What the list needs

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Nov 1 10:35:31 MST 2000

>My comment: This list would benefit if subscribers would stop attributing
>motives and opinions to other list subscribers that the latter have not
>expressed, and do not hold.
>Richard Fidler
>rfidler at cyberus.ca

Yes, Richard. I owe you an apology. In one post you started off appearing
to back Yoshie's arguments. When I read this, I reacted angrily and didn't
continue reading what you wrote. In fact, you followed up:

"Frankly, the Brenner (and Wood) that I have read make a lot of sense to
me. But now that I've seen some critiques, such as Lou's original early
postings, I'll go back and read further. I just got hold of the
Dobbs-Sweezy debate, where all this originates; it looks like a good read.
But maybe we should declare a truce soon, give everyone a chance to study
some more, and then resume it later, in a calmer atmosphere. It seems to be
a topic that crops up at intervals."

I agree. We do need a truce. I plan to post something over the weekend on
the Brenner thesis and Spanish "decadence" that will obviously re-raise
some of the same questions. Let's hope that you have found some time to
delve into this material. Interestingly enough, one of the articles I have
read on the historical origins of Brenner versus Wallerstein (Daniel
Chirot/Thomas Hall, "World-System Theory", Annual Review of Sociology,
1982) insists that the original "world systems theorists" were Rosa
Luxemburg in "Accumulation of Capital" Bukharin's writings on imperialism
and Leon Trotsky who wrote in "History of the Russian Revolution":

"The participation of Russia [in World War I] falls somewhere between the
participation of France and that of China. Russia paid in this way for her
right to oppress and rob Turkey, Persia, Galicia, and in general the
countries weaker and more backward than herself. The twofold imperialism of
the Russian bourgeoisie had basically the character of an agency for other
mightier world powers...the Russian aristocracy on the one hand, the
Russian bourgeoisie on the other, contained features of compradorism...They
lived and nourished themselves upon their connections with foreign
imperialism, served it, and without its support could not have
survived...The semi-comprador Russian bourgeoisie had world-imperialistic
interests in the same sense in which an agent working on percentages lives
by the interest of his employers."

That's my kind of world systems theory.

Louis Proyect
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