Brenner Redux (was Re: Russell R. Menard on Eric Williams)

James M. Blaut 70671.2032 at
Sun Oct 22 22:17:54 MDT 2000

>CB: Yes. Jim Blaut seems to think that Brenner was polemicizing
>against emphasis on national liberation movements at the time.

No.  Robert Brenner was _not_ siding with the political adversaries
of Frank, Wallerstein, etc. against national liberation movements.
Brenner was trying, as one Marxist comrade to another, to send a
specific warning, while dialectically criticizing _both_ the
modernization theory and dependency theory:

Yoshie et al:

On p. 92 of Brenner's NLR article he flatly states that to accept the
Wallerstain-Sweezy-Frank "neo-Smithian" view  is to support
essentially meaningless Third World struggles. Alsosee p.29 and elsewhere.

But I suggest that folks read the long scholarly articles from PAST AND
PRESENT, reprinted in the volume THE BRENNER DEBATE, to really understand
the political roots of Brenner's theeory. How can you write 200 pages
explaining ther origins and rise of capitalism without so much as
mentioning the world outside of Europe for times before c.1650? Also you'll
see the Malthusianism, and, yes, Smithianism, Weberianbism...

Jim B

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