marxism-digest V1 #2180

crebello crebello at
Fri May 12 10:14:06 MDT 2000


Louis wrote:

> Tariq Ali has replied to Boris Kargalitsky through an email, which just
> appeared on the Socialist-Register list. His reply is basically a defense
> of Perry Anderson's pessimism, to wit:
> "The collapse of all systemic alternatives is plainly visible. Seattle was
> extremely invigorating, but neither that nor the strike-wave in France
> amounts to a fundamental change in the situation. To exaggerate will only
> increase the despair. To recognise what has happened does not mean a
> passive acceptance of the status quo.

Of course not, but the fact was that the PA's article argued for the *complete
absence* of any internal
element of dialetically based change in nowadays capitalism - in fact, PA argued that,
given that absence,
the Left was reduced to mistankenly elevate any minor misunderstanding or
dissatisfaction within the
system to the status of a major confrontation. But the fact is that the "invigorating"
element in Seattle
was exactly to point to the existence of real discontents in the imperialist core of
the capitalist system
that amount to something more than Left academics discussing (you will forgive me if I
quote Orwell, but
the quote fits like a glove) "the dialectics of the dialectics and what Lenin said in
1917".  I remember
the sense of exhilariation in Brazil when, during the protests in Washington DC, this
N. spring, the
Brazilian Finance Minister Malan - who told the Brazilian House of Representatives
that he thinks that a
monthly minimun wage of something around US$ 75 / 80 is "more than enough" to cover
basic needs - and the
former Soros employee and now Central Bank chairman, Armínio Fraga - had been hassled
by angry protesters
at a picket line in Washington. The general feeling was that, after all, there's some
justice in our
affairs - a feeling that one can not produce through learned debates over Rosa
Luxemburg, of course.
Perhaps that's what Ali has failed to perceive...

Carlos Rebello

More information about the Marxism mailing list