The Black Jacobins: A Response to Scott’s Conscripts of Modernity Whether under the form of ideological or material disciplining, enslavement represents the inaugural form of the Modern Caribbean. This form is to be understood as intractably linked to its always-already dialectical negation: emancipation. In this essay I offer a critical engagement with the treatment that these two categories receive in The Black Jacobins (C.L.R. James 1938) as analysed from the perspective of D. Scott’s Conscripts of Modernity (2004). To that effect, I shall proceed as follows:
(i) I will deliver a succint account of the historical role played by the Jacobins vis-à-vis the interlocution between the Haitian and the French revolutions.
(ii) I will compare and contrast James’s discourse and Scott’s meta-discourse on these historical events. I shall do so by drawing upon the metaphor <> as the main figurative idiom through which black sovereignty is accounted for.
(iii) I will bring on the table J.Austin’s distinction between locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts (1962) in order to show that while operating a successful anthropological and epistemological recalibration of postcolonial studies, Scott’s incurs three important mistakes throughout his argument: (iii.i) Not arguing independently for either his position on postcolonialism or his analysis of The Black Jacobins, since he mingles both elements within his argument, (iii.ii) considering the