Continuing with the Brenner debate

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sat Oct 28 16:48:54 MDT 2000

Hi Lou:

>I'm advancing _my own synthesis_, which I urge everyone to adopt, in
>the interest of defending _the essence of historical materialism_
>against empiricism of the Annales School, world systems theory,
>post-modernism, post-colonialism, new historicism, neo-Malthusianism,
>etc.  :)
>LP: Did ever occur to you that 90 percent of the people on this
>mailing list have never heard of Annales school, nor have the
>slightest idea of what you are talking about when you refer
>to "post-colonialism"? Or "new historicism"? As I said, this
>is empty cocktail party chatter and rather harmless, as opposed
>to Robert Brenner's thesis being adopted by 'modernization'
>social scientists to use as a cudgel against Marxism in the
>1980s. "See, a Marxist agrees with us that the problem of
>Latin American poverty is the absence of capitalism rather
>than its presence." Please let me know when you plan to begin
>your synthesis. Since the Marxism list is such a high volume
>list, you might want to use a heading like "YOSHIE FURUHASHI
>SYNTHESIS IS STARTING NOW" to give me fair warning.

If a Marxist's view gets misread & misappropriated by "modernization"
social scientists, is it the fault of the said Marxist or just an
effect of the dominant ideology appropriating counter-discourse to
its own purpose, distorting it in the process?  Marx's own view can
be misappropriated in the same fashion -- for instance, think of what
LM has done with the "productivist" & "progressivist" & "stagist"
threads in early Marx's works.

You may or may not understand Robert Brenner's take here, but he is
arguing against the "modernization" theory, in his calling attention
to the fact that *the incorporation within the world market tends to
have a regressive effect upon peripheral nations* (be they in Eastern
Europe or Latin America) in that *without what Mariategui calls the
"liquidation of feudalism,"* the world market incorporation will only
*intensify super-exploitation through the extraction of more and more
absolute surplus*, not the relative surplus _value_, thus* retarding
social & economic development* as well.  Further, we can say, on the
basis of the Brenner thesis, that *capitalism does not bring
modernization to the periphery* given its class structures, hence *an
urgent need for revolutionary socialism*.

I'm afraid you need to re-read Mariategui.


P.S.  Again, I'm cc'ing this to Jim D. & Mat.

P.P.S.  Please drop the empty references to "cocktail party chatter"
and respond to the substance of my arguments.

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