Reply to Ellen Meiksins Wood

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri May 25 20:10:48 MDT 2001

>What is the need of a Perón, who wanted to build a self-centered
>capitalism in Argentina, if this capitalism already existed from, say,
>the early 1500s?
>See what I mean?
>Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky

The answer to this is fairly clear to me but this is where I part company
with dependency theorists. While Marxists must align themselves with all
national emancipation movements, our goal is socialism rather than a
self-centered capitalism. Yoshie Furuhashi asked me on PEN-L why I
supported Perón if I was so opposed to stagism. (My take on Brenner, if I
haven't made this crystal-clear, is that he is a kind of neo-Kautskyite
whose notions of capitalist origins are stamped by the British CP
historians.) Here is our exchange:

>Isn't it "stagist" to support left nationalisms, unless left 
>nationalisms are thought of as ends in themselves?  Left nationalisms 
>must be "stages" (from which the masses can move forward) for 
>socialists who support them.

No, not at all. Let me try to explain the difference. The Bolsheviks
participated in the overthrow of the Czar and gave tacit support to
Kerensky in April 1917. From that point on they kept a watchful eye on the
government and as soon as it faltered on the promise of land reform and
ending its role in WWI, they went on the offensive. A "stagist" current in
Russia was expressed by Plekhanov who believed that it was necessary to
support Kerensky despite the broken promises, since a capitalist phase was
necessary to prepare the country for socialism. Got it?

Louis Proyect
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