OK, let's put an end to all this

Greg Schofield gschofield at SPAMone.net.au
Sun Jun 17 09:28:44 MDT 2001


Dayne thank you for your thoughtful post (this is a self-criticism), I
think in all fairness I must go back through the posts and either justify
my impression or withdraw my remarks.

I ask readers,  to hold on a little in replies - it would be worse than
useless to begin a debate about an unsubstantial impression, comrade
Dayne's comments are fair minded and I will take them seriously and I will
do a bit of overdue homework (I have been sloppy in this) on this issue.
Perhaps I have been reading far more into causal remarks than is reasonable.

I will also have a reread of Julio, in essence I see nothing wrong with a
call to organise amongst the upper stratum of worker, even if the
definitions become very grey, I am a great believer, as a general rule of
thumb, that communists are best being active in the circumstances they find
themselves in and in the areas which they know best (I have seen the result
of students going into factories and it is not pretty politically - life
usually pushes people into many different roles if they are prepared to do
what is right and follow the flow).

Communism does need to attract intellectuals, artists, progammers,
academics and others along with factory workers and all the rest, a class
moving towards social rulership must develop all aspects entailed by they
rulership, I hope to see vast sections of the upper stratum join us in
struggle so unless Julio is arguing only to organise at that level, it also
needs to be said.

Again thank you for your patient post Dayne, I will rejoin soon with either
something to say or an apology.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia


At 07:42  17/06/01 -0600, you wrote:
>On Sun, 17 Jun 2001, Greg Schofield wrote:
> > Dayne  thanks for your comments.
>
>DG: and thank you for your comments Greg.
>
>         . . .
>(GS)
> > > > So here is my challenge, for what it is worth-someone show that David
> > > > Welsh is wrong, or simply demonstrate how first workers exploit third
> > > > world, at the moment the whole thing simply seems based on romantic
> > > notions
> > > > which I find are profoundly anti-worker and embrace political
> passivity.
> > >
> > >DG: I don't think that 'first world workers' exploit 'third world
> > >workers'; if anyone on this list has said that, i disagree with them.
> >
> > Actually it has been said in a number of different ways and fairly often,
> > but that is not the point. I am not holding the theory to ridicule because
> > people may have expressed it badly, if I have read this wrong please
> > correct me (seriously), but if it is a real expression of the theory, a
> > logical part of it whether it is said or not said, then that is a real
> > debate because I believe it is erroneous to the core.
>
>
>DG: I would be surprised to find that anyone on this list holds the view
>that 'first world workers' exploit 'third world workers' because i agree
>that it is erroneous to the core.  I don't recall anyone making such an
>assertion, most certainly not "fairly often."
>         I don't think such a view is either a real expression or logical
>part of dependency theory.
>
>
>(GS)>
> > Dayne, presuming you hold to dependency theory (I only say this not to
> > label you one way or the other)
>
>
>DG: here is the most relevant part of my one post on dependency theory-
>
>Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 07:20:01 -0600 (MDT)
>From: Dayne Goodwin <dayneg at aros.net>
>To: marxism at lists.panix.com
>Subject: Re: Dependency theory
>         . . .
>         What a revelation it was to read Andre Gunder Frank's
>deconstruction of the "modernization" and "development" pablum i had been
>fed in college.  Frank was a frontline revolutionary intellectual,
>directly and very publicly challenging the prevailing mythology that
>capitalism was the solution to the problems of the 'underdeveloped, third
>world.'
>         My political activism led me into contact with socialists and
>Marxists.  I started to become aware of contending views among 'Marxists.'
>Frank's influence helped me to understand how the politics of Communist
>Parties in Latin America were generally counterrevolutionary, leading
>revolutionary minded activists into reformist politics while waiting for
>the 'full development' of capitalism.
>         My exposure to Frank helped me go on to understand Trotsky's
>internationalist/global perspective of 'permanent revolution,' that the
>whole world was ripe for socialist revolution.  I could see that the
>'underdeveloped' countries were already integrated into the capitalist
>system, already 'enjoying' what the capitalist system had to offer them.
>The only way to qualitatively change the miserable conditions of the mass
>of workers and peasants of the third world was through socialist
>revolution to break out of the chains of the capitalist system - as Cuba
>had done under the leadership of the July 26th movement.  The sooner the
>better.
>         I joined a revolutionary socialist organization which offered its
>own education and educators(*).  Andre Gunder Frank's influence on me
>waned and disappeared.
>         . . .
>(* most notably George Novack. thanks to Richard Fidler for his recent and
>earlier lengthy quotes from Novack.)
>
>
>(GS, paragraph continued)
> > there is no reason why your version need
> > embrace worker exploitation of worker, but I might well be justified and
> > posing the question what is the relationship between the first world
> worker
> > and the third? I don't think such a question is unfair by any measure.
>
>DG: I recently expressed my opinion on this, on this list:
>
>Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 12:49:52 -0600 (MDT)
>From: Dayne Goodwin <dayneg at aros.net>
>To: marxism at lists.panix.com
>Subject: globalization is an irreversible reality
>         . . .
>         Many US activists are counterposing "democratic" globalization or
>"globalization from below" to corporate globalization.  These perspectives
>foreshadow the proletarian globalization, the international working class
>solidarity we need. Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite.
>         Dayne Goodwin
>
>         . . .
>(GS)
> > Again, not wishing to be ultra critical it is reasonable to conclude that
> > unless there is another dimension to dependency theory, the politics of
> the
> > first world worker seem to pallour somewhat compared to that of the third.
>
>
>DG: I think you are reacting to a caricature of dependency theory and its
>implications for political work.  Although i did go on to explain in my
>May 26 post, partially quoted above, that i hadn't kept up with
>'dependency theory' since my initial (beneficial IMO) exposure in the late
>1960s.
>         I doubt there are many more severe 'first world' critics(on the
>left) of 'revolutionary romanticism' with the 'third world' than i am.
>As a relatively poor worker in the U.S., i have been in the situation of
>scraping together a few dollars to keep building a political movement here
>(i.e. even the Central America Solidarity Coalition) while some local
>leftist figures were spending thousands of dollars on what i would call
>"revolutionary tourism."
>
>
>(GS)    . . .
> > So I speak from a country which has historically a high standard of living
> > and so all my organising activity could be said to have been amongst the
> > upper strata on a world scale (mind you many of the workers in Australia
> > only scratch by despite everything else). I am not the slightest bit
> > ashamed of this and more over advocate the same in any first world country.
>         . . .
>
>DG:  Likewise; I fully agree.
>         Recently i've been able to help build a movement of support for
>striking immigrant workers here (entirely from Mexico) who are picketing a
>construction site after a dispute with their employer who was paying them
>straight minimum wage pay even when, in the most egregious cases, they
>worked over 100 hours in one week.  They were also working with toxic
>substances(fire retardant coatings) without adequate safety equipment.
>The employer was making deductions from their pay checks for health
>insurance, however he had neglected to actually contract with any health
>insurance company.  (Please note BTW that unlike you Greg, Julio has
>specifically focussed on a call for organizing the upper strata of the
>workers *within* the rich countries.)
>
>         In solidarity, Dayne






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