Was Che Guevara a Stalinist sympathizer after the Secret Speech?

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EGADS
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Oct 4 2011 11:48
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
But speaking of “trivial pursuit” first prize cannot be bestowed on working class when we have a contender like EGADS in the ring.
I said to him or her last time -
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You evidently lack either the knowledge of conditions in pre-revolutionary China, Vietnam, and Cuba or the sensitivity to really understand the difference between starvation, lumpenization and exploitation.

To which it responds by comparing fully grown sperm whales and hummingbird eggs with his pseudo-Patrick Henry cry:

EGADS wrote:
P.S. I'd rather be a doped-out pimp than a prisoner rotting in some laogai. groucho

Kudos for ignoring nearly the entirety of my post, you patronizing git. roll eyes

wojtek
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Oct 3 2011 15:43

Alexander, could you stop evading people's points cos you've done it in like four threads on national determination now.
x

mciver
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Oct 4 2011 11:58

As a functionary of the Cuban state, Guevara would have happily unleashed a thermonuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. That was the meaning of the Castroite ‘¡Patria o muerte!’ ('Fatherland or Death!') – that the whole of mankind should perish on the altar of a dwarfish Leviathan. Khrushchev realised that it wasn’t to his Leviathan’s advantage to self-terminate over his Cuban satraps' chagrin. So he dismantled the Russian missiles in Cuba and turned them back to Russia.

In his Socialism and Man in Cuba (1965), Guevara promoted the necrophilic Castro cult, praising Castro’s caudillo demagoguery:

... Fidel is a master. His own special way of fusing himself with the people can be appreciated only by seeing him in action. At the great public mass meetings one can observe something like the dialogue of two tuning forks whose vibrations interact, producing new sounds. Fidel and the mass begin to vibrate together in a dialogue of growing intensity until they reach the climax in an abrupt conclusion crowned by our cry of struggle and victory.

The difficult thing to understand for someone not living through the experience of the revolution is this close dialectical unity between the individual and the mass in which both are interrelated and, at the same time, in which the mass, as an aggregate of individuals, interact with its leaders. (1)

This ‘dialectical interaction’ between totalitarian despots and ranting masses is presented by Guevara as something sublimely musical, an ‘organic’ fusion which ‘vibrates’ like two tuning forks. Equal forks? The disproportion is obvious, the demi-god on top of the pyramid ‘represents’ hundreds of thousands, if not millions of humans. Of course that's ideology, he represents only the parasitic power of his racket and Leviathan. The Führerprinzip of Nazism and Fascism, but in ‘socialist’ garb, to conceal the brutal, terroristic domination. The neighbourhood committees, the secret police trained by the KGB, this was and is the real interaction between the atomised ‘socialist man’ and the ruling state, run by a ‘Líder máximo’ and his henchmen. The militarised spectacles at the Plaza de la Revolución are nothing but vile totalizing shows, like the early Leninist 'labour festivals', Stalin's grotesque military parades and the Nuremberg rallies under Hitler.

After Guevara's execution in Bolivia by rival military gangsters in 1967, the Castro government launched the spectacular 'Che' cult, which still seduces simpletons today.

Reinaldo Arenas, the late Cuban writer describes his experience in a ‘state socialist' prison, where torture was rife:

The first day no one came to see me or bring food; since most of the prisoners there were about to be executed, there was no great interest in feeding them. You could not even complain to anyone; it was utter isolation and despair...

There was a prisoner who sang day and night, imitating the voice of Roberto Carlos to perfection. Those sad songs had been like hymns for the Cuban people; in some way they had become everyman’s private screams. (2).

Guevara was a main founder and fanatical defender of this 'socialist' hell-hole. His zeal was proven in the early days of the régime, when he ordered the mass execution of political prisoners. He belongs to an enduring state-terrorist tradition in Marxism, organised by Lenin and Trotsky, since 1917. That Guevara was inspired by Stalinism is a matter of public record, and puerile and sophistic apologetics about 'Che' 'not really being an ultra-hard-line Stalinist ' are beneath contempt.

The left communist critique of Guevara and his régime on this thread is incoherent and false in that it implicitly assumes a fundamental difference between Guevara's Stalinism and the early Bolsheviks' state terrorism. But the sanguinary actions of Lenin's Bolsheviks weren't errors, as the left communist fantasies claim. The Bolshevik mental and ideological predispositions obeyed historical precedent and deeply-seated social and material needs. 'Left communism' thus remains a faction of the state capitalist left, their Leninist genealogy reveals a tactical difference between creatures like Guevara and Castro, not anything of substance.

What John Holloway says about 'revolutionary heroes' is appropriate:

...There is something very contradictory in the notion of a heroic revolution, or indeed of a revolutionary hero. The aim of revolution is the transformation of ordinary, everyday life and it is surely from everyday life that revolution must arise. The idea of a communist revolution is to create a society in which we are not led, in which we all assume responsibility, so our thought and our traditions must move in terms of the non-leaders, not the heroes... Revolution is conceivable only if we start from the assumption that being a revolutionary is a very ordinary, very usual matter, that we are all revolutionaries, albeit in very contradictory, fetishised, repressed ways... (3).

This rejection of 'heroes' applies to all the sub-comandantes like Marcos of the EZLN in Chiapas (much admired by the incoherent Holloway) and red warlords anywhere, including the loathsome martyr-cult of Comandante T shirt.

1) Che Guevara. Che Guevara Speaks. New York: Pathfinder, 2001, p.145.

2) Reinaldo Arenas. Before Night Falls. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2001, p.198.

3) John Holloway. Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today. London: Pluto Press, 2002, p.211.

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 4 2011 14:52

p.s.: returning to the original question, most open Stalinists/Anti-Revisionists/Maoists/Hoxhaists after the early 1960ies were openly hostile to Che Guevara as part of their open hostility towards Cuba which they perceived as a stronghold of "soviet social imperialism/social fascism" in the Americas ... in case of some of them, it even lead in the 1970ies to the conclusion, that the USA are "too soft" on Cuba

some really weird stuff from this milieu: http://marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-5/sooner/index.htm from 1980

Alexander Roxwell
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Oct 5 2011 02:51
wojtek wrote:
Alexander, could you stop evading people's points cos you've done it in like four threads on national determination now.
x

Another vague statement that serves as an empty stand-in for an "argument."

Should I ask yet again just exactly what "people's points" I have evaded on four threads or am I, indeed, wasting my breath?

working class
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Oct 5 2011 03:15
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You could start by giving your description of the conditions of the workers and peasants in China and/or Vietnam under the French/Japanese/United Statesians. Crack a book !
working class wrote:
I already did.

When you said "I already did" you were not responding to the meat of my statement -

Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You could start by giving your description of the conditions of the workers and peasants in China and/or Vietnam under the French/Japanese/United Statesians.

Any history book should tell that about colonial rule. The same history books should also tell you about national liberation rule. In extolling the glories of "liberated" China and Vietnam, you have avoided the real meat of this discussion: the conditions of the workers and peasants in China/Vietnam was one of workers exploited by capital both under colonial rule and under "independent" national bourgeois rule. The same conditions prevailed after the actual act of the national liberation happened. How grateful should the Vietnamese workers have been for their new exploiters who happened to look the same as them! For orientalists, the kind of joy offered by the "third world" national wars is unspeakable since most of them have paternal outlooks towards the "third world" workers. It is not a coincidence that Woodrow Wilson adopted Lenin's and Trotsky's theses on right to self-determination, since both the leftist and the imperialist support for self-determination springs from a romantic sentiment that eventually ends up serving a faction of imperialism.

Alexander Roxwell
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Oct 5 2011 03:28
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You could start by giving your description of the conditions of the workers and peasants in China and/or Vietnam under the French/Japanese/United Statesians.

.

working class wrote:
Any history book should tell that about colonial rule.

Goody Goody GumDrops. I think I'll read one of those and then I'll be as smart as you are.

Thank you for that pearl of wisdom !

working class
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Oct 5 2011 05:00
working class wrote:
Any history book should tell that about colonial rule. The same history books should also tell you about national liberation rule. In extolling the glories of "liberated" China and Vietnam, you have avoided the real meat of this discussion: the conditions of the workers and peasants in China/Vietnam was one of workers exploited by capital both under colonial rule and under "independent" national bourgeois rule. The same conditions prevailed after the actual act of the national liberation happened. How grateful should the Vietnamese workers have been for their new exploiters who happened to look the same as them! For orientalists, the kind of joy offered by the "third world" national wars is unspeakable since most of them have paternal outlooks towards the "third world" workers. It is not a coincidence that Woodrow Wilson adopted Lenin's and Trotsky's theses on right to self-determination, since both the leftist and the imperialist support for self-determination springs from a romantic sentiment that eventually ends up serving a faction of imperialism.
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
Goody Goody GumDrops. I think I'll read one of those and then I'll be as smart as you are.

Thank you for that pearl of wisdom !

So much for engaging workers on their own terms. It is quite obvious that "third world" workers have no historical preference or appreciation for either colonial or national liberated rule unlike in your wild fantasies.

Alexander Roxwell
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Oct 7 2011 01:43
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You could start by giving your description of the conditions of the workers and peasants in China and/or Vietnam under the French/Japanese/United Statesians.

I am still waiting for our working class hero to regurgitate some of the wisdom he garnished from any one of his random "history books."

P.S. Should I hold my breath?

working class
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Oct 7 2011 02:06
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
You could start by giving your description of the conditions of the workers and peasants in China and/or Vietnam under the French/Japanese/United Statesians.

I am still waiting for our working class hero to regurgitate some of the wisdom he garnished from any one of his random "history books."

P.S. Should I hold my breath?

If you are keen on gaining "regurgitated" wisdom of the suffering of workers under colonialism, feel free to start a new thread or pick up a book on colonial history. In the meanwhile, workers in China or Vietnam or any third world country have still not shown any historic preference for national liberated or colonial rule in spite of the repression faced by them under both systems.

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RedEd
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Oct 10 2011 03:26

AR, in post 90 I asked for references to your take on national liberation governments. I'd be glad if you'd respond since you seem to have a position that is quite common on the left but I'm not familiar with it's theoretical basis. A post explaining your general understanding would also be helpfull, if that would be less effort than dredging up links. Thanks.

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Ramona
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Oct 10 2011 16:53

Have unpublished a bunch of flamey/nonsense posts from this thread. As you were. Play nice.

Alexander Roxwell
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Oct 13 2011 18:53
RedEd#90 Oct 2nd wrote:
AR, you seem to have an analysis of how 'Stalinist' national development governments were progressive. I am, at present, neither hostile nor friendly to this stance, and I would like to learn more. Perhaps you could provide links to texts which lay out the basis of your position or, if I have misunderstood, provide links to developed expositions of the argument you are actually making.

P.S. I think that the rhetorical devices you used to characterise certain populations, up to and including the lumpen label may divert people from your actual meaning since it tends to read like a slur even when it is intended to be employed as impartial analysis.

RedEd #102 Oct 9th wrote:
AR, in post 90 I asked for references to your take on national liberation governments. I'd be glad if you'd respond since you seem to have a position that is quite common on the left but I'm not familiar with it's theoretical basis. A post explaining your general understanding would also be helpfull, if that would be less effort than dredging up links. Thanks.

Ask any working class black person if they think that racism is real or is an illusion.

Ask any working class Native American whether they think their extermination by whites across North America was a minor footnote in history.

Ask any working class Palestinian whether or not they feel targeted for their national identity rather than their class.

Ask any working class Pole during World War II whether they think that German racism plays a primary role in the occupation of their country.

Are they all wrong?

What would Karl Marx have thought? Would his thoughts have been wrong? Did they become obsolete after World War I? World War II? At some other time? Is it wrong today? What has changed?

Yes. The underlying and fundamental contradiction in capitalist society is between the working class and the capitalist class. But this is not the only contradiction and may not be the most apparent contradiction to this or that society at a given time. Until the working class rises up and overthrows the capitalist class this primary contradiction will continue to define capitalist society and many, no doubt most, of these secondary contradictions will remain as well. Capitalism sits on top of and aggravates secondary contradictions both from pre-capitalist society and from prejudices already present amoung the general population.

And they are real.

These secondary contradictions often masque the fundamental contradiction and sometimes even completely hide it from the view of the working class.

What do we do?

Some, nay it would seem that almost all, of the people on this website believe that we should denounce those who are fighting for relief from these secondary contradictions as one who is “stuck” in the land of false consciousness. The role of the vanguard, these people would seem to say, would be to preach to the workers that the struggles they are engaged in are false and that they should join their more obscure struggle for “true” liberation.

I join with the great majority of Marxists who do not agree with this very short sighted as well as elitist view.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I see the Russian revolution as a great turning point in history – but this is not the same turning point as Lenin, or Trotsky or Luxemborg or Bukharin saw. I am very much hampered by the fact that I only read and write the English language and so am unable to read anything not published in English. I did read a very interesting little pamphlet about Bordiga that claimed that he saw some of the same things that I saw but some of you claim that “Goldner” was in error on this question. I do not know one way or the other.

What I did do was take a good hard look at what the Stalinist “national liberation” movements actually did – both during and after their various revolutions in the Third World. I dismissed the decorative window dressing that they pretended was an explanation for their actions and I also dismissed the imperialist explanations for their actions. They were not in any way “socialist” or “communist” unless you divorce the terms completely from what Karl Marx was talking about.

First of all where do they take place? In the Third World.

What is the “Third World” ?

England had its “bourgeois national” revolution in the late 1600s. France had its “bourgeois national” revolution in the late 1700s. By the time of the German “bourgeois national” revolution most of Western Europe had capitalist systems. But by that time as well much of the rest of the world had been subjected to conquest by Western Europe. There was a debate within the Second international – well – mostly within the Bolshevik Party of Russia – about how a working class party would conduct itself in the coming Russian “bourgeois national” revolution.

The Mensheviks provided the standard, orthodox “Marxist” response. The Russian proletariat would support the Russian bourgeoisie as it attempted to overthrow the “feudal” autocracy and establish a democratic republic.

Lenin rightly said this was nonsense. The Russian bourgeoisie lacked the stomach for such a struggle and was scared shitless both of the bourgeoisie's own weakness and of the strength of the proletariat. The way forward, according to Lenin, was to make an alliance directly with the peasantry and jointly overthrow both the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. But what would this be? A “dual dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” said Lenin. But what in the world was that?

Trotsky had the answer, or so he thought. The “permanent revolution” would begin with a “bourgeois national” revolution led by the proletariat and supported by the peasantry but would continue on to become a “socialist revolution” because it could not stop at the bourgeois level as the bourgeoisie were all on the side of reaction.

Both Lenin and Trotsky had a caveat. The Russian “bourgeois national” revolution must become the trigger for a general proletarian revolution in Europe or the whole project would “all fall down.”

The whole project “all fell down.” Russia took longer to fall down because it actually had a proletarian revolution with a Marxist working class party leading the parade. One can actually talk about a Stalinist “counter-revolution” in Russia.

The Vietnamese Revolution was not the convergence of a proletarian revolution and peasant war and neither was the Chinese or the Yugoslav or the Cuban. They were purely “peasant war” and were fought under the flag of “national liberation” movements. And that is what they were.

They were the “second wave” of “bourgeois national” revolutions. The “first wave” was Holland, England, France, the United States, and Germany. The “second wave” was China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Yugoslavia – with Russia also attached.

The question is – what is the role of the “second wave” of “bourgeois national” revolutions in the era after World War II and is it over?

While it took place it was certainly progressive. It was progressive in the same way that in the U.S. Civil War the North was “progressive” and the South was “reactionary.” The Empires reacted hysterically to the “second wave” even long after it was clear as a bell that they were not “of the workers, by the workers, or for the workers.” It was a challenge to the Worldwide Imperialist pecking order and it created breathing room for other protests, including working class revolts in the home nest of the Empires.

But the “second wave” did not create full fledged capitalist regimes. They were capitalist from the bottom up – workers at the bottom – but at the top they had no capitalist class and no market to create a price structure. They were only fitted for primitive accumulation and once they passed that stage they collapsed back into ordinary capitalism.

Alexander Roxwell
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Jan 17 2012 01:27

Still waiting* for an answer to this.

*I can't hold my breath much longer

working class
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Jan 17 2012 04:28
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
Ask any working class black person if they think that racism is real or is an illusion.

Ask any working class Native American whether they think their extermination by whites across North America was a minor footnote in history.

Ask any working class Palestinian whether or not they feel targeted for their national identity rather than their class.

Ask any working class Pole during World War II whether they think that German racism plays a primary role in the occupation of their country.

Are they all wrong?

What would Karl Marx have thought? Would his thoughts have been wrong? Did they become obsolete after World War I? World War II? At some other time? Is it wrong today? What has changed?

Yes. The underlying and fundamental contradiction in capitalist society is between the working class and the capitalist class. But this is not the only contradiction and may not be the most apparent contradiction to this or that society at a given time. Until the working class rises up and overthrows the capitalist class this primary contradiction will continue to define capitalist society and many, no doubt most, of these secondary contradictions will remain as well. Capitalism sits on top of and aggravates secondary contradictions both from pre-capitalist society and from prejudices already present amoung the general population.

And they are real.

These secondary contradictions often masque the fundamental contradiction and sometimes even completely hide it from the view of the working class.

What do we do?

Some, nay it would seem that almost all, of the people on this website believe that we should denounce those who are fighting for relief from these secondary contradictions as one who is “stuck” in the land of false consciousness. The role of the vanguard, these people would seem to say, would be to preach to the workers that the struggles they are engaged in are false and that they should join their more obscure struggle for “true” liberation.

I join with the great majority of Marxists who do not agree with this very short sighted as well as elitist view.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I see the Russian revolution as a great turning point in history – but this is not the same turning point as Lenin, or Trotsky or Luxemborg or Bukharin saw. I am very much hampered by the fact that I only read and write the English language and so am unable to read anything not published in English. I did read a very interesting little pamphlet about Bordiga that claimed that he saw some of the same things that I saw but some of you claim that “Goldner” was in error on this question. I do not know one way or the other.

What I did do was take a good hard look at what the Stalinist “national liberation” movements actually did – both during and after their various revolutions in the Third World. I dismissed the decorative window dressing that they pretended was an explanation for their actions and I also dismissed the imperialist explanations for their actions. They were not in any way “socialist” or “communist” unless you divorce the terms completely from what Karl Marx was talking about.

First of all where do they take place? In the Third World.

What is the “Third World” ?

England had its “bourgeois national” revolution in the late 1600s. France had its “bourgeois national” revolution in the late 1700s. By the time of the German “bourgeois national” revolution most of Western Europe had capitalist systems. But by that time as well much of the rest of the world had been subjected to conquest by Western Europe. There was a debate within the Second international – well – mostly within the Bolshevik Party of Russia – about how a working class party would conduct itself in the coming Russian “bourgeois national” revolution.

The Mensheviks provided the standard, orthodox “Marxist” response. The Russian proletariat would support the Russian bourgeoisie as it attempted to overthrow the “feudal” autocracy and establish a democratic republic.

Lenin rightly said this was nonsense. The Russian bourgeoisie lacked the stomach for such a struggle and was scared shitless both of the bourgeoisie's own weakness and of the strength of the proletariat. The way forward, according to Lenin, was to make an alliance directly with the peasantry and jointly overthrow both the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. But what would this be? A “dual dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” said Lenin. But what in the world was that?

Trotsky had the answer, or so he thought. The “permanent revolution” would begin with a “bourgeois national” revolution led by the proletariat and supported by the peasantry but would continue on to become a “socialist revolution” because it could not stop at the bourgeois level as the bourgeoisie were all on the side of reaction.

Both Lenin and Trotsky had a caveat. The Russian “bourgeois national” revolution must become the trigger for a general proletarian revolution in Europe or the whole project would “all fall down.”

The whole project “all fell down.” Russia took longer to fall down because it actually had a proletarian revolution with a Marxist working class party leading the parade. One can actually talk about a Stalinist “counter-revolution” in Russia.

The Vietnamese Revolution was not the convergence of a proletarian revolution and peasant war and neither was the Chinese or the Yugoslav or the Cuban. They were purely “peasant war” and were fought under the flag of “national liberation” movements. And that is what they were.

They were the “second wave” of “bourgeois national” revolutions. The “first wave” was Holland, England, France, the United States, and Germany. The “second wave” was China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Yugoslavia – with Russia also attached.

The question is – what is the role of the “second wave” of “bourgeois national” revolutions in the era after World War II and is it over?

While it took place it was certainly progressive. It was progressive in the same way that in the U.S. Civil War the North was “progressive” and the South was “reactionary.” The Empires reacted hysterically to the “second wave” even long after it was clear as a bell that they were not “of the workers, by the workers, or for the workers.” It was a challenge to the Worldwide Imperialist pecking order and it created breathing room for other protests, including working class revolts in the home nest of the Empires.

But the “second wave” did not create full fledged capitalist regimes. They were capitalist from the bottom up – workers at the bottom – but at the top they had no capitalist class and no market to create a price structure. They were only fitted for primitive accumulation and once they passed that stage they collapsed back into ordinary capitalism.

The above hardly ever mentions the role of capitalism or how capitalism inherently shaped imperialism. This view is too much biased towards politics. All the talk about "second wave" bourgeois is beside the point. None of these were economically significant in the same way as the ones in the first wave. The French and English revolutions were revolutions that involved the fledgling bourgeois class in conflict with an aristocratic class. By the early to mid twentieth century (the exact dates are not important), the entire world (including the third world) was capitalist.

Can anyone honestly say there was feudalism still hanging around anywhere in this world when the "second wave" of revolutions took place? Is economics of any importance at all or is the world all about political maneuvering and self-proclaimed revolutions?

Alexander Roxwell
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Jan 18 2012 01:46

There doesn't seem to be anything new above.

Did I say that "feudalism" was "hanging around"? Whatever that means.

It could be said more plausibly that what I said was that the "peasantry" was "hanging around" in the Third World until ..... well .... certainly in 1917 in Russia and in 1949 in China

Perhaps "working class" believes that presto chango when the England become "capitalist" all the Chinese peasants changed instantly into workers.

A fairytale only a religious interpretation of Marx could come up with.

I hope you do not consider that an "economic" argument. If you wish to make an economic argument please don't keep it to yourself.

It is precisely how "capitalism" shaped imperialism that caused the "underdevelopment" of the Third World.

........................................and ...........

It is precisely how the Third World peasants* in various nations responded to this deformation that changed the nature of the "second wave" bourgeois national revolutions.

Today the peasantry is a very small minority of the world's population - but it is still not gone. And it played a very important role in the "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions. In fact, a decisive role.

*as well as other classes

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Arbeiten
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Jan 19 2012 02:20

Deleted due to the inanity of the point being made

Alexander Roxwell
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Jan 19 2012 01:57

I wondered if working class believed "that presto chango when the England become 'capitalist' all the Chinese peasants changed instantly into workers"

and now here comes Arbeiten to confess to it?

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Arbeiten
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Jan 19 2012 02:16

Sorry, I have no idea what I was going on about there. ignore that last post. The term peasant is completely relevant to the discussion here and would agree that the peasants played a decisive role in anti-colonial struggles (Though i am wary as to whether or not we should call these 'bourgeois nationalist revolutions' vis-a-vis the 'class' consciousness of said peasants). In any case, Sorry for that last post, it was random, i wasn't reading properly [as usual]).

Jacob Richter
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Jan 22 2012 21:13
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
Today the peasantry is a very small minority of the world's population - but it is still not gone. And it played a very important role in the "second wave" of bourgeois national revolutions. In fact, a decisive role.

Are you kidding about the first statement? The rural petit-bourgeoisie of tenant farmers, sharecroppers, etc. is by no means a very small minority of the Third World's population.

Alexander Roxwell
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Jan 23 2012 01:04

For a long time all the attacks on my position emanated from the notion that the peasantry was "all gone" today ....... the implication* (I could get no one to put this in historical context) being that the "peasants" of Russia in 1917 and the "peasants" of China in 1949 were really "agricultural workers" or "Kulaks" and were irrelevant to the respective revolutions.

Now I get someone who attacks me from the opposite side - saying that the "rural petit-bourgeoisie of tenant farmers, sharecroppers, etc" is "by no means" a very small minority of the Third World's population even today.

Jacob Richter may be right. I may have overstated my case by saying that peasants were a "very small" minority of the world's population.** They are, however, today, a minority.

* I argued the case that the peasantry constituted a large majority of the population of Russia in 1917, of China in 1949, Vietnam in the 1970s, Cuba in the 1950s and so on. People argued back that the peasantry was a small percentage of the population in the world today. It was like doing battle against smoke. The most laughable argument I got was that the "peasantry" disappeared when "feudalism" disappeared altho this was never clearly argued either until Arbeiten slipped.

** Note the difference here between "small minority in the Third World" vs. "small minority in the World."

Jacob Richter
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Jan 23 2012 04:50

I still dispute the contention "in the world." In India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent, for example, the rural petit-bourgeoisie form the majority of the population. This is only compounded by the urban petit-bourgeoisie (including street vendors).

In most of Africa, the situation is the same. Who knows how much of Latin America and Southeast Asia have the same balance of class forces?

zenkka
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Jan 23 2012 20:00
Jacob Richter wrote:
In most of Africa, the situation is the same. Who knows how much of Latin America and Southeast Asia have the same balance of class forces?

what? can this be backed up?

Alexander Roxwell
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Jan 24 2012 03:44

When I say "peasant" you say "rural petit bourgeoisie" -

Are we talking about the same thing - or we talking past each other?

Jacob Richter
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Jan 24 2012 03:53

I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same thing.

Historically, the bulk of the peasantry (even after all the differentiations) has the same class relations in the countryside that the shopkeepers, small business owners, street vendors, etc. have in the cities. By and large, yesterday's peasant is today's non-employed small farmer (tenant farmers, sharecroppers, etc.).

Alexander Roxwell
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Joined: 19-07-10
Jan 25 2012 03:41

"Petit-bourgeois" is the most overused mish-mash catch-all "class" in all of Marxist and pseudo-Marxist "class analysis." Its main use is as a swear word for polemics.

A peasant in the countryside aspires to be a yeoman farmer or a Kulak. His "class struggles" are in the agricultural sector and she or he tends to favor the distribution of land.

A small shopkeeper tends to operate in the cities or at least outside the agricultural sector. They cannot pursue their class interests because their class interests lead them nowhere.

Street vendors are largely lumpen.

Jacob Richter
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Joined: 13-07-08
Jan 25 2012 14:39
Alexander Roxwell wrote:
"Petit-bourgeois" is the most overused mish-mash catch-all "class" in all of Marxist and pseudo-Marxist "class analysis." Its main use is as a swear word for polemics.

Theoretically speaking, I agree. You've got PMs, by the way.

Quote:
A peasant in the countryside aspires to be a yeoman farmer or a Kulak. His "class struggles" are in the agricultural sector and she or he tends to favor the distribution of land.

I said what I said above re. the peasantry because I'm aware of the emergence of proper farm workers, Cesar Chavez's unionism contributions, etc.

Re. the productive MOP, the small farmer is little more than a rural small business owner, his farm being the business.

Quote:
A small shopkeeper tends to operate in the cities or at least outside the agricultural sector. They cannot pursue their class interests because their class interests lead them nowhere.

Care to clarify about the second statement? If given the chance, they'll hire family labour and vote for "family values" parties.

Quote:
Street vendors are largely lumpen.

Theoretically, I had a recent discussion on this, since the proper underclasses are divided: http://www.revleft.com/vb/hawkers-street-vendors-t166381/index.html