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DanAllosso

DanAllosso

Currently reading

400 Years Of Freethought
Samuel Porter Putnam
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Jennifer Michael Hecht
The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
Paul E. Johnson, Sean Wilentz

Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism (Galaxy Books)

Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery & Bourgeois Property in the Rise & Expansion of Capitalism - Eugene D. Genovese, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese I'm really not that interested in Marx or slavery. But some of the things the Genoveses say in The Fruits of Merchant Capital make sense to me. Here are a few I thought I'd hang onto:“To speak bluntly, as admirable as much of the recent social history has been and as valuable as much of the description of the life of the lower classes may eventually prove, the subject as a whole is steadily sinking into a neo-antiquarian swamp presided over by liberal ideologues, the burden of whose political argument, notwithstanding the usual pretense of not having a political argument, rests on an evasion of class confrontation.“The irony will be apparent: since most of the historians of lower-class life wish to tell the story, often in heroic terms, of the people with whom they identify, it rarely occurs to them that their own ideological framework and its appropriate methods do violence to their subjects’ lives. It is, after all, worse than nonsense to pretend that slaves, serfs, or workers could possibly develop as human beings immune from the influence, positive as well as negative, of those who hold power over them. It is an assault, however well-intentioned, on their humanity, for it makes retrospective demands upon them that no human beings should be expected to meet.“Any ideology has important negative as well as positive components and presents some image of resolved conflict…People espouse and defend beliefs and values as much for what they deny and guard against as for what they affirm.”