Charles Post–The American Road to Capitalism on Against The Grain.

I used to listen to the shit out of this show working various temp office drone jobs. Here’s a recent interview with Post on his book.

About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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4 Responses to Charles Post–The American Road to Capitalism on Against The Grain.

  1. Kambing says:

    AtG does cover some good stuff! I’m thankful for podcasting, because we don’t get anything like it down here in Australia.

    Post’s view of the development of capitalism in the US points to a wider issue of how to conceptualise forms of social/economic organisation which do not strictly follow a capitalist logic but which are nevertheless incorporated into a wider capitalist system of value. Obviously a strictly linear procession of discrete modes of production doesn’t quite capture this, but I find that the language that Marxists use (and I include myself here) often gets rather imprecise when dealing with such forms of social organisation (and/or value systems) and their articulations.

    I guess there’s the Luxemburg/David Harvey approach to capitalism’s need to encompass and produce an ‘outside’, but I’m not sure this is totally satisfactory in coming to grips with things like American slavery.

    Then you get David Graeber who explicitly argues that the capitalist ‘mode of production’ shares its most essential features with slavery in any case. (To which I guess my response is basically ‘kinda, yeah, but not really’).

    • HR says:

      Yeah, I definitely agree with your points. And I also think that Post and other political marxists provide the most fruitful approach to investigate how capitalism relates to messy empirical reality. That’s why I look forward to being able to properly read more of it rather than learn about it from interview and conference papers. Have you read any of the other stuff?

      • Kambing says:

        I’ve read some of Ellen Meiksins Wood’s work, though not as much as I should, and more on ancient slavery than early modern/American. I should probably check out her ‘Origin of Capitalism’. And, coming from Anthropology, I’ve read Eric Wolf, whose ‘Europe and the People Without History’ addresses colonialism the expansion of capitalism from the PoV of non-capitalist modes of production.

      • HR says:

        I read the origin long ago as an undergrad. its interesting. As you may know we are doing a book club on the mammoth Gerstenberger, which I would recommend to anyone.

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