[Marxism] It's those damn petty-bourgeois at it again!

hari.kumar at sympatico.ca hari.kumar at sympatico.ca
Thu Dec 1 02:23:39 MST 2005


FIRST: Callum wrote:
>You see, this is the part where the mythology of >revolution comes into it. Cuba was not 'blockaded >by imperialism', it was blockaded by Western 
>imperialism, it was very, VERY cosy with the >other imperialist power of the day, the USSR. We >all know the Beard's enthusiasm for the Soviet's 
>invasion of Czechoslovakia - a 'principled >anti-imperialist' stance, I'm sure you'll agree.

THEN LOUIS WROTE:
"This is really an unscientific understanding of the term imperialism. If you read Lenin's "Imperialism. the Highest Stage of Capitalism," you are struck by the mountain of statistics that he deployed to buttress his ideas, like this".

Louis then cites VIL, and follows by:

"The plain fact is that the USSR had a negative trade balance with both Czechoslovakia and Cuba. It supplied oil to both countries at prices below 
that which it could command on the world market. Imperialism is not about subsidizing countries, it is about exploiting them."

MY QUESTIONS/COMMENTS:

Clearly it may be rash for a self-confessed ML-ist to step into the middle of this somewhat shrill discussion.
However..
Louis: I do not really understand your position - other than you wish to defend Cuba's position as 'socialist' state, not merely defend it from imperialist aggression. 
I will however say I cannot really understand what your class description of the USSR post JVS is. 
Certainly there are other texts and references documenting the not overt, but present, transfers of both goods and monies to the benefit of the USSR. I apologise in advance - that I cannot easily lay my hand on these references which appeared to my simple view of life, as fairly sound. I am currently overseas teaching for a period & am slightly handicapped. Not all of these came from Albania in case any might suggest an easy retort. 

You also write:
"The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia because it worried that "socialism with a human face" could spread to other Eastern bloc countries and 
eventually to the USSR. It was a threat to bureaucratic privilege not profits."

Do you not see any relation between the two?

Anyway, in passing - a 3er-in-1er as 'twere, 
(i) thx to Johanes (?I think) for the references on the Harman Mandel debate;

(ii) & Thx to Les on noise & myocardial infarct.
Les: I did not read the original article (for the same reasons that Patrick Bond alluded to re dial-up etc) - but a major potential problem would be (?) confounding variables?
Noisy environments are often the same as dirty (physically I mean!) & polluted etc. 
Did the authors control for any of that; or post-hoc analyse?
Cheers, 
Hari 





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