"Stagism," Etc. (was Re: Two Cents)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Fri Nov 3 11:53:07 MST 2000

>  > From: Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
>>  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 sectarianism?
>Xxxx, I may be misunderstanding you, but I think that this is total
>hogwash.  What you have described is _pure_ stagism.
>Could you explain what you mean using Vietnam, Cuba and/or China as
>Alan Bradley

Actually, the sort of "criticism" that Lou, etc. have made of Robert
Brenner has been sadly off the mark, falsely associating Brenner
(with his Trotskyist tradition) with Eugene Genovese, Eric Hobsbawm,
& other CP or CP-related historians with the "stagist" view.

*****   Indeed, when Soviet leadership of the international communist
movement was challenged in 1960 by China, not to mention by various
dissident Marxists, in the name of revolution, Moscow's parties in
the Third World maintained their chosen policy of studied moderation.
Capitalism was not the enemy in such countries, insofar as it
existed, but the pre-capitalism, local interests and the (US)
imperialism that supported them.  Armed struggle was not the way
forward, but a broad popular or national front in which "national"
bourgeoisie or petty-bourgeoisie were allies.  In short, Moscow's
Third World strategy continued the Comintern line of the 1930s
against all denunciations of treason to the cause of the October
revolution (see chapter 5).  This strategy, which infuriated those
who preferred the way of the gun, sometimes looked like winning, as
in Brazil and in Indonesia in the early 1960s, and in Chile in 1970.
Perhaps not surprisingly, when it got to this point, it was stopped
short by military coups followed by terror, as in Brazil after 1964,
in Indonesia in 1965 and in Chile in 1973.   (Eric Hobsbaum, _The Age
of Extremes, 1914-1991_, NY: Vintage, 1994, p. 436)   *****

If a criticism of "stagist & progressivist" views of history (like
the one expressed above) is important, one has a lot to learn from
Brenner, Ellen Wood, etc., as Carrol & I have argued here.


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