Notes on: Bhambra G., and Holmwood, J. (2021). Colonialism and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press

Dave Harris

Colonialism and imperialism are a part of modernity, contributing to it, not something that happened before, and not contingent. It is connected through commercialism that itself developed and took on a modernist form. Empires were expressions of earlier social formations, that had a distinct form (6). This was not recognised by modern social theory that tends to start with the development of the nationstate and with notions of sovereignty connected to the nationstate and other European powers, but it was already directed towards the non-European world 'as a "right to colonise" though '(7).

There are different types of empires, some pre-existing nations. Some feature 'domination' and others 'conquest and extraction', with European colonialism as an example of the latter. The first one developed centralised administrative and political forms but was 'generally inclusive' in terms of its rules and obligations. The second one involved subjugation of populations, based on some notion of superiority the invading population, with a much more aggressive stance towards their land and resources. We must avoid 'false equivalence' between these two systems (8) [not sure — the first one also had superiority based on class or estate?]

European nations emerged at the same time and were already imperial states, organised around 'a national project'. Social theory that discusses political rule just in terms of the nation tends to ignore colonisation and how imperial rule was established.

Imperialism had an enormous impact on the colonised, depleting populations and transferring ownership of territory and resources in a massive way. It also involved considerable portions of the European population — '"emigrationist colonialism "' (9), involving citizens of nationstates.

Early colonial ideology saw the colonised people as '"ancestors"', (10) early versions of ourselves, which helped explain European success as progress, and domination as something natural, which was carried forward into the impact of understanding political and industrial revolutions.

In the UK, colonialism was often carried out through Royal Charters given to merchants which involved eliminating indigenous people, and these were 'the first major capitalist corporations' (11), often the first joint stock companies. They often employed their own militias, and eventually were replaced by national governments.

There were accompanying conflicts in Europe themselves as the Holy Roman Empire broke up and modern nationstates emerged — but that nationalism was not recognised outside Europe. European competitions extended into the colonies and there were proxy wars. Neither Weber nor Durkheim could really explain these 'world wars'(12), nor the impact on domestic resistance — usually discussed in terms of class conflict only.

There was 'massive movement of Europe's own populations' as well as other populations, other kinds of coerced labour, bringing other characteristic early features of modernity, including 'political institutions and cultural expressions' [hints of Foucault here?]. All European countries slide to become empires, and all European populations engaged in emigration and colonialism — it was not just Germany in the 1930s that pursued lebensraum. In the 19th-century 16 million Europeans left their countries of origin for the colonies and were thus complicit in colonialism as settlers, including 7 million Germans, one of the largest groups in the Americas, and Poles, Austrians, Swedes, mostly in the Americas. Even the USA is best understood as a European colony, despite its independence, because they were still appropriating land from indigenous populations and working slaves, 'an American empire rather than a nation' (14) and the same goes with current postcolonial settler societies.

Empire was hardly mentioned in classical social theory, even in typologies like Spencer's, who was opposed to imperialism, but talked about industrial and military societies as a displacement. Others saw 'overseas possessions [as] a contingent fact', not central. [Typologies about community, or Comte's, are even worse?]. We need postcolonial rethinking to overcome this amnesia. Even colonial discoveries are still not integrated into theoretical categories.

The establishment of a canon is recent anyway, and the public probably were well aware of the importance of empire. The early focus was [functionalist] focusing on kinship, religion, political organisation and so on, organised in some way, and perhaps going some social development as progress. Canons can be useful, but can lead to self misunderstanding, especially about 'modernity's "others"' (17). The end of the Second World War and the expansion of mass higher education produced a new audience of students particularly requiring integration and jurisdiction, a new canon of classics.

The same period saw growing anti-colonialism as European empires ended, and this led to a new emphasis in sociology on modernity and toward social divisions and exclusions internal to national societies which were 'familiar to the new generations of students, who often were the first members of their family to attend universities'.

Nisbet on the sociological tradition distinguishes traditional and modern society with the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution as decisive in the break. Earlier writers were precursors to classic social theory, consolidated by Marx, Durkheim and Weber.. Successive generations further consolidated these foundations, as in Parsons, for example which also coincided with paperbacks and the growth of University sociology programs. Neither Nisbet nor Parsons looked at any of the 'earlier formative events' (18) and both started with writers in the late 19th century. That was the height of imperialism although neither author mentioned it. Canonical authors were sometimes expanded although the founding fathers remained constant.

The struggle for colonies and the World War that was the culmination of it was not mentioned, although it was 'looming'when Parsons was writing. Later critics argued that he had taken specific capitalist economic relations as typical and reintroduced Marx. Giddens' Capitalism and Modern Social Theory was 'the basis of most undergraduate courses' (19) and focused on social relations in modern capitalist, although he still framed modernity in the classic period 1890 to 1920 and did not engage with any earlier diversity. Later NSMs like feminism too, although they often drew upon Marxist approach to critique, and the same goes with early black activists, even Dubois. Later theorists like Myrdal turned to status and caste instead, and thought these would eventually disappear in America. Eventually, the language of colonialism was used increasingly to understand black experience in race relations.

Calls to decolonise the University were made in the 1960s as part of the wider movements of decolonisation, especially in East Africa. Calls were initially seen as anti-western, and only recently have become 'self-critical'. They originated largely in Africa. They have their own history and context.

The concepts and categories in social theory need to be decolonised, and processes of purification and displacement understood, as part of a more general contribution to decolonisation. It will also address current social problems in major modern societies such as xenophobia and populism. Residual categories such as the 'white working class' (22) need to be reworked, because they're not just white, and colonialism has had a role.

A focus on five sociological figures, including Toqueville and Dubois. The former discusses slavery and the treatment of indigenous people, which resonates with the latter's account of colour boundaries. Dubois was actively excluded from the Academy in the USA, and received hostility from community leaders as well. At the time few white sociologists were citing black scholars, but Dubois is still neglected.

It's possible to interpret ideas either as rational reconstructions, or in terms of historical interpretations, locating writers firmly in the past context. They want to do the second, with the addition of 'new historiographies' on European modernity, as opposed to the standard one in modern social theory. They are less interested in rational reconstruction, which is 'focused on current issues of identity and difference' (24) and which they think is less capable of producing a dialogue between past and present. The writers they choose did engage with colonialism although these discussions have not been considered and have been 'edited out'.

The first step is to re-establish the context of social theory in 'European liberalism' which involved itself 'a foundational exclusion of indigenous peoples, enabling their disposition and subjection to forced labour' (24). Modern social theory, emphasises the opposite, a project of freedom 'albeit one that is deeply racialised', and this sets up a dialectic in each of the theorists. Dubois starts from the opposite direction. Whatever, addressing colonial history is an essential first step.

Chapter 1. Hobbes to Hegel. Europe and its Others

The thing about ignoring the crucial role of colonialism is that 'racialised divisions — the products of colonial encounters — are made to look like external impingements on modern social and political structures rather than as features integral to them that derived from colonial domination' (25).

Take the justification of private property and its centrality in the rule of law. Government upholds the expression of property rights by individuals and also constrains them because individuals have to acknowledge the rights of others and the legal framework. This has provided 'the intellectual formation'which was the beginning of capitalist modernity and modern subjectivity.

The monarch had a God-given right to rule which they allocated to others. There were conflicts, for example over fiscal demands produced by wars, or how religious authority was to be interpreted. Divine right was patriarchal. Early liberal political theory inverted monarchical claims to absolute rule and emphasised instead political subjects and how they should cede authority. This included the notion of nature as 'a Commons gifted by God to all humankind' (28), with similarly common rights of possession and use.

Hobbes and Locke claimed to be developing a natural and positive role which would be universalised beyond Europe, even though their arguments arose in a particular society as it was undergoing social change. So they took a self-evident 'human nature already "socialised" through the relationships of 17th-century England' (28)', in particular a possessive individualism which was already developing in a market society, a limited bourgeois idea of the subject [citing not Marx but somebody called MacPherson]. These ideas also already applied to colonialism, probably even better and the contract entered into by property owners with those outside the Commonwealth. Both Hobbes and Locke 'were direct material beneficiaries of colonial activities' (29): 'Locke, in particular owned land in Carolina and served on bodies that administered the colonies'. There had been colonisation within Britain, with the conquest of Ireland.

Hobbes distinguishes between the state of nature and the state of society, with the former occupied by aggressive self defined human interests, raised to the exclusion of everything else including cooperative industry — hence the life of man as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. This was partly a theoretical construct, but also an approximation of 17th-century England — but also based on 'encounters with indigenous people' who'd been discovered, as Hobbes himself said [referring to '"the savage people in many places of America"' (30)]. He had to misrepresent some contemporary accounts of indigenous societies, 'many of which' actually described as well-organised, capable of trade and making alliances [so where did they come from?] , so this was not an accidental misrepresentation, but a necessary one, helping to establish 'European rights of possession', and denying indigenous rights as part of the legitimisation of appropriation.

Hobbes argued that really it was in the interests of individuals to enter into a contract to constitute government, to cede sovereignty to the sovereign, to authorise absolute power as legitimate. Subsequent generations will also be bound by this, although the actions of the sovereign could lead to dissolution, say after loss to another sovereign. This meant that indigenous people should acknowledge their obligations, or at least the power of conquering governments, which gave colonial governments something of an arbitrary nature, based on 'geographical range'(31).

At least the accounts argued that it should be based on reason and advantage, benefits beyond the state of nature like trade and security, and knowledge, civilisation. Others could be compelled to take part in case they threatened it, appearing as savages. This is how Hobbes saw colonisation, not as an invasion, because indigenous people have no rights, but as a consequence of natural law, where God gives human beings dominion over the natural world, but requires the development of rational principles by humans themselves. There is 'a kind of equality' combined with 'a warrant for the inhuman treatment of others' (32).

Locke had several attempts to develop social contract theory. Again land and minerals were given to all humankind, part of the Commons, and each human being had a right to self-determination instead of natural selfishness. These rights were God-given and must be respected. The right to self-determination was 'a right to self possession… "Every man has a property in his own person"', and private property arose from mixing labour with things that nature provided. However. There were constraints — '"enough and as good" must be left for others… There should be no spoilage or waste' (33). This leads to the contract theory where property and its protection is the business of government and people support governments because they protect property.

Property rights were actually being reorganised at the time, and traditional rights were being threatened, for example by enclosure, since 'common' property turned out to be not common at all but privately owned by Lords of the Manor. New categories of theft and punishment emerged, including penal transportation to the colonies for forced labour, beginning in the early 17th century. 'These were practices contiguous with the slave trade, albeit differently justified' (34). Locke had to defend this state of affairs, and he did this through the idea of spoilage and through a notion of the function of colonies. He argued that God expected that the Commons could be put to use, and not occupied by people who did not mix their labour with it — and that was what indigenous people did, by hunting and gathering rather than husbandry. If they did things like gathering, they were engaging in a kind of spoilage.

Secondly, the accumulation of wealth had to be reconciled with the maxim about not accumulating more than enough. Here, if stocks are just accumulated and not used, that is spoilage too, but luckily money had developed enabling a new kind of value to be considered, which, through markets, could be put to productive use. Colonial expansion was one of those, which also absorbed excess labour from the domestic population. In that sense, the national territory now extended to incorporate colonial territories — there were also an expanded market and source of raw material.

One source of labour was forced labour, and imposed labour on native populations through enslavement, including the classic slave trade [already 'practised on the Indian subcontinent' 35] and indentured labour. Here an additional justification was that labour was supposed to be good for people even for those who did not want to do it. Criminals had yielded their right to possess their own selves, so punishment reinforced the notion of property rights. Locke condemned slavery as '"vile and miserable"' (36), although some commentators say he meant slavery after the Norman conquest and was unaware of much of the African situation, although he knew about Carolina and was a shareholder in the Royal African Company. The main reason seems to be that he thought that indigenous people existed in the state of nature and this meant they were in permanent strife and a state of war and this itself 'place them in breach of natural rights' which in turn meant they could become property and be traded as property. Specifically, the threats of an African person to capture another would be sufficient to enslave them. So although individuals in the human species were equal, there was 'justified enslavement'[I don't think this necessarily meant justified for him].

There was also weaselling about servants creating property which become the properties of their masters because masters have laboured to create them. There are hints of Marxist contract theory of labour here, say B and H (37). Masters and property rights in the labour of others, a conventional understanding of the relation with servants, which actually was a constraint on development of free labour and equal rights, somehow preserving some status distinction after all.  Overall, Locke supported colonialism because he saw it as a part of liberalism, a society that would grow and spread social peace. This was true of other empires as well, one of the reasons why B&H think that colonialism is central to modernity, one way of managing the disruptive effects of enclosures, and developing corporations and modern notions of the possession of land and the use of labour.

Locke actually saw America as some metaphor for society at the beginning of the world. Both Hobbes and he drew upon reports of indigenous peoples and their customs for evidence, although they did not go further to develop different types of society, such as hunter gatherer on the one hand and commercial society on the other. [B&H see these as equal 'fictions']. It's a continuing process of misrepresenting society, found in French philosophers and Scottish enlightenment spokespersons including Hume, Smith, and others. Montesquieu explored more differences, focusing on 'geography, climate, traditions and practices' (39)

Colonial encounters were never specifically addressed but 'in many cases' they provided data, including the idea that travelling in space meant travelling in time. This did relativise European self understandings to some extent and helped establish a common humanity. Montesquieu even tried to imagine an indigenous anthropologist encountering European society as strange. This eventually led to a proto-sociological theory, trying to order diversity, initially in terms of an understanding of progress, still conceived as historical development resulting in different forms of subjectivity, and leading European subjectivity, 'civility, good manners, refinement, the cultivation of the arts' as at the apex.

Progress was also identified by complexity, the subdivision of tasks [initially by Ferguson], with an evolutionary underpinning, and physical factors like geography and climate were finally realised as social ones, conditions that enable people to develop social forms, like different kinds of industry. These were the basis for social theory, including 'specific moral constitutions' as in Durkheim. Agreement finally settled on four types of society 'hunting and gathering, pastoral, settled agriculture, commercial society, a 'stadial theory' of society (40), where stages undergo development based on different modes of subsistence, a clear forerunner to modes of production.

The ultimate stage, commercial society was distinct, but other forms also coexisted, explaining other societies as like those of our ancestors, to be studied in order to understand their own history, seeing the Native Americans as the primaeval form of human beings. There were also early fears about commercial transactions leading to impersonality, and threats to individualism, a loss of solidarity, and this led to 'claims that the emergent modern sensibility contained within it an analytical component, capable of immanent critique and reforming the very order it sought to justify' (41).

It also provided considerable increases in wealth and freedom, like freedom to change occupation and improve your position. The market could be seen as crucial and markets had to be protected by Smith and Hume, and industry encouraged. Ties like kinship are to be left to wither. Interdependence needs to be encouraged. The new sociability and the refinement of the arts was connected, and both were found in urbanism. An early interest in social rank and the relations between men women and children [attributed to somebody called Millar in 1779] claimed that both were diminished in industrial societies, 'polished nations'.

Increases in wealth meant progress. The division of labour was fundamental as was commodity exchange and the accumulation of movable wealth. Enslaved people could also be seen as movable wealth, but mostly it was about ending serfdom and moving to wage labour. Commercialism was seen to be something internal, the result of reorganisation, more effective division of labour and so. Slavery was discussed only briefly, and seen largely as a problem for other societies, or classical antiquity, even though there are active forms available at the time. Slavery was seen as a past practice or an analogy to wage labour [implies that Marx was turning a blind eye]. Yet slavery was contributing a substantial proportion of wealth by the 18th-century, and was invested in even by people who wanted slavery abolished. Focusing on classical slavery helped by seeing it as a residual form, nothing to do with commercial society, with residual barbarity as well, or some residual residence in the state of nature: after all Europe had generally abolished it.

In fact, there were persisting systems of unfree labour in Europe, and these expanded [but you have to see the Americas as 'Europe's eastern and western edges' (45)]. There is active enserfment in Russia [you have to see Europe as including Russia]. The real significance of slavery is that 'it instituted the lasting significance of race to modern social structures' and forms that were integral to modernity. This was not recognised, in spite of the importance of slavery for commercial society [which has so far been established as a matter of economic importance and as a matter of absent presences in European thought]. Any contradictions between notions of civilisation while living in a society that perpetrated slavery 'could be placed outside the theoretical framework under discussion', partly because the notion of the mode of subsistence was taken to be a mere 'heuristic device' which would not explain all the detailed differences [I think the argument is here — it needed Marx to do so?]. The mechanisms generating savagery in the present were not understood, and savagery was a mere residual category.

Chapter 2 Toqueville: from America to Algeria

The American Revolution was a purer form of democracy because there was no feudalism, unlike France, despite the risk of the tyranny of the majority, as opposed to the resurgence of despotism. Of course there were limits to the franchise and the rights of indigenous people which Toqueville recognised. The contradiction with universalism in the Declaration was really produced by the deeper structures of colonialism, however the original colonial conditions of the institutions and processes.

France had become a colonising power in the 16th century in Africa and with the invasion of Algeria in 1830 and the USA was expanding territorially into Louisiana Canada and Florida — acquiring an empire in Toqueville's words. These issues, and the chapters on racism, have been neglected, however, In favour of a more 'celebratory narrative' (54).

Tocqueville's family was Conservative and aristocratic but he took part in the turmoil after the Revolution, overall supporting the Bourbon monarchy. He travelled to the USA after 1830, and witnessed some of the expulsion of Indians. Democracy in America was a comparative sociology of democracy and freedom in America and Europe. Although widely seen as liberal, it still had conservative attitudes to property and its institutions, and democracy had to be moderated and stabilised, via an aristocracy in Europe. His book on democracy in France — The Ancien Regime and The Revolution  -- looked at how the old absolute monarchy had continued. Britain, meanwhile had lost the American colonies but had carried colonisation on elsewhere but had adapted its aristocratic forms in ways that Toqueville advocated.

His observations can be understood as a series of ideal types, heuristics, which risks bias. The exclusion of a proper analysis of slavery and colonialism in Algeria might be seen as irrelevant when set against the clarification of the observations of democracy in America, for example, and this is the standard sociological view — there are two ideal types of political order, an aristocratic and a democratic order. Britain is 'relatively unstudied' (57) seen as somewhere where the aristocracy adapted to commercial society which moderated the excesses of democracy. The USA by contrast did not have an aristocratic order and in France aristocracy was displaced altogether — in the USA democracy developed from equality, and in France  from confronting inequality. There is also the Catholic Church as a semi-independent basis of power, although often associated with the nobility. The peasants were not yet integrated into the national identity in France, but better seen as a caste or status group.

The commercial wealth that disrupted feudalism in France had become 'a very significant part of colonialism' and from trade with the colonies, although this was largely 'absent from Tocqueville's account'(59), even though he had bought land himself in Algeria. Land was what gave the aristocracy stability and an interested presence in the political order, but commercialism fragmented the old relationships and also developed hostility to the church and the old order. It increased social divisions like town against country and weakened the basis for solidarity, leaving only social order imposed from above, and increasingly despotic rule.

In the USA it was entirely different with equality of rank, despite the apparent allegiance to the Crown. There was forced labour, even a possible 're-entrenchment of serfdom' eventually producing enslavement. (61). Here, Tocqueville openly is 'subsuming democracy in America under the narrative of one race — that of the English colonists' (61), which apart from anything else means that it's possible to see the southern states as the old order, something anachronistic although it was 'integral to colonialism', with slavery and expulsion of indigenous people as exceptions to the primary narrative.

Among white people, the differences in wealth in other circumstances did not affect their equality, and this was developed further by the abolition of primogeniture, leading to considerable mobility of wealth, the idea that everyone worked for their money rather than inheriting wealth, with the consequent high level of personal education and immediate social relationships — 'reputation had to be built in the present' (63). It was natural that equal citizens will turn to democracy or to despotism, and in America, the former prevailed, mostly because suitable local institutions developed, a local division of power at each level.

There was a legacy of the religious beliefs of puritans, who were themselves 'republican and democratic' (64) and were thus positive for democracy [almost a kind of work ethic argument here]. Religious conscience was also a check for tyrannous majorities, although it did not prevent the treatment of outsiders.

The neglect of dispossession and enslavement was common in most sociological examinations of modernity. In America, the two faces of modernisation are represented by a geographical division between southern and northern states and with the victory of the North in the Civil War. Tocqueville did not think that slavery would be ended with the Civil War, however, but rather generalised for the whole of the USA. He saw three races existing in the USA and acknowledged that democracy really concerned only one of them, while the other two were subjugated and suffered from 'tyranny' (66). This was a serious danger and contradiction. It was justified because Indians did not properly possess the USA because they did not practice agriculture and so their destruction was inevitable. He saw dispossession through treaties like the Louisiana Purchase, as inevitable, and legal even when Supreme Court decisions in favour of Cherokee settlement were overturned, which Tocqueville witnessed and labelled as tyranny, and attracted his sympathy but not a demand for rectification [a description of the suffering on 68]. He saw them as noble savages inevitably confined to the past.

Negroes by comparison were abject, incorporated into the future only by coercion, Indians were too free for slavery. Slavery produced its own 'learned incapacity' rather than any self-improvement, but the alienation of the Negro was inept. Enslavement, however was not really in the interests of White people — it put white people off labour altogether, for example in the south. Even emancipation did not end prejudice and inequality persisted in mores. Recent migrants in Europe also exhibited racial prejudice and continued to exclude Africans from participation. Equal voting rights were infringed by practices and prejudices. He was dispassionate in his descriptions here, although he did seem to endorse white Europeans and support the alien nature of black people, seeing them as an evil presence, a threat to white democracy, even though maintaining some dignity.

He never mentioned Haiti and the revolt. The French were colonising at the time in competition with other European nations and they had established territories in Canada, Louisiana and the Caribbean. Black people there clearly 'posed a threat of revolt' and instead of supporting this revolt against tyranny, Tocqueville chose to emphasise the threats of violence towards Europeans.

Initially, the recommendation was to abolish slavery and this was ratified in Paris in 1793 amid some enthusiasm. Napoleon, however restored slavery in 1802, as a more 'active attempt to enslave citizens' (72) and this led to the revolution, the abolition of slavery and complete independence. The global economic blockade followed until 1825 when independence was conceded in exchange for a large indemnity, officially as compensation for seized French property. It was an exceedingly generous indemnity and fiercely opposed, involving Haiti in massive debt. Tocqueville must have been aware of the negotiations although he never talked about it, and probably deepened his view that African emancipation was a threat to French interests.

He did stand for election and was successful in 1839 until 1851. He wrote reports on slavery in the colonies and especially in Algeria. Again he drew on experiences in America on abolition of slavery. He argued for abolition but also for compensation by the state financed by a tax on the freed slaves. He took the British example as important.

He headed a commission to end slavery in the French colonies and demand an indemnification but this was not accepted. He then wrote an essay on emancipation, condemning slavery as contrary to the principles of justice, humanity and reason, but arguing that French greatness depended on its colonies, and that abolition should not mean the ruin of colonists. Half the costs should be met by black people. Colonists had not been responsible for slavery, and black people had not been responsible for its abolition. The French had invented equality in the Revolution. Slavery was abolished in French colonies in 1848 'but the project of colonisation remained intact' (77

Colonial policy in Algeria involved the assimilation of the indigenous population into French culture, after an initial period of devastation in the 1840s. Tocqueville advocated building a more stable community, although on visiting Algeria he thought that only European immigrants could develop a stable colony, through domination, transplanting French settlers, dispossessing the locals. Again he was appointed to head a commission, and drew back a bit, advocating the extension of France overseas rather than full domination, although he must have been aware of the injustice through the native inhabitants. He did not comment any further, but remain generally sympathetic to the claims of indigenous people. However 'he seemed unable to apply those insights' (80).

The democracy he liked in America was racialised and so he was 'willing to restrict the functioning of democracy along these lines'. He wanted to maintain French colonial interests and also endorsed 'European superiority', as when endorsing the British defeat of the Indian mutiny as a triumph of Christianity, or the Chinese defeat in the Opium Wars. There are still attempts to reconcile the two sides of Tocqueville, but for these authors, there is 'the unifying racial theme… The marginalising the cultures of people of colour'. This might have led to sympathy, but it produced no critique of colonialism.

Chapter 3 Marx Colonialism, Capitalism, and Class

[see also Avineri]

Parsons saw Weber as more important, but the reaction to him meant a turn back to Marx. The early writings also helped replace a positivist version, renewing practical criticism and dialectics, class and social change. However, analysis of colonialism is inadequate in each of these areas. Marx was a critic of colonialism but he saw it as a form of primitive accumulation, and imperialism as a result of a logic of the relation between capital and labour rather than something independent.

So colonialism was central in explaining how free labour emerges in capitalism yet the whole discussion focused on class. Racialised hierarchies were also important though especially in the development of social polarisation and proletarianisation — there was no mitigation for racial minorities through national welfare, and status and gender remained. Class has always been difficult as an explanation of postcolonial sociology as well. The centrality of class replaced early potential discoveries about colonialism.

Marx criticised both Hegel and Tocqueville for ignoring the growing population of excluded poor people, eventually to become a proletariat, integral to and contradicting the new society, and not to be involved in any democratic equality, but confronted instead with an alliance of class fragments as in the 18th Brumaire. Even here, there was a chance to mention that the French army suppressed insurrection using methods they had developed already in Algeria and deported some insurgents to Algeria. There is also a missed chance to understand the proletariat as populated by all those who were dispossessed and coerced including those affected by colonialism. Instead, there was a 'more explicitly Eurocentric direction' (87). The colonised were seen simply as remnants of an early stage of history eventually to be incorporated, with the European proletariat as a vanguard.

[Some good criticisms of Hegel pages 88 and 89]. It was the permanently excluded poor outside of the mechanisms of civil society that was the problem, unlike say the agricultural poor in feudalism. They were not only neglected but they were crucial to social progress. They were exploited by new impersonal exchange relations, which seemed free but which were a new form of dependence, which outweighed all the positive advantages of the division of labour. Alienation was the result, and an absence of any responsibility among employers outside of market requirements, limiting social forms. This is a new and specific kind of poverty, an endemic kind.

Enclosure and agricultural reforms had been characteristic of colonialism but were not accompanied by free labour but by enslavement and indenture, including import of labour. There is not the same concern in Marx, however because of his implicit 'stadial theory', and his notions of sequences of modes of production. European society had exported primitive accumulation not free labour, although they would, he thought. Political resistance in the colonies would not also show this development — thus Indian revolution will depend first on the British ruling classes being deposed.

However even when slavery was abolished, that attracted a little comment. Slavery was still primitive accumulation doomed to be replaced by more efficient systems of free labour — but it was in fact replaced by 'other forms of forced and indentured labour' (94) [but for how long?]. And cotton, for example was grown elsewhere in the Empire, using indentured labour. Marx did not predict any of these mixed systems, and indeed saw an end pretty soon to wage labour.

The problem was that state action became integral to the development of capital and not subordinate to it. Colonialism also became relatively independent with different processes of wage labour formations, the development of 'patrimonies' which had an effect on domestic populations. 'In other words, a caste- like relation was superimposed on the universal class relations anticipated by Marx. This process reached its apogee in race relations in the United States, and after the Second World War was reimported into European domestic politics, where it now structures the politics of immigration' (95).

Turning to studies of the capitalist mode of production in the mature work, the focus on political economy also had the effect of making it 'increasingly Eurocentric' (96). He criticised the generalisations and universality of political economy such as Malthus and the 'iron laws' by arguing that they were historically specific. That included the labour theory of value which produced value only in capitalist conditions 'and had no applicabiliy outside capitalist conditions' (97). Exchange relations were not peculiar, but they had peculiar features in capitalism, inextricably engaged with the circulation of money [a good discussion of this 97 – 98]. [Good on crisis tendencies too. The tendency for the rate of profit to fall was inherent in globalisation or imperialism as well, because eventually the same problems with markets would appear again — and the rate of exploitation of workers would increase but this would also increase class struggles].

The creation of wage labour is the dominant form of long-term process but gradually other forms would disappear, as discussed at the end of Capital Vol one. Marx also discussed what he called 'the "modern theory of colonisation"' where true colonies consisted of "virgin soil colonised by free immigrants"' as in Australia. As we know, labourers often absconded and became petty producers meaning that capitalists had to employ forced labour including enslavement, but again only as a contingent factor — B&H argue that it was integral.

Marx did not see much in humanitarian criticisms of the slave trade which he saw as rationalisations for modernisation, although he might have identified a permanent base for primitive accumulation in the world economy [one commentator says, 102 — B&H say this is still located in a developmental process — Marx is still distinguishing between formal and real subordination, for example where the latter simply involves taking over a system of domination from older regimes]. There is a difference between historical forms of class struggle and those that were integral.

He might be seen to be developing a pure construct of capitalism separating out the contingent aspects, as with the 18th Brumaire. Here B&H think this is not an ideal type, because the two would converge. There would be a reserve army, for example which would further reduce the historical variations in the qualities of labour and their different historical rewards. 'The same situation should apply to racialised differences' (104) as they did for gender differences. There was greater uniformity in work, new forms of solidarity will develop. However (relative) emiseration was crucial, and there is a danger of fatalism or economism. Real improvements were impossible so struggles must ultimately be revolutionary. Throughout, the avant-garde would be the European proletariat and others would be included only insofar as they had been proletarianised — other forms of resistance were important forms but only to formal subordination.

Critics have pointed out that conventional differences between genders and races have 'remained remarkably resistant' (105) and employment has remained differentiated producing different sorts of inequality. Capitalism has developed reformist and other kinds of '"decommodification" tactics [cf use value systems in Offe]. Human capitals become more important. At the same time 'unfree labour flourishes' (106). These factors might eventually give way. On the other hand Marxism might have deflected workers from the development of proper solidarity, but this will involve an independence for ideology that Marx did not develop.

The bourgeois may be able after all to act against their own interests committing themselves to social changes, as they recognise that the practice did not reflect their own sense of themselves and their humanity. Generally, it was not a matter of self-identity. The self identification of the proletariat could never be achieved immediately within capitalism, and economism was more likely. After the revolution all class identities will wither away. False consciousness among proletariat could never last, however, and there was scepticism about the sincerity of bourgeois reforms. The state's interest in maintaining capitalism were latent, ready to be realised in crisis.

Marx took too much from political economy, accepting that their categories were adequate even though he wanted to deny their universality, accepting their rational kernel, even though even in the 1860s the British Parliament was going beyond classical political economy and discussing progressive taxation or public utilities. Empires were also at their peak providing the funds for these reforms. There was evidence of second thoughts in the Critique of the Gotha Programme attacking the idea of simple rights for labour and stressing the need for administration and funds for welfare as well as criticizing equal rights.

Overall there was the teleology of class struggle, with reservations only hinted at in the Gotha Programme. The funds for welfare and state action in the metropolitan areas came from the colonies: they remained as the 'state of no estate'. Their interests were underrepresented even by Marx.