Populism

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Feb 17 14:21:42 MST 1995


At 11:12 AM 2/17/95, Christopher A Fons wrote:

>        On Doug's other point about socialization of production and the
>technological advances that capitalism has brought about and that we should
>applaud, Bill Warren would be proud.  If we do take this position (which I
>am very sympathetic with) does it not lead to politically difficult
>positions.  For example could not the reasoning follow that because the
>Zapatistas are fighting primarily for land for petty producers should we
>support agra-buisnesses that revolutionize production and eliminate the
>reactionary peasantry or because NAFTA is going to crush the fuedal like
>corpratist Mexican state should we support it?

I know this is dangerous territory, but I figured I was among friends, so I
was a little indiscreet. I suppose I could take the easy way out and say
the kind of capitalism being imposed on Mexico is very different from that
of the 19th century US: in the NAFTA model, there's little to nothing in
the way of skills or technology transfer and income growth - capitalism
drained of its "progressive" aspects. I could also say that the Zapatista
critique of capitalism is a bit more finely worked out than we're giving it
credit for.

But then there's the larger issue, NAFTA itself. The nationalist/populist
position on both sides of the Rio Grande is a simple No! This is very
different from the classically Marxist position, which, as stated by Marx
himself in his famous 1848 Brussels speech, is that since free trade
heightens the tension between capital and labor he cast his vote for free
trade. Anyone want to step into *that* minefield?

Doug

--

Doug Henwood
[dhenwood at panix.com]
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
USA
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax




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