[OPE] "the demise of the global peasantry"

From: Gerald Levy (jerry_levy@verizon.net)
Date: Sun May 25 2008 - 19:49:19 EDT

> PS - where did Marx predict "the demise of the global peasantry" as Bello claims ?

Hi Jurriaan:

Well, that's a good question. 

The answer, I think, is that he didn't make that prediction.

It could be said, of course, that the tendencies for the centralization and
concentration of capital and hence proletraianization could lead to "the
demise of the global peasantry".  But, that's not what Marx himself

His letter  to the Editorial Board of "Otechestvenneye Zapiski"
is relevant, I think:

"Now, what application to Russia could my critic make of this 
historical sketch (the chapter on primitive accumulation in 
Volume One of _Capital_, JL)?    Only this: if Russia is to become a 
capitalist nation like the nations of Western Europe - and in the last 
few years she has been at great pains to achieve this - she will not 
succeed without first transforming a large part of  her peasants into 
proletarians, subsequently, once brought into the fold of the capitalist 
regime, she will pass under its pitiless laws like other profane peoples. 
That is all. But it is too little for my critic. He absolutely insists on 
transforming my historical sketch of the genesis of capitalism in 
Western Europe into a historico-philosphical theory of the general 
course fatally imposed on all peoples, whatsoever the historical circumstances
in which they find themselves placed, in order to arrive ultimately at
this economic formation which assures the greatest expansion of the
productive forces of social labour, as well as the most complete
development of man. But I beg his pardon. This is to do me both too
much hinour and too much discredit." 

He then goes on to give an example concerning "the fate that befell
the plebeians  of ancient Rome" and also mentions "'poor whites' 
in the Southern United States"  and concludes:

"By studying each of these developments separately, and then comparing
them, one may discover the key to this phenomenon. But succees
will never come with the master-key of a general-historico-philosophical
theory, whose supreme virtue consists in being supra-historical".
(_Late Marx and the Russian Road_. p. 136).

In solidarity, Jerry

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