Forwarded from Jurriaan (Trotsky and imperialism)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jun 5 11:44:52 MDT 2001

>CB: I don't know, Lou. I just read this whole section , and the above
seems to be mocking recitation of _Wakefield's_ plan. This is not what Marx
is proposing. This is a paraphrase of Wakefield's plan . The chapter title
"The Modern Theory of Colonisation" is a reference to Wakefield's "modern
theory of colonization". "How ,then" ( Wakefield asks himself) , "to heal
the anti-capitalistic cancer..."

It is not as if Marx's comments are valueless or reactionary. Much of what
he writes is response to the political economists in the Adam Smith
tradition. In fact, Perelman's "Invention of Capitalism" traces Marx's
rebuttals to Steuart, Smith, Ricardo et al. What I am driving at is
something altogether different, which is the failure of Marx to account for
modes of production that existed before colonialism. To even use the term
"virgin soils" suggests the sort of mindset that has led to all sorts of
problems. I am much less inclined to cut Marx slack on these sorts of
questions. His methodology can be used to develop an analysis of colonial
capitalism, but he himself never quite grasped it.

Louis Proyect
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