Re: [OPE-L] Chavez and Trotsky

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Fri Dec 10 2004 - 12:09:45 EST

At 08:32 09/12/2004, Jerry wrote:

>The 'informal sector' and its relation to the working class, capital,
>and the state have to be analyzed more concretely since the relations
>between these classes and institutions vary in different social
>formations.  E.g. in some nations the state tolerates that sector,
>despite its semi-legal status, because it is a group which can oftentimes
>be more readily controlled (e.g. by threat of eviction from squatter
>encampments).  Thus,  in some of those nations informal sector members
>have been observed to be relatively politically passive or even
>conservative.  In other nations, the situation is different.  This
>issue has to be looked at more concretely on the micro (individual national,
>regional, urban) level since broad generalizations about the politics of
>informal sector members do not seem to hold.

         My point in raising the question of the informal sector is that---
given its weight around the world, this is precisely something that Marxist
economists should be talking about and analysing. Talking about the
'dictatorship of the proletariat' in the concrete circumstances in much of
the world seems to me to require analysis of the objective situation first.
This wasn't/isn't meant as a criticism--- just a proposal for discussion, etc.

         in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela. Can be reached at
Residencias Anauco Suites
Departamento 601
Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
Caracas, Venezuela
(58-212) 573-4111
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

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