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

From: dashyaf@EASYNET.CO.UK
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 17:12:31 EST


It would help if you gave some examples of how my position on the labour
aristocracy differs significantly from that put over by amongst others
Marx, Engels and Lenin. We understand how well-paid academics have to be in
order to live in the manner to which they are accustomed  - this does not
turn them into non -privileged workers. You really seem to have missed the
essential point.


'The truth is this: during the period of England's industrial monopoly the
English working class have, to a certain extent, shared in the benefits of
the monopoly. These benefits were unequally parcelled out amongst them; the
privileged minority pocketed most, but even the great mass had, at least, a
temporary share now and then. and that is the reason why since the dying
out of Owenism, there has been no socialism in England...' (1892)

Has not this situation been reproduced on a world scale for the privileged
sections of the working class in the major imperialist countries... and
does not this help to explain the abject failure of so-called progressives
to recognise the importance of Cuba and Venezuela for the working class and
oppressed masses throughout the world. What  a lot of pressure there must
be on academics to earn a rent adequate for reasonable accommodation in the
San Francisco Bay area. I can't believe you really said that Rakesh.

I have written a series of six articles on the labour aristocracy, on the
cahnging character of the working class, and the relevance of the concept
to Britain, so you must be able to produce at least one example from that lot.

David Yaffe

At 12:29 01/01/04 -0800, you wrote:
>Dear Paul,
>I don't think we are getting very deep in this discussion; this is
>definitely at least partially my fault as I have only read a few
>pieces on Chavez's govt.
>1. Re: new constitution. you don't really say anything but as far as
>I can make out; there has been a consolidation of executive power
>vis-a-vis the legislature.
>2. coups are never consonant with Marxian politics. Neither for that
>matter are Bolshevik Party forms.
>3. I do not equate the Cuban experiment with Chavez's rule.
>4. I have not advanced an blanket case against nationalism.
>5. Whoever called the strike does not matter now; Chavez cleaned
>house of indigeneous technical talent, leaving Venezuela dependent on
>foreign help and foreign investors whom he has treated very well
>indeed; the state oil industry is now even weaker. Despite his
>rhetoric Chavez's policies are often neo liberal in content.
>6. You do not deny that Chavez circulates very simplistic ideas about
>the power of OPEC to set the price of oil.
>7. You argue that all the trade union leaders are corrupt. Fine, but
>the rank and file industrial workers do not seem to find much for
>themselves in Chavez's govt whose strongest electoral base seems to
>be street vendors.
>8. You argue that leftist opposition is never leftist. This is
>argument by definition: loyalty to Chavez is leftism.
>9. I don't know much about well paid academics--and what is well paid
>in your opinion--do you know what rent is like in the San Francisco
>Bay Area?
>10. How are you defining labor aristocracy--any worker who does not
>demonstrate fealty to the Party or the leader? Actually David's ideas
>about the motive forces behind imperialism seem closer to Karl
>Renner's than Engels'. Are street vendors the true proletariat as
>opposed to steel workers?
>11. You never did specify the source of the rent that Chavez hopes to

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