marxism & (under)development

B Mayer concrete at
Sun Apr 28 16:37:22 MDT 1996

Robert Malecki wrote:
> >>
> >> At 10:40 AM 4/10/96, Rahul Mahajan wrote:
> >>
> >> >Why? All you first world intellectuals going to tell the huddled masses
> >> >what to do?
> >>
> >> Of course not. This isn't exactly a new controversy in the Marxist
> >> tradition - can you have a socialist transformation of a partly
> >> industrialized society? Or putting it into a global context, can a
> >> socialist revolution survive in the Third World without any transformation
> >> of the First; as Lou said, quoting Lenin, the Russian revolution would
> >> perish without revolutions to the West. It took a while, but Lenin seems to
> >> have been proved right?
> >>
> >> Teleology is unfashionable these days, but Marx's point about socialism
> >> emerging from developed capitalism is worth reconsidering after the
> >> collapse of the USSR and the transformation of China into a giant export
> >> processing zone.
> >>
> >> >What would you suggest people living in places full of injustice and misery
> >> >do, if it gets shown conclusively that attempts at building socialism are
> >> >doomed from the start?
> >>
> >> I don't know the answer to this, which is why I brought it up. Kerala is an
> >> inspiring example, but hasn't it run into limits imposed by India's
> >> poverty?
> >>
> >> Doug
> >>
> >
> >Time only for semi-casual commentary on this important question.
> >
> >As in many other instances, there is a tendency to over-dichotomize on
> >this question.  Lenin has not only been proven correct insofar as the
> >less developed world is concerned, but all of the critics of
> >social-democratic reformism have been shown to be correct in regards to
> >the possibility of an evolutionary, sui-generis development of socialism
> >"out of" the most developed capitalist (i.e., imperialist) countries, as
> >well.
> >
> >Clearly, it is a question of putting two and two together.  Revolutionary
> >movements towards socialism must be developed in parallel,
> >(realistically) in accordance with the level of capitalist development in
> >a country. What connects the two is the common struggle against
> >imperialism.  Just as the case of the Soviet Union has demonstrated the
> >impossibility of the development of a socialist society in isolation from
> >the most advanced capitalist countries - this true only on condition that
> >those advanced capitalist countries possess a qualitatively superior
> >development of the productive forces, don't forget - it is just as true
> >that a socialist movement  in an imperialist country can never deserve
> >the name revolutionary that does not seriously challange the imperialism
> >of its own country, much less achieve socialism.  By raising a challange
> >to the inherently imperialist political regimes of the advanced
> >countries, the linchpin of the capitalist state of these countries, which
> >linchpin in turn rests upon the domination of the less developed world,
> >is exposed to attack. Of course, as everybody knows, the failure to press
> >that attack was the great historic failure of social-democratic socialism
> >and its "state" variants (and in the final analysis they remain only
> >variants on a grand historic scale), stalinism and maoism.
> >
> >Hence the continued relative importance of Lenin on these questions.
> >
> >                       -Brad Mayer
> >
> Dear Brad,
> For some reason i get the feelinf that the above is a ideological
> smokescreen for doing nothing. Perhaps we should start a group or list
> called commentators of living class struggle.  malecki

To Malecki:
	You present no proof of "doing nothing" - only "for some
reason..a feeling".  The proof, though, is right before your eyes: How
many posts to this l*st have my name attached, and how many bear the
name of you and your Maoist mentors?  In fact, I have very little time
for this list - I'm busy drawing up a list of contacts to build support
for a drive to win the right to vote for undocumented immigrant workers
in the city of San Francisco (which, by the way, the Registrar of Voters
is trying to prevent from even appearing on the ballot through all sorts
of undemocratic machinations).  Not quite as romantic as taking to the
Berkeley Hills, arms in hand, to form a guerilla foco, but it is an
activity that has put us in the (metaphorical) gunsight of the
bourgeoisie and the far right in a very concrete way. Proof? On the day
we presented the proposition to the Registrars' the SF Examiner
(of the Chronicle/Examinar big bourgeois press combine in the Bay Area)
reported it in a FRONTPAGE HEADLINE article! And that was only the
beginning of the ruckus that we've caused.

We are confronting the ruling class of the U.S right here and now, while
you and your Maoist friends indulge in dreams of oppressed masses and
flying lead in a (conveniently) far off country. The very BEST that we
can CONCRETELY do for the oppressed masses of Peru is to attack, cripple
and, hopefully overthrow "our own" ruling class, right where we stand.
But that is infinitely more difficult than empty "ultraleftist"
phrasemongering, than the overdichotomized "rrrrevolutionary"
testosterone-soaked posterings of "real proletarian revolutionaries",
"one with the masses of Peru", versus soft, pampered, "effeminite",
petit-bourgeois "pseudo-Marxist" Western intellectuals.

In fact - as I've mentioned before in a previous post - both sides of
the dichotomy are but the same SELF charicacture of Maoism and Third
period Stalinism as presented by its proponents.  Western Maoists are
almost always self-hating, guilt-ridden intellectuals (like Althusser)
>from the petit bourgeoisie.  All the Maoists to be seen around the Bay
Area are all white, and none of them have "struck deep roots" of any
sort in the oppressed Latino, Asian or African-American communities.
But we (the MDI, or Immigrant Rights Movement) have done just that in
the Latino Mission District of San Francisco.  We've been so sucessful
at this that we have a dissident group of sympathetic Maoists
supportively following us around at demonstrations.

So, Malecki, check it out - sort your email by name (every proletarian
revolutionary posseses this skill) and count the number of postings
bearing your name versus mine.  Report back to me with the results - or
else watch who you are talking to next time - it might just be someone
on the firing-lines of the class struggle.

			Most uncomradely,
			Brad Mayer

     --- from list marxism at ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list