Chechyna/Asian mode of product

n.gant at n.gant at
Mon Mar 13 18:55:00 MST 1995

Bryan Alexander:  "What was their take on Chechnya?  I'd greatly
 appreciate hearing it..."

I am not any kind of expert on this, but from what I have read I
 would say the Russian situation these days is pretty complex, lots
 of subtle interactions between the numerous political groups make
 the whole thing volatile and rather alarming if not dangerous.

It's a strong argument against the use of troops there today, when
 one considers the Bolshevik's recognition of a Mountaineers'
 Autonomous SSR in 1921, and the incorporation of a Chechen
 Autonomous Region the following year.

National chairman Hall appears to be alluding to some kind of
 "domino theory", first coined I think by Kennedy aide Arthur
 Schlesinger to describe the consequences to the remaining
 capitalist countries in Southeast Asia. Or maybe I am confusing that with
his "pendulum effect".  Someone care to correct me?).  In other words, if
Chechnya goes, "other Caucasian dominoes will fall" and Moscow will be
denied the Caspian sea" and its oil fields.  This statement is borrowed from
a William Safire column actually.

The CPUSA takes the typically conservative approach to the Chechnya
 conflict, which means it supports the Russian hard-line working
 class and the communist rightwing.  Which probably puts it at odds
 with all the liberals in Russia, the free-market entrepreneurial
 types of workers, anarchists, capitalists, nationalists, and what
 have you.  I don't think this is a jihad by Moslems, so the
 Russians will eventually control the countryside and cut off the
 supply of arms to the guerrillas.  If I were a diplomat, I probably
 might support the Russians since it should be easy enough for them
 to wipe out the resistance anyway.  Else I'll be left looking like
 a fool championing a lost cause that doesn't appear to have much to
 do with socialism in the first place.  Sounds pretty cruel, but as
 it has been said, people who like to eat sausage should not see it
 being made.

I would have to question the need for armies in there and the
 shooting back and forth.  That is the Marxist thing to do.
 Life is supposed to be precious.  It is more than mere biological
 functions we are concerned with.

I hate to switch the topic in mid-air, but what is the so-called
 "Asian mode of production"?  As I understood Marx, he alluded in
 some way to a fatalistic aspect of the state, of the periodic rise
 and fall of empires and uprisings, but in the natural course of
 events like the seasons or the ebb and flow of the tide.  Did I get
 this correct?  Do we need to understand the Asian mode of
 production to better grasp the tumultuous events in the ex-Soviet
 Union?  What did Marx exactly mean by the Asian mode of production?


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