Two Cents

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Wed Nov 1 19:09:17 MST 2000


Michael Hoover wrote:

>But Brenner's
>rejecting idea that logic of capital accumulation includes spatial
>differentiation led to capitalist warfare & partition of territory
>being nowhere found in his analysis.  One consequence: Brenner ignores
>both concept of surplus capital seeking outlets and role of political
>state in that activity.

I don't think that Brenner rejects the idea that the logic of capital
accumulation has historically involved underdevelopment of large
parts of the world.  What he rejects is the thesis that capital
accumulation at the core _automatically_ involves underdevelopment in
the the rest through the process of unequal exchange, for it deflects
attention from concrete investigations of class struggles & class
formations in the periphery.  That said, Brenner does ignore "concept
of surplus capital seeking outlets and role of political state in
that activity" in his article in New Left Review.  Hence the
necessity of the synthesis that I have advocated (Brenner, Eric
Williams, Jose Carlos Mariategui, C. L. R. James, Samir Amin, Jim
Blaut, Perry Anderson, Alan Carling, etc.).  I think we should take
Brenner's explanation of the _origins_ of capitalist social relations
while taking insights from the dependency theory camp on how
capitalism, once it arose, has _developed_.

>Relations between societies influence in ways that shape social structures.
>More specifically, class relations inherent to capitalism created world
>system of unequal nations.  While these relations may have been initially
>imposed and enforced by more powerful external forces, they became
>institutionalized, facilitating peripheral subjection to center.  Most
>important factor in process is existence of comprador classes in periphery
>who perform in service of international capital (Theotonio Dos Santos and
>then-leftist F. H. Cardoso referred to this but neither grounded analysis
>in capitalist relations).
>
>Each country has unique conditions - history, culture, resources,
>politics.  As James Petras has argued, differences between peripheral
>countries can largely be explained as result of differing pre-capitalist
>modes of production coming under imperialist control at particular periods
>of world capitalist expansion.  Therefore, "models" are suspect because
>they cannot simply be transferred from one country to another and because
>they inhibit rather than stiumulate finding solutions to specific
>problems.
>
>Listers interested in attempt (by me) to apply class relations-
>imperialism thesis associated with Petras & Colin Henfrey and synthesize
>production/circulation approaches: "The Dependency Dilemma: Four
>Alternative Development Strategies," _Southeastern Council on Latin
>American Studies Annals_, vol. XVII, March 1986, pp. 46-61.

I agree with you on the rest of the post, particularly on the above.

Yoshie





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