Colonial Latin America and socialist revolutions (was Re: GunderFranknude (was Re: The MIR (was Re: Dependency theory deb

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Sat Jun 9 17:18:43 MDT 2001

En relación a Re: Colonial Latin America and socialist revoluti,
el 9 Jun 01, a las 12:57, Xxxx Xxxxxx dijo:

> Nestor is missing the point. Lou was not arguing that the social
> structure of colonial Latin America was exactly the same as any
> other capitalist structure in the world (let's say Britain). What we
> are saying is that, which you you are refusing to understand, we
> need an analysis of Latin America's unique position in the world
> system of social stratification as well as an appreciation of the
> complexity of Latin America's class structure.

Well, making an exception of my suppossedly active "refuse to
understand", I agree with the above. I would only point out that I am
not quite comfortable with that idea of a "world system of social
stratification", but that does not matter much here.

> If you are telling us that Latin America in the _colonial_ period
> was _not_ capitalist, we have a serious trouble here. Part of the
> problem is that you can not ahistorically apply the meaning
> feudalism, as it apperead in Europe before the 14th century, to a
> class structure of _contemporary_ Latin America in colonial
> times. If you do, you will be comparing oranges and apples.What you
> have instead is a world wide system of "primitive accumulation" (in
> Marx's use of the term) through which capitalism emerged _with_
> other forms of social relations such as unfree labor. It is
> precisely _because of_ colonialism that you will see the
> _reenforcement_ of SEEMINGLY feudal remnants of social relations
> together with the emergence of capitalism in the Latino _context_,
> but this process did not transform the Latin American economy in the
> way that it transformed the British country side. As Marx says,
> imperialism _exploits and plunders_ but does not transform.  Take
> the example of Mexico's rural latifundista's class...

Look, Mine, I don't ignore anything of the above, having dedicated
most of my politically conscious life to explain, once and again, that
the Argentinean latifundistas, the core of our oligarchy, were a
_capitalist_ class. What's more, I have even broached a similar case
regarding the slaveowners in antebellum South!

What I am trying to put to debate is whether the characteristics of
Colonial Latin America made a bourgeois revolution unnecessary. I am
trying to debate on the character of the Independence wars, on the
political struggles of Latin American peasants and their relationships
with the development of a self- centered capitalism (against what I
feel an abstract evaluation) and so on.  Maybe we are debating
different points here.

> > To begin with, and sorry to contradict one of Lou's most beloved
> > ideas, the _mita_ was NEVER a wage relation. But I am preparing
> > something more complex and quite longer on this essential issue.
> ohh, we have a sweatshops in the United States (and elsewhere in the world) ,
> and it is not a wage relation?... actually, you know what, labor repressive
> social relations have nothing to with capitalism. glorious!

No need to be caustic or to suppose I ignore the need for
repression. What I say is that the mita was not the same thing as wage
slavery, simply because the mita was a system of enforcement by law
(and not by a market of labor force) on entire communities. This kind
of labor had profound effects on the social structure of Latin
America. And, never forget, Xxxx, my point of view is NOT that of the
"world system" but that of a politician who is permanently trying to
build a revolutionary movement in Argentina. This has many

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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