Dialectics and Maoist class struggle via national question
Maoist Internationalist Movement
mim3 at blythe.org
Fri May 24 13:40:31 MDT 1996
Adolfo Olaechea says:
Take the case of the United Front, for example. Is there no need for a
United Front say in Europe? I think there is. The classes and sections of
the population to be united may be different and the "national bourgeosie"
of the imperialist countries is obviously not a class which can belong to a
people's front led by the proletariat let's say in England or France. On
the contrary, such a "national" bourgeoisie is an imperialist bourgeoisie,
and therefore the enemy of the whole mass of the people and of the
In countries of the Third World the national bourgeosie is a revolutionary
section of the people and is anti-imperialist because it is a victim of the
"national" bourgeosies of the imperialist countries! In fact, your average
"national bourgeois", let's say in Peru, for example, has probably less
"capital" that the average industrial worker in the US or Germany, if we are
to contabilise what the latter has in average savings, equity, disposable
MIM replies: Here Adolfo Olaechea has hit on something about Maoism.
The problem with classical Western "Marxism" is that it has only one
model of nationalism--the view that a bourgeoisie uses nationalism for its
own benefit in a rising capitalist context and a context of more or less
equality amongst national bourgeoisies. It doesn't account for what Adolfo
Olaechea is pointing to above and which we have pointed to in our theory
journals as well. When we say all national struggle boils down in the end to
class struggle, it doesn't mean the class content in all countries is the same!
That's what Trotskyist and communist anarchist reductionism leads us to--
one model of class struggle for all countries. In some countries there is a
huge semi-proletariat bought-off and used in war. In others there isn't.
Loyal settlers were useful in "Northern Ireland," South Africa, Israel and
the united states. Today we see the yuppies in Taiwan doubt their national
connections to the Mainland. That is a class phenomenon. And is not the
Taiwanese yuppie phenomenon not created by imperialism? There is almost
no point of talking about a national question except to account for such
diverse class alliances.
When Mao said that the struggle for the land reform would take the backseat
to the struggle against the Japanese imperialists, it was just saying
one kind of class struggle had priority over the other. One class alliance
is appropriate in one situation and another in another. That's how Mao
understood dialectics and uneven development in history.
Adolfo Olaechea continues:
However, the proletariat is the only truly revolutionary class because of
its position in the relations of production - something that certain
students of concrete realities forget when contabilising only the dollars
and pennies and coming to the conclussion that the proletariat can be
bourgeois simply because of the level of their salaries - but under
conditions the proletariat of Europe, the US, etc. is imbued of a reformist
if not a de-politicised conservative class outlook, while the national
bourgeois of third world countries are politically active and even
revolutionary at times.
MIM replies: That's why we talk about productive versus unproductive
labor in the relations of production. Paul Cockshott on this list agrees with
us on this: the majority of workers in England are unproductive workers.
To believe otherwise is to either corrupt original Marxist definitions or
close one's eyes to facts.
Now the chair of the Filipino CP has just pointed out that we have to have
something positive to say to these parasites other than telling them they are
parasites all the time. This is true. We have to have a program for the
middle classes, but we in the imperialist countries have to set up the
proletarian pole first and then lead the middle classes.
MIM will soon have its 1996 Party Congress. A goal of the 1995 Party
Congress was to set up or find fraternal Maoist parties in the English-
speaking imperialist countries. Those who can demarcate with us on our
first two cardinal questions and then accept that the majority in the
imperialist countries is composed of semi-proles and p.b.--these comrades
should be our fraternal counterparts and we should enter into wider
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