Jacobin (was Re: "The Brenner Debate" or Something Else?)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Mon Oct 30 04:08:23 MST 2000

>  > >LP: I might lift the ban when you stop evading the big questions and
>>  >papering over differences.
>Some clarification here. I have not, in fact, participated in whatever it
>is that Lou (incorrectly I believe) wants to call the Brenner Debate. I
>have *used* the occasion provided by this whole cluster of threads
>(wrongly conceived by Lou to be *one* thread) to explore how Marxists do
>or should attempt to define issues. *All* my interventions have been
>either directly or indirectly (at least when they didin't, as some posts
>always do, misfire) concerned with trying to define what the actual issues
>are or should be. And in so far as I have attacked Lou (or his ideas) the
>claim I have made is that *he* is evading the big issues and wrapping them
>in a cloud of irrelevant empirical data. *Before* empirical data can even
>*be* empirical data (and not mere mumbling to oneself) there has to be
>agreement on *what* kind of empirical data is called for. Lou, so far as I
>can tell, has been unwilling to even try to understand what I am getting

Actually, to me, the Big Question is the difference between
progressive & reactionary nationalisms on the periphery.  Progressive
nationalism on the periphery, in my opinion, is the kind that
"liquidates feudalism," to use the words of José Carlos Mariátegui;
that promotes economic development & social modernization; and that
makes the needs, desires, & aspirations of the working masses
(workers, small peasants, women in general, etc.) the engine of the
national-popular hegemonic project in the Gramscian sense.  Jacobin
in the spirit & the result, in short.  By describing everything that
exists on the periphery as purely and simply "capitalist" in the
fullest sense of the term, and by refusing to recognize the necessity
to "liquidate feudalism," Lou seems to be becoming anti-Jacobin.  I
think that his fondness for the world systems theory, his insistence
on proving _everything_ in Brenner's works to be _totally_ (not
partially) incorrect, & his takes on the French Revolution & the
Civil War are interrelated.  It is lucky for us that Lou's opinions
on the above subjects have not affected his judgment on Yugoslavia,


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