[Marxism] frantz fanon and socialism

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Oct 26 15:32:42 MDT 2005

Michael Hoover wrote:
> fanon's relevance (anyone's, for that matter) depends upon creative/
> flexible/imaginative use of his ideas according to context, both
> revolutionary theory and revolutionary action must be rooted in
> specific socio-economic conditions...   michael hoover

Michael makes a point here that (at least originally) was implicit in
the contrast the Communist Party of China drew between
"marxISM-leninISM" on the one hand and Mao-THOUGHT on the other. An
"ism" is a general theory which holds sway over an entire historical
epoch (e.g., the epoch from the rise of capitalism until the triumph of
socialism), while _thought_ is how that works out when "rooted in
specific socio-economic conditions." Probably at first the distinction
was 'merely' a way to maintain peace with the Comintern while merrily
disregarding it when it seemed useful to do so.

But I think the distinction is a worthwhile one and, in fact, should be
extended to the _thought_ of Lenin, Gramsci, Castro, Ho, Cabral, Chavez,
Luxemburg, & other revolutionary leaders. None of them propounded any
_theory_ good for all times and places, but if we see their
revolutionary thought as embedded in time & place, we are in a better
position to learn from them witout turning their words into sterile


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