Brenner feedback.

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at
Mon Oct 18 13:12:36 MDT 1999

Robert Brenner wrote: <everything i have ever said on the 3rd World
[...] is that penetration by European Capital has tended to bring into
being class alliances that prevent development, while tying so-called
'national bourgeoisies' into existing order and making them defenders of
that non-developmental system">

I've an objection to make here- in fact, two:

(a) The idea of 'existing order' supposes that the national bourgeoisie
- I suppose a compradore bourgeoisie, created in an acillary capacity
for European Capital - in order to reproduce itself, must perforce make
an aliance with the old precapitalist ruling classes. That could apply
to societies where such ruling classes already existed at the time of
European penetration, such as India and China, most of Africa, even
Mexico and Peru - and of course the Portuduese, eg, ruled their East
Asian colonies by leaving in place mostly of the old precapitalist
ruling castes, be it brahmins in Goa, mandarins in Macao, etc. But what
are we to make of the societies where such old ruling classes in fact
*didn't exist*, or, better, had never developed a class society proper,
were quickly subjected to extermination and/or enalavement and were
incorporated in the colonial order only through the genetic pool and/or
folk-culture? In this case, the "new order" can be, from its very start,
"old" and "new"- as in the case of Brazil, where a feudal juridical
system of land grants was used to begin in earnest a very capitalist
systemn of single-commodity production for the world-market (sugar)
through slavery.

#2-The idea of a 'non-developmental system' seems to predicate that,
outside from international trade, backward economies could experiment no
development at all. This rans counter much of the contemporary evidence
about 3rd World economies. But the fact is that, although *economic*
deveopment has been proved possible in the 3rd World, what has been
proven is that such *economic* development has failed to produce
*political advancement* - in the order of a developed and stable liberal
democratic order - everywhere, contrary to what most 2nd International
thinkers thought at the end of the XIXth century. Remember that most of
the problem around the stagist conception was about development of
democracy, and not economic development by itself, something that can be
seem by comparing Lenin's *Two Tactics* with Trotsky's *Results and

#3- It is perhaps unfair to oppose sharply Brenner to Perry Anderson,
given the fact that I've evidence that Anderson is more concerned with
strictly political developments and -as I know from evidence- has always
regarded Brenner very highly.

Carlos Rebello

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