Posts Tagged: Capitalism

Review: Origins of the New South

Woodward’s cast of characters is dizzying at first glance. At the beginning of the conflict are the “Redeemers,” these latter-day Whigs gained political power on a platform of restoring “home rule” and overthrowing the legacy of corruption left by the Radicals. They were extremely distrustful of legislatures, and espoused a program that conveniently aligned with factory owners, railroad men, and merchants of Charleston, Columbia and other cities. In the end, this plan did little to promote the growth of an indigenous, and independent, Southern capitalist class; the introduction of new Southern economic development was subject to the leadership of Eastern capital interests, thus, Redeemers were the middlemen in a process that pinned Eastern capital interests against the “unredeemed farmer” and the Southern freeman.

Review: Origins of the New South

Woodward’s cast of characters is dizzying at first glance. At the beginning of the conflict are the “Redeemers,” these latter-day Whigs gained political power on a platform of restoring “home rule” and overthrowing the legacy of corruption left by the Radicals. They were extremely distrustful of legislatures, and espoused a program that conveniently aligned with factory owners, railroad men, and merchants of Charleston, Columbia and other cities. In the end, this plan did little to promote the growth of an indigenous, and independent, Southern capitalist class; the introduction of new Southern economic development was subject to the leadership of Eastern capital interests, thus, Redeemers were the middlemen in a process that pinned Eastern capital interests against the “unredeemed farmer” and the Southern freeman.

Review: American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

Blackburn’s American Crucible contains a thorough review of Atlantic historical scholarship with an emphasis on Atlantic Revolutions, slavery and abolitionist thought. He revisits Eric Williams’s famous thesis on the role of modern slavery as key to the development of industrial revolution, spearheaded by the British. Blackburn concludes that while slavery was key to the relative political dominance of Britain, the expansion of industrial capitalism could have happened without the system of slavery.

Review: American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

Blackburn’s American Crucible contains a thorough review of Atlantic historical scholarship with an emphasis on Atlantic Revolutions, slavery and abolitionist thought. He revisits Eric Williams’s famous thesis on the role of modern slavery as key to the development of industrial revolution, spearheaded by the British. Blackburn concludes that while slavery was key to the relative political dominance of Britain, the expansion of industrial capitalism could have happened without the system of slavery.

Review: Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South

While presenting a detailed account on the transformation of the natural environment in the South, the book is less successful at coming to grips with the nature of human interaction with nature. Kirby portrays modern social relations as the shadows of the abstract force of “Modernity,” a term that despite making a recurring appearance is not well-defined in his narrative. At time, modernity appears as an extension of “European imperialism,” at other times it is the force behind the post-Civil War transformation of the Southern landscape.

Review: Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South

While presenting a detailed account on the transformation of the natural environment in the South, the book is less successful at coming to grips with the nature of human interaction with nature. Kirby portrays modern social relations as the shadows of the abstract force of “Modernity,” a term that despite making a recurring appearance is not well-defined in his narrative. At time, modernity appears as an extension of “European imperialism,” at other times it is the force behind the post-Civil War transformation of the Southern landscape.

Two Steps Back

Imagine the composition of the more than twelve hundred member audience, on a March evening in 1950, packed into New York’s Webster Hall to hear a public debate on the subject “Is Russia a socialist community?” The event, organized by the Eugene V. Debs Society, was chaired by the then thirty-three year old sociologist, C. Wright Mills, and pitted Earl Browder, deposed General Secretary of the Communist Party, still a staunch Stalinist, against the leader of the Trotskyist Workers’ Party, Max Shachtman. This event is a fascinating relic of American radical politics and an exemplary one, considering how little interest there is on the Left today in engaging in public debate.

Two Steps Back

Imagine the composition of the more than twelve hundred member audience, on a March evening in 1950, packed into New York’s Webster Hall to hear a public debate on the subject “Is Russia a socialist community?” The event, organized by the Eugene V. Debs Society, was chaired by the then thirty-three year old sociologist, C. Wright Mills, and pitted Earl Browder, deposed General Secretary of the Communist Party, still a staunch Stalinist, against the leader of the Trotskyist Workers’ Party, Max Shachtman. This event is a fascinating relic of American radical politics and an exemplary one, considering how little interest there is on the Left today in engaging in public debate.