(OPE-L) Re: Paresh Chattopadhyay 'Capital, The Progenitor of Socialism'

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Dec 20 2003 - 10:58:09 EST

> Seriously, what would you
> call someone who, if Cuba's project were to collapse, might say Marx had
> the last laugh or who might argue against accelerating the process in
> Venezuela because, in the absence of the fully developed capitalist mode
> of  production, all attempts at exploding the society would be Don
> Quixotism?

Hi Mike L.

There are those who have taken this, or similar, positions from both
the Right and the Left.  I certainly don't think that critics of the
Bolshevik leadership, such as Luxemburg or Kollantai, were
conservative. However ...

I suppose one could claim that Martov and the Mensheviks were
'conservative' -- but _only_ in relation to the Bolsheviks and other
political formations to the Left of the Mensheviks. Similarly, one
could claim that Lenin and Trotsky were 'conservative' _in relation
to_ Kollantai and the Workers' Opposition.  This does not imply
support or opposition on my part for either Lenin or Kollantai
because labeling someone a 'conservative' _in the above sense_
is not necessarily a criticism.   However, it is misleading to call
either Lenin or Kollantai (or Castro or Chavez or Chattopadhyay)
a conservative because this term  is _also_ a political designation
which is used synonymously with 'reactionary'.    Bush is a reactionary;
Paresh is _not_!

So,  what would I call Paresh?  I would say that Paresh is a
Marxist and a revolutionary who I have significant political and
theoretical differences with.  To call him a conservative is, at
best,  misleading and gets in the way of having a potentially meaningful
dialogue on the issues.

In solidarity, Jerry

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