Forwarded from Jurriaan

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Sun Jun 3 08:17:45 MDT 2001

Well, thank you Xxxx you gave me an opportunity to send a forerunner
of my postings on dependency theory. With almost no modification, just
the linkage with the quote of AGF, here it goes!

En relación a Re: Forwarded from Jurriaan , 
el 2 Jun 01, a las 17:00, Xxxx Xxxxxx dijo:

> "Viwed internally , the key point about Latin America's class
> structure is its polarization into those classes with jobs, income,
> status, and participation in society as against those classes either
> without employment or in jobs in high exploitation. Among those
> classes that together form a marginal class are most Indians,
> peasants, unemployed or underemployed workers, and highly exploited
> service workers. On the other hand of the scale are the best paid of
> the stable working class, the entrenched middle class, and the
> dominant bourgeoisie of urban elites and landlords"*** (_Dependence
> and Underdevelopment: Latin America's Political Economy_ by AGF,
> James Cockcroft, Dale Johnson). This social stratification gives us
> some clue about whether industrialization (from the standpoint of
> bourgeois "development" or "GNP") makes any sense in the context of
> imperialism.

I would contest the "viewed internally". In fact, this picture is a
picture made _from outside_, by a kind of enthomologist.  But in
essence, AGF is telling us that Latin American capitalism is a
capitalism which does not include all labor force in the labor
market. This general idea is a reasonable though cursory description,
but its schematism and "outsideness" has brought dependency theorists
to lots of very serious political mistakes.

One of the first things that we should conclude from the above is that
there is a good fraction of the Latin American population who is eager
to be included into the "stable working class", that is who is _for_,
not _against_, the expansion of capitalist social relations. While the
bourgeois ideologue will conclude from this (in a truly Kautskian way)
the necessity for capitalism in Latin America, the ultra-left
ideologue will conclude that the task of the Marxists is to fight
against these "erroneous" tendencies of the masses and thus, to oppose
the non-socialist revolutionary movements as a matter of principle
-which in the end puts her or him on the same side with imperialists
and pro-imperialist oligarchies against the non-socialist masses.

The essential task here is, on the contrary, to establish a permanent
link with those _sane_ aspirations of the marginalized ones, and to
patiently fight arm by arm with them against the grip of the
imperialists, while never falling to the siren's songs of the
bourgeois ideologues.

History is made in practice, and when one's practice is to side -with
very sound "leftist" arguments- with the enemies of socialism who are
at the same time the enemies *that kind of capitalism which would
satisfy those needs of the masses*, then the masses will correctly
arrive at the idea that they have little, if anything, to do with
people like us. On the contrary, while struggling against them, we
should also explain once and again that if we want to carry the
struggle to a good end we shall have to go for _more_ than
"capitalism", granted. But the test of the pudding is the eating.

All the grand gesturing by AGF deserves the quartet by Leonardo
Castellani, a right-wing priest who tried to find Satan himself in the
writings of Marx but at the same time -and among other good actions-
hid Marxists and helped them to escape during the 1976 dictatorship:

"Qué gente que sabe cosas
la gente de este albardón.
Qué gente que sabe cosas
pero cosas que no son..."


[1] it is a mistake to sprinkle the term "bourgeoisie, even
'comprador' bourgeoisie" on any ruling class in Latin America

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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