RE: [OPE] question re published letters Engels

Date: Mon May 11 2009 - 07:30:42 EDT

> The onus however is not on me to prove anything - Mr Bettelheim and Mr
> Chattopadhyay themselves flipflopped from characterising the Russian
> revolution as a proletarian revolution and then subsequently defining it as
> a fullfledged bourgeois revolution, even although the Russian bourgeoisie
> was expropriated and liquidated. Mr Bettelheim does this in the course of
> the same multi-volume book!
> I think this is absurd, and I think it is even more absurd, that there
> should still be people who are still in awe and reverence of this kind of
> "scholarship". The apparently "super-radical" analysis of the "value-form"
> by "Marxist authorities" has the result, that these Marxists cannot even
> decide what the real class forces in a real revolution are, and do a 180
> degrees turn in their analysis!
The full force of your criticism is not directed at the *source* of this
claim concerning the restoration of capitalism in the USSR. As you should
know very well, Bettelheim was only re-broadcasting the perspective of Mao
and Maoism on this topic. Were they too uncritical of Mao's perspective?
Yes, I think so. Does that perspective have much historical evidence and
logic on its side? No, I don't think so. But, these questions can be
considered without unnecessary rhetoric now - especially since the USSR
doesn't exist anymore and the PRC is no longer led by Maoists.

> The apparently "super-radical" analysis of the "value-form" by Marxist
> authorities [...]
Let's be clear: neither Bettelheim or Chattopadhyay were advocates of value-
form theory. Neither was Maoist theory in general. Before you can accurately
critique a perspective you should make more of an effort to distinguish it
from other perspectives and understand the historical context in which it arose,
including whether it was in part a reaction to another perspective, social
movement, and/or historical experience.
In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Mon May 11 07:34:50 2009

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