Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Owen)

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Thu Aug 17 22:44:25 MDT 2000




Owen Jones wrote:

> >I would suggest that what is even worse than my diabolical intrusion >on to
> >the Colombian insurgencies is the blind illusion in the FARC-EP, the >ELN,
> >and so forth, as though they are the vehicles of a proletarian >revolution in
>
> >the heart of Latin America, which they blatantly are not.
>

Comrade Owen, you will never find a "pure" proletarian revolution in Latin
America or anywhere in the third world. Let's not be too judgemental! I don't
know enough about the specifics of the Colombian insurgencies at the moment, but
for a proletarian revolution to be successful, it should definitely recruit
allies from within the peasantry and rural poor. This is also what Lenin
believed when he wrote about the agricultural question in Russia. In the case
of  China, since there was no significant working class population available,
peasantry had to lead the revolution. The fact that peasantry crashed working
class organizing in the cities is a different matter that needs to analyzed
separately in relation to the "post-revolutionary circumstances" in China (since
with socialist modernization/industrilization working class population grew in
the cities, so the peasantry became reactionary towards the new class
insurgency-- the proleteriat). However, in pre-revolutionary circumstances, we
can not criticize  Chinese peasantry for being petty-bourgeois, since they were
the ones who lead the anti-imperialist struggle. Context was different between
pre and post. If not, I would agree with your comments about China.

For the same reason, I am not terribly happy with the generalization that
proleteriat-peasent allience is necessarily a petty-bourgeois allience. It
carries an orthodox bias. Should we call peasent struggles in Latin America
against capitalist farmers and agro elites benefiting from market opportunities
for their products petty bourgeois struggles? I think these perfectly are rural
class struggles concerned with distributional questions and capitalist
underdevelopment of the country side in the periphery of the world system
(primitive accumulation in Marx's sense).

Also, I am confused by your changing positions. You said that we, marxists,
should support Chechen national struggle under any circumstances. My heart goes
with you if we stop idealizing Chechen Islamic nationalism as an
anti-imperialist struggle, and instead think it in terms of "bourgeois
nationalism". There is nothing unusual about this. Bourgeois nationalism is a
necessary stage in the establishment of a nation-state, which is what Chechens
want at the moment-- to consolidate their own bourgeoisie. However, If the
proletarian class conciousness is the criteria for judging what a socialist
revolution means, obviously, it does not apply to Chechens either. Of course,
this statement requires an analysis of concrete class relations and capitalism
in Chechenya (chechen working classes and peasantry), which is beyond my ability
to grasp at the moment.


comradely,


finally, I memorized the list's name.. geez!

--

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222



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