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While it may appear an inevitability, how did capitalism come to take hold in the US? Was slave production in the American South actually capitalist or something else? What was the nature of the Civil War and the emergence of sharecropping in the conflict's wake? Marxist sociologist Charles Post weighs in on these questions, which have been hotly debated for many years on the left, with significant consequences for how we see capitalism's permanence and the nature of racial oppression today.