[OPE-L] the informal sector

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Fri Dec 10 2004 - 13:58:45 EST

At 13:33 10/12/2004, Jerry wrote:
>Mike L,
>The issue of the DoP is the issue of class rule.  One can posit that
>despite class segmentation and cultural and international differences,
>there is an underlying basis for proletarian unity.  What is the basis
>for unity on the international -- or even national -- level of producers
>in the petty commodity (informal) sector?   Does the logic of that unity
>move that sector towards anti-capitalism and alliances with the
>proletariat or in some other direction?  Does the self-interest of
>members of that sector lie in surpassing capitalism or reproducing it?
>What would be the basis for proletarian-informal sector unity?

         It seems to me that you have begged the critical questions. Moving
away from perhaps classic formulations, why-- in these days in which so
many are effectively excluded in much of the world -- not look on the
informal sector as the reserve army? How many of those street traders are
there because they want to be? In Venezuela, when the economy expands the
informal sector shrinks. Understanding the nature of this sector seems to
be a condition for talking about matters of alliances.
         in solidarity,

>I don't think these questions can be adequately answered on the
>'macro' (world capitalist) level but have to be addressed more
>concretely by considering the interplay between the state, capital,
>and the proletariat and other classes at the 'micro' (national,
>regional, urban) level.   But, I'm willing to listen to answers to the
>above questions if  you or other list members can suggest answers.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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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