State Capitalism, Bonapartism, Dependency
zeynept at turk.net
Sat Jun 22 12:48:39 MDT 1996
This is me some long time ago;
>I think that we need some Marxist categories to explain class formations
>that go beyond "Bonapartism" to explain the advent of capitalism, and the
>formation of the nation-state, after being invaded by the
Louis Proyect says:
>I want to hone in on the role of the national bourgeoisie in places like
>Algeria during the anticolonial struggle. I am tentatively coming around
>to the idea that Nkrumah, Nasser, etc. are basically left-Bonapartist
>figures. For a time, the "socialist" states they rule over have all the
>outward guise of a state like Cuba, but the capitalist class gradually
>asserts itself and reconquers political power. Capitalist property
>relations which survive the anticolonial struggle serve as a power base
>for the national bourgeoisie which eventually displaces the plebian
>governments of the early days of the revolution.
>This is my theory. If the facts contradict the theory, I will have to go
>back to the drawing-board.
Louis, what you say is very important. But we need a better understanding of
this. This is awfully crucial. Bonapartism won't do.
You see, the state as in the third-world is not the nation-state as in the
central imperialist countries. The national bourgeoisie does not just
displace the "plebian governments", the national bourgeoisie is nurtured and
created through these governments. Which produces "state-classes".
Bureaucracies that are not bureaucracies in the western sense of the world.
Adolfo was making similar remarks about Peru. It didn't sound very "sound"
theoreticaly, but he was, I think, pointing to something very real, which
should be developed on. Unfortunately, his only interest currently seems to
The dependency schools asked the right questions. They tried to understand
the articulation of pre-capitalist relations of production with capitalist/
imperialist relations through outside invasion. There is a crucial role for
the state in this. The nation-state in the third world is so different. It
is not just state-capitalism, it is capitalism as it could only happen there.
The dependency school and the questions posited by Wallerstein- Frank-
Emmanuel- Laclau- Amin are very relevant. I disagree with the answers.
If we understand "state-capitalism" in the third world conceptually as well,
then I think we can discuss why Cuba, Nicaragua, Soviet Union are different
in class basis -as they are so obviously for me.
No offense, but I think "Northern" Marxism is blind to what happens here,
maybe only naturally. What we mostly have in the "South" is very very crude.
But, it is often more correct than importing the concepts. Crude, but in the
right direction. Dependency debate started correctly, and fell into an
idealist methodological swamp.
No, I'm not just going to make these statements, and leave it at that.
This is a long discussion. I must find time for this one.
More maybe after Monday.
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