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

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at
Mon May 14 17:39:06 MDT 2001

> From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
> To: marxism at
> Subject: Forwarded from Nestor (response to John Enyang)
> Date: Monday, May 14, 2001 6:59 PM
> John Enyang defined movements such as those of Ben Bella and Nasser as
> "decrepit at inception". Rightly so, by every means an excellent
> The problem, the little and enormous problem, is that we Marxists have
> to find out the way to take from their hands those flags that earned them
> the hatred of imperialists the world over, and the loyalty of the masses
> their own countries, and carry them to victory.
> No national revolution is possible in our times without socialism. True
> enough. But we socialists have still to find the road that we shall have
> follow. In the meantime, I would keep saying to myself every morning when
> wake up (and comradely suggest John Enyang and all those comrades in a
> similar position) that it is our duty to overcome the limitations of
> bourgeois or bourgeois nationalism, and that until we have not achieved
> that goal we are _behind_ -not ahead from- those petty bourgeois
> that were born senile --but had a hell of a great life!

You are certainly right, Nestor. I should, however, add that 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. 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.

adios, Xxxx
Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
Ph.D Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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