Essays on haiti crisis

3) The Availability of the Means of Production and Scarcities in Nature
Several technical issues arise around access to adequate means of production. Supply bottlenecks can easily occur, sometimes for systemic reasons that cannot be elaborated upon here. But beneath this lies the possibility of so-called “natural” limits to raw material supplies and to the capacity of the environment to absorb wastes. The history of capitalism is replete with many phases when “nature” is held to be an ultimate limit to growth. But the Malthusian scenario has never as yet really grabbed hold. This history is a very good example of how capital, when it encounters limits, exhibits considerable ingenuity is turning them into barriers that can be transcended or circumvented (by technological changes, opening up new resource regions and the like). Because capital has successfully done this in the past does not necessarily mean, of course, that it is destined to do so in perpetuity. Nor does it imply that past episodes of supposed natural limits were negotiated smoothly and without crises. Whether or not this is a moment when what O’Connor calls “the second contradiction of capitalism” (the relation to nature as opposed to the capital-labor relation that Marxists typically privilege) comes to the fore as the main barrier to sustained accumulation is a matter for debate. 7

After Louverture created a separatist constitution, Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 sent an expedition of 20,000 soldiers and as many sailors [59] under the command of his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc , to retake the island. The French achieved some victories, but within a few months, most of the French had died from yellow fever . [60] More than 50,000 French troops died in an attempt to retake the colony, including 18 generals. [61] The French captured Louverture, transporting him to France for trial. He was imprisoned at Fort de Joux , where he died in 1803 of exposure and possibly tuberculosis . [52]

Essays on haiti crisis

essays on haiti crisis

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