[Marxism] Models for the Latin American left

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Apr 10 14:18:26 MDT 2006

Charles, setting aside the misleading terminology of "model," we are 
agreed that Bolivar was part of a progressive process.

I don't know what you mean when you write, "discussing history as an 
experience to inform today's struggles is a non-scholastic way to 
discuss history as it connects scholarship with practice."  Maybe you could
recast this is a clearer way.


CB: Sure. I mentioned Bolivar as a ...uh...whatever, because of the
Bolivarian Movement in Venezuela _today_.  Seems to me the Venezuelan
Bolivarians are using their history to inform and inspire their current

I discuss issues here on the Marxmail list in a very focussed Marxist way (
Gotta be somewhere I can do that; Marxmail seems the place). For Marx,
Theses on Feuerbach II , thinking that is isolated from practice is

Theses On Feuerbach

The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is
not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the
truth - i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in
practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is
isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question. 

So, when I discuss history in the Marxist context, I try to adhere to the
principle of connecting it with practice today. The Venezuelan discussion of
the history in Bolivar's period meets Marx's test on this. I'd like to
discuss U.S. history with the same aim of uniting history ( theory in this
case) with activist practice in  America today.  My (main )interest in
Lincoln, Republicans, Abolitionists is in how they might inform us of
American "national character or psychology" today, as we try to change the
world today ( based on interpreting it).

We want to bring back the spirit that inspired tens of thousands of White
Americans to risk their lives in a war that had as one goal ending slavery (
I know the purposes of the war and motives of the many were complicated; but
didn't _some_ sing about John Brown ?) Not necessarily risking their lives
today, but fired up to be militant about ending racism.

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