Camejo still bullish

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon May 14 09:53:50 MDT 2001


>Even his book on Wall Street did not sell either.
>
>in any case, blow like a tornado there as you did last year--in case my
>favorites reply:-))
>
>adios,  Mine

Actually, "Wall Street" was Verso's alltime best seller. I strongly suspect
that a large element of this was people buying the book to learn about the
difference between preferred and common stock, etc. Obviously somebody
buying a Verso book would believe that it is somehow "transgressive" but
why not learn about how the stock market works while you are defying world
capitalism. In other words, the book allows multiple interpretations which
is certainly not the case with something like CLR James's "Black Jacobins"
or Harry Braverman's "Labor and Monopoly Capital".

This was my big shock when I began participating on LBO-Talk. One of Doug's
closest pals is a yuppie named Jordan Hayes, who runs a consulting company
delivering high-tech solutions for investment firms, etc. About a month or
so after LBO-Talk got off the ground, Hayes sent me private mail telling me
to keep my Marxist bullshit to myself, or words to that effect. I explained
to him that Doug Henwood was himself a Marxist. After Hayes responded that
there was scant evidence of that, this touched off a long rethinking
process about Mr. Henwood that culminated in our "feud". The reason I put
"feud" in quotes is that I hardly know him as an individual. I am much more
interested in his political ideas that in their odd way are a postmodernist
version of the kind of rot that existed in the German social democracy
under Bismarck.

Grouped around Lassalle, a number of party members employed as professors,
whom Engels referred to as "katheder-socialists" (academy Marxists), came
to the conclusion that the progressive social measures enacted under
Bismarck, plus his 'globalizing' trade policies, were proof of 'state
socialism'. Marx and Engels had to fight to persuade the German party not
to back the Junkers dictator. You find the same kind of nonsense today,
with Negri-Hardt's "Empire", which Henwood reviewed favorably in his
newsletter. Negri-Hardt view the spread of US capitalism as hastening the
kind of cosmopolitan, networked world that Marx thought was a precondition
for communism. In reality, Marx and Engels looked mostly at the creation of
the working class which could serve as a grave digger of capitalism, not at
the accoutrements of bourgeois society. As Rosa Luxemburg once put it:

>>For bourgeois-liberal economists and politicians, railroads, Swedish
matches, sewer systems, and department stores are "progress" and
"civilization." In themselves these works grafted onto primitive conditions
are neither civilization nor progress, for they are bought with the rapid
economic and cultural ruin of peoples who must experience simultaneously
the full misery and horror of two eras: the traditional natural economic
system and the most modern and rapacious capitalist system of exploitation.
Thus, the capitalist victory parade and all its works bear the stamp of
progress in the historical sense only because they create the material
preconditions for the abolition of capitalist domination and class society
in general. And in this sense imperialism ultimately works for us.<<

Louis Proyect
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