[Marxism] (Fwd) On local bourgeoisies and original peoples

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Mon Nov 21 13:29:10 MST 2005

Excuse me if I dump two different issues on the same reply.  They are
related, in the end:  imperialism gives a red thread that puts the
whole rope under the same ownership.

a) Rrubinelli -working, can't drink- quotes "Nestor in response to
Nestor (out of context, I'm sure)": 
> "Allow me to sum up my view in a few, short, sentences.  Theses, if 
> you like.  I will state them quite bluntly, harshly if you want, 
> this is intentional.  I would like to stir a debate with these 
> and this is why I wrote them down the way they will appear:.
> 1) The first duty of a Marxist is to root her or his struggle in 
> general struggle against their own bourgeoisie, and this in the 
> broadest sense." 
> Think this applies everywhere and to everyone, no?  Discussion on 
> list has never included arguments that Brazil is other than a 
> capitalist country with its own capitalists, and that Lula is 
> the current representative of the bourgeoisie.

My own answer: 

Not out of context, of course.  My "first statement" applies 

I would only make a minor correction:  Lula is the current 
representative of the Brazilian national front which is _under 
bourgeois leadership_. 

In Latin America, and in the semicolonies in general, we have to 
fight against, so to say, TWO bourgeoisies:  the domestic thing that 
stands for such (which, BTW, is waging a permanent struggle against 
Lula because he is of working class origin), and the full-bearded
imperialist bourgeoisie, the main character of which is that it
becomes an _internal factor_ in the semicolonial country.  This 
factor takes the concrete shape of the domestic oligarchies, which 
usually are taken for a bourgeoisie but are not exactly that, and 
they are certainly not a bourgeoisie in the sense of the model of 

The main contradiction passes along the national front/imperialist
bourgeoisie divide.  Within this struggle, struggle against one's own
bourgeoisie is a struggle for the leadership of the movement.

Permanent revolution, to put it simply.

So that if I were Brazilian I would support Lula against Bush (much 
in the way the Chinese Comm Party supported Chiang Kai Shek against 
Japan _even after the Canton massacre_) while I struggle to replace
national-bourgeois leadership with the leadership of the lowest ranks
of the society.

This applies even when you have a  national-petty-bourgeois or even
_national-privileged-working class_ leadership.  I know that the last
formula might sound horrible to American or European ears, but please
take into account that the kernel of Lula's power lies in the
privileged workers of mostly imperialist factories in the São Paulo
area.  They are not giving the best leadership to the Brazilian
national front, but this is the way things are after Varguism showed
itself unable to trascend its own limitations.  

Don't forget that in Brazil, out of 170 million people, those who are
subjected to the grip of capital through regular market relations
(either as workers, bourgeois or petty bourgeois) count 70, 100 at
most.  The actual strength of social and national revolution in
Brazil, in a sense, lies more in the remaining 100 (or 70) million
than in the comparatively small (and, since privileged, prone to
conservatism) industrial working class.  These people do not
constitute a "reserve army" in the sense of _Capital_.  They are a
structural component of a country that can't even extend the dubious
benefits of exploitation through the wage system to the large mass of
its population. 

It is the alliance of the up to now privileged working class with
these truly downtrodden which counts.  It is on this field that the
struggle against the bourgeois leadership of the national front takes
place.  For example, through struggle for immediate agrarian

Of course this is very schematic and it would be easy to deform the
general idea and present it as a reactionary position, which is far
from my intention, but as to the "struggle against one's own
bourgeoisie"  issue, I think I have been clear enough.

b) Louis Pr. presents my own position on indigenous peoples, more 
than a bit unfairly methinks, as follows:

> Nestor wrote:
> >An imperialist journalist, working for an imperialist newspaper,
> >defending the rights of a local population against a Latin American
> >state sounds very bad to my ears.  Rohter's article is an exercise
> >in hypocrisy.  The NYT is applying to Brazil its own, modernized,
> >version of "states rights", and its arguments resemble those of the
> >pro-South British newspapers against Lincoln.  "Why, don't you see
> >that Lincoln does not give freedom to slaves?"
> For comrades' information, Nestor has always been hostile to
> "separatist" demands by indigenous peoples in Latin America.
> Frankly, I was shocked by his attempt to portray the Mapuche Indians
> as a kind of cat's paw of imperialism for insisting on their rights
> to keep mineral and timber companies from encroaching on their land.

1) What really counts in the words by yours truly quoted above is the
question as to _where is imperialism speaking from and with what
objectives in mind_. As I showed on the couple of links I sent on
Rohter, he is not what one would call an unblemished representative 
of radical journalism, but rather a CIA or FBI agent.

2) Not only I am _for_ the right of the Mapuche against companies, I
am also _for_ the single way in which they can reasonably struggle
_and win_.  This way is to consider themselves simply as a fraction 
of the  larger unit composed by the Chilean or Argentinean peasantry 
or petty landowners, not as an ethnic group with a right to "national

While I say no word about North America, where the conditions and
situations are completely different, I am strongly against _national
independence_ of racist, ethnocentric "aboriginal" states in Latin

Whoever looks at the Reconquista Popular files will find dozens of
postings, sent by yours truly, informing supportively on the 
struggles of both Mapuche and Creole (and not only Mapuche:  also 
Guarani and other ethnic groups in the Southern Cone) for their lands 
and their own resources. 

What I reject is further splintering of Latin America.  Once this is
established, only imperialism reaps the harvest.  Witness the bad
result of the "indigenist" policies followed by Quispe in Bolivia,
which are the basic argument used by the Santa Cruz oligarchy and the
foreign oil companies in their unending struggle to splinter that
country and to create a protektorat with the oil-rich lands on the
Bolivian Chaco and Amazonia.

Right to secession was the best nationalities policy in places such 
as Tsarist Russia or the Austro Hungarian Empire, jails of peoples.  
In other places (and Latin America is one of these) the revolutionary
movement passes through the _right to unify_.

Trotsky saw it very well when he proposed a Socialist Federation of
Latin American States as our only way ahead.  And, mind you, he was
writing in Mexico, which from the point of view of ethnicity, etc., 
is one of the most complex countries in Latin America.

I would like to write longer, but I am too short of time.

BTW:  one of the most important issues with Peronism (as it will be,
if is not already, with Chavism) was the integration of Argentinean
aboriginal peoples to industrial activity.  "With Perón, Indians eat"
was a commonplace statement among the tribes of Northern Argentina,
whose children found a dignified place in the modern, industrialized,
country generated by Peronism.  

And as late as the 1960s, long after Perón had been overthrown, 
industrial development in towns such as Trelew (central Patagonia)
produced a local working class of mixed Creole, immigrant and Indian
factory labor.

As an end note, I would point out that in Argentina at least the
Mapuche "independentist" movement is essentially a petty bourgeois
movement, and that there exist a most active British imperialist
outfit, Mapulink, founded and established in Bristol of all places 
(as you know, Bristol is a historical Mapuche capital), which aims at
secession of the Mapuche "nation" in the same way Antoine Orrlie I,
the Bonapartist adventurer, attempted to do in the 1860s and 1870s.

But Antoine I was a delirious con man.  The Bristol gang is serious.

Best to all.

Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

More information about the Marxism mailing list