[A-List] the Eurocentric bath water, the baby, and AGF (fwd)
Andre Gunder Frank
franka at fiu.edu
Thu Mar 21 11:37:08 MST 2002
ANDRE GUNDER FRANK
Senior Fellow Residence
World History Center One Longfellow Place
Northeastern University Apt. 3411
270 Holmes Hall Boston, MA 02114 USA
Boston, MA 02115 USA Tel: 617-948 2315
Tel: 617 - 373 4060 Fax: 617-948 2316
Web-page:csf.colorado.edu/agfrank/ e-mail:franka at fiu.edu
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 09:51:27 -0500
From: g kohler <kohlerg at 3web.net>
To: wsn at csf.colorado.edu
Subject: the Eurocentric bath water, the baby, and AGF
This refers to, and is an interpretation of, Professor Frank's recent
piece (wsn, 13 March 2002) on "the Communist Manifesto: Abstract of a
world historical critique".
To give my conclusion first, it seems that, in order to get rid of the
Eurocentric bath water, AGF pretends (pretends only) to throw out the
baby (capitalism) as well. It's a Frankistic rhetorical strategy.
(1) Contradiction -
on the one hand, AGF agrees with Chaudhuri that "The
ceaseless quest of modern historians looking for the 'origins' and roots
of capitalism is not much better than the alchemist's search for the
on the other hand, AGF does exactly the same, namely,
identifying the origins and roots of that same baby. AGF explains that
the baby, which is commonly called capitalism, originates in that
"historical process" (unit of analysis = the world) which is "world-wide
and world - including Europe - encompassing".
(2) An analogous reasoning would be that there is no such thing as "the
Canadian weather", because the Canadian weather
(a) has no historical breakpoints,
(b) did not develop in quasi-Darwinian stages of evolution from lower to
(c) is not made within Canada, and
(d) is not uniquely Canadian and is not essentially different from
weather in other parts of the world -- but must be understood as part of
a "universal" weather "process" which is "world-wide and world-including
. . . and therefore, my students, says the professor, there is no such
thing as "the Canadian weather."
(3) ... and therefore, my students, says Professor Frank, there is no
such thing as "capitalism".
It's a Frankistic rhetorical strategy, like the formula "development of
You got me and IT wrong.
Forget about the rhetoric and look at the real world/weather.
''Dev of Undev'' did and still does exist in fact
''capitalism'' did and still does not in fact exist
its not a question of where or when it came from
it never did. giving the past,present and forseeably future
reality the ''cap'' name and attributing the specific
characxteristics to the rea;lity that ''cap'' comes loaded with
only leads to tyerrible misundersanding of what we see
and obscures a lot from sight that is there and even more
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