Reply to Ellen Meiksins Wood

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Mon May 28 08:17:05 MDT 2001

>>> gorojovsky at 05/25/01 07:58PM >>>
En relación a Reply to Ellen Meiksins Wood, el 25 May 01, a las 14:28,
Charles Brown dijo:

> It is difficult to demonstrate the relevance to today's practice of
> the detailed analysis of events from 500 years ago or so. So,
> perhaps this thread is mainly of intellectual and scholarly
> interest.

Not necessarily so. The debate on the kind of societies that Spain,
Portugal, and after them other colonial powers built in what today is
the semicolonial world has direct implications on the debate of the
tasks that revolutionary movements confront in these areas of the
Third World.

If, for instance, Latin America has been fully capitalist (in the
sense of Western European formations) ever since the moment Columbus
first set his plant on the sands of the Caribbean Islands, then the
logical outcome would be that the road to revolution goes along a
"pure" socialist strategy. This would imply (as it implied in fact
among the believers in this thesis) that non-socialist
anti-imperialist movements in these countries should be denounced,
condemned, and combatted.

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?


CB: Yes, I do. Thanks , Nestor, for easing my guilt for feeling like I wasn't
discussing something pertinent enough to today's practice. Also, you help me to
understand a general aspect of the struggle of the South of the  Western Hemisphere.
It makes me think of Eastern Europe's relationship to Western Europe, the weak link in
the capitalist chain there. Maybe the South can jerk the North's chain a bit, today.

We can also see that the whole Western Hemsphere's capitalism has to be somewhere,
take up space, and the land it sits on was usurped from the indigenous peoples
beginning around 500 years ago, but it sits on that land still, and derives values
from the natural resources. That is a very concrete 500 year fact.

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