Few comments about Huato's proposed "method"

Julio Huato juliohuato at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 4 09:54:00 MDT 2003


John Paramo says my postings were intended to derail his discussion.  I'd
put it differently.  Louis Proyect posted a note on Marx's views on India.
This is a public forum.  A posting invites people to participate.  People
have different views of what is important.  Nobody owns a discussion or a
thread.  If Louis Proyect -- as the list owner -- doesn't consider it
improper, then it is fair game.

Paramo expresses his frustration about my literary style.  I entirely
understand and apologize for that.  I'll try to be more mindful of how I
write.

Paramo says:

>Following the non dialectic, economic reductionism of comrade Huato, we
>would be very confused and disarmed as to how characterize why the US
>became an imperialist country, Latin America became very backward
>economically speaking and Brazil develop the most powerful national
>bourgeoisie of Latin America.  We would not understand why the Mexican
>bourgeoisie, in order to emerge, had to do it through the state, etc.

Clarifying the nature of capitalist development at an abstract level is not
enough to understand the full history of the process.  But it goes a long
way:

"In theory, we assume that the laws of the capitalist mode of production
develop in their pure form.  In reality, this is only an approximation; but
the approximation is all the more exact, the more the capitalist mode of
production is developed and the less is adulterated by survivals of earlier
economic conditions with which it is amalgamated." (Capital, vol. III, p.
275, Penguin.)

I don't think the Mexican bourgeoisie emerged "through" the state.
Historically, the core of Mexico's bourgeoisie (in the steel, glass, soap,
paper, dynamite, cigarretes, beer, cement, and cotton-based textiles grew
under large state protection.  But there were parts of the bourgeoisie that
were affected by state protection (agriculture and livestock capitalists).
Some parts of the bourgeoisie resulted from the direct appropriation of
public funds after the Mexican revolution, and at least one large beer
conglomerate struggled since its inception against corruption and patronage.

A good reference in English -- up to WW2 -- is Stephen H. Haber's "Industry
and Underdevelopment: The Industrialization of Mexico 1890-1940."  Although
the author doesn't use the categories of Marxism, the facts he reports in
the book are perfectly intelligible in Marx's framework in Capital.

>The same superficial and distorted "method" of comrade Huato led many to
>believe in the "socialist" character of the workers states claimed by the
>Stalinists, instead of udnerstanding their intermediate, transitional
>character.

Where did you get this?  Did you read what I wrote about Cuba?  It is in the
constitution (last time I checked) that Cuba is NOT a communist or socialist
country, but one that is in transition or in the process of building
socialism.

You cite Marx:

>"The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement
>and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the
>conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a
>warren for the commercial hunting of black skins, signalized the rosy dawn
>of the era of capitalist production." - Karl Marx, Capital Vol. I, ed.
>Frederich Engels (New York: International Publishers, 1967), p. 751

The 'dawn of an era'.  Do you get it?  Read by itself, even if we disregard
all else Marx ever wrote, this cite means exactly what I've been saying:
That these phenomena do not necessarily constitute the fundamental,
essential, dominant process of the era.  They do not disappear.  Marx
doesn't claim that.  I don't claim that.  They may even become more
prominent in an absolute sense -- but not (to Marx's wit) in a relative
sense.  If not, why didn't Marx say instead, "phenomena like these
characterize the whole era (as opposed to 'signaling the dawn') of
capitalist production"?

>PS: can we go back to more interesting stuff?

Of course, you can.

Julio

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