Karl Korsch in Spain - Paul Piccone


Nov 9 2012 13:56

Thanks for putting this up, Nate. It is fairly rare that a book review from decades ago is worth saving from going ever-further down the memory-hole of obscurity, but I think this certainly warrants admission to the Libcom library.

It always feels a bit mean-spirited to look back from this far ahead at someone's efforts at quite concrete predictions, and if it was a game we were all made to play I would imagine we would all have a certain amount of embarrassment awaiting us. Piccone's predictions regarding post-dictatorship Spain and Portugal are, nonetheless, at least interestingly inaccurate, as a mixture of what-seems-like-realism combined with odd assessments (from the point-of-view of neoliberal types and the US State Department I'm pretty sure the Pinochet regime was and indeed, at least in private, is seen as a big success that lasted for many years doing great things):

"Thus, if worse comes to worst, Spain and Portugal will probably precipitate in disastrous civil wars before accepting bureaucratic collectivism. This time the Warsaw Pact troops will be too far away to readily "legitimate" any Kadar or Husak type of regime in Spain or Portugal. A CIA-engineered Greek or Chilean solution is highly unlikely not only because of the present tenuous position of the CIA in the post- Vietnam period of re-assessment, but also because both the Greek and the Chilean solutions have proven themselves to be no solution at all. In the age of detente right-wing solutions are no longer feasible-especially in countries such as Spain and Portugal which are attempting to move away from precisely that type of regime. The world-wide requirements of capitalist in the 1970s can be readily met by bureaucratic collectivist regimes by providing outlets for certain products (such as computers and grain) which allow the retention of American world hegemony and, therefore, unequal exchange."