[Marxism] "Economic growth", etc.

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 9 18:15:20 MDT 2006


Walter:
>When I read that "national sovereignty, democracy and true
>economic development are not compativle with capitalism",
>I'm reminded that Marx said the same thing in 1848, and a
>bit of economic development has taken place since then.

I have no idea what you mean by "economic development". All of human 
history since the origins of class society is marked by economic development.

>Some countries have achieved national independence, at
>least in in a political since, since then. This is why the black
>majority of South Africa continues to support the African
>National Congress, despite the criticisms made by leftists

Yes, Walter. That's us--a bunch of ingrates who carp about the government 
of South Africa breaking all their promises and imposing fees for water and 
electricity that are more onerous than those under apartheid. We have some 
sort of sectarian notion that the ANC should make the ruling class in South 
Africa sacrifice rather than the township dwellers. I guess we've been 
hoodwinked by reading wsws.org.

>It seems that South African blacks prefer life under the
>ANC to the non-existent alternatives for which leftists so
>stridently argue in some forums. These leftists never seem
>to ask why it is no other alternative has come up to give a
>challenge to the ANC. There are, after all, other parties in
>South Africa.

Well, Marxmail was set up to connect people like Patrick Bond, who is the 
best-known critic of the ANC in South Africa, not its apologists. We have 
the tendency to agree with Karl Marx's observation that a "ruthless 
criticism of the existing order" is necessary, rather than to rationalize 
its cruelty and irrationality.

>The fact is, China has experienced a
>great deal of economic development under the system
>which is called capitalist by some individuals. If they are
>right, and if China IS capitalist, then perhaps they will
>feel compelled to explain how so much economic growth
>could take place under capitalism?

We are not interested in "economic growth", Walter. We are interested in 
economic development. Nicaragua's economic growth under Somoza was quite 
impressive as the country was transformed into an agro-export powerhouse. 
For more information on this, I'd recommend Robert G. Williams's "Export 
Agriculture and the Crisis in Central America", available at your local 
research library or from amazon.com.

>Fidel Castro didn't call for the abolition of capitalism when
>he wrote HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME.

As I have pointed out to you, the Cuban revolutionary movement did not 
produce socialist propaganda but this did not mean that they were not 
socialists. For more on the roots of Cuban Marxism, I'd recommend Marc 
Becker, "Mariátegui and Latin American Marxist Theory". Marc was on 
Marxmail about 5 years ago and might return this year when he finds the time.





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