Petty bourgeois (Re: Forwarded from Nestor (response to John Enyang))

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Thu May 17 19:45:59 MDT 2001

[ from Nestor (Tuesday) ]

En relación a Petty bourgeois (Re: Forwarded from Nestor (respo, 
el 14 May 01, a las 19:58, Xxxx Xxxxxx dijo:

> ...we Marxists should find ways of _conceptualizing_ (or
> to speak, in methodological terms) the meaning
> of "petty bourgeois" in the third world context. To my memory, we
> discussed this issue before. The bourgeois nationalists that led
> their countries into victory against imperialism were not petty
> bourgeois in the technical sense.

You are completely right, Xxxx. I used "petty bourgeois" just as
shorthand.  That is what I was meaning when I spoke of cannibalizing
them. It is not a matter of chance, of course, that you can understand
the general drift of my idea so easily.

> I don't know about the class origins of Nasser or Peron that much,
> but Kemal was a military officer, whose class roots had tied to the
> military/bureaucratic class in the Ottoman empire. If the meaning of
> "petty bourgeois" corresponds to a class situation somewhere the
> between middle and working class, those folks do not terribly fit in
> that typology.

A serious study of military officers in the Third World would reveal
that, save for extremely pathological cases, their situation is a very
particular one.  Even in El Salvador, during the 60s, there was a coup
of pro-Cuban military, something many people forget.

Abstract anti-militarism in the Third World is a nonsense move.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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