Anarchism / Marxism debates

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Aug 20 07:40:32 MDT 1999

>(or perhaps because) of its contradictions capitalism is a highly dynamic
system. Because of this dynamism there no necessity for a final apocalyptic
>crisis or even for a point at which capitalism could be said not to be
>growing anymore, not historically progressive, etc.

Welch, you are totally confused. The mature Marx did not view capitalism as
historically progressive. If he did, then he would have advocated its
spread in rural Russia. But in letters to the Russian populists, he views
such a development as inimical to a peasant-based revolution, which could
have sparked uprisings in Western Europe. For the mature Marx--and for
us--the only historically progressive movement is socialism.

Furthermore, capitalism is not "dynamic". For example, in capitalist terms,
Colombia has a very "dynamic" economy, but socialists would have to be out
of their mind to describe it in that fashion. Colombia, a nation of 35
million souls, produces cocaine, coffee and flowers for the consumers in
industrialized nations while many people lack sufficient caloric intake,
while infants die from diarrhea because the water in the countryside is
filthy. What is dynamic about this?

Capitalism has all of the "dynamism" of rapidly metastasizing tumors. Its
growth is totally unregulated, irrational and subject to crushing slumps.
If you discovered a tumor the size of a grapefruit on your buttocks, would
you go to a doctor on the occasion of your next checkup and report that you
are in great shape because of the dynamic growth on your rear end?

Louis Proyect


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