Continuing with the Brenner debate

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Oct 29 01:12:58 MST 2000

James Farmelant wrote:

>On Sat, 28 Oct 2000 16:52:42 -0400 (EDT) Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
>>  Yoshie:
>>  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 recall Karl Marx spent a number of years considering and
>refuting many of the doctrines of the Young Hegelians.  I doubt that
>90 percent of the workers movement of Marx's time had ever heard
>of people like Bruno Bauer or Max Stirner or Ludwig Feuerbach,
>yet Marx thought it worth his while to devote his time to critiquing
>their ideas.  Lenin as you may recall carried out a bruising attack on the
>empiriocriticism of Ernst Mach & Richard Avenarius after their ideas
>were being defended within the Bolshevik faction by Bogdanov and
>Lunacharskii.  I very much doubt that more than a handful of Russian
>labor activists back then had any inkling concerning the contents of
>Ernst Mach's philosophy of science.

It would help if Lou can at least make up his mind as to whether he
really wants my posts to contain "scholarly substance."  :)  On one
hand, Lou says research produced by scholars cannot be of interest to
subscribers here; on the other hand, he asserts that: "Yoshie has a
major burden to prove that it is true.  To do this requires an
engagement with the scholarly minutiae of land ownership patterns in
the 15th century, class stratification data, demographics, etc."

Ambivalence of this sort won't do.

BTW, if Lou would like me to undertake an original research of
primary documents instead of secondary sources (because that is what
it would take to fulfill Lou's request above), write an essay with
footnotes & a bibliography, and publish it here, he had better place
the same burden on all the posters, including himself.  To be honest,
I haven't seen many posters presenting what may qualify as evidence
in any of the threads that have ever appeared here.

>And as an assault on Monthly Review's
>major theoreticians, it is particularly suspect. Whatever
>Andre Gunder Frank's subsequent evolution, MR has been the
>major theoretical asset of the anti-imperialist left. Meanwhile
>the journal that Brenner works with argues for imperialist
>interventions nearly every other month it seems.

It seems that Monthly Review has no problem publishing Ellen Wood's &
Robert Brenner's works.  Well, perhaps, it would be different if Lou
were the editor?  But why?


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