marxism & (under)development
kbevans at panix.com
Thu Apr 11 01:05:06 MDT 1996
"There are too many lily-white 1st world leftists who
get into this same mode of dismissing the 3rd world (I'm not claiming that
you're one of them). So we get "socialists" like boddhi saying things about
Mexico that sound like they're lifted straight from a Perot speech."
This is a complete mischaracterization of my attitude towards Mexico
and the third world. I can't think to what remarks you refer, but the
similarity is coincidental.
The questions I have had and asked all the time I have been on the
list reflects your own frustration with the possible mechanisms for third
world revolution. I see three principle problems:
First - Lack of capital resources and markets seem to doom socialist
revolutions in under-developed countries before they begin (On of Louis
Second - Tyrannical and corrupt state structures (Olaechea's problem).
Third - Feudal social relations that permeate the culture of these nations
>from top to bottom. (your point).
I believe that feudal social relations are relatively easy to
overcome. The attendant culture may require modern productive relations
before it can be overcome. Revolutions have always come out of a change
in relations and culture and then targeted state structures with some
success. The problem that has not been dealt with in third world
revolution or the rest of socialism is capital.
The proletariat can enforce its will on the state, but not on
consumers and lenders. When proletarian revolutions try to push
development, they risk upsetting fragile economies and making enemies (as
with the Nicaraguan farmers Proyect described) or taking the Stalinist
route of compulsion. Socialists have got to find a way, through
government credit, or co-op syndication, or whatever to provide the
capital necessary for economies to change gears and evolve.
Obviously Perotistas and such would argue that capitalism can do
this but it clearly has not. The cost of the tremendous amount of
capital needed is far too high under capitalism.
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