[Marxism] more re 'land to the tillers' in Vzla

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Sat Aug 6 13:35:20 MDT 2005


Fred Feldman wrote that I stated that:

>most of the peasants involved in
>the current struggle over land wanted to be private owners, not
>cooperative members.

I think I used the word 'many'; I don't think anyone knows what the 
balance is. He continued:

>  I have to admit this raised the "spectre" for me
>that the radicals and possibly even the Chavez team were coming to the
>peasants with the message that private ownership was unrealistic, and
>that cooperatives were needed.
>
>I believe the sentiment of the tillers is decisive on this.

         I agree that their sentiment is decisive as well, but I 
don't think that precludes trying to convince them, e.g., of the 
rationality of cooperation. Further, the question that concerned me 
more (and I admit it that I've thought about this more in 
relationship to non-agricultural activity) would be the tendency to 
want the state to provide land, means of production, subsidies, etc 
but to feel that there was no responsibility to (or more 
specifically, solidarity with) the rest of society. The question is 
how to proceed by building solidarity rather than self-orientation, 
and I think that following that general principle necessarily must 
reflect national particularities if it is to be successful (thus, 
would differ in Venezuela from the USSR in the 20s).
         in solidarity,
         michael
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
Residencias Anauco Suites
Departamento 601
Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
Caracas, Venezuela
(58-212) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724



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