File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 464

Subject: M-I: Re: rise of cap
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 17:47:21 +0100

> De: james m blaut <70671.2032-AT-CompuServe.COM>
> To Louis, Lou, Dave, Joao, et al.:
> The skeleton of my theory attacking Eurocentric theories about the
> superiory of Europe in potential for the development of capitalism, and
> arguing that colonialism explains the later rise of capitalism in

I wanted very much to read your paper, but you sent them as attached files
and I was unable to open them. Maybe I'll still try to gather some
expertise to do it.

Anyway, I have never argued for any intrinsic european superiority for
capitalist development. I've argued the very opposite, that capitalism's
historical appearence in Europe was due by a fortuitous gathering of
circonstances. Curiously, you're the one who - probably leaning excessively
on orthodox dependency theory - has gone at great lenghts to deny that East
Asia is making great inroads into the "core" of the "world-economy". This
is indeed the paradox of multi-culturalism. It implies that capitalism is
the white man's game and other peoples have no business joining it. But the
fact is, at least for the moment, there is no other game in town. There is
no viable alternative for thirld-world development except... capitalist
accumulation. Yes, we should fight imperialism on all its expressions, but
we cannot remain indefinitely romanticizing pre-capitalist modes of
production and hoping that, someday, somehow, an alternative path to
development will rise from the blossoming of the most genuine traditions of
the non-european peoples. 

If your point is that colonialism created capitalism, then what created
colonialism in the first place? How could the europeans, who were
absolutely nobody in the XIII-XIV centuries, show such daring and ease
dominating older and wiser civilizations as India and, later, China? But
maybe I shoudn't make these questions without having read your paper.

Joćo Paulo Monteiro


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