Two Cents

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Fri Nov 3 13:39:58 MST 2000

>Alan Bradley wrote:

> > 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.

Just the contrary. My emphasis above is Lenin in context, not *pure stagism*.
To my knowledge, pure stagism is associated with the 1)evolutionary socialism
of Bernstein and 2)vulgar materialism of Kautsky ( Rosa Luxemburg to a certain
extend). This variant of Marxism assumes that full establishment of capitalist
relations is a necessary pre-condition for a full establishment of socialism.
You should either wait for the economic process to work itself out or let the
working class mature until it overthrows the bourgeoisie.  For example, Rosa
Luxemburg, after the Russian revolution, criticized Lenin on the grounds that
Russia was not socialist because productive forces were not sufficiently
developed there to make socialism possible. This is absurd pure stagism because
it assumes that you must have capitalism in the first place in order to have
socialism in the second place. But what about countroes where capitalism was
partially established due to imperialist exploitation of labor force? Isn't
this enough to make the revoution possible? Why wait for the development of a
*full* proleteriat? Who says so?  Stagism led Marxists like Rosa to the
conclusion that socialism outside Europe was impossible because of economic
backwardness. However, such views not only underestimated capitalism's
potential resilience in advanced capitalist countries (coaptation of working
classes and relative increase in the living standards of the proletariat
through imperialist exploitation of other countries) but also the possibility
of socialist revolution outside Europe.

How can we assume that history of capitalism follows  a deterministic logic? If
not, how can we account revolutions in imperialized countries where the social
and class basis for socialism was not as developed as the one _posited_ by the
theory of stagism itself ? Lenin's reply to this was a proleteriat-peasent
allience in the making of socialism (since he also paid close attention to
agrarian problem and evolution of class conflicts in the Russian country side)
and the role of national liberation movements (popular fronts) in the
transition to socialism. This is Jacobin sprit in Gramscian sense.

Here is Lenin's reply to Rosa:

***Lenin, Collected Works. Moscow 1960-70. vol13, p.478-80.

"You say that civilization is necessary for the building of socialism. Very
good.But why could not first create such pre-requisites of civilization in our
country as the expulsion of land owners  and the Russian capitalists and then
start moving toward socialism? Where? in what books have you read that such
variations of the customary historical order are impermissible or impossible?"




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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