Monthly Archives: February 2012

Review: Nick Nesbitt

Nesbitt notes that the Bossale community never reached a consensus as to how it might sustain itself in the face of the capitalist world-system. Throughout a century and a half it was able to survive by “passive and (occasionally) active resistance to the liberal world-system, in a strategic withdrawal of maronnage to the Haitian hills” (Nesbitt, 174). How would this “Bossale vision of an anarchist, multifundia-based freedom” have been able to sustain itself? Here is where is where Nesbitt is conceptually stuck (one could say also, politically stuck). How could have these egalitarians means achieve a total eradication of the social order?

Review: Nick Nesbitt

Nesbitt notes that the Bossale community never reached a consensus as to how it might sustain itself in the face of the capitalist world-system. Throughout a century and a half it was able to survive by “passive and (occasionally) active resistance to the liberal world-system, in a strategic withdrawal of maronnage to the Haitian hills” (Nesbitt, 174). How would this “Bossale vision of an anarchist, multifundia-based freedom” have been able to sustain itself? Here is where is where Nesbitt is conceptually stuck (one could say also, politically stuck). How could have these egalitarians means achieve a total eradication of the social order?

Review: Jeremy Popkin

In order to support the claim that the journée of June 20 was a “turning point” in history, Popkin provides ample evidence that neither Sonthonax nor Polverel went to Saint-Domingue with the intention of abolishing slavery in one blow (Popkin, 167). While committed to the gradual eradication of slavery, both were, initially, most preoccupied with reintroducing stability to the colony and went to great lengths to do so. Throughout this process however, the political divisions between the freemen of color, the whites with property (grand blancs) and those without any (petit blancs) came to a head. The situation in St. Domingue had a substantial impact on the decisions made by the commissioners—Popkin’s observation stands, in this respect. But it was their allegiance to ideas of freedom and equality that proved decisive in the face of conflict.

Review: Jeremy Popkin

In order to support the claim that the journée of June 20 was a “turning point” in history, Popkin provides ample evidence that neither Sonthonax nor Polverel went to Saint-Domingue with the intention of abolishing slavery in one blow (Popkin, 167). While committed to the gradual eradication of slavery, both were, initially, most preoccupied with reintroducing stability to the colony and went to great lengths to do so. Throughout this process however, the political divisions between the freemen of color, the whites with property (grand blancs) and those without any (petit blancs) came to a head. The situation in St. Domingue had a substantial impact on the decisions made by the commissioners—Popkin’s observation stands, in this respect. But it was their allegiance to ideas of freedom and equality that proved decisive in the face of conflict.