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    How's your text going? I'm growing impatient to read it, well, that and I miss you posting here
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    Weren't you writing a post on your blog?
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    You said that the humiliation of male workers is similar to the sexual degradation of women, and that they are not able to become "real men". Does the same hold true for white workers in general regarding the oppression of colored people? It would make sense to me, although I'm not sure as you put the emphasis on sexuality. But maybe that's because of the context of the thread.
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    When you describe humans as not having an "ecology", are you using the term the same way that Continental German thinkers discuss "Umwelt" (which I've seen more commonly translated as "environment")? If so, why do you prefer the term "ecology", and if not, is there a particular distinction you have in mind?
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    the problem is that the archaeology does not allow for it; we know now that latifundia did not exist on this scale, and in any event it doesn't bring us up to the 'feudal moment' (wherever you want to locate that, it's much later than the end of the republic).
    "A similar mode of production (to Greece's), emerged in ancient Italy, for perhaps similar reasons, but the particular characteristics of this mode of production in its course of development carried internal contradictions which would lead to feudalism. This was not inevitably the only possible historical trajectory path from the beginning, but this is what happened."
    my issue above still stands, but this is clarifying, so thank you. it's very easy for me to reduce certain positions to a crass universal historical determinism even when i know they aren't necessarily that rigid. it's possible none of this is really that important, but it's a personal peeve, so i appreciate your response.
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    "When Marx and Engels spoke of 'slave society', they did not do this so as to brush off the particular characteristics of these societies, but to locate what was essential to them as it concerned historical movement."
    i'm aware. i'm saying that i'm not convinced that a) internal antagonisms particular to Roman slavery is what gave rise to feudalism, partly because i am not convinced that b) slavery was the main force driving production. (but perhaps I was wrong to assume that A being true demands that B be true, if that's what you're getting at here?) the only argument i've heard that somewhat approaches proving this is the standard 'gracchan crisis' narrative that the mass employment of slaves on latifundia displaced smallholders, drove them into the cities en masse, and created a political problem that was not resolved until marius, sulla, or caesar (pick your general);
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    this is why the emphasis from classicists (and khad in that thread) on 'feudalish' relations, I think. the one possible argument against this relies on forced labor in silver mines, but our estimates for the value of silver and how much it 'ran' the 'economy' are even less conclusive than our estimates on grain. primitive mercantilism etc, however, i would agree was very much on the surface (although i have questions about how critical rentiership was in the roman case, possibly more than usually allowed).
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    "I do not know how it could be said that these were not 'slave societies', with the essential basis of productive relations ultimately having their basis in relations of slavery...But this is an empirical matter - perhaps it is wrong, somehow."
    I'm inclined to think it is; obviously calculations of population/value/etc. for this time period are hugely suspect, but i tend to locate 'the essential basis of productive relations' in 'where and by what means people reproduce themselves, i.e. how they eat' (and this may well be mistaken), and in that case the archaeological and literary evidence (admittedly sparse) would seem to suggest that 'peasant smallholders' provided the vast bulk of labor which powered these societies and that their working conditions (so to speak) were not very different at all from their slaves (even the poorest household might have one or two);
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    case of, say, archaic and classical greece, my main areas of study). What is the 'qualitatively distinct' nature of these societies? Are their 'essential contexts' so particular that it makes no sense to group them together at all ("pre-feudal" ultimately meaning very little)? if so, how do we make sense of real, coherent stages like feudalism emerging out of them (or emerging out of their breakdown-- what is there to break down? something, clearly)?
    your thoughts would be much appreciated, i've read what very little marxist classical scholarship exists on this subject and no one has solved it for me.
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    "That privileges were allotted for the 'ownership' of land, does not constitute such a relation as feudal anymore than the mercantilism in antiquity is some kind of embryonic capitalism. You cannot abstract a certain quality of this or that society, with no consideration of its essential context, and call it 'feudal' or 'capitalist'. In that case every society before capitalism was a mix and match of capitalism, socialism, feudalism and slave society*. It is nonsense"
    I greatly appreciate this (esp. the distinction between property-as-liability and what we now assume is meant by 'property proper', i.e. a concept inherited from comparatively late roman law) but the question of how to best describe and evaluate said societies is still unanswered for me (I find 'slave societies' (that is, slavery as the clearly dominant mode of production) both insufficient and empirically disproved, at least in the
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About Rafiq

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Detroit, Michigan.
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[FONT="Courier New"] “We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Revolution and of the new order of life. ”
Felix Dzerzhinsky

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