in carrying on the slave trade and in holding slaves. Notwithstanding an absence of liberal institutions may be extremely injurious to a full development of the productive powers of the nations, some classes may find their reckoning in this bad state of things. The country may suffer from an absence of manufacturing industry, but some people may flourish in selling foreign manufactures. Canals and railroads may do great good to a nation, but all waggoners will complain of this improvement. Every new invention has some inconvenience for a number of individuals, and is nevertheless a public blessing." (* 1827 a, Letter VI, pp.86-87)
>Moreover, do you disagree with Marx's analysis that behind List's desire
>to subordinate the economy to the putatively non economic entity of the
>nation was really the nascent German bourgeoisie's desire to exploit the
>proletariat at home without having to compete in such exploitation with
>foreign bourgeoisie; that List has only presented the money
>grubbing motives of the national bourgeoisie in idealistic terms. Was Marx
>wrong to argue that the policies recommended by List would allow the
>German bourgeois "to exploit his fellow countrymen, indeed exploit them
>even more than they were exploited from abroad," because protective
>tarrifs require sacrifices from consumers.
>that List has only presented the money grubbing motives
This is a very strange assertion indeed, since List all the time talks about furthering a nations' power of production (especially the immaterial part such as general education)as explicitly opposed to (!) monetary wealth.
>Szporluk argues that List did not resort to race but to natural
>geographic conditions to justify it.)
That is quite correct, and a main flaw in his theories apart from being too optimistivc about the possibility of free trade in the future, but I am not sure whether he tried to hide any racism as such. But he did have geographic arguments related to climate: The Torrid zone was only suited for agricultural production. I think he was thinking in terms of discipline of labour.....
>Now as for List not being a nascent social imperialist, here is what he
>writes: There is hardly any doubt that Germanic race has by virtue of its
>nature and character been preferentially selected by Providence for the
solution of the great task--to lead the affairs of the world, to civilize the
>wild barbaric countries,..and to keep free of the influences
>of barbaric and semi-barbaric aborigines."
>"Alliance with Germany will remain the the only true means whereby
>England can make Asia and Africa serviceable for her future greatness,
>alliance with Germany not as she is today but with Germany as she
>ought to be and as she could become, with England's help."
>...it is this which Neumann argues anticipates the "geopolitics" of Mein
Heavy stuff! But the interpretation of this is the clue and I think I am willing to stick my neck out for List to some degree here too.
List did not speak in favour of military force in his civilising mission, except for defence (matter of definition though), as far as I have seen. Bear also in mind that this is written for a British audience for whom race and people was (and often still is) used synonymously. Concerning to "civilize the wild barbaric countries", he definitely should have taken some trips to these countries to see how "good" and fitting his general description was.
It should be remembered that List wrote this in 1846 when Britain was at its height of power. Also Germany was generally a cultured people if less wealthy than the British (aristocracy that is). I will take one example close to me to illustrate a barbaric country at that time: Norway. A peasant country with a VERY low level of general education and horrible infrastructure. I think this qualifies Norway as a barbaric (non-civilised) country at the time: Lack of education and infrastructure. That Norway had other qualities like cute folklore and honest people, is not quite the same thing as civilised in the original sense of the term of Civitas: city-based people, meaning division and co-operation of labour in all their aspects. As for Norwegians being wild, I would agree to that too, since alcohol was a broad popular problem - and severely attacked by the church and later on by the labour movement.
Also, List argued again and again for the rights of the less developed nations, and it is in this light his civilising ideas should be seen. That he was naive about the realities British imperialism seems obvious, in spite of all his criticism of it. He somehow seems to believe in the potential good will of the British aristocracy and set out to reform them.
Concerning the alliance with Britain: I am aware that he changed his positions somewhat during his 6 months stay in London right before he died from so-called suicide under mysterious circumstances.
Whereas he had always throughout his life, argued for a continental alliance against Britain (as the quotes I brought forward earlier on should suggest), and argued that Britain later on would do well to join this alliance, he later on changed his mind and wanted an alliance with Britain - and correctly: as Hitler wanted later. Both List and Hitler were wrong, however, in their judgement of how willing the British aristocracy was to share power.
List's suggestions were set forward in order not to make the British feel threatened by German rise to prosperity, from being a poor and military weak people in the middle of the battleground of Europe (apart from Prussia and Austria). I believe that his ideas played a major part in furthering WWI and therefore WW II because Britain's hegemony became threatened.
I have looked through his Works (Werke) and found that List developed these ideas in the following places: In a short letter, March 30th 1846, to the Internal Minister of Bayern, von Abel, (see Werke 4: 579; 3: 953;) and in the memoirs "Die englische Allianz und die Deutsche Industrie" from 1843 (Werke 7: 250), and "Über den Wert und die Bedingungen einer Allianz zwischen Grossbritanien und Deutschland." from 1846 (Werke 7: 267). The latter (where Rakesh indirectly got his quote) was written for the British aristocracy (to the strategist Robert Peel Aug 17th 1846, in fact - and found in Peel's papers in British Museum) as opposed to the German people for whom he usually wrote (in addition to the American people and the French Academy of Science earlier on). I expect he had to choose a language that would be understood. But
Judging List from his other writings, this is VERY atypical of him and I would consider regarding this as a slip of the "tongue" in a period when he was physically very ill, very possibly from intoxication from long term exposure to arsenic during his stay in London - and also from the London intellectual "air".
But I will keep this "slip" in mind!
I will definitely still claim that his works before this "slip" are indeed worth paying attention to,.
Rakesh suggests that List's preference for large states is a program for expansion:
>Silberner, List's system is meant only for nations to carry out a policy of
expansion." (p. 129)
This is correct in a certain sense: Small states will be victims of larger states and therefore have to unite in order to survive. There is nothing mysterious about this, it is more a likely outcome of real politik. And mind, List wanted this accomplished through negotiatitons with equal benefits to everyone, as written in the quotes I have brought forward.
"... the question as to whether, and how, the various nations can be brought into one united federation, and how the decisions of law can be invoked in the place of military force to determine the differences which arise between independent nations, has to be solved concurrently with the question how universal free trade can be established in the place of separate national commercial systems." (* 1841, p.114)
List: "the mixing of the white race with the black in the third and the fourth generation" Rakesh: In the fourth generation was not even taboo in the American South.
Arno: I don't know why he wrote this about "the third and the fourth generation", but are you sure you are interpreting this correctly? Remember, he was a staunch enemy of slavery - some 91 references in the Werke.
Let's look at the full quote if we are to spend more time on this:
"It is an old observation, that the human race, like the various breeds of animals, is proved mentally and bodily by crossings; ... It is undeniable that the mixing of two quite different races results, almost without exception, in a powerful and fine future progeny; and this observation extends to the mixing of the white race with the black in the third and the fourth generation. This observation seems to confirm more than anything the fact, that those nations which have emanated from a crossing of race frequently repeated and comprising the whole nation, have surpassed all other nations in power and energy of the mind and character, in intelligence, bodily strength, and personal beauty." (The National System, 1841, p.220)
He first says "mixing of the white race" - this is understandable. Then he says "with the black in the third and the fourth generation" - this is less obvious I think. Perhaps he meant that they would be more integrated into the European based culture? I agree that it is a curious part of the statement, but the whole quote cannot deem this man to be a racist.
Rakesh: And let's compare the pithy statements: List: "businessmen of all germanies, unite!"
" Between the individual and humanity stands the nation." Marx: "The workers have no country."
In this case, this would mean that (finance) capital (or in List's terminology: the merchant) and labour should ally, I gather, since financial capital (merchants) also has no country......
List's argument was that the productive capitalist and the workers have common interests in making production profitable and stable. Only a narrow-minded vulgar-Marxist can disagree that there is SOME truth to this, I think.
Greetings to all who bothered to read this far!
-----Original Message----- From: owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Rakesh Bhandari Sent: Friday, September 25, 1998 4:18 PM To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com Subject: RE: friedrich list, PROPHET OF NATIONAL POWER
I just received Arno's second message on list; this is only a reply to the first.
List makes an implicit argument for a kind of supra class national authority but never provides any specifics to its nature--as even Eugen Duhring pointed out. But I challenge you to provide me just one quote from List where he proposes any political or social *programs* for improving the condition of labor.
Moreover, do you disagree with Marx's analysis that behind List's desire to subordinate the economy to the putatively non economic entity of the nation was really the nascent German bourgeoisie's desire to exploit the proletariat at home without having to compete in such exploitation with foreign bourgeoisie; that List has only presented the money grubbing motives of the national bourgeoisie in idealistic terms. Was Marx wrong to argue that the policies recommended by List would allow the German bourgeois "to exploit his fellow countrymen, indeed exploit them even more than they were exploited from abroad," because protective tarrifs require sacrifices from consumers.
"Money is the father land of the industrialist", noted Marx in his List critique, as summarized by Roman Szporluk Communism and Nationalism: Karl Marx versus Friedrich List (Oxford 1988; by the way, while showing List's approval of an international div of labor, suited to imperialist nations, Szporluk argues that List did not resort to race but to natural geographic conditions to justify it.)
Now as for List not being a nascent social imperialist, here is what he writes:
"the ruling section of the peoples of this earth has for some time been segregating itself according to descent...One speaks of a German, a Romanic, a Slavonic race in political aspect. This distinction alone seems destined to exercise great influence upon the practical politics of the future. At the head of the three races stand England, France and Russia...There is hardly any doubt that Germanic race has by virtue of its nature and character been preferentially selected by Providence for the solution of the great task--to lead the affairs of the world, to civilize the wild barbaric countries, to populate those still uninhabitated, for none of the others has the capacity to emigrate en masse and to found more perfect communities in foreign lands...and to keep free of the influences of barbaric and semi-barbaric aborigines."
And List advised England: "Alliance with Germany will remain the the only true means whereby England can make Asia and Africa serviceable for her future greatness, alliance with Germany not as she is today but with Germany as she ought to be and as she could become, with England's help."
These quotes are from his Memorandum on the Value and the Conditions of an Alliance between Great Britain and Germany, and it is this which Neumann argues anticipates the "geopolitics" of Mein Kampf. Your post is non responsive.
Szporluk also writes: "List's preference for large states has raised serious questions about the extent to which such states would be liberal in their international organziation and about his understanding of international relations, international law and international order. Edmund Silberner...believes it is 'astonishing' that List 'should have given to his doctrine the name of "national system,", for it was a system that applied only to the "great nations, the ones List called normal.' In other words, say Silberner, List's system is meant only for nations to carry out a policy of expansion." (p. 129)
"the mixing of the white race with the black in the third and the fourth generation"
In the fourth generation was not even taboo in the American South.
And let's compare the pithy statements:
List: "businessmen of all germanies, unite!"
" Between the individual and humanity stands the nation."
Marx: "The workers have no country."