[OPE-L:6571] Re: Re: * poll: who has advanced political econ omy since Marx? *

From: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 07:04:45 EST

As far as I know all of the left in Britain with very few exceptions reject 
Lenin's position on the relationship of imperialism to the split in the 
working class movement. Most recently a talk given by Ben Fine at a local 
CSE group (7/2702) dismissed it cursorily: 'such propositions simply do not 
stand up to close scrutiny'. Admittedly he put over a caricature of Lenin's 
theory but never argued or proved anything. See his Globalisation and 
Development : The imperative of political economy - draft paper for a 
conference in Sheffield. I have given many examples of it being ignored in 
the analysis of  the development of British imperialism in the articles I 
have written - http://www.rcgfrfi.easynet.co.uk FRFI section begin with 
161. I also show how the ruling class clearly understood the relation. I 
intend to develop the argument.

David Yaffe

  At 14:45 12/02/02 +0000, glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu wrote:
>Re David Y's [6554]:
> > Marx wrote a critique of political economy not an abstract tract
> > on  economics. It was a critique not just of capitalism and the
> > views of its most conscious representatives but also of  petty
> > bourgeois views in the  contemporary working class/'socialist'
> > movement eg Proudhon. Lenin carried  on in this tradition - a
> > tradition that seems to be sadly lacking today -
> > despite the appalling state of both the world and the left
> > movement.
>OK, what specifically are the petty-bourgeois views in the contemporary 
>working-class/'socialist' movement that are in need of critique today?
> > Lenin did advance our understanding on the relation of economics to
> > politics in a rather challenging way in his pamphlet on
> > Imperialism, as he  himself makes clear in the preface.  Marxists
> > have been attacking his  position ever since on the labour
> > aristocracy or the two trends in the  working class movement. But
> > clearly there is a growing split in the working
> > class movement between imperialist and oppressed  nations and and
> > increasingly within the imperialist nations themselves. Why  this
> > is found  to be unacceptable is beyond me. Lenin, building on the
> > work of Marx and  Engels gave us a materialist understanding of
> > this development - a very  significant advance in Marxist thought.
> > Can I recommend Imperialism and the  Split in Socialism Vol 23
> > p105ff. This really is in the best tradition of
> > critique of  political economy. The position needs to be developed
> > concretely in relation to today's circumstances.
>Are you suggesting that the critique of political economy needs to be more 
>concretely developed today as it relates to positions taken by 
>contemporary working class/socialist movements in relationship to 
>imperialism and imperialist wars?  The inference, in other words, seems to 
>be that many contemporary socialists are 'soft' on the question of 
>imperialism. This is certainly not an inference I would reject -- but I'd 
>like to hear more about *which* groups, tendencies and authors (other than 
>the obvious ones, e.g. social democratic) you believe have this position.
>Another interesting question is whether imperialism as it 
>was  characterized by Lenin in his pamphlet has been altered in 
>significant ways. E.g. Paul C, I believe, once raised this question in 
>relation to what he viewed as the contemporary (in)significance of the 
>export of capital from the imperialist nations. This would make for an 
>interesting thread -- 'how has imperialism changed since Lenin's time?' or 
>'has imperialism changed since Lenin?'.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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