Charles Brown CharlesB at
Thu Oct 12 14:22:23 PDT 2000

> > CB: The rank Genovese has is racist historian of slavery and the South.>>

Justin S.
>Rubbish. G has become a rather boring neocon, but hsi best work,
>Roll Jordan Roll, The Political Economy of Slavery, etc., is
>magnificant. There si not a shred, not a hint of racism, in thwis
>work,w hether of the variety that Blacks are biologically or
>culturaly or in any other way inferior. I defy you to find a passage
>than can be interpreted that way. Show me!

CB: Ok. You describe his racist thesis in what you say following here. The thesis that the slaveowners ruled significantly by consent is a racist thesis. Not revolting and accomodating yourself to force is not CONSENT. Upon legal analogy, agreeing to do something under duress is not consent.

>What made G controversial is his Gramscian thesis that the
>slaveowners ruled by consent as much as by coercion, that they did
>not maintain their order solely by brute force. That this could be
>controversial indicates the extent to which the discussion became
>politicized. It is simply false that every slave was a Nat Turner or
>Desmod Vesey, quivering on the verge of revolt. Slaves, like most
>people, accommodated themselves to their situation. Slavery could
>not have lasted hundreds of years had they not done so.
>This was G's point, and it no more racist to say so than it is, say,
>antisemitic to say that Jews accommodated themselves to European
>prejudices in making a life for themselves under onditions of
>intermittent pograms and disenfranchisement. No, we were not all
>Macabees. We made up stories about the Golem, but mainly we put up
>with it, same as the American slaves. That is the sum total of G's
> Maybe some people also get upset by G's pointing out that there was
>merit to the slaveowner's critique of capitalism, which they
>intended to justify slavery, but which G just means to observe draws
>close anothers between wage labor and slavery, hardly a point
>objectionable to socialists.

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