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The Haitian Revolution


It is impossible to understand capitalism without analyzing slavery, an institution that tied together three world regions: Europe, the Americas, and Africa. The exploitation of slave labor led to a form of proto-globalization in which violence was indispensable to the production of wealth. Slavery also gave rise to a culture centered on the maximization of profit, one that disregarded the exploited slave laborers, who were not considered human beings but turned into mere things owned by masters who would also own the slaves’ descendants. Against the background of this expanding circulation of capital and slave labor, the first revolution in Latin America took place: the Haitian Revolution, which began in 1791 and culminated with Haiti’s declaration of independence in 1804. In addition to being the first, this revolution was also the most radical and original, and perhaps for this very reason the most forcefully repressed. Taking the Haitian Revolution as a paradigmatic case, Grüner shows that modernity is not a linear evolution from the center to the periphery but rather a co-production developed in the context of highly unequal power relations where extreme forms of conquest and exploitation were an essential part of capital accumulation. He also shows that the Haitian Revolution opened up a path to a different kind of modernity, a ‘counter-modernity,’ a path on which Latin America and the Caribbean have travelled ever since.

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Artikelnummer: 34699 Categorie: Tag:
Subtitel: Capitalism, Slavery and Counter-Modernity
Auteur: Gruner, Eduardo
Jaar: 2019
ISBN: 9781509535484
Pagina's: 264
Taal: English
Uitgever: Polity Press
Uitgever stad: Cambridge
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