Miller, Rodwell: experts on Nicaragua agriculture?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Fri May 3 14:15:54 MDT 1996


"In contrast with the agrarian structures of other Latin American
countries, it can be said that the Nicaraguan case stands out as one in
which there is neither the predominance of large capitalist enterprises
based upon the wage labour of a sizable agricultural proletariat nor the
preodominance of pre-capitalist forms of production based upon an
extensive peasant mass which is subordinated to large landowners by
exploitative rents. The Nicaraguan case is midway between these two
types of agrarian structure. In historical terms, it is different from the
classical cases of Czarist Russia and Porfirista Mexico, where rentier
schemes prevailed. It also does not conform to the other paradigm of
pre-revolutionary Cuba, where there was a considerable degree of
capitalist development and a sizable agricultural proletariat that
became an important social and political force."

(Carlos Vilas, "Nicaraguan Agriculture and Agrarian Reform" in
"Nicaragua, a Revolution Under Siege" edited by Vilas and Richard
Harris)

Louis: Evidently, according to Miller and Rodwell, Vilas must be
wrong and they are right. Now Vilas spent ten years in Nicaragua
studying class relations after the revolution, but you two must have a
clearer idea of what was going on since you belong to Marxist
vanguard parties and Vilas doesn't. You see "latifundias" where he
doesn't. So, brilliant Marxist thinkers belonging to parties that are
ready to resolve the crisis of leadership in the working-class, tell us
where Vilas goes wrong.



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