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by Andre Gunder Frank
28 March 2002 18:46 UTC
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               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@fiu.edu

NOTE TO H-WORLDers: this comes from a discussion string on another net,the
World Systems Net, whihc also has its own net archive. I wish to
cross-post it to H-World because it is not only equally relevant here, but
because part of the SAME argument about differnet/common & which is on 
first, who is on second just appeared here as well. Below is my response
to the last WSN intervention, part of which I also quote

Like Carl , I dont wanna go on and on about the Capitalist Mode of Produc
tion ... but this time I gotta agree with him when he says

In a nutshell, I reject both the assertion that Capitalism or the CMP
never existed (Frank) and the assertion that capitalism, as merely another
manifestation of greed,  always existed (Alexander).

Of course, to say that it always existed is effectively the SAME as
saying that it never existed - as something different. And if CMP
has alwats exited, it is not different from others, and then there is no
point in either trying to distinguish as nor to name it something different.

Carl, like everybody since Marx - and lately especially the
Reaganite/thacherite RIGHT=wrong - insist that there IS a DIFFERENCE
and an important one, which the latter uphold and Carl and us combat.
I say, and the historical as well as contemporary evidence suppoerts me,
thaT these alleged differences are non-existent or spurious. Therefore,
I say there has been NO ''capitalism'' as such. I do not say that there
has awlays or for 5,000 years been capitalism, since that would be a
non-sense statement that I do NOT make and I dont know that Alexander does

Additionally, one step further, you all - and about this has been
my longstanding on and on discussion  with my friend Samir Amin - focus on
DIFFERENCES, which you regard as more important, and I focus on
similarities and even more important COMMONALITIES, which ,i regard as
more important [to say that both are important is a cop out]. Moreover, I
maintain that in order to distinguish and understand differnces, it is
imperative first to see the similarities/commonalities - within which
only it then can make sense to look for differences. 

The entire Marxist, but equaLLY SO ''LIBERAL'' Western social science
tradition and historiography since the mid 19th century has fallen
into/made for itself/ this trap of posing an alleged duality between
''us'' and ''them'' - with a dozen baptisms of modern/traditional,
cap/non-pre-post- cap, rational/ non-ir-rational,
gessellschaft/gemeinschaft, urban/folk, contract...organic.., lately well
summarized as ''the West vs the Rest'' by Clash-of-Civilizations
Huntington [there we go again, its a RIGHTwing thing]. Its ALL what Edward
Said denounced as Orientalism, the studied [but without study!] invention
of a fictcious Orient, not for its sake but to separate US/the West out
from the rest - when in reality we are much more the same than different.
Since Sept 11 actually, its been re-defined as CIVILIZATION - without an s
- vs. presumably barbary. that is what the Argentinina Sarmiento called
them in the 19th century, when he was on the ''civilized'' top dog
European exploitative free trade side.

I do NOT want to put Carl and my many ''capitalism is it'friends into this
same bag, but - since comonalities are more important and prior to
differecnes - they need to watch their own step if they wish to avoid
themselves falling into that bag, where they are received with open arms
by the RIGHT who glories in it, and who cheerfully bombs all
civilizational law and institutions out of existence in the name of
''saving'' them [echo of destroying Vietnam to save].

Apologies for having gone on and on after all, to delve into the
not only similarities but also the COMONALITIES of the Marxist and
anti-Marxist [ they dont know how Marxist they themselves are!] 
anti- or pro- capitalist roaders, all of whom are travelling on the SAME
road and mostly NOT even in as opposite directions as they would like or
claim to.

respectfully submitted
gunder frank

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