The Marxism of William "Bill" Brenner?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 20 12:21:11 MST 2003

(A fascinating article from a Lebanese newspaper. I especially 
appreciated the take on Marxism that is not related to the 3rd world 
which it blames on William "Bill" Brenner. I believe that the author was 
confusing Bill Warren with Robert Brenner, an entirely understandable 

The Spread Of Marxism
Hazem Saghieh     Al-Hayat     2003/11/7

The French magazine "Nouvel Observateur" issued a supplement on the 
"return" of Marxism, with Karl Marx on the cover. The British "Prospect 
Magazine" and "The Observer" had published many articles on the same 

What is happening? Is there a ghost named Karl Marx haunting Europe? 
Similar to Communism that haunted it 155 years ago? Does the saying: 
"Stalin cannot be criticized without criticizing Lenin," stops here? and 
does not succeed the first Bolshevik?

Yes and no, and they are relatively permanent yes and no.

First, the expected version is Marxism without Leninism. This is what 
the Trotskyite "Communist League" declared a few days ago in France. 
Meaning: Socialism free of theories related to "democratic centralism," 
the party, the dictatorship of the proletariat and gaining power through 

Second, it is Marxism of social science, or Marxism as a social science. 
Why not? The great heritage from Marx to Lefever, Habermass and 
Benjamin… is as good to explain the phenomena of modern sociology as the 
heritage of Max Webber and Emile Durkheim.

Third, it concerns Europe and not the U.S. The former wants to clean 
Marxism from Soviet Totalitarianism. It wants to readopt it as a package 
of ideas for the safe world of "Venus" with a higher degree of social 
justice. This approach might help in exerting pressure on Europe's 
crumbling democratic socialism without repeating some old dogmas about 
"absolute impoverishment."

However, they are ideas that would make the old continent more different 
from the new continent. In other words, Marxism today is one of the ways 
according to which Europe becomes European.

Fourth, it is Marxism that is not closely related to the Third World. It 
sympathizes with it at the human level. It fights racism against its 
peoples and citizens. Yet, it is not tightly related to the theories of 
Samir Amin and Gunder Frank on the development of under-development and 
backwardness brought about by dependence. It is closer to the theory of 
William (Bill) Brenner who kept on asserting that capitalism causes 
development unless nationalism or religion prevents it from doing so. It 
will, most probably, be a package of ideas for the usage of 
post-workers, not the pre-peasants.


The Marxism list:

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list