marxism & (under)development

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Apr 10 07:52:22 MDT 1996

The exchanges with the PCP crowd, and about Peru, Maoism, and sex, should
lead to some serious discussion about the relation of Marxism to the level
of economic and social development. Maybe all the attempts to revise
Marxism to apply to semi-literate, semi-industrialized agrarian-rural
societies - and the enthusiasm of First World radical intellectuals for
such a project - have been mistakes after all. Educated aristocrats like AO
nominate themselves as the vanguard of a people with an understanding of
their own misery, but not much more, which makes it easy for the leadership
to hijack the revolution in their own interests - they become a kind of
hothouse bourgeoisie who (would) promote a distorted and undemocratic
development that is unable to cope, except through repression, with the
strains coming from within their own societies and from imperial
hostilities from without.

Maybe. I'm not convinced of this, and am eager to listen to arguments to
the contrary. But it would seem a fruitful topic for discussion.



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax
email: <dhenwood at>
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