Reply to: Re: Capitalist collectivizatio
kbevans at panix.com
Sun Apr 28 03:17:44 MDT 1996
You are not a Marxist simply because you say you are. Knowing
things about Russia and Nicaragua makes you a historian,not a Marxist. I
am making the claim, which is well known in Marxism, that the petit
bourgeoisie are fundamentally disinclined to support revolutions because
of their relationship to private property.
It does not take a Marxist to make the tedious and patently
obvious observation that " Archer-Midland is taking over the world for
reasons that Marx carefully explained in the Communist Manifesto". It
takes a Marxist to sort out what social phenomena are supporting this
expropriation. Simply assuming that the expropriated society does not
support their own capitalist expropriation (which your arguments always
imply) flies in the face of overwhelming evidence and Marxist logic.
There is really no one to put up against the wall and shoot comrade. We
have met the conspiracy, and it is us.
The sad thing about the old style of Marxist politics is that it
reduces Marxism - a system of analysis - to a cry of "Get rid if these guys
and put us in because they're mean and we're smart!". Decrying the obvious
brutality of capitalism has been done and is unimportant, except to polemic.
Discovering the subtle brutality of capitalism, and the intricate web of
proletarian self-deceit is far more useful.
When finally confronted with the brutality of the very people to whom
you ascribe the ideals of the golden age, you are backing away from your
argument. It seem to me that your analysis is now reduced to the "this is
good, that is bad" level.
Example: "From a political standpoint this means taking up the
cause of small proprietors who are being mauled by the big bourgeoisie
whether they are family farmers or campesinos in Central America." It
certainly does not if they are bound to support the parts of the social
contract that support the bourgeoisie - like private property (a subject
of more than a little interest to Marx, I'm given to understand).
Example: "The idea is to expropriate the big bourgeoisie and allow
society to make investment decisions *not the market*." Or, it may be to
broaden "the market" (that naughty thing) so that it encompasses
"society". And, since the consumer market already encompasses a large
part of the social will, I believe that socialists should serve aim to
serve that market as a benchmark for the effectiveness of their economic
Finally, your thesis as stated by "socialism must defend those
whose mode of production is not advanced at all in order to accomplish
proletarian revolution", is what this argument has been about all the
while. I believe that we can defend the people *without* defending, and
ossifying, their mode of production. In fact, I believe in an argument,
again, not unknown in Marxist though, that we can defend them best by
allowing their atavistic mode of production to be subjected to the
dialectic as quickly as possible. Our task is not to stop capitalism, but
to surpass it.
Certainly this has political disadvantages, especially in countries
which are backwaters of anachronism, and dangerous poverty. My argument
there is that the task should be to lure them off the farm, first, with
industrial production. Then we should put cooperative "corporations" in
place on the land, very much like the capitalists would, except that we
either vertically integrate the enterprise, or provide alternative industry
within the co-op. The Chinese model of pushing forward this kind of change
politically is inadequate. We have to come up with a way to *finance* this
kind of change by linking it to industrial expansion by some mechanism that
is responsive to the consumer markets and "investor" (social) confidence.
Reformism is dead. If we want to change the way people produce, we
have to change the character of the markets for which they produce, and
obtain the means of production.
p.s.- I took one course in radical feminism, and I was the most outspoken,
and most radical male feminist in the class.
I guess I'll have to remind you, again, that you threw yourself off
this list and then came sulking back, having spawned the Lisa Rogers'
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