[Marxism] Re: land titles and cooperatives and Venezuela,
dwalters at marxists.org
Sat Aug 6 16:46:43 MDT 2005
A very useful discussion. I agree with Fred here on the land question
vis-a-vis private ownership. Historically, the cry "Land to the
Peasants!" (or whatever version) was seen as individual peasants
getting title to the land in *some fashion*. Like "Self-
Determination" it wasn't up to revolutionaries to *dictate* the form
this takes. It has more to do with local conditions than anything.
Thus, in Peru in the late 1950s, Trotskyist peasant leader Hugo
Blanco was raising exactly the demand for land title, not some
mechanical version of the Spanish Revolution, the only historical
event I'm aware of where the rural proletariat and peasantry were
demanding collectivization under self-management.
It's my view, too, that this can be very radicalizing. While Fred, in
an earlier post, elevated this question to one of centrality for the
Venezuelan revolution, might be overstating his case. I think it is
is only relatively 'central' in that:
1. Any sharp struggle in the class struggle can be a catalyst for
deepening that revolution and raising the question of the capitalist
nature of Venezuela's still-capitalist economy and
2. Venezuela can, but doesn't, feed itself. That simply *developing*
the sustainable agricultural sector of the economy is critical,
regardless if the country remains wedded to the market or proceeds
toward becoming and out-and-out workers state.
I believe that the 'land question' in South America is still vital,
it is not as vital as it once was. Countries like Colombia, Mexico,
Brazil, etc, are increasingly more urban than rural, as Michael L.
pointed out...80% of Venezuela is urban and proletarian (formal and
informal). The same is true in the Philippines, for example,
something the old CPP doesn't understand in terms of what kind of
revolution will be developing there. Thus the focus on the UNT and
the role of the organized working class as the motive force behind
support for the revolution.
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