[OPE-L:6572] Re: Re: Re: Re: * poll: who has advanced political econ omy since Marx? *

From: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 07:23:58 EST


At 11:44 12/02/02 -0800, you wrote:
>re David's 6554
>>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.
>With the globalization of production--the partial break down of the intl 
>division of labor of industrial and raw material nations-- and the 
>deskillinmg of the former labor aristocracy, any material basis for the 
>labor aristocracy seems to have broken down. I say this knowing that you 
>will take it as provocative

My articles try and deal with this problem in great detail showing how 
capital restructures the working class and creates institutions which 
represent the interests of the privileged sections of the working class as 
the changes takes place. You have to see the labour aristocracy as a process...

>>I have tried to write about this topic in relation to the development 
>>of  British imperialism in a series of articles in the newspaper Fight 
>>Racism! Fight Imperialism! - see the FRFI section of 
>>http://www.rcgfrfi.easynet.co.uk - starting with issue 161.
>>David Yaffe
>Bush's recent budget proposals do not suggest that he intends to corrupt 
>and coopt the working class!
>If trade union leadership is conservative, it would seem to be more the 
>result of the system of collective bargaining than the bourgeoisification 
>of the mass of workers from the spoils of imperialism.
>Yet I would agree that the US left as a whole has not proven itself able 
>to give an unblinkered look at US foreign policy in the Middle East, 
>including US military occupation of the Gulf.
>It is my opinion that there has been a kind of virulent American racism 
>that is directed at Arabs alone (though of course Iranians are not much 
>less vulnerable). This leads to fantasies of their total defeat or total 
>annihilation, and those fantasies have infused cinematic culture in 
>particular.  This helps to stifle debate in the US about the nature of US 
>foreign policy in the Arab world in particular.
>Sadly, my efforts on this list to keep the discussion about the so called 
>oilism thesis (i.e., US foreign policy is best understood as an attempt to 
>secure the uninterrupted flow of oil to the US) that had been subjected to 
>critique by Cyrus Bina ten years ago did not much succeed.
>I also tried to raise discussion a couple of years ago of David E Spiro's 
>book The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony which is on petrodollar 
>recycling. But no one seemed interested. Bina told me that he thought it 
>was a solid book.
>So I am surprised how little careful political economic analysis there has 
>been of US foreign policy in the Middle East even as US policy has been 
>arguably genocidal, e.g., significance of pricing of oil in dollars, 
>recycling of petrodollars, economic significance of arms deals (and the 
>massive endemic corruption),  the nature of the partnerships between US 
>companies and OPEC govts when entering into upstream and downstream 
>operations,  consequences of Saudi Arabia capturing  some of Iraq's former 
>export markets, the security arrangements the US has with the Gulf states, 
>the role of migrant workers in the Gulf and the effects of their 
>remittances on home countries (e.g., my grandfather hold told me that 
>there was quite a bit of hostility in the Bombay riots from poor Hindus 
>against poor Muslims who were imagined to have grown fat on Gulf 
>remittances, etc).

Bush's proposals have to be seen as part of the developing 
inter-imperialist rivalries particularly between Europe and the US - not 
just about oil. See articles in FRFI on this matter. US needs to see off 
any challenge to its hegemony if it is to sustain a sizeable 'middle class' 
in the US.

Vygodski's book was published  in English Abacus Press 1974 and German 
(Wygdoski) Verlag die Wirtschaft Berlin 1967 originally published in 
Russian Verlag Mysl Moscow 1965.

David Yaffe

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