Gunder Frank nude (was Re: The MIR (was Re: Dependencytheory debate in Latin America))

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Fri Jun 8 23:02:32 MDT 2001

En relación a Re: Gunder Frank nude (was Re: The MIR (was Re: D, el 8
Jun 01, a las 20:06, Xxxx Xxxxxx dijo:

> > >Are we forgetting what were the specific political banners with which
> > >Fidel got to power in Cuba? Did they include, as Frank proposed,
> > >struggle against the national bourgeois in the first place?
> Frankly, I have hard times in appreciating what Nestor is saying here. I
> need to see the context of interpretation above, because, for Frank, I
> assume,  _national bourgeois_ in the Cuban context means _comprador
> bourgeois_ before Fidel came to power. Comprador bourgeois was the
> bourgeois responsible for Cuba's capitalist underdevelopment, uneven
> capitalist accumulation and close integration with the imperialist
> bourgeoisie.

The actual Gunder Frank, the one who gave the foodstuff for the mind
of tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of young militants, did not
make that difference. I have lost somewhere in my library the
reference, but I remember he even declared that he was speaking of
"the bourgeois", not the "comprador" bourgeois. Had he thought about
the latter, we may have been in -partial- agreement and he would have
been, at most, a gross proponent of an anti- imperialist front.

>  Furthermore, the big enemy of _national liberation movements_ in
> Latin America is European scholars like Brenner, [...] At least,
> Frank, unlike Brenner, had the guts to denounce Nato imperialism in
> his regular writings on his Nato/Kosova home page.

I have never denied that the _positions_ of AGF were reasonably anti-
imperialist. Much on the contrary, what I say is that the whole
theoretical structure he built in his first books was completely at
odds with those positions. And those books were the ones that counted
due to their influence on the intelligentsia.

>  second, although I don't agree with AGF fully and his
> characterization of all Latin American bourgeoisies as _comprador
> bourgeois _ (including Peronism) , he is at least a believer in
> socialist revolution, apparently, _more_ so than Brenner is.

This is exactly the problem: there was _not_ a "Peronist" "comprador
bourgeoisie", and by equating the national movement under programmatic
bourgeois leadership (Peronism, a political movement where in fact
there was almost no bourgeois) with the "comprador" bourgeoisie AGF
and DT's provided the ground for ultra-left provocations FROM WITHIN
PERONISM IF NECESSARY. Thus, their differences with Brenner become
less substantial than they seem.

>  Here is a citation of what Frank says: 
> Referring to modernization theory, "we criticize the following commonly
> accepted propositions"
> " The precapitalist state of sectors of  latin american societies accounts
> for underdevelopment. the argument of a pre-capitalist stage  is used by
> many scholars , even Marxists, to justify the supposed need for reform, or
> a bourgeois revolution , to bring Latin America into the capitalist stage
> of history. we will show however that the allegedly pre-capitalist, feudal
> or backward parts of Latin America (which also can be termed as internal
> colonies) both reflect and contribute to Latin America's ongoing,
> thoroughly _capitalist underdevelopment_, since latin america has _already_ been
> shaped, underdeveloped and _misdeveloped_ during the _capitalist stage _,we
> SOCIALIST DEVELOPMENT" (James Cockroft, AGF, Dale Johnson, _Dependence and
> Underdevelopment: Latin America's Political Economy_Anchor Books, 1972, p. 11) 

I do not see what does the quote above add to Mine's argument, at best
it is repeating the basic positions I criticized on my first posting
of this thread.  Please explain yourself, Mine.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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