Two Cents

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Thu Nov 2 20:38:49 MST 2000

Wonderful points, Lou!

Whatever you say completely make sense.  If we follow Brenner's ahistorical
model of stagism, then we have to throw national liberation movements and
anti-imperialist struggles in a waste basket. The slogan goes something like
that:  _Wait for the working class to crystallize until it overthrows the
bourgeoisie_. Which bourgeoisie is this for my sake? Isn't it a  comprador
bourgeoisie in imperialized countries?   Brenner does not seem to be aware of
the fact that working class in _imperialized countries had to ally with its own
bourgeoisie ( and vice versa) to overthrow imperialism and _imperialist
classes_ in the _first place_.  This was the historic mission Lenin attributed
to national bourgeois democratic revolutions and working classes--unity between
communism and nationalism.  I wonder if  Brenner ever read Lenin?

Imagine a working class fighting against its own bourgeoisie when a county is
under imperialist domination trying to give an anti-imperialist struggle
against an imperialist country (Take Argentina or Egypt in the past, for
example, or Yugo at the moment). How would this be characterized if not be



Louis Proyect wrote:

> Robert Brenner:
> >Thus so long as incorporation into the world market/world division of
> >labour is seen automatically to breed underdevelopment, the logical
> >antidote to capitalist underdevelopment is not socialism, but
> >autarky.  So long as capitalism develops merely through squeezing dry
> >the 'third world', the primary opponents must be core versus
> >periphery, the cities versus the countryside -- not the international
> >proletariat, in alliance with the oppressed people of all countries,
> >versus the bourgeoisie.  In fact, the danger here is double-edged: on
> >the one hand, _a new opening to the 'national bourgeoisie'_ [Yoshie:
> >Think Dengism here, for instance]; on the other hand, _a false
> >strategy for anti-capitalist revolution_....   (emphasis mine, "The
> >Origins of Capitalist Development: a Critique of Neo-Smithian
> >Marxism," _New Left Review_ 104, July-August 1977, p. 91)   *****

Proyect dijo:

> Do we need to study 15th century British agriculture to come to this kind
> of conclusion? Put into plain language, Brenner's advice is hardly
> different from the formula that I have heard a million times from
> Trotskyist sectarians. Break with the bourgeoisie--permanent
> revolution--fight for socialism. Bleh-bleh-bleh. The only problem is that
> the art of politics is knowing what to do next. With grandiose abstractions
> like the above, Marxists in Venezuela would hardly have a clue about how to
> relate to Chavez, nor would they have known how to relate to Peron.
> So we should fight intransigently against the bourgeoisie and for socialist
> revolution. I have no idea how this differs from the Socialist Labor Party
> of Daniel DeLeon. I told Yoshie, which she studiously ignored, that the
> formulations expressed above that have Brenner so worked up are identical
> to those found in the early Comintern and that found expression countless
> times in alliances  between communists and national liberation movements
> that included sections of the bourgeoisie. The Nicaraguan revolution
> involved elements of the NATIONAL BOURGEOISIE. What the hell use is
> Brenner's abstractions? Can you imagine a Sandinista trying to figure out
> how to deal with an anti-Somoza rancher who provided a sanctuary for
> guerrillas during the civil war? Let me see. What would Brenner advise? Oh,
> I see. Because the British gentry charged rent for land in the 1470s and
> because Brenner warned against the 'national bourgeoisie' in the New Left
> Review, everything falls into place now.
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list:


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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